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Reactive programming and the Actor model
The. Programming grow down episode eighty two reactive programming in the actor model with Jones Boehner take it away Jason. Hey, everyone. So we've really cool interview. I'm sure a lot of you know about about Scala an archive heard about this. We've talked about this on the show and we have Jonas Bonar who. Is, are you the the original creator of guys that, right? Yeah, yeah. I started back in two thousand nine or actually the first launch the product was into those nice start hacking into couple year or so. Yes. Cool, excellent. Jonas is gonna explain kind of reactive programming, Dr model. He's gonna talk us through sort of that whole kind of revolution. I think it's amazing to do, especially for you. I in for a lot of other kind of processes to to have this sort of model, and just going to really is an expert is going to explain it to all of us Jonas while you kind of tell us your background while you got you know how you kind of ended up getting really into this sort of programming models that something is sort of a series of anti patterns that you saw along the way that made you say, oh, we need to build something new here. So what was the motivation for that and what's journey kind of been like, it's been about ten years, right? Yeah. Yes. Talk lost by quickly. It's actually started to earlier than that, even it's so my my journey, distributed systems and concurrent system and stuff like that, feel it started the, you know, the the journey towards Aachen and the Actimel Larry and everything started backing was I joined a BA systems back in the day and I and and I was working, I don't know is worse product last week were slow aspect oriented program. Workfront quite popular back then vastly j. and stuff who said, escalate. After, of course, was later merged with us j. and then and then et cetera, rice live, you know, a lot about like by code, will you being and then having dynamic capabilities to Java and then anywhere anywhere in any language that woman today Opie. But so so I actually worked that open source products while we're in the b. b. systems. But then I was headhunted bio small startup in two thousand three or something like that. That that that used the knowledge that we have built will, which was of course open source as most small up in the valley goal turcato and they distributed systems and and essentially try to cluster JVM onto Neath JVM self to to make and maintain the the programming mall. Love was threads and locks and stretch that out across a set of of distributed notes and try to do serve all the, you know, messing underneath. Make to make that work essentially another if we should get geeky. Here's the way the way actually worked was that you know the the, this, our locks and and, and as our memory barriers in were were translated into sort of transactional scope. So so so so so you answer. So sort of so it was those transactions was remained across across the they did that you completely transparently us using aspect, grin programming. I don't take that that I built. How do you handle the the data dependency their right. I mean, if somebody's treating it as like threads, they might not be aware of that they have to broadcast this data. Right? Exactly. Exactly. I mean, it's it's wisher wouldn't when I when I joined the company and actually when with promoting it to stop, we actually went for it for, you know, selling people on the mall, the mall. But the thing is it was complete the broken model from the start, and I I, it's sort of that started to to grow on me after you know, being outed Klein's we, you know, after couple of years and we never really got to work in there. No surprise. You know, I, I'm now a firm believer of this opposite way of approach in distributed systems where you certain brace the network, embrace the constraints all the network, and and instead of trying to hide it. You know, it's it, it interns. If you try to hide it in my opinion, towards into this league abstraction, that Lisa much that is becomes more or less useless. You know, we win. We've seen this minute many, many times in the past with, you know, with RPC and distributed all bags or did or a or anything like that. It's actually it works to appoint redoes work and when it doesn't work, everything falls. Knowing where Knepper disconnection partial failures every let no idea how you can recover from etcetera. So so that's, you know, made me complete, lose faith in that model. And actually, in general, you know, the way also do after that I was doing consult is own on distributed system job in general, you know, brace, Cole, McCoy, vile and all the all the tools. They have the tools that they have there and started to grow in the whole. This is just the wrong way of over approaching the the problem. And I went, I went to this crisis in a way. To to to, you know, dig through a lot of research papers and stuff and start. Then then then I chatted with a friend that had been actually all the way in school been programming in early. You know, he's he. He went straight to Ericsson Ericsson to his left. Zerous theory, coal, quite obscure language airlines. And I just, you know, when talking with him, I sorta realize that, wow, this is the mauled log looking for. I mean, we're, we're, we're in communication distributed communications first class where we have the true Soleil, shin, you know, failure cascade across components, recross nodes of we've seen, you know, in often Java and things like that. And and that's sort of on the signal path. I learning our land in for real tinkering busy. Backing back in school. The night, of course, knew what it was being being Sweden, having friends using it, but I never took it seriously. But if I felt like of course I can't a program Erling emdeni into album. My clients, you know, my my whole life is circle JVM then okay. Then I gotta find a way to to port that model essential the mall, the principles are. So they're so good over to. Daba and that's that's how I started ARCO in back in two thousand eighty two. So I see. So are there any sort of, did you encounter any really fundamental limitations of Orsay differences between the JVM Erling that that were like serious roadblocks rocker, or was it more of just a mechanical like day in day out, let's get it done, whether there any like real technical hurdles there yet. One of the one of the things you know that the people always tend to point out when they come from relying. They're absolutely right about that is that you can't have any. You can't to such thing as true isolation on the JVM because because you know it is shared heat and and and and in the end. So so awesome serve 'isolation is only by convention but was trying to have a program mall that says the mound reason and serve and tries to make. It easy to do the right thing and and regardless, even if he is ach, you can. You can always use reflection and such like that to bypass that if you really relaunch it yourself, you know. So so so that's one of the things that's hard and also, you know, things garbage collection Earl has garbage collection, but it has his passage like parameter, so so so so it's not. It's not that. So you have more fairness, you know, control over over the garbage collector while it in his own the JVM, there's no control we have over over such a low level things and, and you know, sometimes can be more observe lonely, dizzy, bosses and stuff like that. But of course, very often those can be mitigate by doing the right thing, you know, and we try to push people in there in the duration of doing the right thing. Knock waiting to my garbage and stuff like that. That makes this. It's not the same. It's not the same thing as an airline over the full control over everything. VM is built with actors in mind. We just not the case for for for Julia. So in the case of of Awka, I mean, you could. You could have all the actors running in separate processes right? Then they, then they. But that probably has its own expense. Right? Yeah. No, we don't do that. We are. Wizar-. Doing the way the way it works. You know, if we should go into how in into the act should be I the actor good point. Maybe let's let's spiral back a little bit and talk about what is the actor model? What is reactive programming? How is that? You know if someone comes, let's say they in first year of university, they've taken system software written some some code in c, and they say, what is what is the actor model? What does this mean. Yeah, the the mole is actually quite old. I learnt it from early, but Irwin took it from from from papers, bark, Carl Hewage that he wrote in this. I think back in the nineteen early seventies or something like that. Remember the exact date when the first came out very early in the seventies, and you know, in the Akron moles is it is it is is complete competition model, immature complete like Lambda calculus are found out foundational computation model that that that that has different limit different take than than most of the other ones is models communication as surf first class and communication m b n behavior and school at the school. The actor mall was actor is the unit of, oh, computation is early unit to work or. That that you have and and and the and you know, actors are extremely lightweight, at least. I mean, not we guest, we're getting down to how usually all or or implements, but but both in relying mostly women in England wasn't Dacian that I've seen as as as well as well as he'll implement actors in the way that they are extremely lightweight in terms of how how they use resources, you know, for sample Aachen all Eaker millions of them on a regular laptop, you know, and they don't consume the rely see they agreed through like a green threat or routine or something like that. Exactly. So we do multiplexing on threads, you knows you have this end and Ankole on 'em mapping of actors to to threats in innocous call the dispatcher. Beget is because let's a thread pool that you scheduler that that that you round them on. It just is. Just in Aachen Tony consumes heat. Yeah, just people who might not be basically you have if you create a thread or even greater extent you create a process. This is actually a lot is happening under the hood. You might say, just new thread and it's seems really TD threat or something plus plus, but actually under the hood, the doing a ton of work there as you can't realistically create, let's say, a million processes, you know on one computer, it's just not practical. And so a lot of these UC's green threads or these cover teens idea is the system creates, let's say, let's say, thirty two threads right at the beginning. And then when you say, hey, I want to do this bit of work on the side. It just uses one of those thirty two threads it's already been created. And if you try and do thirty three things at the same time, that thirty third thing just kind of sits in a queue. And once one of the threads is free, it starts. Offloading q. So that's the. That's essentially how how we limit actors in nothing prevented from implementing the actors as having one actor per processor. The I think the whole, they'll benefit of actors or falls apart, in my opinion, actress are are so great because they are not map to threats that you can easily create thousands or millions of them are spread out on the cluster. You know, the way I tend to look at them like verse two, two to two things where nature ma- like mapping them to are like like an colonists work like we or very, or bacteria or something like that where he could. We have like you have so many, right? So if if you of them fails, doesn't really matter because others can take over in were where the failed one started and serve and without really affecting the overall health of application. And that's actually how I like to look at actors in why? Why see them really. Powerful model for the cloud. You know wearing where we have all this computer resources. This knows available. So so, but but if you other things are are characteristic imported to actors, is that you know that all communication is sir, I classes were building into the model, and and communication is is serve, serve is, is it is distributed by nature or by default for local communication is just in often my Satit. So this sort of unification of distributed local communication. The means the means that they both look the same. It looks the same if you communicate with with an actor his right, right next to you or lives in another on the node oriented on the data, it looks say, you know, and this is what we mean will location transparency, and, and you know the one of the benefits of that is that if you have a recently advanced Runtime underneath here, this understands actors being used and and which files are over. Loaded which we are under utilize. We shall rashly failing now and stuff. You know that Runtime can optimize these things by moving their actors around and and and and and so this this is in my opinion, the key to Katia transparency that the the cost Rican. We optimize itself by by by shuffling actors around on different knows without the experience of from from the user perspective, the client he and he never really has to new even even know that that is going that is going on, you know. And that's, that's a law. Thanks to the dynamism of the actor model that the actress conserve. You know, one thing that didn't say is that the way communicate with an actress usually through absorb reference in Erlanger. You have the what is going to pit the process ide- that you send messages to over me come, you communicate with in innocuous, we have what is going to act a rat. So you never communicate with actor directly, but only through this or Brock's you're this reference. This means that the. Actor can live anywhere, and this sort of a level directionals gives around town Nova -tunities to to manage failure in the prince parent way, Vicera failing over to two other actors, even on other notes or to route messages. You know, two other actors of the same type and things like that, you know. So so. So that's very powerful thing. And this is, you know, also leveraging the in the failed in the failure mall. So that is one of the one of the things also that's the that I see from from actor Amal has his notion of supervision that actors you watch out for each other. You know, there is completely masterless decentralized. There's no special knows no special actors or anything like that, but each actor can watch out for other actors and if is there, if he's buddies are dies, he will get a notification. This AO your body die, what he wanted to about it, then it gets choose to escalate it because it might be above his pay grade. What to do. He didn't create the actor. Or stuff like that. Escalates up the hierarchy war. He might decide to do something about it and restart the actor or takeover his work and things like that. And all that can be done. Thanks isolation that these actors are complete the self contained or autonomous units that that to serve that doesn't have any any strong coupling with anything else. Survey the end user could build, let's say, some check pointing at the actor level. And then if they say, oh, this person that I was dependent on, you know, is supposed to give me ten units of work, and they gave me five units of work and then died. I could use my checkpoint to sort of go back to an earlier state where that person hasn't given me any work and then reboot them and and can keep. Exactly and things. I think the way normally organized is is just like an organizational higher hierarchy that you have like bosses or whatever going to call it like we call the actor parent. So any actor can be parent by simply by creating workers and by escalate things or the the wizard winning receive a notification message from one of your of your workers, then he can choose to do something about it or escalate up, you know, and and and you can also have this or sideway. Aaron notification because might not be you that created the actor, but you might be dependent on him right? Or or something like that. It's interesting to get a notification that the work the do dependent off with actually dependent on it failed. And, and and you know, you need co these type of of of a cursor index in in in the protocol. Of course, you know where you were, were you when you when you when you died, but but usually, I mean, if you retain that information that can be served, you know, relayed up to the up to the parent and apparent Kevin's or kick kick off yet another worker and then resume him where where the other one failed source be, it gives that makes sense. That makes sense. So how does this work with respect to date of, let's say you're. Like the play framework. For example, all of these actors are communicating to with the same database. And so that's sort of is that the way that they read and write information? Yeah, that's a great question. That's what leads into one of the features we have in Aqaba persistent of state is nothing serving coated in in the core actor model early has their way of doing it. You'd visit hill using distributor database in need, show report information in announcer of sort of area. Keep alley store. You can say more than that, that while in we have taken an an an another out where we based our persistence on event logging. So each actor if you choose to be persistent, has an event log in which is stores the events that that is a receives. I don't know if you're familiar with van sourcing and versus command sourcing or so, but the actually never heard. Go for it. We, we need to go into those those those sim Sonetti details. But essentially what what it does is it just isn't logs the messages the comes in or the events, it creates representing the state change coming out of that overs evening that message actually. So it might receive a mess. If he decides to actors are side effect. We haven't said that they're not like purely functional or whereas, you know the point of actresses to do stuff when the rec- messages, so they are side effect and and and and so. So whenever you receive a message, you have to create an event representing the state change that you did for that for the, you know, as an effect, overseeing that message. And then we have, you know, way of logging that event representing the state change to a persistent event log that is replicated then for the durable fully. Fully these relies Nobel things and, and you know, and then old, you know, all all of ants representing stations are logged in order as they happen. You know, when when an actor fails, what we do simply replace him out, love bringing the actor up up to up to speed were were Joyce and the beauty of having this amount log as that you use it for lorrimore things. Just bringing up the the, the actor when it when fail, you know, you can actually, you know, having other consumers of is about long, you know, percent replica that make sure that there is the the events constantly's their oldest hawked or you know, for audit purposes, you have like strong lauded long, everything that went on in the system. You know, you can just go in and see or debugging purposes you can serve having a survey. One actor that's essentially elicits in Rita Vance, replicates them to two external system that do that that that that you can use for reap. Playing things when things go wrong in much slower into luck event that developed after vent to bucking the system to find out what went wrong and things like that. So he's open up for a lot of interesting things in having these type of architecture with vent long. I believe. Yeah, totally makes sense. So what's the connection between the actor model and the reactive program? So reactive programming. As I understand it, I've used a little bit of angular and some react j s and things like that. And basically in this environment. Parts of the website are sort of monitoring for variables to change. For example, very simple example. You have some angular website and you say, at the top, it's going to say Hello name and maybe at the very beginning, you don't. You know, the name is just empty or Knoller something like that. But then very quickly, you know, the name gets populated. And then as soon as that happens, the Hello name is monitoring variable and it says the name has changed to Jason. Let's put Hello, Jason. And this all happened quickly that probably know rendering along the way that people don't notice what's going on. But under the hood, there's there's a lot of monitoring and sort of triggering. And so that's that's sort of how interesting angular like, how does how does that reactive model kind of compare or how does that work? Well with with actor. That's a great question. You know, I up to say that you know, we acted to start to become quite overloaded word. It means a lot of things. You know, people have one context or one one way of mapping that or means one thing to web developer. Another thing. To the low level. Assistance program. It's it's right into the weight. And the way I look at it is that I see two different categories in the way they will family over reactive. I see two different things. I, we reacting programming and we can. I can briefly explain what that means at least what I think it is, but we also have what I would usually old reactive systems and and and and and I think I see them as two different things you know and want is for local. For programming, local things. You know, while the other one is to mall, distributed systems, distributed communiqu, kind then. In one is the subsidies I see the program is a subsidy Ryol reactor system. But if we start, I can get back to react assistance if we start with with reactive programming. So so you know, the program is really about, I see variation or subsidies acing Guinness programming where they will ideas that the veil ability of new information, bribes logic. So you have these data flow graph. You know that it's extremely lazy that doesn't do anything eliciting information is available. And then in the you know, and as soon as his vailable flows downstream Lexa triggering about your results, changing data flow of variables of things and things like that. So so it's sort of allowed to decompose the problem into multiple through discrete steps. There will well-defined any inning eastep could be executed into fully and on and on. Logging fashion. We would wish is great mouths were ver ver ver well to moat tomorrow and Arbor. Multiple and things like that, and then they can be recompose for us it workflow or or graph and is in any usually, you know, we asked to complete unbounded flow of information like stream from Asian. So there's really no end to just reacts to tweets. So to speak and reactive program said, it's, it's serve usually meant for the way I see doesn't at least is that it's, it's for local is remote. Local local computation doesn't really have a distribution model, so it's it's more event driven than than our message driven. I, we don't need to go into all this Mandic did differences between them, but the way I've you'd in short is that eventually you simply just servicer of Emmett events to whoever's interest in, you know, in in in zero can be, can be two hundred can be million. It doesn't really matter in the guy making eventually the dozen. Oh, and it all. Of Serbs or is omitted info, local fashion, wab while message driven is really about direct communication between parties most serve direct addressable communication. You know, we've talking to why center and that that means that he, he, you can actually use it to gross address boundaries while reacted programs release, really all winning one average Valerie. But it was sort of the the, the different debut is if we should talk concrete in a program of perspective, so that the is it is. You can sort categorize into two different groups wanna so coal back based. This is old node model in role as much older than that, of course, but not popularized that amount loop was enormous and effecting callback. Sorry, you know this of entering event sources, and but the other one is becoming more popular now is is who is or were declared model where you were use functions. Here's function composition and things like math than feels unfold and who by you know these things and and that's the appraisals. Moseley's like distributed streaming products have have have have sort of star to to to to use and and knows the price. I think because I definitely favor the declarative mall because Laos for for composition while the coal back mall is really hard to compose, and it's hard to era hand. With with coal backs is interesting coal back, hell, the holiest thing. So. Yeah, so so so so we've we're actually seeing a lot of interesting products insert declared him approach to function out to to react to programming. You know, this is our none of these new. By the way, you know, we, we've seen it, you know, being being popularized and one is, for example, futures and promises the old concept, but is becoming religiously pop open. They're both in web development as well as sisters, programming replication development programming, and we have them in ACA for the end the end, the novel retouched about on this earth streams and you around these streams locally elite wake, we have streams knock Liu, product streams, implement the reactive streams specification that all all around said, local initially sway to orchestrate workflow, you know, and then do local data processing, very low latency high efficient way. But you can also do distributive fashion, you know? So so so so. So that's some of my view on on. Acted programming. I don't know if you want me to touch reactive systems. Yeah, definitely. That would segue really well into into the next part. Yeah. So, yeah, go ahead. So we we persist. So as I said, I mean, this is definitely supercenter react will react program retract expand those capabilities. Into into a set of good design principles of say for for distributed system. So we tried to encode that in in in in in the in bowl, reacted manifesto, something I started, I later how to be having have evolved. Fi through through contributions by others, but it's is it it's into sensually, you know, tried to to track to come up with a common vocabulary. Then the set of design principles for for building modern systems are any for multiple for cloud computing. Or I o t no data streaming and all of in all these things. And I almost feel feeling to say nothing of this is new. You know, these principles can be traced back than seventy eight. You know, work with with Jean grey Pattaya and some of my old time. He rose and also strong on on on Erling and and you know, the foundation for reactive systems is message passing. He's not being event riven if you should look for pure semantics because as they eventually is all about this really doesn't happen and away of doing address and he can't cross address boundaries a message passing. You know, it's all it's all about sending a message to someone to to. Disinflation so so so it's really the best way to mall, distributed communication, I believe. And, and you know, because I think the key here that message passing that it will build on. When two systems is measured passing really create this temporal boundary between components that allows them to be fully decoupled, you know, and they can decouple in time when this this is what allows for concurrently, you know, and they can be allow decoupled in space also. And this is what allows distribution and mobility and location. Transparency has talked about this level of indirection this full isolation that also, you know, paves the way for for self-healing system as this to, you know, you know, reb recover from failure without affecting other parts of the system. So so so it's reactivates ends up with with the story of that message passing, you know, can give you resilience through self healing systems, decisively, probably survive elation, all these things as well as LS ity no, having to system to grow and Trink on demand, you know, to do living up to the promise cloud computing. It's a number of question. I mean, so one one question before I jump into a whole suite of other questions. You talk about the sort of orchestration of this sort of dynamical system, right? Isn't any work on sort of. I wanted to say reactive, but but. Any work of sort of like a really advanced sort of Supervision's. So for example, every every actor type where every actor implementation. Something could monitor those and say, oh, this particular action is very expensive, and I've learned it's expensive because this program has been running for ten minutes or ran yesterday or something like that. And so we could plan ahead and say, you know, this of actions to run on their own machine because they're super expensive. He's other ones are really lightweight. I mean, my guess is there's probably a lot of. I don't know if if it's possible in the context of JVM, but in general, it sounds like there's a lot of open research around sort of supervising and moving around these actors to get optimal tournaments. Absolutely. And we, we do that to some extent in Arkansas always been, you know, long term, you know, the vision that I have these, you know, it's it's long term. I'd like to see, you know, fully adaptive systems, you know, leveraging and all these things, you know, you know, but that's, that's that's the reform house of what we what we have in practice running today is is simpler, you know, in in metrics based routers where sample that cancer of act both about, you know how we. More based on low level metrics, you know, in, you know, relate and see and throughput in these type of things and and and and in this failure rates and and things like that. And we also allow disorder tag. Certain, you know, groups of actors as as you know, high priority or be or less priority day, or give living rolls and things like that. That can also take taking to the accounting hall and probably were type work across across the classroom video of it while that we haven't said, he's touched a little bit of on it. But one of one of this or really fascinating things with actors. And even if e even the we implemented in statically compiled language like Java presentable or scholar in those actually lamented in Scala. We the actor mall by self. You give you a lotta dynamism because the actor, what would it perceives a message because a redefined its own behavior. Sir of prior to receiving the next message. So you can completely change the way you'd be aids. And this means that he can actually turn a cell for some people. If it feels like is overloaded, he can self turn self into around or and spin up, you know, like twenty different route tease on on other machine, teens, even start relating. And once the the traffic decreases it just him and Rick deserve restores old behavior doing the work himself. So this is probably contrived example, but but but but this is stuff that that I don't know if these that that contrived as things are usually more more advanced than this, you know, and then we have, we have capabilities that the dust desert salt is better. But it's interesting illustration of the dynasty of the actor mall that these actors are fully dynamic in the way that the beaten redefine what they are really and as well as being around. Along with their state and. So so so. So that opens for for four town possibilities. Yeah. I mean, I think it's fascinating actor could could try to say like, is the data is the I of going to justify. To, you know, the computation boost. I get from spinning up a bunch of sub actors, and if not, I'll just do it myself or something like that. Exactly. Exactly. I mean, he's always a trade-off. You know, there's no, there's no right answer adult contextual. And even even if I will leave formation, you probably can easily do the wrong call any take the wrong coal anyway. You know. So so so that that that's why this duck dynasty in having. Sort of where there's no fixed of all of you. You know, the classic wage. At least the way into the district consists in, what's that? You have to decide the topology of the system of thronged in, you know where things should run set, d-r-i-z-l-y redeploy reboot things to do to to to change. But having having this Dinamika demeans the politic and evolved and we'll probably could leave the change from how you initially deployed after be running for a while. So what's the difference between let's say, the actor model and and something like MPI. One, man. I I, I'd say, you know, force the NPR being being aided. It's it's, it's a kid can be used for things like union, Ohio, low low problem or low latency of doesn't have the over the regarding the predictability of the garbage collectors, but but also he's not personally ever used to be I benefit, but that's does that map to threats directly want to long or as does multiplexing or because that's can. It can be one of the difference. Yeah. I mean, he I think I think is very heavy handed. So I think every every NPR. I know. Yeah, definitely needs to be thread, maybe even a process Thurs. I think there might be shared memory, so so I think I think each node has to be don't process remember correctly. Yes, I say that. I mean, there's nothing wrong with that mall that there is a certain case of you. Certain class of use cases that fits that mall by having, you know, sickly one worker, you know, you know sitting, you know. In in the same place, so to speak with over all the caches hawked you know, there's no, there's no conflict switching at all. You can just do all the work that that give it with the lowest latency as possible. You know that that mall is great. When when you have a limited number of workers and static number of where we know that you have, for example, ten workers or five workers just wanna have dot work and have them go as fast as they can possibly. Do. You know the the single right principal, Israelis released a really good guiding principle when it comes to modern hardware. You know, he's just keep the cash assault rifles as fast as you can. And then then then don't let go, you know, because any my p. b. b. suspended. Why? While the actor model, you know force can do that, but look more inefficient because it can be being being Serra, you know, rescheduled on another on another. On the cool or you know, so. So it's real hard. There are. Native libraries Jane, I'd libraries that tries to solve the problem opinion threats, to course, competing actress to threads and things like that, but but that's where violates that idea of the mall because they ideal. The mall is to have you know hundreds of thousands of these things that that give very different way of programming and that fits another class of problems, you know? So so it's it's really comparing apples and oranges if you're on for simply if you're JVM the great library survey more implements Morley mpm all will will. The disruptor was created by Mark Thompson work around max dick serve high-frequency trading exchanges. Or I'm sure about the happy you can see, but he's being involved at these type of things, but it's actually it's actually is a stock exchange with for three mill, Alexa guarantees somewhere. They have the number of workers you know fixed and and with actor mall would be really bad fit, but for large class of problems, specially Bamaka services. And he's like in general cloud application development. Streaming all these things. Doctors is a really good to to to use. That makes sense. I mean, I think it's hard to know what something is capable of, but it's easier to talk about how it's typically, and the way I'm PI is typically used as as you said, one node per machine usually and very limited passing of data back and forth. A lot of it is really kind of done by hand. And I think the biggest thing is that it sounds like what the actor model you can kind of build it on one machine and then be kind of confident that it will scale out. Whereas with MPI. It's much more tailored to your specific your hardware, specific environment. What about what about something like spark or do or something like one of these. I don't know what you you'd call like like big data ETL type library, like would be the trade offs. Why would somebody use, let's say spark is that of author, Arkansas spark or something like that. Question and I think I compose per I, you can use. You can definitely use oughta to build something like, for example, Flink mopey. No, the best does built rotten rat on top of using little all of these features that we talked about him and and and. You know. So it's it's more of a low level programming ball when the older talk about the actor part of it, but it what what we have at its is he solicits lot of things on top. You know, we have ACA cluster, for example that this are the desert of peer to peer gossip based clustering similar to dynamo, you know cohort or what you're familiar with in terms of. A real research research papers, but, but but you know, similar to Cassandra, you know, you know, master list these centralized to. Clustering and and and and another tool that's tic- into to the to the streaming, as I said is, is the extremes library that that gives you a great tool box to do quite advanced reading in fanning out finding in doing data processing and things like that. But but we have chosen to fully support, local, local processing, focusing more embarrassing lowly to see in high and high throughput. So so if you wanted to distributed stream processing, of course you can use something like aqua, but you have to build a lot of things yourself. You can perhaps stitch together. You know, you know, we actually have have support for that Coldstream breath regained. Greek stitch together. ACA stream snows local Xtreme snowed across the cluster, and for simply is right. And that's why we built it for customers that that allow that mall, but only wanna be to scale outlive. But if. You have big needs to know for for doing like, you know, fast data processing then then you should definitely use it tools. What Taylor for that and then as far streaming or or or or fling or something like glue cloud data flow is our our rate models for that no force. I mean, they compose you. You can have actress beings services, the endpoint stateful imports, you know, receiving data from external systems or the application point of debris, and and you know, for for for said for micro services at the end, a damn points on the the street in pipeline, and we as the absolute composed nicely. Make sense. One question about the actor model can do the actors to one thing that I think makes a little different from. Something like like Ray or one of these other systems? I think the actors can actually send data before they serve terminated to most of the time when you have these kind of systems. At least I think of it as sort of this functional thing where I send inputs to some process and I get back outputs and so that can fan out. However it does. But the actor model something could be running, maybe even perpetually, and it's sort of like a. Like like a permanent thing that's getting data setting getting messages setting is back, but it doesn't have to be just back onto the nation. I feel it opens a lot of opportunity. Yeah, it's really good that that you point to point that out. I should have said it in. You know that one of the through the air would actors are shine is that it's in being long, lived addressable, stood fateful objects in along meeting that they, you know the outlived like this or. You know the context, location, context, or scope, stuff like that. And then addressable means that the state reference that you can was sent message to to to them and and and stateful is probably the most important thing. The howitzer distinguishes from a lot of of these other concurrently contracts like like like, like data flows and their stateful within, you know, but they, they terminate. Then under that, you know, or or or futures that he can have one about unit, but they're real estate, the sound of their long-lived addressable stateful thing. So so so I, that's I, that's really how I should use them. If you if you if you if you only have any for state less essential stateless data frost, and I would not use actors. There are better tools that I will use them. Cerro stream processing, data flow graph after reliant futures future promises or or something like that. Even for local competition. Sation I would remind actors, but as soon as you have this exact neither to point out them, then actors are extremely handy. So how does that work may say they're addressable? Like? Is there almost like a like a DNS type thing going on when he start when you started in an ACA system where you can say, give me worker twenty three or something like that. I want to send them a message. I will figure out a way to do that. Yep, I, if you the wait works in Akai is that if you, if you just use ack-ack jersey doesn't have doesn't give you any DNS Cape cave capabilities, but, but it also you know, start from the top level actor that creates actor and then than any to make sure that that that that you pass along the represents, that that needs to serve the that he's actor needs to needs to have as well as an actor uses. Another actor, its reference is reference as actor know the Hannibal, his pass along, so so so you can store away. Way that in communicate back at cetera. So that's how you can pop off, relate things. But that's, of course very limiting. That's so one of the features Docker cluster that that's, you know, the clustering capabilities, what we called shorting. Cluster Scharping that's essentially gives you what do what you ask for in, you know you have this, this essentially addresses were actors are gossip around and and and that can change. You know, you can have consistent hashing. Those deserve consistently had out actress, you know, across the across the across the, the node ring. This set of distributed knows in the cluster and the nose leave and go. No, that that note that used to be repair ship knows and actress them b, b, read be reallocated to around and then information. The news DNS or addressable information will be gossiped around as everyone has to hustle latest news just be able. It sounds like the whole the problem of, you know, I need a shared. Let's just say I keep value store. We treat DNS as a key value store. This sort of shared kief value sore. These be replicated among all the actors. That sounds like a hard problem. I mean, it sounds like I mean, there's, there's, there's a conflicts that could happen. Someone could just find out about a actor that actors are dead or something like that. It almost seems like there's a lot of complexity around having a consistent key value store that's gossip among all the actors like, how does that actually work? Absolutely. You're right there and you know, we rely on on on on, although, like all research research there. As I said, you know, this may Gossett bigs based on reasonably old papers now, and the same thing as as as the failure detection algorithms and things like that. But when it comes to replicate the state, we we, we rely personal trip logs. Trip logs, which is is quite old. You know, things meant to by listening at fort back in the day. I know. I don't remember. I think Levy leave Labra clocks in the someone else. Meant to. But anyway, that's that's quite old, but but but we also, you know, rely on quite recent research winning when it comes to this inmate. Sort of state, and that is something we'll see our tease constantly tree replicated data types, which is quite recent research. We've actually, you know, victim clock is actually is CR d, but was here. He's generalizes that by giving you a way of expressing state that in in the fully monotone ick increasing fashion with emerge function that you know that you've always merch, you know. So he alone with chancellor subsidies, like this operation will transform type stuff or you can. He can forward any of these ideas is it's it's it's versatile. I think it was parallel research or this this year. The was it was started by by March appear at my Microsoft Bally's operation. Transform losing was a Google, right, right. I think it was. It was. It was served on more or less impair impale. But CRT Serov exploded in the researcher after after the initial papers and there's now you know, models for modeling sear duties that are not just, you know, the simple things registers encounters, but also things like maps and even and sets and even into some since graphs. So so. So you can model quite reach data structure as long as shooting adhered to the rules and and and and be sure that they are the eventually consistent for sure. They're all strong inconsistent predictably guarantee that they will all converge eventually, you know. So you have strong eventual consistency to serve Taya back to. Everyone knows if you talk about like Google docs, so you have a Google doc, you're sitting at your friend is editing it, and I'll tell you both go to the same cursor and you both hit delete and exactly the same time to delete some character. What's going to happen is one of us going to arrive first and. That delete is going to take affect. Then the second person shows delete and basically to simplify. There'll be some bookkeeping going on. So we know that when that person hit the delete key, we know sort of their state when they did that. And so the system can sort of modernize that delete or bring it forward in time. And when it does that it will encounter the previous delete, and it will say, oh, this person didn't really intend to hit delete. After that delete they intended to really do the same thing. And so we'll just we'll just not execute that second one, or we'll figure out some way to amend it if someone deletes a letter and exactly same time in other persons leads the entire line than we'll just do the whole line. But all of that kind of. It's almost like a get re base or something like that, but you can't rely on a person to do the merge. You have to come up with a set of rules that can be executed autonomously. Right, right. And you know this, what primitive ways of doing that? Like last rate, less rightly stuff like that. Is usually not sufficient because you Dana loss. A lot of value stores implemented like that, which is quite quite fascinating. Why? While others, you know, rely on the bluffs and even here teaser choice actually do proper without discarding data that make sense. Cool. That makes sense. So as far as recovering from node failure, does that, is that something that kind of Awka pushes on the user? So I guess provides the user with a notification of failure, and then easer has to developer, has to figure out sort of how to reconcile that. No, that's not the way the way the way where so if user, if you wanted to win a user, if then mean the user all day, one of the actors. I mean, as I explained earlier, you have literally direction the actor that that you talk to and you never realis- e your touch or know much about the actor. Let's monitory softer, of course, which should. The programming perspective, you don't. You've course, you can subscribe to a set on how accurate doing, but you don't have to do that. The since the responsibility over covering failures is solely on their on the round time. And, and you know it's own a node failure or or do. What was the specific question you ask there? Yeah. Yeah, no specific. So if an actor fails, then the system will spin up a copy, but then it also has the notify actually, that's that's interesting. If an actor fails, we have to know like who is impacted by that because it could actually be anybody potentially. So essentially one has to be notified of that. Everyone that has, you know, essentially the way the way the way it works is, you know, and it can be any number of actor reps, you know, references to that to that to the to to that actor and and and and you know, if if an after fails it's it's, it can't be forced to restarted on the same machine word berth for quick quicks, but the bigger problem and the more common problem or impress more common problem was user error normally running on a member or something like that, but but but but the the more interesting problem is probably on a note failure. When the where the machine and goes down and and and you know what's happening, then he stuck us that we, we're on ACA cluster there to do to defame detection, you know. And that's, of course really hard problem because there's very suggestive false positives. I mean the, you might think that that the actor or that doesn't know that you communicating with we just our heart beating, you know, ping ping around and harpies might be delayed for various reasons might not be the no fail might be that just go garbage collection on the day. I mean, those just really the slow is visit where it might just be overloaded with user requests or they might be temporary net metrically. So the act to this notice still alive geeky an and and you know, that's really hard to do. So we, we have Ristic's and we have you know, ways to to to to define certain thresholds for these mystics and but we. But you know, if you know basically Ristic's, we'd, we'd have to serve serve, decide that you know that no is down in, you know, then then we have the two different algorithms in order to how to how to resolve resolve that can be. We are basing it on. I, I have to say, you know that the problem might in most cases is is a problem of obsolete break. You know that you actually have to is actually only inequity disconnect, you don't know, but it might be that on the Neckar disconnects splitting up cluster into two different half's and then have another problem. You know that in which which is which serve side of the data center, you know, should you? Should you let let keep running, you know? And because if you if you like own sort of spin up actress on both sides, you know, thinking that the other half is down, then you run into the problem that you have, you know, and you can run into the data consistent. So you need some sort of intelligence here to to do a good good. Take a good good decision. Like one of the half of the Coster then he's as I, I'm, I'm out, you know, and the other half long or vice versa. There are different. Alleyways we have. We don't need to go into specifics, right, but but but they're all based on on on on on your needs. For the use case. You know, one example might be that there is a critical actor that you actually the need for the function to be alonside, you know, and then a force that systems even to actress there or to knows there in two hundred on the other one story is released released, really bad luck. Lexi implementer where to where the majority of knows like wins while this weather smaller Fuster has to have to reboot or or hold, you know. So so. So this is really hard our problem. But but but but you know, once you detected that it's really it's really about servicer resuming the actor's own the healthy notes, you know, and re-partitioning the cluster is to have a balanced to sort of allocation of actors on on the nose are still running and and as a also gossip around the Nevada information. So all the actor Fs in the cost of meaningful pionts can start using the actress on their on the new locations and from the from the user of these actors, they should never find out departure. Latency of force takes for these this whole process to to have. It seems like. To sort of program at a defensive way. It seems really important to like segment the data you're receiving from each actors. Like for example, a degenerate example is where you spin up a bunch of actors and they, let's say they send the messages to you and your job is to just concatenation all of these messages or accumulate all of these messages, right? Maybe they're sending back numbers and yours adding them up, and so you've added up, you're up to one thousand twenty seven, and then an actor dies. Well, now you're kind of because you don't necessarily know the controversy. You can't separate the contribution of that actor from the other ones. And so even if unless that one happens to unless you have some way of restarting actor at exactly the right spot, you kind of. Death needs to sort of cascade upwards because you're inconsistent. Right? So it seems like people have to program in a way where they're keeping track of who said, what, and that way, they don't end up in the situation where they can't recover the way the way it's usually oldest about using events logging. Then then the actor doesn't need himself to to keep track of that, but book to book in whatever made it to the to the actor over or more whatever the actress actually done. You know, you know, it's persisted so he knows exactly where it was when he waiting when he died because he can just bring, you know, replay, the log bringing up to speed and continue to take our requests. Set while the sender of those. I mean of course, knows where he was wearing Sam because he didn't get an act, an act of the message. And by the way we have support for that guaranteed delivery as s as well through through through a replay of a recent domestic deduction and living at least once delivery as well. You know. So so so. So I think we have more or less the whole chain covered. If you lay your eating these things, you know, these is one of the core philosophy of ACA is that we the barebones actor barrels I don't have any guarantees is far forget you're on your own and that simply because that's that's the most performance that's the least expensive and and some some might want that. So why should you pay for more than you absolutely need, but we then have you know, layers that conserve layering in terms of reliant, reliability, for example, when it comes to when it comes to communication, you essentially. Just use a make saying, or in the trade called least loss delivery. You know that that that does what it says at least delivered delegation and every sending retransmission messages to give the reliable when it comes to the communication. That of course, cost a lot were long off Vinnie coffee, what what it cost course trend, and we don't need to write it yourself. And when it comes to, you know, to on the on the on the consumer side, we said, allow you to to to layering event, logging wish force also calls because it needs to go down to disk and every message and and you know, in order to do that in a strong consistent fashion needs to wait until the committed the message, you know, down to reliable, reliable, medium, we've wishes probable by the way so you can get almost anything, but then that'll Sassa cost. No, but you can choose into layer is a guarantee meek when when you need it. So what. About. I mean, now there's this. I mean, the whole blockchain thing is getting really popular. There's a lot of like really interesting distributed to colleges that are coming out that are distributed, sort of over the public sphere is a way to say it be if things like web torrent and things like that. And in this case, there's many, many clients can't actually reach each other. Many physical notes can't communicate with each other, but you're relying on sort of the whole system to have some sort of graph that that is that that is connected right. Keiko work over over something like, does it have not punch through and does it does it? Is it design their design extensible to that? Or is it? Is it mostly for sort of clusters where the nodes are able to communicate with each other? You know pretty reliably and all of that. You know, they're, they're the first up, say there are block shooting woman -tations on our and I haven't used it myself. I can't. I can't talk about the of. Yeah. How the call the Jovem, but but but nothing prevents you from is the Actimel by self. I think Liz is very, very well to these time. We'll distributed problem because it's all it's all you know, no nos like stateful knows and efficient communication between them, but but you know, the way we've looked at Arca in the information of is that we won't pull said that it it should ideally be used in in the trusted environment. I mean, thanks to them at security problems, and I think like you can talk legend over over over to not less and the things like that and and and and we have support for for these type of of of little. Yeah. All security. Our guarantees but book too. It's it's not really meant for that type of large, super world world-scale systems. If only only used were like stateless actors, then we probably were quite well. Did you know when we're can work? Because tricky is, is the stateful or because he wanted if he won't straw assistance if you can. You can only have one actor in charge and and you need to replication of that state. I mean across where you know everywhere they'll world. It's it's, it's, it's not really meant for that in then you need, you know, something like block sharing this remained for for being shared in a distributed fashion, inner fully reliable fashion, but the marrying the two, you know, having having the model communication from actors and over Markelle and having the state being walk chains. I mean, I mean decade doubt -solutely work, but I haven't explored, but 'cause actually would cool. That make sense. So. So you founded a company light bend. Is that correct? Yeah, it's it's a company that we, you know, when when I started to tonight, I had intention to religious to start starting up. Anybody immediately became it became extremely popular, and every less to search result is on it. And you know, you know, take support. So I, I started company in two thousand nine cool scalable solutions, and you know, grew out of the scholar community. So I knew. A lot of people here when when it went to conferences and I met the Mark nursing, the the creator of Scala and. He he, he ni- sir realized that we should do something to together because built on scholar goes really getting traction ox getting traction. It could be interesting to to former company together. So we did that and we launch into up two thousand eleven and later than you know, out of the play frame or in, you know, bunch of tools around it and and and and you know, in the last years we worked on the fast data platform for for like for district streaming, making sensing the streaming jungle and things like that. So so it's been, it's been quite a ride. Cool. And so so I guess two thousand nine two thousand eleven and I think scholar was. Was really big. I think at Twitter, Twitter was really pushing Scala, who who are the other sort of really heavy hitters that are using Scala and play and things like that. Yeah. That's a great question. I mean. Of the heavy hitters. Unfortunately, we can't talk much about, you know. Okay. Dessel case, but you know, but the investment banks in most maximum Wall Street's are are heavily missed. It's like. But, but also, you know, you know, link in for example, and and. A lot of the different dip is like, say, social media and also retail. You know, there's, there's a ton of of opines I sort of. Yeah, I don't know who I who I could mention. You know. I'm I'm hesitant. I conserve list long that I might say something that I shouldn't say, but it totally. There's a ton. I'll begin because it's the innocent even the scholars course source. It is intersection between what? What are what is in a debtor user in? What is it going. But you know, scholars really be taking off immensely. I started using it in two thousand six. I think it was quite it was quite early in. You know back then I remember the first conference was into those ten small route meeting he vile and and and it'd be really growing monthly after after that and. Some Scala mostly spark at my job. I think it's fantastic. I mean, it's absolutely. Sometimes I, I see some people using operators and a really confusing way, and so have to like take a moment to say, okay, what is this? What is this operator doing? But overall, the freedom, it gives you a big fan of languages that at least have the option of typing type safety and the spark this framework is is absolutely fantastic and see. I'm a big fan, but I probably started using it. Around two thousand thirteen two thousand fourteen. So I've only been using it for a few years. Yeah, I'm glad to hear that. You like it. I think I think for the use case that you're talking about, I think is it's worth one worth really, really shines because begin, no, because of the functional side of Scotland in, you know, the things we talked about for reactive programming initially in this in this in this chat, you know, having sort of first-class combinator or. Like like math and we'll rent fold and having having them easily composed. You know, these are things that hard as hard with the language like Java that doesn't have have first class functions, so so so so. And I think that's why companies like spark fleeing and and and and cough gate. Also recently scholar. Well, yeah, yeah. I mean, I've done also Java dupe and yeah, it's it's, it's not. It's not pretty. It's like, you know, like extract data function, but it's actually a class and it has a function called run or something like that. It's just it's very verbose because everything has to be a class I would call it feels much more native. I mean, you can. You can add to to calms of data set without having to create a class. I mean, it seems in hindsight, it's very obvious the right design pattern. Shockley. Yeah, yeah. And just have you know, for less closures, things like that makes makes it look so much easier. That said, you know job, I Lambda you know. So it's it's a little bit easier job than it's used to be, but okay, but but allowed us functions, you know the in the in the true says, so so. So I think they miss out of on my accent. So what about like the company might started out with you and and the the founder creator of scholar. And have you had it a lot of people since then, or is it trying to already focused or what? Yeah, we've been growing slowly. I'd say we've been around for, you know, for a few few view seven years now we've been we're up two hundred Baronne Ron hundred forty people. Now wish is my. With serve predeceased well, size to know engineering organization, then sales and you know, marketing and stuff like that. So all it takes to run a real company. When it you know, when you when you start the start up, we, we just lose seven guys, you know, in not in a garage at our homes, we started for distributed and we're still very distributed, which is wishes cer- really challenging, you know, but we sort of tried to grow slowly and and and and the only grow in we're in, we're absolately need. Yeah, you know when it comes through to to being remote to distributed where where I think we're around twenty countries. Now we're almost all continents. You're no Ailey Asia, you know, with both stralia and and then usually land in Africa, radio, South America, US Europe. We're close all all the whole VO which is, you know, through super exciting and fun, but is also very challenging when it comes to you. Of communication and meetings and all those tanks yummy not to, you know, like off on a tangent, but this is something that that data day we've been. I've been talking about a lot. Dealing with time zone and sort of being able to sort of franchise in a sense to the organization. Right. So how do you deal with the fact that there's people all over the world? They're all waking up. Go sleep at different times like these like slack or something like that. I mean, what? How do you sort of keep consistency there when everyone's different parts of the world? That's a great question is it says a everyone. We don't have it all figured out this alert as as as as you go. But bizzare bits or one of the guiding principles that I, you know, when building the company from the start that you know that the row, the rich, no, such thing like like remote employees, you know, it's only distributed teams and because and the distinction I make here is that you know, it's really, really hard for to have to have a team co located and one or two guys remote because that that that that means that they, they. Talk, you know, over over coffee over lounges, things like that, and then they forget to to pass that information on any becomes, you know, very, very rare split up and divided in his extremely hard on the people that are then remote. But if but if you talk about fully distributed teams, that means that everything is remote and even if they do happen to sit in the same office, you know, they can't. You know, communicate, of course they can talk, you know, but but he should if there's important for Asia task to be, you know, communicated over some textual for more or practice and weaned cost around or something. But most maize mainly takes. So having this distinction that that for four team, we, we have had teams that have been the Colocation done, this fine, but then ever. One needs to be there. You know else is fully distributed team regardless of where people are and have that untalented zero helps, but it also makes it, you know, makes it hard. You know when it comes to to. Makes it tedious, you know, having to write everything's everything. It takes more time to document everything thoroughly and things like that. And also, you know, if might be hard to to meetings. But one of this guiding principles that we've had in the past actually have to to go away from Linda bit now, but that we tried to do is to keep twenty games in the same time zone because means that they can hang out, you know, on the slack, you know and things like that in real time and look at and don't have to wake up a catch up on two hundred messages. And then the really hard time figuring out context. But that I said, we haven't, you know, managed to keep that forever to. But for some of the teams was fully no food distributed only one in one or might be two time zones Jesuit cells. That's something that that's also helps. Yeah. Yeah. The tools, it's Miller lock Email, and then you know, Skype, Pang outs resume that we is now just do nothing cool to make sense. Actually, I ran into somebody whose company had the exact opposite philosophy. They wanted each team to be distributed. And let's say it doesn't work like that idea just is not a good idea. We'll you propose is actually I agree, one hundred percent. I think it's very isolating to have and it's never going to be balanced. So it's, I mean, it's Dodds are not that it's odds are high that it's going to be as you said, one or two people out of ten, you know, across the globe and the other eight are on our on the other side of the globe, so it doesn't really work. But yeah, when you go to the. Yeah, yeah, exactly. Cool. So if someone is we have listeners all over the world. If someone is. Just in university on the degree, let's say computer science or engineering or something like that, and they're interested in. They're interested in a career light been sor- what opportunities are there? We're actually surprisingly, number of people have reached out and so they literally ended up finding jobs with people. We interviewed which I was pretty shocked. I didn't really expect that, but, but it turns out this is actually really good medium for people who are especially university, but in general, just engineers. And so what sort of opportunities do you have it light and what does what does that look like? We're, we're, we're very interested in people coming straight out of the university. They have they, they haven't been damaged. No, just kidding, but it's, it's, it's, it's usually, you know, in, we've been hiring a lot of people right from the university or very close to coming on university, at least and, and you know, and I think that if you if you're interested in working on a hard disk systems, type of things, you know in multi core concurs eight. Related things, computing, these type of things streaming and all these old, no thing fast, eight iron machine learning and you know, or if those things interesting, absolutely apply. And since we're are so distributed is if you're the right guy, you know, I mean, then then we'll are you wherever you are more or less because we have teams that are across all time. So all the way from Japan, you know, and and and so far far far, far out Batia in Australia, New Zealand, all the way down to to South America and have them, you know, the the west coast of the US so so it's it's all over the place agreed to what's an average day like for for for you or for you know, an employee, if your day's really atypical in crazy, what's every day like for someone who works at a. Yeah, I think different from from for for different people. You know. When it comes to me. I mean me personally, I mainly work with with colleagues in the US for me. I meet things you know, starting from from from four and four, a four in the afternoon, all the way up to mind. Ten eleven sometimes so so so that's nice. I can get a lot of, no, no, sir of silence phase silent time. And you know, in time for myself, you know, thinking working with being that erupted in the in the in the day, and then I, I can be more social and discuss things in the in the indefinitely afternoons. One thing that you know that I have dimensioned when it comes to the average engineers are scheduled, is that you know we have, we have an ocean roles. You know, we do all the support ourselves, and this is one of the things that our customers loud that they that we don't have the support organization, you know, per se, but the but he's actually the team in if you have a problem without guy, it's from the team that that helps. Slurs all that. That's that's probably challenging, you know, taking on that role or that hat. So to speak. But also quite quite fun, you know, can be can be fun to serve the people are using your software stuff so so so and helping them, you know, with stuff that that that that that could be last week. So. Some most into nearest our job, killing these two roles, you know, being Mr. developing doing support and usually serve, yeah. If you days doing support and then and then you know the couple of weeks hacking in the back back back to support that. So so I think it's very hard to build something like this in vacuum. Right. So I mean the best ideas to come from those discussions. Exactly. I think I think I mean without without them and without Dr opus community, you have to say our customers, you know, without the passionate community that we've had, we never got this far. I wouldn't be in wouldn't even exist, I think, but wouldn't be worried if even without the source community, we've, we've been getting so much from that. So many passionate in people talking about it. You know, encouraging those are rolling up their sleeves and actually in semi patches and and and. You know, it's really, it's really an extremely good example. Can women of what can on the good side of humanity when we'll can't achieve with people, you know, cross cultures and and inevitably collaborate into doing something substantial. I think it's it's it's pardoning to see actual. Cool. Yeah, that sounds that's absolutely amazing. Join us Ashley, amazing heavy on the show. I actually I learned a lot. This is one of the most -cational episodes for me personally, and I think people are absolutely gonna love it keep. Can you give us some sort of what's the best way to reach you or each light band? So what sort of like some good com communication information there? Yeah. I think the best way to reach me is on this problem quitter. I'm Jay Buni or j. b. o. and e. r. on Twitter. Just reach out and else. You know Jonas life. If you wanna send me emails. Lebanon com- if people find out, I'm personal website, join us dot com. But if you wanna find out more but life and just go to calm or got an IRO. Aka, I always wanna learn more about AGA and we haven't taught him material both of the website and also might been all kinds of stuff. You know, women are recorded webinars in articles and stuff, so so so. It is. All of it is totally free to use. Right. So basically you're the business model here is that people can do anything they want with ACA college projects, even commercial projects, but then you're there to help if they need some extra functionality or they get stuck or something like that. Absolutely. It's his open core model where we're everything in the core. Arca place call in and supporting tools, you know are are over source, and we try to help the community as much as customers, but we. But then we also have have commercials who was talk on management and and a full. A full. Talk about the fast, Dana platform is commercial, but, but but but you know, everything that we covered in this in this podcast in this in this call is is fully open source and and and we're here to help, so. Cool. Thank you so much again, and yeah, everyone let us know what you think, but that beside were afraid to chat on the discord. If you have any questions, feel free to at both of us the approaching threat on that and Jay bone air at on Twitter or ask on a discord I can. I can pass it along. But thanks again for for this toxic things. Thanks for having me. I really, I really enjoy chatting you guys as well. So so it was definitely mutually beneficial. Intro, music is Akzo by Viner pilot programming. Throwdown is distributed under a creative Commons attribution share alike. Two point, oh license, you're free to share copy, distribute transmit the work to remix, adapt to work, but you must provide attribution to Patrick and I and share like in kind.
Aired Last month 135:39
250th Episode Special: Spike Lee - 'BlacKkKlansman'
Each. I ever wanted. Thank you for tuning into the two hundred fiftieth episode of wards chatter, the Hollywood reporter's awards podcast. I'm the host Scott Feinberg, and this ups owed marks a pretty special milestone for me, Matt Whitehurst the records and edits the vast majority of our episodes and really all of us at the Hollywood reporter. So thank you for joining us. This episode is presented by the HBO limited series sharp objects starring Amy Adams, Patricia Clarkson, and Elisa Scanlon, the New York Times has called this summer smash hit a mesmerizing meticulously constructed entrance fixing thriller for your consideration in all Golden Globes and sag awards categories. As our regular listeners know each episode of awards chatter is usually comprised of an opening segment in which I speak with someone smart about something. Interesting going on in the biz and then contender interview in which I spend on average bet an hour interviewing someone who is in the running for an Oscar EMMY or Tony today for the first time that opening segment is going. To be just me talking to you about how this podcast got started and grew into what it is today and white means a lot to me, and apparently to a lot of you. But then we will go to our usual contender interview. And we made sure to secure someone befitting such a special occasion. Namely, one of the most influential controversial prolific and distinguished filmmakers of our time or any other a small scrappy toughest nails New Yorker behind such films as she's gotta have it school days. Do the right thing, which might be my favorite movie of all time. I have it's poster framed and hanging on the wall in my bedroom. Mo better blues jungle fever, Malcolm X, crook, l'an four little girls. He got game summer of Sam the original kings of comedy bamboozle, twenty fifth our inside man miracle at Saint Anna Sharak and this year black klansman for which he might land his first ever best director Oscar nomination, the iconic Spike Lee. But again before we go to my conversation with spike. Recorded yesterday at his production company, forty acres and a mule in what he calls, the Republic of Brooklyn. I'd like to take a walk down memory lane and reflect on this podcast, two hundred fifty episodes, which have resulted collectively in ten point eight days worth of content. Thanks a lot of hard work by not just myself. But a number of other people who I want to acknowledge and well over eight million listens. Thanks to you in a way. It all really started with my friend, Jesse cats. She was the assistant to the Hollywood reporter's at a to'real director and was in is a very creative person who wanted to branch out beyond that job. Even if it meant staying after hours Jesse was into podcasts as they were just becoming a big thing and figured that. The Hollywood reporter really ought to have some there was not a lot of interest from others here at that time. So she just went about gathering the equipment and software necessary to do it on her own and grabbed a few other people who worked here in various, capacities are social media editor and others time and together they made are. I pod cast here which involved setting episodes of the TV shows girls and madman starting early two thousand fourteen and then airing those conversations as podcast known as girls on girls and girls on men. These were done totally independently. I don't know how many people even knew at the Hollywood reporter that they existed Jesse coordinated not only the other staff members and the content of those podcast, but also they're recording editing. They went up the soundcloud, I was even invited to participate in one as an honorary girl for the day. I guess, but it really piqued my interest that this was maybe where things were heading. And so with jesse's help and encouragement I went about recording several interviews with people at the TC 'em. Classic film festival. Shirley, MacLaine Christopher Plummer. Am betting. The audio of those interviews into articles summarizing them. I also did this with tab hunter who was promoting documentary in which he appeared I. Did it with a number of the best original song Oscar nominees and early twenty fifteen? These were just standalone podcast, they went up under the banner of T HR podcast. I think, but it was all sort of laying the groundwork for what would come later, really. I think a big turning point for a lot of people was when President Obama while still in office went on Mark Marins podcast schlepping all the way to his garage in the summer of twenty fifteen and giving him a good chunk of time. I think a lot of people at that point heard about it and said, wait a minute what our podcast, and why are they important enough for the president of the United States to do? And so there was greater and greater interest here on our end. My original attempt at a regular podcast was one that I did with my now nonagenarian friend, Marcia Nassar, who was the first woman ever to reach level of vice president at Hollywood studio, we always had fun discussions and debates about movies. She's an academy member and was game to record these with me. And so for a brief period we had a pie. Cast that was called at her suggestion the Geezer and the kid that was fun. All of this was just sort of getting us into the idea of how to do a podcast and how they worked and how much work went into them and whether or not anybody cared, and we found that people increasingly did, and I must give credit to Melanie who was back in two thousand fifteen are deputy at to'real director. Now is our editorial director who really at that point again to egged on that we should heading into the two thousand fifteen two thousand sixteen award season have a podcast that was throughout the award season. And specifically just me doing what I've always done during award seasons interviewing the top talent who like to avail themselves to me during that time of year because it's advantages to them. Let's take advantage of that. And not just do those as written interviews, which are fine. But also capture audio. This was not something that at the time. Other people were doing. There are now tons of these podcasts where people try to corral award season talent to come on. And do interviews. And I'm thrilled that that has happened. But at that time there really wasn't one in fact, one of my colleagues slash competitors. At another outlet heard that we were doing this and thought at the time that a podcast with somehow threaten his video series. Obviously video has nothing do with podcasts. And that was a deliberate decision on our part from very early on. Because we felt that based on our prior experience with podcasts. Introducing video could really throw things off people sort of with just a Larry King style microphone in front of their face looking across the table at somebody else tend to open up to a greater extent than they would if they feel they're on camera and they have to worry about in the back of their head. How they're looking and things like that. So with Matt's encouragement, we decided to start a podcast with that format. He was adamant that we call it awards chatter, which was a title that. I really resisted because I was concerned that. Having the word awards in the title might dissuade some people from being guests because it would seem to overtly about campaigning. But I lost that battle, and I'm actually happy to have done. So because I think more and more that the titles acute one with a bit of a double meaning, and we really grown into it. We also had a logo design in the early days which remains our logo to the stay designed by product designer here named Andrew elder are launch was coordinated by Dan, Strauss and Nathan gallon, Dan's no longer hair, Nathan stella's, but it all lit up to nine forty five AM on September six twenty fifteen in a bungalow Intel, your Colorado of all places where I was covering the telluride film festival and retained a freelance recorder, and we met up with three people Danny Boyle, Kate Winslet and Seth Rogan who were there with their new film, Steve Jobs, which had had its world premiere the night before and we sat down and did a nice conversation. The episode posted with edits by. A freelance guy who I don't think I've ever even met named John McDonald? And it went live on September ninth. Twenty fifteen that was the beginning of a ward shatter soon after that the format began to change the focus on just one individual's life and career with the exception of a few roundtables that we did for various reasons song nominees we could get a bunch together or Tony nominees. We could get a bunch of the acting Omni's together. But also because it's tough to coordinate multiple people schedules and really most of all because I find it more interesting to do a deep dive into an individual then to do a deep dive into a specific film. So the bottom line was that we ended up adopting this approach where you're only gonna come on by yourself, unless your life really has been inextricably linked with someone else's for most of it professionally. So that was the case with for instance, Michael Barr and Tom Bernard. The two guys who have run Sony classics for many years and worked together long before that. But we also. Sided let's make this an all encompassing interview to the extent that we tell people we're going to have you on once and never again. So let's make sure that we make a count because to have you come back after we've been through your entire life and career just seems like it would be unnecessary and repetitive. We'd rather do it really well once make account, and you know, not retread the same territory in the future. Maybe that will change in the future. Maybe we'll say, you know, after five years of past or something, and you've accumulated a a batch more work than will come on and focus on that. But as of now, I think it's a pretty reasonable rule. And there are sort of carve outs where you have somebody like lady Gaga who's been on our podcast twice once with Diane? Warren promoting a song that they did together back before we had our sort of hard rule about solo people. And then also wants with a group of Oscar nominees for best original song. She would certainly be welcome again as a solo guest, and hopefully that will happen before this season is over she certainly worthy. But this whole enterprise has taken us to a lot of different locations. We try to do many of our recordings at the offices of the Hollywood reporter either in our atrium conference room or in the office of Tom Sealy, whose supporter of the podcast also coordinates a lot of our digital efforts. We've yet to actually create a studio here for ourselves. We're hoping to get that soon. But we make do often were heading out on location as well. Can't tell you how many different hotels and conference rooms we've been in throughout the cities of Los Angeles, New York, probably more than just about anybody else. I know also we've ended up in some pretty cool places. Whether it's Warren Beattie's home library or the offices of Lauren Michaels and Ryan Murphy, Kris Jenner, Chuck Laurie. Smith be Mike listener Marta Kauffman. Jay Leno Kobe. Bryant William Shatner. Dana Brunetti, Michael Keaton, Aaron Sorkin Judd appetito the living rooms of lady Gaga and Jill Solloway, the dining rooms of James Lipton. John stamos Sally fields. Kitchen. Barry Jenkins studio apartment, Adam mckay's pool. House Jimmy Kimmel guesthouse Jj Abrams editing, suite Billy Bob Thornton movie trailer, the Retha room for Jane Fonda show, James corden shows conference room Keenan Thompsons pot smoke-filled thirty rock dressing room snoop. Dogg's pot smoke-filled recording studio and the list goes on. We also done these in cities beyond L in New York. We did Eddie Redman Ruth Negga Benedict. Cumberbatch rob Reiner. Rasmin pike in Toronto, sir. Sharon and miles teller in savannah, Lenny Abrahamson, Tom McCarthy, and Sam Rockwell and Santa Barbara debt costal, and Justin Lin and San Francisco and the list goes on sometimes when we leave our Homebase we have little control over the situation. We tell people that we need to do it in a place where we can control the surrounding noise. But sometimes you can only do that so much to give you a few examples with Lauren Michaels. We did it in his office at thirty rock, which has a window looking down onto studio. Eight h where SNL is recorded. And where on that particular afternoon? The SNL band would occasionally burst into noise rehearsing in the background on top of Lawrence cell phone going off and other things kind of going awry, I had to pretend that I was staying cool, but I was panicked beyond belief that none of the audio was actually going to be usable at the end in the end. It actually added quite a bit of ambience. And you really felt like you were there in the belly of the beast. Where Lauren does what he does. So it all worked out. But that was certainly a stressful one we ended up with a little table in the middle of giant sound stage to record lin-manuel Miranda. Kate Winslet solo episode. She had originally as we said done our first episode. And then we brought her back for Sola one was done in Santa Monica and just as we were about to begin across the street. We hear horrendous noise turned out to be a machine either cleaning carpets or sucking sewage out of an apartment or something. We had a similar issue with Jack hammering across the street from the four seasons when we were sitting down with Glenn. Close massive construction. Started in the middle of our interview with Aaron Sorkin, we had wedding music playing outside of the room as we sat down with Melissa McCarthy with nowhere else to go. And when we did our interview with Barry Jenkins just days before envelope gate. There was pouring torrential rain on his entirely window enclosed apartment in downtown LA, and we just had to make do of it. And I had to have great faith in our editor who I think for each of the examples, I listed was Matt Whitehurst, and he has always come through with God knows what kind of software whatever to clean up the situation, but he has had a lot to clean up over the years. So plenty of strange situations of that nature, but maybe nothing was stranger over the course of this podcast history. Then what happened on June twenty fourth two thousand eighteen in response to our June nineteenth article in which are Jimmy Fallon episode was embedded that podcast. Mark val. I interview in many months, he had sort of gone quiet in the aftermath of the Donald Trump hair ruffling incident on his show, which had been widely thought to have cost him an EMMY nomination and his spot atop the ratings and just generally a lot of unpleasantness. Well, Jimmy was good enough to have us to his office at thirty rock and really opened up about that topic. And understandably became a motion talking about how painful the whole experience had been for him, particularly the aftermath of it. When he felt that people were trying to kick him while he was down. So we had this very open moving conversation, and then five days after that article posted on our website who tweets about it. But the president of the United States himself Donald Trump who tweeted quote at Jimmy Fallon is now wimpering to all that he did the famous hair show with me where seriously messed up my hair, and that he would have now done it differently. Because it is said to have humanized me he is taking heat. He called and said monster Ray. Eatings be a man Jimmy close quote. So that was a little weird to have the president of the United States tweeting in reference to our podcast. And he certainly was that was the only interview Jimmy Fallon had done at any time in recent history. But you know, if there's anything Donald Trump's good for I guess, it's calling attention to things and that podcast traffic exploded in the aftermath of that. So that was that I felt sorry for Jimmy. But we'll take the clicks, some other fun facts. Looking back over our two hundred fifty there's only been one episode that was tied to a project that never wound up seeing the light of day, the one with Benedict Cumberbatch, which was tied to the current war film that had just premiered in Toronto where I sat down with Cumberbatch, and that was to be distributed by the Weinstein company, but actually never was after the revelations about Harvey Weinstein emerged that was obviously a unusual situation there. We've only had one father and son both appear on the podcast, Carl Reiner, and rob Reiner and one father and daughter appear on the podcasts. Separately. That was Rashida Jones who was part of the opening segment ahead of the Quincy Jones episode, and we may soon add to that list that looks like we might have John David Washington on here soon. So along with his dad, Denzel who has done this podcast that would be another father and son. We have had one set of spouses, Justin Timberlake, and Jessica Biel and one set of Expos is Billy Bob Thornton. And Angelina Jolie. There's also only been one episode of this podcast that I myself actually had nothing to do with. And that was when in the immediate aftermath of Oscar. So white exploding Janice men are at a to'real director at the time sat down with the academy's CEO, Don Hudson, and then president Cheryl Boone ISAACs for an interview that resulted in a cover story, but that was also recorded. So we decided to air that on this podcast as it was our only real podcasts at that point. And again, our podcast was early enough that for many of our guests, it was and may still be there first podcast experience. We can say that was the case with. Will Smith Meryl. Streep Barbara broccoli and Eddie Murphy. Oprah had participated in a podcast about her shows impact. But ours was her first encompassing her whole life for some of our guests that may have also been there last podcast experience we recorded up with Harvey Weinstein and Louis C K not long before their misconduct was exposed by the metoo movement. And we had Kevin Spacey scheduled to come on and talk to us about all the money in the world that date was about a week or two after the date on which his career fell apart. And then on a happier note, we did have one guest who appeared on our podcast as the final interview that he ever did while he was still considered the biggest loser. I'm talking about. Kevin O'Connell a sound recording mixer who had lost twenty Oscars over thirty three years but week after sitting down with us one and Oscar for the first time on his twenty first nomination. That was terrific. I'm proud say that our guests have been very diverse. At least one guest was a person of color in fifty four episodes. And at least one guest was a woman in ninety two. And we've also had transgender transsexual and gender non binary guests. None of this was conscious or deliberate or trying to meet numbers. This was merited by the talent of our guests. And that's the way the cookie crumbled. Some other interesting stats are oldest guests at the time. We sat down with him was the writer director James ivory who was eighty nine. When he did it. Although we also sat down with the great songwriter. Burt BAC who was actually born before James ivory, but was younger at the time. We spoke with him our youngest guests ever was the wonderful child. Actress Brooklyn prince who was speaking to us about the Florida project when she was just seven our longest up sewed at two hours and thirteen minutes is the one that we did with Marvin Hier. The rabbi who runs the Simon Wiesenthal Center in the museum of tolerance, and who has won two Oscars for documentaries. And so we obviously had a lot to talk about with him. Meanwhile, are shortest episode at just twenty three minutes is the one we did with Hugh Grant, he is indeed a charming guy. But it turned out. We didn't have that much to say to each other. Meanwhile, unfortunately, we've lost three people who have appeared on our podcast over the years, the actors, Robert Vaughn and tab hunter, and the producer Craig Zaydan, something you might be interested to know is that our ten most listened to episodes at this time. It's always changing our counting backwards number ten Jake. Jalen hall, number nine Angelina Jolie. Number eight, Rachel Brosnahan number seven Samuel L. Jackson number six, Allison Williams, number five, Jerry Seinfeld. Number four, Kate Winslet number three, Jimmy Fallon, number two, William Shatner and number one Will Smith in the run-up to this two hundred fiftieth episode. I asked our listeners via my Twitter feed to let us know what your favorite episodes of our podcast have been and a great many of you responded, which I really appreciate and we'll share your picks counting down backwards number ten. Matthew, mcconaughey? Number nine gal gadoe number eight care nightly number seven, Denzel Washington number six, Jennifer Lawrence number. Five Aaron shorten number four, Emma stone number three, sterling K Brown, number two, Judith light. And number one Oprah Winfrey. So thank you for letting us know that it's very nice to hear that episode. Spinning our entire podcast history. Have apparently resonated with you that survey is obviously not entirely fair to our most recent guests, probably to forty eight thirty to fifty or so that Steve McQueen, James Burrows and Spike Lee, but they'll be considered in future surveys, my own top ten I wanna talk about because I think I can share a little bit of a back story about each of these that you might find interesting, and there is some overlap with your picks. But also, some others for me number ten is also Matthew, mcconaughey. It was just such a fun relaxed wide ranging conversation. He came in with nothing else on his agenda that afternoon, his publicist was lovely. It was the afternoon of young Kapoor. This most recent Yom Kippur we were heading towards break fast. I had. Had a little liquid. I will admit, but not food and Matthew came in with that knowledge and was kind of teasing me about it. We just had a nice report right off the bat. Matthew. Thank you so much for doing this, really. Appreciate it. Absolutely. We always begin with just a few basics where were you born and raised in. What is your folks do for a living while we're on the basics today as young? Yes. And it's about five forty five and you're supposed to be fasting crack, that's true. How's it going? Well, it's gone well up until about a few minutes ago, but I'm gonna break my fast with you. You have a absent. Okay. And then he really opened up in a way that I think you rarely hear star of his stature, do there was a lot of prep that went into teeing up some great stories, and I think it helps that he is such a folksy likable. Great storyteller. But it all came together in a way that you always hope these do. And so Matthew mcconaughey is number ten for me. Number nine is rupaul something I never would have imagined would be the case when I was heading into that not because I don't admire rupaul, but I just really didn't know that much about rupaul until I started prepping for that conversation, and to be honest, I had a lot to learn rupaul was very patient with me took a lot of time to kind of walk me and listeners through what drag is how came to be a big part of rupaul life, white means so much so many people and kind of talk about something that is only recently reaching a large segment of our culture here in America. I'd seen drag in media. I mean, Bugs Bunny was my first. Suctioned to drag even his approach to it. Which was a tool to get what he wanted out of it and mostly it was he was winking as he did it. He was being funny where someone would be chasing him. And I guess it was Elmer Fudd is that chased him Elmer which would open the door and books bunny with turnaround covering his breast and and groin area and go, you know, scream. All the while winking knowing that that would make Elmer Fudd close the door row quickly and go, oh, I just done something wrong, buying bunny, more time brilliant, and you know in cartoons. Traditionally in our culture might try have been able to sneak in subversive, wink, wink, ideology into pop culture because the unwashed masses a few set a two point Blake. They would burn you as a witch. So this is the way we've been able to get that information into pop culture rupaul was just such a pleasure to visit with opened up in a way that many guests don't even when we're talking about less personal things. And I think chose to use this as a teachable moment for a lot of people in for that. I was very grateful, and it's been actually lovely to occasionally run into rupaul since then at the Emmys or actually even once during her mission of a Broadway show. Oh and find that that really solidified a I wouldn't say friendship because we're not hanging out at each other's pools or anything like that. But I think mutual respect and appreciation number eight for me is Eddie Murphy. It was again at his first ever podcast. He rarely does interviews of any sort particularly in recent years. It doesn't have a reputation of being a particularly easy person to deal with he became a star in the eighties. When stars were treated as infallible demands were met a little easier, and egos and diva type behavior was more tolerated. Well, I knew that that was potentially what I would be dealing with. And sure enough Eddie came in with a bit of an entourage who than sat down behind him. Kind of looking at me as I conducted the interview, and I think within a minute or so we came pretty close to having any walk out on me. I asked him up fairly personal question about his early years and some stuff that he'd had to deal with within his family. And I think he was not necessarily. Rep to know that we were gonna go all the way back to the beginning and go deep into things, and he literally turned around to look at his crew as if to say, what is this? But thankfully, he decided to roll with it a little longer, and I came to realize that there were no ill intentions here was really just kind of learn what made him the great artists that he is there were some tough times in your childhood. And I was, you know, learning about your biological father and some time that you and your brother were way. And I just wonder, you know, do you think that really? The reason I asked though is like think that's where the interesting comedy comes from is that out of a desire to either make others or yourself laugh or happier. Whatever. I don't think so now. Yeah. Yeah. I don't think it had anything to do with it. I lots of times we'll be saying stuff like, you know, paying comedy comes out of pain. And I don't subscribe to that. I think that's you know, this. I mean, some of the best comedians had doc stuff. But the people that don't have doc stuff at all really funny. Jerry seinfeld. You can't get brighter than vet raise wanted to funniest people varies, you know. So so I I don't think that that pain. I don't know if that's came out like like, I was trying to fill some whole funny. Sure enough he began to open up and have fun with it and joke around and to be honest was a delight even saying afterwards to chat a little more and take a photo to promote the episode on Twitter and all of that. So again, I think preconceived notions. Being overturned is something that I really am particularly touched by number seven for me is Jennifer Lawrence who really. Think at the time you could argue was the biggest movie star on the planet, and may well still be and someone who on the one hand, I figured would be wonderful podcast guest because she is so off the cuff and loose in just a fun person. Based on everything we've ever known about her, and I'd done some QNA's and things with her over the years in group settings. I'd actually interviewed her once back during the winters Bonar. But that was over the phone. So I don't think that it was a matter of any of that making a difference. But one thing that I think did help is that her best friend and now producing partner just the impulsivity is actually also a good friend of mine and a big supporter of the podcast. And so I think she had kind of given Jennifer heads up that this was a podcast to take seriously and make the most of and I think that Jennifer took that to heart and really came and engaged totally and was open to an extent that few people allow themselves to be as I mentioned. Jimmy Fallon, and then also, Tracy Morgan shed, some tears during their epic roads. So too did seize on sorry, lady Gaga, and as will come to a moment. Stephen Colbert soda, Jennifer. I asked her a little bit about celebrity. I the downsides of it. And then also the upsides of it the things that allow her to do good for others. And I think it says a lot about her that the part that made her cry was not talking about some of the terrible things that have happened to her with her personal photos being hacked and spread on the internet and things like that. But rather when she first realized the power that she had to do good and help others as a celebrity. I read about something that happened during the first hard games, which was that you saw that. I guess it's like the Spiderman line with great power comes responsibility here. I guess the first time that you realize the positive things that come with this. Where was make a wish visit to the set. Yeah. Yeah. There is a make a wish visit and. I had up until this point only thought about myself. How is my life going to change when I become famous with wonder how many clothes for free, and I met a girl who had been burned all over her body. She said won't still make me cry. And she said that when she read these books, she finally felt proud to be the girl on fire like she she owned it, and she was proud of it, and she didn't feel embarrassed anymore. And it changed the way that she looked at herself. Sorry. And that was fuck. Sorry. Sorry. And that was the first time that I realized that. It's so simple. And it's something I love doing, but it can actually help people and -portant people. You know, when I go to when I go to the hospital at Christmas to sign posters in and visit the children can't be home for Christmas. It's like, you know, three hours out of my day that can go, and it's I don't know. It's just such a gift that I get to do what I love and with it people who really really matter me can make them feel better. You know, you can sign something for them and make them feel better say Hello to them and make them feel better. So that was first time. I realized that scream why you have to bring sorry. Again, she couldn't have been lovelier big hug at the end. Very appreciative of I think of the opportunity to not talk about fluff. But to really go deep number six was a very different experience. And some people are gonna wonder why would even include this person on the list? But again what I'm rating here are the most memorable episodes for me. And this one was certainly one of them. It's Harvey Weinstein. We had him come in during the two thousand fifteen two thousand sixteen Oscar season, he somebody that I dealt with quite a lot in the course of my work covering awards over the last decade or so and he had agreed to come on. And I held him to it even though his movies that season had not been nominated. And the nominations had already come out. He came by. He did pull some shenanigans as far as committing to be here for I think it was forty five minutes or an hour. And then saying that he actually had a little bit less time. So the pressure was on to make the most of it. But I also had done a lot of prep and was very familiar with. History in an impact on the business. And we got into a lot of things about his early years and about his childhood and his influences in his approach to choosing and working on movies. It was all very interesting. We've talked about the span of your time in the business many of the people who you interacted with your friends your competitors. Some of these guys are gone now, the Anthony Miguel's any politics Bingham, raise list goes on why do you still work and not just work, but we're very hard. And what do you have to prove at this point? Are you going to do this forever or retirement something that crosses your mind since I'm not on as a reader quote from NICO's Kazakh asus? Or the Greek he goes into the marketplace. Or with young English engineer is building a bridge across creek. And he looks at this guy. And he says see guy over there moss. He's been selling almonds every day in the same market space year after year after year. He just says this guy lives like he's never gonna die. He says me boss. I live each day. Like, it was my last. So live well, and it was a real time capsule. I think you will never hear that sort of an all encompassing interview with Harvey Weinstein ever again because his lawyers will never again allow him to do an interview in which anything can be asked of him. We talked about a lot of things we obviously didn't know. And therefore didn't ask about a number of things that have come to light in the years since that podcast. But I think going back and listening to it now as I have done looking for any clue or hint or reference to some of the darker stuff. I think you do hear certain things that take on a different. Meaning it's a little haunting to hear this person talk about his life in a way, referencing sort of future. That would never happen for him, obviously, his life and the industry will never be the same after what has come to the surface number five for me. This is a little bit more fun with snoop Dogg again, somebody who I had been aware of throughout my whole life and kind of got a kick out of. But always thought of as. Sort of the comic relief of a situation. I knew he'd made an impact in music sort of before I'd come along. I knew some of songs, but I didn't really know his backstory, and I didn't know how deep he would be able or willing to go talking about it. But I wanted to give it a try seize that opportunity I fought for that one. And in the end, it was a surprisingly, honest conversation. And I think not just because we smoke weed together during the interview, which will open up anybody. But I think he was appreciative of the opportunity to be asked serious meaningful questions and not just have things teed up for him to say Schiller. Whatever people like to hear him. Do we did that as well? There was plenty of time to talk about all that stuff. But it was really a chance to learn about somebody and find out there's a lot more to him than one might have assumed. When did you first meet her Seattle show? Does she do? I was a fan. Always what the store fuck with her. She was always does. So I asked to be on the show, and she led me come on the show, we cooked low some mash potatoes. I think you're not took our numbers. She took mine, and we'd just I would texture trip because he would ask somebody try to translate. What I was saying. Because I went techs. No, no regular side was handing what to do. What did he Thome bout of what he's trying to say is how are you? Why does he say on that? That's how he talks, and then was the next time that you actually saw her at the twenty fifteen I did too. I was on our show twice on show in the Christmas special idea to okay. So you've had those experiences then you both wind up roasting Justin Bieber, and we sat side by side. And yet and what I'm doing what you right now. Yeah, I'm just casually smoking blunt a two or three or four am blowing smoke writing your mother fucking face. So you got secondhand smoke. The best in the world while firsthand smoke. Yeah. Man. Thanks, indulge. That's what Martha didn't do. She didn't do I and she did second. It actually set up an interesting after noon because after that podcast ended we had to quickly rush across town to record our episode with gal gadoe and met way. Hearst. Again, our recorder editor was upstanding enough. Not to join snoop myself in partaking in Snoop's, very strong. Product. So I was not driving that was driving. We left that smoke filled room in the dog pound as it's known where snoops recording area and hang out places over in Englewood and headed back to Beverly Hills to sit down with gal gadoe, and when we got there. I think it sort of sunk in that all of our microphones and are sound blanket that keeps noise from being made on the table and ourselves everything really smelled of weed, and we tried everything we could from trying to open windows to breeze ourselves in our equipment and everything to deal with the situation before gal gadoe showed up at our room. Alas the clock ran out gal Gadot knocked we opened the door. And I felt compelled to sort of say to her look we've just come from doing a podcast with snoop Dogg as you can imagine. He was smoking a lot. I I have course, deflected any responsibility for this myself. And she looked at me and just broke into laughter and said, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. That's what they all say. Let's order cookies from room service and had them sent up. So she was a great sport. And that was a great capper to a very strange day number four for me is Barbara Streisand. Someone who I never thought I'd get the chance to interview at length because she really has. So rarely done long interviews. She is someone who doesn't seem to like that process. And when she has done it, even in brief sit downs is generally known to be very controlling and guarded and not the easiest person to interview. So I figured it was worth taking a shot at asking her to do our podcast when I realized that she was in the running for an EMMY for her latest concert special, which was on Netflix. And to my surprise. She ended up agreeing to do it. And it was a whole back and forth about the amount of time that we would need and she was willing to give but it all came together on the Warner Brothers lot where she was in the process of re editing. Her nineteen seventy six version of star. Born ahead of its release a net flicks. And she agreed to take time to do it. Just an hour of I think only two hours total that she had given net. Flicks to us as it felt best in terms of promoting that concert special the rest ended up being divvied up between a bunch of phone or so this was a really rare special opportunity, and I prepared accordingly. I don't think I've ever prepared more for any episode. I had a folder that I think was probably three or four inches thick of material that I was reading on top of books and other things to make sure that again, I made the most of this chance to to really pick the brain of a legend who hasn't done and isn't likely to do many more of these sorts of interviews, and I was also very worried going into that in a way that I not often em I'm not intimidated by somebody's starpower anymore. I've dealt with enough people that doesn't really get to me. But what gets me is the fear that something could prevent us from having a really quality. Eighty conversation, and therefore blowing our one shot with that person. And I knew that trice N is known to on a dime, get bored or controlling or change the topic or insist on doing things like that. And I felt that I needed to be absolutely ready for everything. So that we could kind of keep things on track in and cover so much of an amazing life in. I think forty five minutes is what we've been promised. And we ended up getting even more because it did go very well. There was a moment or two in there where things nearly went off the rail. I think the biggest issue was at one point. I mentioned the fact that she had played a number of characters in films that you might describe as ugly ducklings who then bloom into something other than that. And I think that's a term that she has maybe heard in other contexts over the course of her life and therefore feels a little bit uncomfortable with. And so in this case, it seems that she heard me sort of insinuating. Which I did not that she herself was an ugly duckling who had bloomed into other things. And so it took a little steering to get that back on track and kind of win her back over to the fact that I wasn't a of jerk, and I think that actually did happen. And she was incredibly forthcoming there were some things that were tough with that episode as well where there are other people in the room from her assistant to multiple publicist to a friend who I guess goes with her to some places to answer questions if she happens to forget a person's name or something like that. And so occasionally she would turn away from the microphone to look at these people, and particularly that friend, and I was just worried that that might derail things. But in fact, it really exceeded all my hopes last question is if you could only sing one of your songs for the rest of your life. This is gonna tell us which one you have real feelings for the most. Which would that song be that's like Sophie's choice? Number three is Stephen Colbert somebody who I have loved for many years and had the chance to sit down with at the offices of the late show in New York. Just ahead of an Emmys, which he would be the host and was also nominated with a chance to win just a year after he had not even been nominated and was almost being written off as late night host because of poor ratings allot had then changed because of political things in the country and suddenly his type of intelligent humor was in demand again. And so this was a very exciting one to get to do with him. What a lot of people do not know is that Stephen Colbert personal story, which is obviously something we were going to get into on this podcast. And that I learned a lot about prepping for it is not funny at all. He's had a terrible tragedy affect his family when he was very young. And a lot of ways it shape. His future. I don't want to ask you to talk anymore than you want about what what happened when you're ten. But it just seems like it was clearly as it would be for anyone instrumental in shaping the person who you became and the it seems like also the interest in making people laugh, particularly your mother Orna. Can I ask you just how you think as a person you were changed by that tragedy when you were ten? The scope of how would change you or how someone is changed by tragedy at a young age is so broad. I can give you some things that are different. But I don't really know. How it changed me? I have this recurrent image in my mind, sometimes when I'm driving down a highway, especially lonely highway someplace in the high mountain west where it's just you the road the planes in the sky, and when I look forward, I imagine that the blue sky in front of me is actually not blue sky. It's a mountain so big that the edges of the slopes as they come down to the horizon or beyond my prefer vision on either side and then actually driving toward a mountain. I can't see. And in my mind, what happened to my family when I was child affected us to a degree that it's a mountain. We can't see you know, what I mean, you can approach it and see sort of part of the slopes, but I have. I've said to myself more than once gosh, I hope I live long enough to figure out what that did to me were who I am as a result of of many things in my life. But obviously, I mean for years, I have jokingly thought my secret name was September eleventh nineteen seventy four because I was the day they died, and that was my, you know, they say you can't control a demon unless you can name it. It's real name. I've always thought will no one will ever be able to control me because no one knows my secret name and my secret name is that event. And that is it's almost like that event created a labyrinth in my mind in which I could hide when I was younger. No one could find me if I went into the labyrinth of that experience. But I was also lost in there. You know, I thought I was the mentor, but I think I was just lost without a Bali yarn for for many, many years and comedy was a relief. And then just as quickly as it had all begun it ended and he. He ran off to go prepare for that night's up soda the show. Number two for me is Jerry Seinfeld. I'd had a bad experience with him on a red carpet once before it's not even worth really getting into. But he just was somebody who clearly wasn't someone who was that enthusiastic to deal with press of any sort and doesn't like going through the motions of having to do things to promote work. And you know, that's understandable enough. He's been successful enough that it's probably annoying to have to do some of the things that everybody else has to do to raise awareness for his projects. But I nevertheless reached out to his team about having him. Come on to talk about comedians in cars getting coffee, which I knew was a great passion project for him and was in the running now for an EMMY and hope that he would be willing to engage in for whatever reason he did agree to sit down for an hour. We met up at an apartment in New York that he sometimes uses for writing. I got there before he did. And was there with his publicist and we chat. And we had even arranged to do a Facebook live conversation after the podcast. So he knew coming in that he was going to be there for a little while. And I think he just made a calculation let's make the most of this as long as we have to be here. Let's engage. I think he did appreciate that right off the bat. It was pretty clear we were gonna be talking about things that he doesn't always asked about and that we would be getting deep and really teeing things up for him to share his incredible expertise and knowledge, and that is to remarkable extent. What he did by all appearances everything that you've said and done you're a comedian who acts not an actor who does comedy, right, right? But if I don't even know how anyone could make that consumer. But I wonder though, if you were to get a call from somebody who, you know, like Steven Spielberg or somebody said we'd love for you to be in our film. It sounds like you would do it. I might do it. I doubt it a guy like that is going to be smart enough to know. No, no one's putting me in Star Wars. Nobody wants a character in Star Wars that says, you know, all the back flipping doesn't really hurt the guy that you're fighting. We could just lose the back flipping and just get on with the laser fighting. You know, you don't want that that would be my character. And nobody wants that star was a guy who's logical on the side. Yeah. Like my kids. I watch a lot of my kids. And I thought maybe if I wasn't Star Wars said of Darth city as I could be are you serious? That'd be your you want to tackle entire planet. Seriously. He was incredibly candid and interesting and willing to share some of his tricks for doing what he does including the secrets of success for creative people and things like that. Which I had never heard him talk about before. And which I know resonated a lot with our listeners, many of whom have said that that is one of their favorite episodes as well. But number one for me is without a question Oprah Winfrey. She is someone who I have admired and marveled at for as long as I can remember, and who I kind of didn't even regard as a human being because she's almost like a a God amongst men just someone who has lived such a remarkable life and overcome so much an inspired and helped so many that the idea that it was even possible to sit down with Oprah for this kind of an in depth conversation lasting an hour. So was almost unfathomable to me. But then Oprah did something that she hadn't done. Many years, which is returned to acting in a TV movie for which she started to get very good awards buzz. And I thought what the heck let me put out the ass and contact her Representative and the worst thing that would happen was she would say that she was unavailable. But pretty soon after I sent the request. I was sitting in New York covering the Tony season. And I got an Email saying Oprah is willing to do this. If you can be in L A on whatever day, it was a couple of days later, and I couldn't believe it. But I quickly booked a flight, and I told a lot of people around the time there, aren't that many people that I would be willing to get on a plane for fly across the country. Spend just an hour with them and then head right back across the country. But that is exactly what I did for Oprah. As anyone I think would and it was incredibly well worth it. It was an intimidating room to walk into not because Oprah is one of the most famous recognized people in the entire world. But because she's one of the great interviewers of our time. And so two. Then go in there with someone who knows all the tricks and techniques and secrets and methods of coaxing a great interview out of others and try to do that with her. That was intimidating, and you know, we had variations of that on our episodes with Dan rather and dick Kevin James Lipton and Marc Maron all of whom have greatly influenced me as interviewers as well. But Oprah was the different story. Just intimidating but also intimidating in the sense that she's the guest who probably lease needed me or my podcast for anything in her life and could've phoned it in or been rude or dismissive. But who was actually not only totally present and engaged for the full hour. But also opened up about really deeply personal parts of her story that she had never really shared before. Even in decades of talking about her life and lessons from it on television, and in magazines, and in other interviews, and so it was just a very special hour that I think sets the bar for us as far as how to come. Mm in prepared move on the fly as circumstances dictate and try to make the most of your time with your guests. Can I ask you? Well, thank you. I mean, we have an hour. I love it. And and you know, reading value life. It's I think it just makes it all the more amazing. What what you college? When people realize what those first few years were, you know entailed? There's a reason that you were moving around and things were chaotic bit. So and also informs a lot of what's happened since including I think Henrietta lacks and Deb relax this carroo shared some similar experiences. So I just wonder to whatever extent you're comfortable. I mean, what was what were those early years like, well, that's nice of you to say, whatever extent, I was comfortable because I think people watch the Oprah show over the use of heard be say just about everything I don't have very many secrets if I have them. I haven't discovered them yet. And one of the reasons for that is that I learned early on in the process of interviewing other people that wet really connects you to another human being is you're willing to open up and be vulnerable as Rene. Brown has written about endearing greatly. That vulnerability is really your greatest power, and before people researched it and studied it I had come to know that naturally that Volna r- ability is your greatest power. I would say that that's been my greatest gift in connecting to the audience is just being open and willing to continually be myself. It is not lost on me what a rare privilege it is to get to spend an hour or so with these great artists of film, TV in theater, or as as also been the case music or amazing people from walks of life, totally unrelated to what I usually cover. But who I happen to have an opportunity to speak with because of their sociation with something that was being promoted for an award. That includes people who are heroes to me, and so many others like Gloria Steinem, Dr Jane Goodall, Dr Neil degrasse Tyson. Dan, rather Kobe Bryant Shaquille O'Neal and even Vice President Al gore because. It is such a privilege and responsibility to do these. I won't do them unless I have the time to do them, right, which means spending a bunch of ours locating and printing out and reading every other important interview with or profile of our guest crafting questions in a way that conveys knowledge, but also curiosity, you know, we always begin every episode where we born and raised in. What is your folks do for a living? That's obviously something that we can Google easily enough. But I think that asking it subliminally conveys our guests that we're gonna go back to the beginning. And we're gonna go deep, and we value. What you have to say. We also insist on doing every interview in person because they think on top of all of the preparation, the importance of icons cannot be overstated a guest can look you in the eyes and see whether or not you're engaged or interested or genuinely curious or if you're just looking ahead to the next questions. And if they see what they hope to see it can motivate them to open up a lot more. I'm not someone who lives with the illusion. That might guests are my friends. Very few of them are actually people who I know and socialize with outside of work. But I will say that when you spend an hour excavating someone's life insult the extent that we do on this podcast. They tend to remember it and you in the future, which has resulted in some very nice, well acquaintance ships, and I hear from some of our past guests that they are now regular listeners themselves, which is the greatest compliment they can offer by the way. You're incredible interviewer Mike, you are really good at this ache. You really I've been interviewed by lot of people. But you're very so nice of you. Thank you very much. I want to close by thanking the people who I work with and whose contributions to this podcast are every bit as important as mine have been again, it started at the beginning with Janice men and map felony. And I think them for believing in the possibilities for this podcast. I wanna thank our first recorder editor store to cash who was terrific through dozens and dozens of our first episodes Dennis Schweitzer who has filled in for Dora and her successors over the air sense. Ryan Gabe who has handled a lot of our episodes in New York and most importantly, Maui. Hearst who has been our principal recorder since we first try them out as a freelancer on the James corden episode, and who had even been editing a little for us before that. And who is now a fulltime teach our employees tasked with overseeing not just this podcast. But probably a lot more than he bargained for at the beginning. Ours is now, but one of three podcasts that comprise the Hollywood reporter's podcast network. The others being it happened in Hollywood. On which Seth Abramovitch and ship. Pope, take deep dives into major pop culture moments in Hollywood history and behind the screen, featuring Caroline GR. Dina's conversations with artists who work behind the scenes in the business and stay tuned because there are other podcasts coming soon people like Dora and Dennis. And specially Matt have at the put up with a lot of OCD type stuff from me over the years. There's a reason you don't hear us and in the final edits of our episodes. I think Dora had to cut something like five hundred instances of like, you know, what I mean from the Harvey Weinstein episode and Matt has encountered many other similar situations. But I think the thing that makes it worth the time and hard work for all of us is the knowledge that we have created something that people seem to really enjoy and learn from and feel inspired by and to be honest, the knowledge that so many people are listening and the occasional positive feedback that we get via tweets or emails or comments on I tunes, or whatever really means a lot to us and keeps us going. You don't get that same kind of a response. When you write up interview without the audio. There's something about being able to listen to great conversation, which I think people are maybe more willing to do in New York and LA where we all have commutes. And a lot of us are busy exercising and trying to make the most of every minute. This is the kind of content. The people seem to enjoy and we were just lucky enough to figure that out early on. And have a lot of other people publicists talent and others. Help us to make it possible. In my experience every person is endlessly fascinating. If you take the time to learn about them and ask them questions, but show biz people are, of course, particularly fascinating a lot of people. And so it has been and will continue to be our goal on this podcast to work with them to tell their stories in a special way. So again, thanks for your support through our first two hundred fifty episodes, please subscribe and radar podcasts and tellers about it and God willing, we'll make at least another two hundred fifty and you'll stick with us through them as well. And now for my interview with. Thank you so much for doing a spike. It's our two hundred fifty of sewed and we wanted to make video show. So you're helping us to to do that. I really appreciate it. So I guess to begin with can you set the scene of where we are right now. We're at the world headquarters forty is in the mule for green in the People's Republic of Brooklyn, New York. Let's right, and how long have you been in the space of the twentieth. This used to be garage. So now is museum. Yeah. So amazing. We're surrounded by stuff from all of your movies. And I think moves you love, right? Yeah. A lot of stuff assigned to behind. You is the French h sheet for on the waterfront sign to me twice. That's awesome. Yeah. And I see main streets and all kinds of stuff. So and then over there behind you is the post for midnight cowboy assigned by John Slesinger? The only x Ray film won best picture deaths. What is the slogan for this company by means necessary? You dig show enough. And then one other just setting it up kind of question. Why are your films called Spike Lee joints, grown up a joint was just a term? That was like men be some list. This good, you know, fly as you say, that's the joint the joint, and that was what you call them from the very beginning from college. We wants college Atlanta, Georgia. Yes. And I'm going to I'm going to ask more about all that because we're going to if it's okay Bill to the president. But I guess starting at the very very beginning. You were not born with the name, spike. Can you share? How you got the name spike as they say my government name Shelton Jackson Lee, right and Shelton was my grandfather's last name. And Jackson was my grandma's last name. But my mother the late Jacqueline Lee. She gave me the nickname, spike. She said the baby so is is stuck. Where were you born and raised in Atlanta Georgia March twentieth? Nineteen fifty seven and would your folks do for a living. Whoa. My mother taught. My father's a great jabs. -sition compose done a lot of the scores my film. He also went to Morales. Uh-huh. As in. My grandfather, my mother grandma with the Spelman to dominate African American schools across street. Three point other. So my father did the scores for my student films, and she's have at school days. Do right thing. Momentum blues at that s-. It's been terrible. Yeah. Grownup where movies a big part of life in the householder. No. Because of my father hated movies. So I was my mother was center follows Allah's my mother's movie day L on the oldest. Yes. But my father loves sports. So my love the sports came from my father in love sports n music. Yeah. From my mother too. But and my mother was film, your education beyond high school and your early career, I know was made possible by grandma. Can you explain how that came to be the case, all my grandmother was a teacher and she commuted between making Georgia and Atlanta Georgia, and at that time in the state of Georgia school the segregated. So fifty years that she taught should have had one white student whole lot of white students missed on green teacher Van Gogh was her favorite painter. And fifty is my grandmother is Zimmi Retha Shelton. She. Save the social security checks for her grandchildren's and to -cation SS hours. Eldest, I got for dips. So through the security checks which acquired interests over fifty years. She's help me get through Morehouse in. Why you grad film school? Also, gave me to seed money for might these film. Joe's Bissai bother shop which one student Cammie ward nineteen eighty two. My class artistic and who. Yes, great DP show. All my film in why also shot in order. She's have it school days. Do right thing mode better blues and Malcolm X at the knock mex- he went on the direct to pock in juice. I mean earn his came in. And and why you Greg films to be directed. But he was so vast Taga for it. He used at route to being sympathy. Get to be director his first film back in the John sales for breath from the planet, and he showed Joe's bests, I bother shop to get the job. And so was really helpful that he shot in a feature before we did or for speech together. She's going to have. Yeah. My gremlins gave me the seed money for she's gonna have it first film will I guess. The whole idea that you would even want to make a film really happens only in summer of seventy seven but before that something else happened. This is in seventy six year second year Morehouse you were just twenty very tragically. You had a great loss. And I I wonder how that if you can share with that was but also how it may have shaped you moving forward. Because again, you said your mother was the person who kind of lead you to fall in love with movies. Yeah. It's crooked. People really see if crooked, which is a satisfied graphical film and fill out the great alpha would, please. My mother is star like disco. My first two years it Morales hours like d plus c minus student. It was because I was smart not motivated and before going going back home to Brooklyn for the summer seventy seven my via the toll went that. Choose a major I said why? And my said because you auto Alexis. The came back in Brooklyn, and it was infamous summer nineteen seventy seven they were no jobs before that. I mean as long as you work card, you get a job doing something for the summer. But there were no jobs and have a friend. Her name is via Johnson. Grew up with. She went to Stuyvesant is coming very far smart. We she knew showing me a doctor early age with the Princeton Harvard med school when she she knew it right away. So anyway, one day, I was doing anything sitting my stoop. Again, didn't have a job and went over to our house or apartment and in the corner was a box of soup rate, say western Bach. He said super camera as it wasn't other boxes film. I said you have it gave it to me. And you'd never prior to that even thought about making movies. No. So I was making movies just made to do. Right. And as before is if the summer nineteen seventy seven why that because it's one of the hottest record in York City. Consequently had the blackout that was the first somewhere disco the Anki won the World Series and the David Berkowitz, right? On the Sam site spent the whole summer shooting a block parties shot a lot of footage during the blackout blacks employer. Ricans stealing shit color, TV's, Nick. And this news is like the phrases Christmas in July. Right. And then went back to school in the fall with all this footage and had the inmates. I chose mass communications the more often had that may to that across three o'clock calls professor, they're still there today has named Dr Michael Virga, courage me to make documentary out of the stuff that got all this footage on what to do with these white make Documenta so entitled last hustle Brooklyn as HAMAs last Tango, parody and dot com Beykal burqa. He really really took a keen interest. In me, mass cases first film. Radio television print journalism, and our film class. Only MIT three times a week. I think Monday with front is. But he would come in on Tuesdays and Thursdays because he had the key to the the lab, and he would come in not even getting overtime. This kept. It opens like a work on the film. So work in offer Samatha second semester showed and people liked it. He showed it in class showed in class. Yeah. So that's when I said this why wanna do right? Well, when you graduated in seventy nine I wonder if you can talk about what you did between then and going off to NYU grad school. I read about a few weeks you spend in LA eight weeks. Somehow I applied and got into Columbia Pictures inter ship and every week put with different department. So is really a I open to be on a studio SEO this thing works, but I've been accepted to in y you for the fall having applied to. To all. Yeah. Well list. Also, they remind also applied to three schools and why you AFI UFC the get into USC a fire. You had to get a. A certain score on. Yeah. SAT which I not get. And luckily that more forward thinking PY. Talking about the film school, right? Who thank God said that, you know, whether the people we exception not accept solely on your test scores. Right. And it's been proven those scores can be slanted. One went on a give you that. So I got NYU you started there. Just after the com- brothers graduate from the undergrad program rate while Jim Jarmusch is they're part of the grad program and in the same class as another Lee, no relation hang right Ernest Dickerson. Anglian same class with you. Amazing. And John was. I worked in the Clinton rooms. I check women not the gym. And then he made it while you guys were still in school while the rest of you are so yeah, he's he's still our hero. 'cause we were two young have been there. They all Oliver Stone, and and scores safety, you know, we were too young three. Yeah. Right. So we knew we NYU. But this somebody that will slow in the hallway and stuff. So even today he's a hero because he he really everything did with strain in paradise did what she's gonna have it. You know, the the can you know, all the festival circuit. You know, he he set the the roadmap for Indies in the eighties for sure we'll definitely for his fellow students who in grades below him. Yeah. It seems it's maybe in your DNA to question thority a little bit. And it sounds like even within your first aired NYU you did that too. The point where it almost got you booted. Can you share what you did that riled up some of your professors in why grad fill is three program and back then they had a policy the end of the first year to get rid of half of the class. They don't do it anymore under the Lee regime. I am. I mean wanna talk by ama- ten now grad also tar tick director, right? So very early on. I mess ter- class with shown Bertrand nation is seen clips by never saw the whole thing. And at that a class discussion was solely about all the innovations that the father of in quotations father sins cinema had come up with. But as far as the social political stuff aspect of the film that was not brought it all and Ernest. And I you know, we were having as I say they will feel certain type away. Will you guys were to only five people of color, red, right? Yes, we were only to the finish all three years. Well, so I'll just sensed film school you agreed on your films. So the ended semester and the year the faculty sits in data was called the Bijou the film school, then dead film school, then was on e seven three and the faculty sits in the Bijou in a your film. And my film was film called the answer by young African American ride director who's given the chance to direct a remake of Berta of nation for studio for studio, and he takes the job thing that he's gonna have control, which is not way stools work with the first time right direct, especially after American erector. And we had a lot of clips from some of the most demeaning clips for the nation in the film. And the faculty they voted me out. But they fucked up though to help supplement my tuition, I was a teaching assistant and I worked an equipment room. I was a hardest worker in the room. So because at work ethic, they slipped up and made mistake give me ta ship for second year before the valuations so you already in. But they throw me out. Somebody say we can't kick him out game a taste ship foot a sick. He'll ready, right? Chew story saved her. That's house able to stay net finished, my tea is NYU grad film, and that third years when you completed your thesis film that you referenced earlier which Jo's bedside barbershop we heads just to again, kind of remind people about a barbershop that's actually a front for a numbers game. You were just twenty five when you made that I read thirteen thousand dollars is all costs 'cause you were using all the equipment and student labor and everything we had to get it done. Right. That's what it is. And get it done. And it winds up at film side of Lincoln center's new directors new films festival. That's a big deal. Then the student Academy Award and eighty three that you talked about what was the biggest takeaway from completing that it was a struggle. But that was good. You know, you know, this good find out early that. This is not easy and everybody. Monty Ross help earn who used got anger. Impor- hang did sound. So we just had no yet come together. Everybody's a meal you help each other on their films, and you said shot by Ernest Dickerson scored by your dad. Yeah. My father's Billy score. So when you graduated having done that when you graduated in eighty two what happened between then and some are eighty five when you started on your first feature. She's gotta have it. I know you were taking the film around a little bit trying to get a job. Yeah. Or had agent. I couldn't even get ABC after school special. You know, just and then because Miana's I thought that me very naive thought that with me winning to Cami war. Did my phone ringing? All duck. Why do you think it wasn't book? It doesn't matter now. But all I can say is that, you know, Ana get new jobs, Donna, Guinea work. Ever move. Was that a factor that classmates were getting works? Yeah. Mean the phone was ringing and then a phone got cut off. Yeah. I was not gonna move up LA at that time, no black filmmakers work as up in the mail room. That was not going to happen. So again, looking at what Jim Jabir stood independent cinema. That was will be the way. All is gonna make us through film of that to beat start out in the film ago. So the first feature she's gotta have it came out on eighty six film about young black women's relationships with three two for men. It was promoted as quote a seriously sexy comedy, close, quote, eighty six minute Runtime black and white except one color sequence. When they say, Spike, Lee, independent filmmaker they may not realize what that actually means in that case. Can you talk about the schedule of the shooting and the and how you came up with the money for it? Which was only one hundred seventy five grand we shot into days to six day weeks July first to lie fourteenth, nineteen eighty five and the money was done in stages. So the first amount was gotta shoot it. The second out was raised more and get the film out the lab, right? The third mount was have money to live on like edit the film, right? So we can show it to. Potential investors. Who were Laurence Fishburne and Nelson, George who still collecting checks, you know, meant thirty his later on it. So. And then good a festival route. So the world may was that the San Francisco film festival and from there, we went to Cannes where we won the digitize records for Nyra it was. But I mean is it true? It got to the point where you guys were collecting bottles and cans and stuff to to redeem nickel deposit. Yeah. Guys. A couple of rolls of film. Why did you act on your first ten films? But never since well is Dr she's gonna have it be conformed to pain by. So did that and then but never really wanted being actor. No, no, no, it was just circumstance and MAs black may, you know, to relations with Michael Jordan Nike today because of performance and really cuts the film caught on not just the performance of. Nobody saw it wouldn't matter. But here you guys started out. It was interesting the kind of roll out because now I think it's maybe a little more common than it was then to start in just a few theaters or in your case. One theater, and you're literally standing there ending out pins and selling shirts, and like just getting the buzz going to the point where it could then spent there was one theater and performance as packed p line run a blog. So it was a miracle. Yeah. You know, you work ends up making a point five million. How did your life changes a result of that? I mean there had been obviously black filmmakers before from back to Oscar show, and I guess all the way through a few people who were on the scene a little bit before you Melvin van Peebles Charles Burnett. Larry Clark, but these guys had not Dave Davis. They'd my shots who directed a lot of the hit films of Richard Pryor. What were you able to do that? They had not been able to before was it just kind of progression. You know on their shoulders black will make you know, taking up after me. So is progression. Yeah. And then come back to that relationship with Nike. So the movie does well. You're suddenly on the scene headed you. Come to be involved with Nike. Well, two gentlemen who work at Wieden Kennedy, which is Nike's advertise as ni Jim Davenport. And Jim was his wall to call me up said they sought a film, and they wanna pair. Mas Blackmon what Michael Jordan? Somebody's one cats. Michael sign is deal. And he has a the wreck approval, and he hasn't he doesn't know, you know, of you has not seen the film. It was only two years ago at the NBA all-star game Toronto where finally Kerr's as Michael why did you choose me? Because at that time yet big time direct is like Bob drawl deeming people get anybody. Yeah. Big time mass now directors, and he chose me say why said motherfucker 'cause you wear my shoes. So the basketball love though, preceded your success you were into I mean 'cause on a knick game way way before I mean, do nice cool seats just got better. Not not not right away. Right. It's a couple movies. They moved me down every movie, right? All right. So the follow up to she's gotta have it with school days. Nineteen eighty eight a musical which kind of in some ways surprise people. You've always kind of kept people of balance, wait a minute. I don't want to how they I only want film before that right prize. Okay. Well, it was not like that. It was very different. It was. Well, I mean. Repeat myself. Sure, especially because people at office ducey's have a tooth for the second filler, you even back then they were onto sequel. So that's been around. Yeah. Well with school days, it's about these competing, the allergies on the temps of an all black college missing college. Yes. What are the last words of that film Waco? And then the first words do right thing. Also, do you think that woke comes from that the idea? Yeah. No one was saying woke that's new shit. Right. So, but I say wake up at eight. So that's what I'm saying. I feel like it's got to trace back to this. Who else was saying wake up in that context pairs getting the kids out of bit in that? It was a us that context, I guess with school days, though, you were a little frustrated by the lack of promotion of the film by Columbia was a sore spot because it was a great movie, but it didn't get seen as much as others right on think that A Columbia Pictures, do what they had and then they were or gene change. So that's never good thing. No films have yet to come out when regime chain, right? Just a year later, though, is when you put out what I think might be my favorite movie of all time. I have free time felt no say, I'm telling you man, I've watched and I'm that's not because I haven't seen, you know, classic movies. I I'm telling you are you all time films driving daisy. Shit. I don't we're gonna talk about that. Come on. Give me a little credit. So a somebody voted for win. I wasn't diaper. So a me, but what you gonna be like like, saggy wasn't me. I wondered if you've ever had this out with Morgan Freeman. That's what I wanna know. But we we've never know. That's never come up between. Right. But do the right thing Hotta stave summer on one black and Brooklyn, what was the seat of the idea and after writing script in eighty seven how challenging was it to get a studio to actually make it wasn't challenging it wasn't. I that one studio it wasn't paramount gonna do at one. But they they wanna do it. But the last minute like week before going to production. They wanted a script change. They wanna Mookie and south a hug ending the movie. And then play on the boombox what Sinatra or something? It would be Frank notch and be that coke zone ally. The. But anyway, right, and I wasn't doing that. So I called my friend Sam kit with executive at a universal got that Friday. He got it to Sean Daniels got at the Tom Pollock and couple of days later, we universal you go to work. Tom Pollack says you could do it for six point five not a penny more not anymore and make the film you. So that means shoot it in Brooklyn, do some of the cool technical things that you like to do. Right. So there were some of the looking at the camera face off stuff like that. I guess the biggest thing here maybe more than anything up to that point. Is that you're working with this large ensemble of actors from the veterans like Ozzy Davison ruby to the newcomers like Rosie Perez, and you said rose I phone Rosie's. I foam also Martin Lawrence the first phone. Yes. Lay? Great, rob Howard's, I film. So we a lot of I will you said, quote, do the right thing was the first time I really felt comfortable working with actors. It took me three films to get me to. Point close quote. Why was that? Well, film school, you really more proficient behind the camera was my experience and also you not paying the Actes and the act is no that. So once they get today's in then they know that you can do. Yeah. They can't be replaced. So they just act the fool, right? But again, the learning process, and so I was learning how to deal is the first two films. And so you have the final language to communicate to active all so I was better at that with do right thing than the previous two films. She's have at school days. The subject matter was pretty prescient is in one way appropriate word, but it was not that the stuff hasn't hadn't been going on all ready. But with for instance, radio Raheem, the idea of a conflict like that between an unarmed black man and the cops. Who are reacting to perceive threat. It's almost exactly two t-. What happened with our garner? A no. But in want PD who murdered Ray or any was based upon somebody else. Michael Stewart who is a feet artist. Okay. He has strangling little guy like my size. He got strangled deaf. The us square subway station for doing Fiji. So that was based upon somebody was that what made you wanna make that movie wasn't the incident. But I want to be that time Yuxi was racially charged on the leadership the not leadership of at Koch and live stuff was between time erica's African Americans had the central park five just happen. I think there's a whole lot of stuff going on now at that time, and you felt that making a film about this could have what was the desired effect. I wanted to put a light on you know, what is happening. One very delivered thing was that the primary was coming up in September. And did not want ad Kosta again. Yeah. How David that was the beginning thing is. Yeah. Curious over the years, what have your own interactions been with the NYPD cordial? All right. So this movie goes the can and did not win the palm even though it had gone over tremendously. Well, there I read the Sally field who was on. The jury told you that it was been vendors fault that he was quote hating on the movie, and I mean, no, they weren't using the term hating. There was okay. Sally fields and the late. Great hectic by Benko that let you know how this went down. And they told me and even today Venezuela's that. Still denies that. The president of jury has any doubt is not that is not does not chew. It'll make this clear. I never had any beef with steam somber because his film sex lies and videotape. Did get the pay was. I mean me have always been cool. Yeah. Really want state that that those those never been friction between us, right? We're cool. Still cool. My things with them Benda's. Think did you say you were you'd be waiting for him with a bat in an alley or something? Louisville slugger. I think he's still scared. But so I mean because the issue was that, you know, that thing about his thing. Again, I'm not trying to bring the stuff up which happened eighty nine and fact June third this coming June thirtieth is going to be the thirtieth anniversary do thing. Yeah. And people get it open the same day timbers Batman allow the same day. But when Ben then asks why the Digital's made he said because mckie's character was not Heroux ick because he threw the trash cancer of the window. Right. I know he that he just has roic and like James betas character goes right again. Eight Danes beta like that's not a standard for judging. Yeah guy. I mean, the that James spader. But his character was masturbating, and you know, Jones shit on with video camera. But that was just a lame excuse just said, look, I don't like the movie, you know, we'll say, and then which has been something that's been talked about for years. Why no at chimera or personal ever asked me why Mckee through the governor's window. Ever ever EV eight? No, African americ- person has ever asked me. Why Mookie thought a garbage can through the window, south Vamos pizzeria? Well, so I've read a lot of other people's takes on this. And there are some people who say that he did it to diffuse the situation. Now, look that might be there Pinon, but as the author. Yeah, Mookie through the governor's candid win because he saw his best friend with his own eyes strangler deaf and chokehold, and he just broke. Also, he screams hate too when he goes to and again going back to the knuckle rings war was comes from nine of the hundred nine hotter. And that script written by James AD, which we have some of that, that's beach. Love hate speech. Great performance by Robert mitchum, Drake. Vai chose lot only directed this. And I saw that film school. Okay. Well, meanwhile side from the insult of how the canned Jerry process, the movie in your in your view. It sounds like another thing that wasn't very helpful. Was that almost immediately? You've got a lot of the press. David Denby, Joe Klein, people are saying watch out this movie's gonna cause race riots. If it gets in theaters, I think that's where Tom Pollock needed bodyguards and other things because they said, we're putting the cell, right? Well, we gotta go back a little bit to this day. It was Denby. Joel Klein another guy, Jack Kroll. Thank is that his right foot. Time magazine all said that I think it was David Demi had the quote lip. Please hope that this film does opening your neighborhood. Wow. Go back, and look the purely racist the white both go crazy at the scene at the source Negga films are coming at that time. I mean, he was toll races that black people had the capabilities the intellect to discard a difference between was a screen and like automatically this civil right. Black folks, go insane. And that became a big thing. Will you said, quote, some white movie goers were scared to seat in theaters because they might be filled with crazy people close quote. And actually, I I don't know if this is true. Maybe you can clarify something. But I know for a fact that was right around that time late eighties that screeners. I started going out to kademi members as VHS originally. And one thing that I heard was that part of that was because even academy members weren't so sure they want to go see this movie theater. Do you? Remember anything about that? No, not me. I just remember that it was really despicable there. Right. Those words that basically saying don't go the movie because black people in a crazy as start rights, which never and then blood will be in my hands on your hands. Yeah. Jack, Kroll KO k-. L David Denby and Joel Klein. And so now comes to hero this which is Tom Pollock. Tom Pollock who's been. President of Universal Pictures was on the tremendous pressure to not at the least doll releases of attack. Yeah. Yeah. Release back. Yeah. And it was very understand at Mr. Polly done that because he just got to hell with last. I'm tasting Kreis. He had to have bodyguards his family was affected. So he ease. His spike. I can't this just hurt my family, walk run a fear. I don't wanna have bodyguard with me. I just went through this with mardi. I can't do again and as back to back, but he didn't do that. He says bike when put the film out. So it try give low. The Tom Powell says he's on sung hero Duda right thing of -solutely could have been very different if he would just delayed the release or also not put it out. Because they was again, you know, they on his ass. Yeah. Industry-wide well to do not release this film, one byproduct of the fact that they did release it is that Barack and Michelle Obama are together that was their first date. So thank you for that. All right. So along eventually come the Oscar nominations you were nominated for best reginal screenplay Danny yellow got nominated for best supporting actor beaten up by Denzel glory. Ultimately. Right. But you not nominated for best record. The film was not nominated for best picture and the eventual winner as we referred to earlier was driving mistake soda. Yeah. Dr his mouth. Now, just to just in fairness for to present all the facts, Bruce Beresford was not nominated for best director one of the few times the the picture winter. The director of that was not nominated who want to rector eighty nine was what it all do that year. Yep. Born on the fourth of July. But that still pisses you off you told Charlie rose in two thousand eleven quote, do the right thing was not even nominated. What film won best picture ninety-nine drive in miss mother fucking daisy. That's why Oskar is don't matter because twenty years later who's watching driving mistake he in twenty nine years later net. Well that time now I'm saying today still. Update. Two thousand fifteen you. You said, quote, are they gonna choose a film where you have a relatively passive black servant, or they get to choose a film with a menacing radio. Raheem a lot of times people are going to vote for what they're comfortable with and anything that's threatening to them. They won't close quote at that time you'd to suit an Academy Award. But this is seem like the movie that would have been your first mainstream. Only bothered you right? I mean bottom of people bring it up. But again, you know, do right thing is in the library congress. Yes. No. I'll show you my my plag- of stare elaborate congress and people love that film. And this is the good shit doesn't get old and on nothing. People steeping film. We've there we had the crystal ball this eight you talk about global warming. We talk on justification a whole lot of stuff, and that film, inspired, so many other filmmakers who have talked about its impact. I just wanna get one example, John single. Tin sought the summer before senior year at USC and has said quote after the movie, I just went to my dorm feeling intimidated but excited, and I was like how am I gonna make it in this business helm? I gonna have some type of voice, I roll down to my neighborhood where I grew up, and it just came to me. I said I got to do something for black south central LA close quote. So he began writing boys in the hood for which he became at twenty four the youngest filmmaker and the first black filmmaker ever nominated for best director at the Oscars. You know, how to similar impact on the other black filmmakers who have been nominated for that award Lee Daniel Sima Queen Barry Jenkins, Jordan Peele. They've all talked about it. So it's not only black directors. Of course, of course, not. But I just want to say that there have been now kind of new generation outrageously though, not not yet, Spike Lee, but this season, maybe that'll that'll change. All you mean as a nomination for best director, not even DJ also. Well, all right. So people should note that so I guess all this along with other things that have happened over the years. Such as the what's become known as Oscar so white. It's all left you feeling pretty conflicted about the academy. Right. Well, sure is the former president of the cabbie Motion Picture Arts and sciences. She did a great job behind. The hashtag ask why he really took that to board. Members say look, we got a open shoot up make diverse. I know for sure that had not been done open up the voting members the black people won Oscars since then would not vote not been there for them. So you think like moonlight wouldn't have happened before just to state the facts the year before the first of the two years of Oscar so way was an Oscar ceremony that you attended because you felt it was important to be there the night that twelve years a slave became the first film directed by a black filmmaker to win best picture. I want to be there. So the dilemma that internal debate. And a lot of Hollywood is if they weren't racist that year, then the next year when there. Aren't people of color? Did they here's the thing though? Black people have won Oscars is not like the nominees never happen. But every ten years seems like there's a slew black films in. My phone's ringing off the hook. Because people want me to come it on this rate, the the new renaissance of black cinema, right massive problems. Like every ten years some on the air in the next nine years famine. So as this one of those years, we got Black Panther black klansman if Bill SRI could talk green book, you're not gonna put that in there with those. I'm looking at your face. All right. Okay. All right. Well, let's say films directive. Okay. Directed by about black subject BRAC related subject matter. Okay. Well, I guess another one we may not you may not want to include in their sorry to bother you. No, no. All right. Moving onto the next Spike Lee joint here that we got better blues tribute to your father and other black jazz artists who had not been portrayed the way, you felt they should have been up to that point. What did you feel needed to be corrected or just felt that in some of the films previously? I just didn't see the man the new tragic figures, you know, that drug addicts and stuff like that. And not to say didn't happen, but join up in the jazz household, I mean, I just wanted to film to see the life, the joy that these great musicians have music that was mobile booth and had a budget of nine point nine I think gross forty eight jazz Artis played by Wesley Snipes and Denzel first time with Denzel of four. I think so far. How did you guys? I connect live in New York just knew each other. But like the ads that when Denzel is playing the trumpet. That's tears Blanchard. Okay. And Wesley Snipes is playing the sax that's breath from ourselves. Got it got it who start out playing my father scores. So the rampart and Terence reference. In fact, this featured on the score for do right thing. Well on that one mobile blues you and Dickerson patented what is now known as the Spike Lee signature shot the double dally that makes look like someone's floating when they're walking I guess by putting both the camera and the actor on Dali's, how did that become the Spike Lee shot I like to stay I vibe that I did not invent that shop become my signature shot at that time, or as an I still weren't out of film school. So we're just doing shit film school stuff. Right. But then earth night came decision net. We just can't be sticking shot anywhere. It hasn't really. It was not going to be helped store it move forward. Then we're not gonna use. It examined was at the first time Lee use it in that way was Malcolm X doing the research for the film on became very close to delay. Great, Dr Betty Shabazz mountains widow, and she can provide it to me that she felt that mouth of news going to be assassinated that day as it came off on Baldwin Harlem. And that he wanted to be mater, and so once Dr bass told me that told that the RSV saying way that now what she just told us to find a place for this. So it made sense. Yeah. Let's put that Dodi shot right before into to give his last speech at all autumn bowl. Definitely. I want to see if we can put to bed once and for all something that you started to be asked about I guess starting with mobile blues and people have brought it up with other things over the years. And I think I get you have a dry sense of humor. I think I totally get it. I am Jewish. I've never been really bothered by anything you've ever said. More jot flatbush didn't bother you the capital of the carry by Nick, well and Johnson. So that's where I want to just go with this because you had some people that said, hey, you're making the to club owners in this film, Jewish even though they're played by the taros who I don't think are. And so the repeal. You were saying that's anti-semitic, then they got angry when four little girls was nominated for the Oscar, and I think in the commentary, you said what chance does my film have when it's up against the holocaust documentary, which is also here's the thing that leaves without a film about the holocaust will like nine times in a row. That's no, I don't dispute that there were a lot of Hollick. So, but I mean, the notion that Spike Lee has a problem with Jews look black people promise bike lease. Let's let's go through the history. Right. She's have a misogynist freight school days black postman because I'm Aaron dirty laundry. Do right thing that films, the cause riots all across America black both Runamuck mobile blues. Antisemitic jungle fever anti-taliban Marican avenue death threat. I'm on the code and daily news cops guard, Spike Lee, we shooting Benson Hurst. We leave the gory. No. So, but here's the thing though in the history of the news business. There's never been any Jewish managers or whatever you wanna call it that exploited black artists who had wreck labels that will give people like Chuck Berry Cadillac for their royalties. I mean documented well, and when you show a minute. And it's nobody's saying this is every club owner or just the same way that nobody saying every pizzeria owner is racist or every, you know, whatever. So I, but I just wanted to address that because it I'm sure I know it's probably not in the same way. Nobody who isn't racist likes being called a racist. Nobody I'm sure likes being called antisemitic. So well, his Aleve. Something out my lawyer lay greats. He's a little league rates seems art decline Jewish the top entertainment lawyer, but Chanal lament who's my also, right? When this whole they came the anti semitic. He told me and this Gaza on shoots, his spike. If you don't write an op-ed piece, the New York Times saying at that's medic, you will never work in holiday chain. You're not anthem medic-. Yes. And do you research? There's a up. Ed piece ahead the right saying, I am not anti-semitic in my Jews. Lloyd told me it, right? This you will never work in Hollywood. Well, but even that could be you know. You know, what my Lord, of course. Yeah. Yeah. How this up in New York ties? Don't worry about it. He'll you ride it. Right. I'll get it in right? It's ancient right that. Yeah. But he says, spike if you re because you don't write this. Well, but I mean, I would think more than anything. I don't think you probably like being called antisemitic. But his thing though, if you look at the history of cinema. Yeah. All the UN is images of black folks, I'll pick out for but trail of to club owners who own this club. And if you look at the history of the music industry, I don't think that was an inaccurate. Let's go onto the next one. Let's go. All right. Thanks jungle fever. Another well because interracial, right fever. I'm the guest interracial marriage. I mean, every film this something we'll jungle fever though. So it's not like Newt is always going to be something every film because I think last do the subject matter, the subject matter this inefficient, and you know, how we deal with some issues that people. Yeah. There's issues and and make people uncomfortable journal fever. This was the first one that was scored by turns Blanchard who had been working on your films before that but not as the primary composer. And now has done it ever since what makes him. So good terrorists. I mean, he's a great musician. First of all a great jab position. He's trumpeter composer and his knowledge in music is so vast that wherever the film needs, you know, he he could deliver right now. It's amazing dozens movies you guys have done. I think together, but you're after jungle fever just to it's amazing the Tut Tut Tut these coming out right after each other, Malcolm X, second movie with Denzel. But in the run-up to that. I just wonder if we can set the scene because in March ninety one when Rodney King happened, April may ninety two the LA riots. How did those events shape your? You're thinking in the run-up to getting involved with Malcolm X that was worked out where it's got to be Norman Jewison, directing it. And you felt it should be ahead of me on Denso's attached to it. Okay. Did the only had was on just wanted to put that the beating Rodney King during open credit sequence. In a similar way to having Charlottesville at the end of black clansmen, just speaking to the president. Yeah. Well, that comes from my, you know, my documentary mind. I'm not saying you're wrong. But I'm asking you. Why was it not appropriate for Norman juice into direct, Malcolm X? I would not use the word appropriate known as Houston has said earlier that you know, there was a block the rector who do it. You know, I was step aside. Maga worth the producer film arranged in meeting between Norman I discussed it, and no juice, very gracious to step aside because he not he did not have to do that rose. His it was his film. Right, denzel. He did not have to do that. Banca fat. It was his film when you got involved, I think thirty three million dollars budget movie upset point working again with Denzel enough. What's was still? Well, that's where co two here, but Denzel by this points now and Oscar winner, you're part of this is being shot in Africa. You're trying to tell the story of the guy who I think you've said is maybe your greatest hero live the huge life. And then you're told the sped or not go over three hours. Right. Even though there's so much life to address what we're the financial implications of you wanting to keep it over three hours. Well, from studio standpoint three are film gives you one let screen at the movie theater, so oneness clean. It means that this. Less morning to make right. We felt that we need for hours is based upon. I mean, we want this be like that big stones David lean lawns Rabia, Dutcher Vago, rich, requi- epochs. And ethics. Can't do a big in two hours. Malcolm. Let's so many different lies. And we felt that when he's at time the show his evolution and Warner Brothers. They didn't want to do that. So was this your first time really, I guess with big budget working for studio. I mean, we do before. But now its biggest budget you had. But at the same time it really wasn't enough. Yeah. So all refused to cut the film and the studio let the bond company takeover the movie in so all the people doing working on post would got red lettuce, and you fired. Had to make some phone calls and got the money to continue editing. But that at that point there was no interact with twenty myself and steal because as far as legally the steel did not on the filming more is is under the bond company owned and so on a list of prominent African Americans they wrote a check Jackson Oprah Winfrey. 'cause we prints Michael Jordan Magic Johnson, Tracy Chavan. You got a all star team. And a woman named just recently died. I didn't know she died. Piggy. Kupa K Fritz. And on Malcolm's birthday. We had a press conference this Schanberg library in Harlem. Yep. We made the announcement that is prone after Merrick's written a check. So we could Tina film in the next day. Miraculously back work, warm weather. Start took the film back from the mon- company starred the finance post production to finish. So that film did farewell like all the other up a little controversy. But that's good just to very quickly hit on a few of the others. That are some of the most important ones crooked ninety four was at your most auto biographical the car Michaels in that movie like the lease family in Brooklyn semi or by graph some out. No, I mean, that's I've said that from beginning outs. My family in the movie for boys and girl. Yeah. Yes. But my sister's while my brother Sankey, they written at Spitzer and tie was called hop. Piece of butter which is name of mainstreet game, you play here New York City, and then I came in and we wrote it, and so that's that's not really, but it's added stuff, and that's crooked Clockers ninety five sort of the wire before the wire in a sense. I guess originally was going to be score Stacey into narrow. So how did it become Lee? Of course, acey had universal by the novel. Richard price clock is big amount of money for Robert narrow starring as something happened and he wanted to casino instead. So might wanna leave universal holding the bag so he called me look Alexander produce, and I want to film, and they went off into casino that year, I guess ninety seven first time outside of college that you did a documentary four little girls, which we mentioned earlier you ended up getting an Oscar nomination for about the sixteenth street. Baptist church bombing in Birmingham, nineteen sixty three that killed four little girls. What made you decide to do that for the first time, and we should just before you answer. I should just know you've done a lot of them since then ridge kings of comedy in two thousand when the levees broke which was so great in two thousand six to Michael Jackson one's bad twenty five and Michael Jackson journey from Motown to off the wall two thousand twelve in two thousand sixteen but this was your first interview George Wallace, you you've got these guys finally brought to Justice. I mean, what was the driving reason for that my family's from I'm on. My father's side, my family's from Alabama and snow from snow Alabama, which is not that far Montgomery. So I've always been interested in that. And went to HBO is let's do it chilling Evans. Yes. She'll Nevis the great. Not late. No, not all around late of HBO, though. Yes. Yes. She's retired. She's all the documents. I did HBO. For her. Yeah. Man and the president Richard clip ler. Yes. So wanted to tell the story and speak to the parents, the friends say what would the question will who would these young black girls become who they become at? They had been given the chance to live now J who was not a friend of black folks, he was not a friend on the to rice movement. The FBI knew that week. Who did the bothers the guys nickname was dined? Bob, his nickname is dynamite. 's Birmingham, had the nickname bombing ham and black homes being bombed. So those murderers in not good jail. Fulla girls opened the film form I think like a two one and before I got a call FBI. They want to see the film. At the at the open, the FBI press charges against those guys as one of the things, I'm proud of that. But they died in prison. Right. Yeah. Now what you was that ninety seven ninety seven okay and did nineteen sixty three for thirty four years later. So those modify. Clam focus murderous terrorist, walk free all those years. The thirty four years the day at this open the got him they got him. But the crime is that they knew whose mothers were the week of the bombing. The guy's name was nicknamed Donna my bub yet. But I hate to say it. But like we got a woman in Mississippi right now who's going around saying she loves to be at a public hanging on and on and on. And she's about to get elected to the US Senate, Mississippi, people know this they're still parts of this country. Right. This is this Alabama. Well. Well. Those are those are two states. I don't imagine you're vacationing in anytime soon. In fact, the character Alec Baldwin plays black based upon that governments simpy well governor Mississippi 'cause I wanna ask you George Wallace to look George Wallace in the is the man who was the architect of all the bullshit that you're racist had to deal with for your lifetime and Welby for his thing known our shocked when he agreed to do. Yeah, interview. But and understood he was not long for this world right in. So what is trying to do with revise his narrative? Right. Revise his history of hate. 'cause he knew he's going sees maker. Did you want to expedite that process? When you were with them. No. I mean, it was really pitiful. I mean, I'm not because I felt so I form, but he was like a sale of the person. Quest felt saw a photo is black Bill nurse. She's we would die laughing. Like, spike. He gave me a look like why you've got me up in this. All right. And just said Gration now Secondly, I mean who stood in the door on the Alabama. So Vivienne Malone would not tend. I mean, it was a surreal moment interviewing George Wallace. All right. I'm going to go quick as I can't get to the present. But just how can I overlook for instance? He got game you're third with Denzel plan. The felon Ladda prison for a week by the governor to try to convince his son top well player. Yukons own Ray Allen. I'm Connecticut guy to go to the governor's alma mater your first screenplay since jungle fever seven years earlier. I original screenplay while tell that one. I'm a basketball fan, right? People always make about basketball. So by know, what the story was. That's why that Wyndham prior. Right. But it came to me, and, you know, people love that film absolately summer, salmon, ninety nine a film about the summer, you became likely, the filmmaker ironic, and in this case, not actually really even those called summer of Sam. It's not even really about the killings. Well, it's the backdrop yet. Now's the craziest. Yeah. That's some. It was insane. So his house some Osam happen. Vic Joe Michael imprio- league gave me that scrip malls working on clocks imperial have been Malcolm X, right and also appeal from depths pronto later. Yeah. So the scoop was called anarchy in the Bronx. And I liked it a lot so do it. And so we wrote it. Not really, but just add stuff. Yeah. Yankees Yankees all that stuff because I just remember that summer so memorable but them their viewpoint was is a town America neighborhood. You know, aren't the avenue and destroy actually happen. You know, where this God's accused of being the Sani be. He was might say was weird. Right. And so that was reason Nuff beat his ass. Right. As really about visit lanting mob. You know is horrible where the Lanta mom. You know, they gotta have a scapegoat. You know, a lot of times people get strung up to well. Yeah. Many Mott's Boisson it, absolutely Levin. Henry Fonda bamboozle two thousand black TV producer Damon wayans hoping to get five from the job. He hates puts on a mental show. But it becomes a hit sort of the producers model definitely that's where it came from a musical in a sense of backstage musical shot on digital for the first time. Why that Ellen curious DP we want and most TV shows were at that time with shot, you know, digital. So that was our decision twenty fifth hour drug dealer on his last day of freedom before beginning prison sentence. I post nine eleven Spike Lee film, made two thousand two it was a I deal nine eleven period. And so. So you felt that you wanted to. L knowledge been a great not late. Yeah. Yeah. Future game with own right and the novels written before nine eleven so the film, the idea was to preserve what I want to make this don't take polls eleven nuke city was dealing with nine eleven got it in two thousand six I think you had your most commercially successful movie ever with inside man back with Denzel for the fourth. Most recent time kind of no MAs in some ways to dog day after noon, which I know is one of your favorite. Yeah. That's that's secret. You're watching film several times in pre production. And I just wanna mention for listeners because I thought that I got such a kick out of this. If you pay close enough attention the same after who delivers the pizza in inside man is the guy delivered it in dog afternoon, except this time it's got cells on the I love, right? And while always get her name one of the hostages yet is hostage from that. Yeah. Oh, my go- one. That Clive Owen says taking clothes off. She was a hostage not Doug afternoon. Also, and you've done other links like that just for people want to go back and look again bugging out from do the right thing jungle fever as a homeless guy the cops who killed radio Raheem and do the right thing rests Wesley Snipes jungle, fever, right? I'm sure there are others that I'm not even aware of. But that's just kind of your wink to your loyal audience. Yes. You know, connect the world the universe, right? We'll coming off of inside man, though with that big of a commercial success. Did you figure that the next movie you can kind of have a little more freedom to make it about what you want to get the money? Wanna do it always had the freedom to do what I want? Whether I got that financing. That'd be the case. But I'm gonna make the film. I wanna make because my sense was you thought now's the time when they're gonna give me a little bit more financing to do one of these movies. I really have always wanted to do Joe Louis. Jackie Robinson, whatever. And it just didn't happen right now that that's not the way work crave. Differences. Jackie robinson. I wanna tell his whole life. You know powers. Be this wanted pick one year forty seven. That's not the story wanna take because he just show up forty seven use grandparents were slaves, right James Brown. That differ, viewpoint. You know? This is all about how you wanna tell that story. And I'm not gonna do some that, you know, I don't think. At this best for me. Right. Joe? Louis was going to be with the bud. Schilberg scrip. Yeah. Delake great. Yes. But should we very good friends? Yeah. We wrote a script called saves Joe Louis about the friendship of hey champions match melon. And Joe Louis, and you still wanna do that? All yeah. I made a promise to but of the one that did happen after inside man was miracle. Sana two thousand eight volume four members of the US army. Segregated ninety second division the buffalo soldiers fighting the Nazis in Italy at the end of World War, Two first film, and the fascist and the fascist first film that was made about them. Really? I read that one of the people who was kind of helpful in terms of providing viewing ideas of things to see before that was one of your favorite filmmakers and fellow New Yorkers Martin Scorsese, I guess that he kind of opened up his library. T- of older movies that might be worth looking at before that. Yeah. The time near realism films, and that was helpful very much because those films was shot shortly after the war. You can see the rubble end industry. I guess, you know, one thing that I always thought was kind of interesting that movie miracle San came out September twenty six thousand eight just over a month later November fourth two thousand eight Barack Obama becomes the first black person ever elected president. I guess just the contrast of the history, and then that moment help install. I'd never connected to now that I'm not my mind. Okay, there I was gonna just sit parked rain. So what did that night mean to you? This is that you had to have thought lap right ever happened. And this guy in the White House has really got a lot of the stuff got done got rid of will. So that's that's when Obama gets elected. Did you believe we turned a corner and then? You didn't I did not drink the post racial Kula who late right wasn't doing. And so then when Trump comes along the person more than any other prominent person who tried to de-legitimize that first black president, and he gets elected, what did that tell you? I knew way before we took it a full page ad central million dollars reward for clues leading to Commissioner page at New York Times. And this is a guy who doesn't spend money on any they'll Steph anybody, so he really had fashioned out. He might guessing wheels to pay. That's true. Never know. Definitely with him to sweep letter Jesus two thousand fourteen and then Sharak two thousand fifteen I one people see spike Lee's raising money for a movie on Kickstarter. They thought you'd fallen upon hard times. Like, what was the reason to go to Kickstarter is thing. I've always been a independent film have never, you know, I go back and forth where the money is. And with the film. I wanted to make this film and stills did not wanna make it. So that's not because the wanna make it is not a reason not to do it. But cow say this also our Kickstarter effectively. Megaphone calls the bottles and cans. Letters write host card, right? The principles of kickstart. I was doing in eighty five they owe you royalties. So is technology makes it right? Put you in touch with fans. So right. That had no problems doing that. No, no. It got it. Got the job got the film. All right. Black klansman true story. Ron stallworth black cop who in nineteen seventy eight infiltrated the KKK just to against seen here. The showdown between the racist and the anti racist. Charlottesville took the right to unite. Yeah. March summer of two thousand seventeen that resulted in the death of Heather higher on August, twelve twenty seventeen. How did that whole episode impact you and where you already at work on black klansman? We have pre production was a modest vineyard sought on CNN. And I knew that this had to be ending so aptly finish shooting. I got Susan, bro. Number. She's mother of heaven, and she gave blessings to include her daughter who's murdered in homegrown red wine and blue apple pie cherry pie active American terrorism, and that was a terrorist act, but the right people on both sides. Yeah, I do hope that people start on the stand this false narrative terrorism's only by ISIS or some Muslims more terrorism. By Americans anybody else is you look at the numbers. And also if I might add that hate crimes antisemitic crimes gone way up since this guy's been the White House as my belief. I'm not saying everybody else was my belief that if the president the so-called leader free world has says of different words at that press conference. If he would we aided hate if we had repudiate his active American terrorism. Repudiated the clan. All right. The nazis. I don't think we've had this. Great surge in hate crimes because is my opinion. That press conference was the green light. Yeah. Came permission. They had like the approval good housekeeping seal of approval. Yeah. Now, you got high school kids in Wisconsin, giving the Heil Hitler in photo. They're not even barest all this stuff. And then I mean who's to say with that act American terrorism and instant gone, Pittsburgh happened, right? I mean, that's death with letter bombs have gone out a me he was really what he did. That's wind that footage in there that press conference he was preaching to his. Hey, choir to me that if you still supported him after Charlottesville. I've ended friendships over that. I don't see how you can possibly justify continuing to support him after that whether you're black Jewish or anything else. Well, when money's involved when people pray amended knee at. At the alter the almighty dollar debts. You get this say fuck that guy got cut up. Oh, yeah. 'cause Shoji, you know, we have a great later with Saudi and Lord the oil. So one guy asked the die breaks Kerr's. All the. Isn't that funny? Because it's sad. It's is not making please audience. Totally emails not making light. Now. A brutal assassination. Yep. Both the point trying to make is that when you pray at the altar almighty dollar. You don't care can harmed hurt or killed so them price doing business is I got some. I gotta die. Elliot. Well, that's for Indies. And he's out think this guy's being bash about that to know he said, look, maybe. Talking about the maybe they did it. You did. And then the CIA, oh, even before that he knew that they? Saying the guy did it. He's like well unbelievable. I mean, he's the stuff is done to do digital system. Yeah. At the I CI everything I mean, well, so in the context of the Trump era where you kind of amazed to learn maybe you knew it already. But that forty years earlier a black guy had managed infiltrate the KKK. It's like a Mel Brooks movie. Join appeal called me with the pitch. I never heard of. And joining you how come you have to ask him okay to ask him, but he called which Cassie wanna greatest steel pitches. Six words ever of all time. The pitch was six words, black meant traits klu Klux Klan. Now you've worked four times with Denzel Washington. How did you in this case say not even auditioned on anything? I know the right guy for this is John David Washington, his son, our new ligon, do it. When did you first meet him for was born? When did you work with them? When you I work with him, Malcolm X, he's one of the young kids at in the film, the stands up in class says my name is Malcolm X, he was six at that time. And then you got to connect, you know, really back to history put in there for one of the most mazing monologues. Anyone ever see Harry Belafonte? Did he get his honorary Oscar same night, you got yours that was a different year different year. But why was important to put Harry Belafonte in this movie, we need someone who is a certain age because he's playing someone that I witnessed to this act of terrorism. Yeah. And also the weight he brings I mean, he's been a freedom. Fly all his life. He was their next king. And nothing like the say is that people forget, you know, there was a Hollywood that was really radical. He looked Dr king pictures, Paul Newman. Yeah. James garner. Even. Charlton heston. Yeah. They were they Burt Lancaster. Yeah. They were there marching with Dr king. No, and Marlon Brando very much, they'll write checks to. So I don't think we should get that. No. So to bring it full circle this movie premieres at can backing competition you'd been there over the years since do the right thing with jungle fever, which was in competition. Ninety one girl six out of competition ninety if the jungle fear is amazing sand did not get Oscar nomination because in can they gave award they made up an award for him. Yeah. He's so good. We don't have. We gotta make up award to give it to them. Supporting a word. I think I mean. Jack's performance and jungle fever is gator. Oh my God. Amazing. Yeah. So then you were back with girls six which was out of competition. Ninety six summer of Sam part of directors fortnight ninety nine but this time in competition. They applaud your signature shot, and you actually take home, some hardware grand prix. How did that all feel just kind of full? I would imagine a full circle moment. Novem vendors on the jury. And again, I like to say this. I've no problem with can. Yeah. I mean that thing then Benda's is not will never diminish the good times I've had there and and as honor the accepted where the income tissue not to graze what I feels the greatest film festival. There is always have a good time. Right there. And I've come to learn that time in has lot do everything. And sometimes it really gets over the hump things hat the stars had to align and the stars line with this film, and it started it can. Yeah. You know, this very timely film. And just one of those things that you sit back and just enjoy. It is interesting that you told people before the premiere screening, I think, and then also I think before the first LA screening at the academy, which I was at and you made a point of saying, it's okay to laugh lies that important to tell people I have experience in bamboozle aware of. There's a scene bamboozle with something funny. And the white always members turned the breakfast. Like, my lab, I gotta get permission right and blackboard fill out. Right. I said that because sometimes always don't know how to deal with the film has Umer with very serious subject matter. I understand that. So I wanted to give going members permission is okay. If you laugh, but the same time saying is still verts through subject matter. And so we do film like that. All comes down to balance to get the right balance between the tone and the serious subject matter. Right. And that's something that my man, Barry Brown. Great job in doing and getting the balance in this film, absolutely longtime editor school days. Do right thing. Better thirty years. Yeah. Malcolm X inside man to close which I know it's been a long one. But I so appreciate it. What keeps you doing this? The only other person who sort of has turned out as many good movies over as consistent pace as you is in its own way, the other New Yorker Woody Allen who I don't think it's going to be keeping his Clint Eastwood Clinton. Yeah. But not even at your you're talking like every year every other year with you. But look at Clinton, I'm easy. How old he now? Just got a call them. You'll know it's amazing. But he hasn't been directing for thirty five years or whatever every year. Well, all right. So what keeps you doing it? You could slow. You can relax you doing what I love. Okay. Last question you and your family, I believe something like twenty years ago, moved to the upper east side. And yet you still keep your production companies offices here in Brooklyn and come here from what I understand almost every day. Why you don't have to live where you offices make your life? Lot easier to have your office near where you live. My my wife said we leave Brooke air by in Brooklyn New are lift. Ringing a Bill four o'clock in the morning. Saying spike was my second cousins third grade class and my wife had enough to we gotta go, right? But you didn't wanna leave. I wanna leave wasn't gonna choose broken. My my wife and my daughter who's a year old. Does it tell us something about you? That Spike Lee may live in on the upper east side, but he is not left Brooklyn to be honest. Don't give a. Could be the answer to most of this. Right. People live what they wanna live, and I was not gonna Brigham family. Right. The live. Just didn't wanna move all this coal memorabilia. But now is not good Tien said, look, she said gonna make a choice right year old daughter me, Brooklyn. Great. And it was like the Jack Benny thing. What is this? I'm thinking. Well, this is such honored on this. Thanks very much for tuning into awards chatter. We really appreciate you taking the time to do that. And would really appreciate you taking a minute. More to subscribe to our podcast for free on I tunes or your podcast app. And to leave us a rating as well. If you have any questions comments or concerns, you can reach me via Twitter at Twitter dot com slash stop fiber. And you can follow all of my coverage between episodes at T HR dot com slash the race. Until next time. Thanks for joining us.