Actors Roundtable Chadwick Boseman Timothée Chalamet Mahershala Ali Viggo Mortensen Close Up


The Hollywood Reporter


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[Music] welcome to close up with The Hollywood Reporter Baptist mine Steven Galloway and I'd like to introduce Hugh Jackman Mahara Ally Timothy Salome Richard II grant Viggo Mortensen and Chadwick Boseman thanks for joining us thank you very much I'd like to start with the simple question is this a good time or a bad time to be an actor it's always a good time to be an act yeah good point yeah always what is surely this is a you know why the Golden Age in terms of the amount of work that is out there and quality work in different areas film and TV but I'm living in New York at the moment and I was just wrapped on Saturday night I have it one of the teams to saying there are 59 productions currently in New York and then that is a record and I am and there must be a lot all over the place so whether you're young or upcoming it feels like there's a lot of quality stuff out there when you decided to become an actor were you scared that this is a risky profession maybe you shouldn't do it my father thought that I was completely insane wanting to do this because when I was 12 years old in 1969 and Neil Armstrong just landed on the moon everybody in my ear wanted to be an astronaut so saying that you wanted to be an actor was as ludicrous to people then as saying that you wanted to be an astronaut because there was no precedent where I grew up and I think my father was genuinely worried that I spend my life in tights make up and be destitute all just come true or you grew up in Swaziland yeah what was the acting scene there and what makes you go from that to wanting to be an actor in based in England I think that you have know you know looking back I think you have no real choice about these things I know what you guys feel but when I look back on you know Kodak pictures that I had I had a shoebox theatre with lollipop sticks with little figures cut out on them from when I was 7 years old then went to glove puppets and string puppets and ammeter plays and it was that thing where it was a you know it was a childhood passion but whether that was going to translate into actually having a career you know people said to me how can you be an actor because you look too weird you've got a face like a tombstone so I said well it has become done he's very tall and has a long face you know it how about you do you think the altar against you growing up in South Carolina it wasn't even a possibility like it you know there was nobody my brother actually was into the arts he was he did musical theatre he danced because he did that I think I saw it as a possibility but other than him nobody around me saw that as a viable career even watching him it's not the same thing that I'm doing I think you're right it's it's meant for you to do I think you should only do it if you if you love it because it's not all the glitz and glamour people think it is it's really a blue-collar job you work overtime you sweat you get hurt you're an athlete you're everything that is necessary and you're pulling from things that most people don't usually deal with you're dealing with intimate parts of your reality political parts of your reality social parts of your reality that most people don't have to deal with on a day-to-day basis race in a way people don't have to deal with gender in a way people don't have to deal with on a day-to-day basis you do it because you love it you don't do it because of the reasons people think you know I want to be famous nothing is that's not what it is this interesting cuz that's never really articulated with the way we talk about acting the way we talk about the business we really don't talk about the the workman like qualities with within it and how you really only actually act between action and cutting like 10% of the target the rest of it is prepping for - the Wardrobe the costume and elements of it the building the psychology and getting ready for the piece itself the work of actually getting to act is so it's it's such a miniscule part of the experience that you have to love it that much that's not to say it isn't great because it's it's holistically it's an amazing experience but there's a real tax within it that you have to be conscious of going within it and say alright I love this so much that that all these little aspects that add up to make this the fuller experience I'm okay with you know the time sacrifice your family had you know you don't see you don't see them you like you really don't you just start like passing ships for maybe ten months in a year and I think it's in some ways it's good for people to know that because celebrities and storytellers are really elevated and so you asked me when I was growing up I never hear kids say what do you want to do when you grow up grow up and no one would say famous per se we could do a better job of really helping folks understand what it is and sort of you know demystified a bit so you so so that it's a little bit clearer as to like the work that goes into building these characters and telling these stories and how hard it is to actually do that well you know already have something that that people actually want to go see and walk out the theater and say like wow that was a great experience because if he was no surprised you about you're relatively new to this about the profession of acting I'm not sure that's a big question I felt a lot has surprised me a lot since pyar me I feel like I I'm not a very cynical guy to begin with but I've been made less cynical that's a good way yeah I feel like I feel even just hearing rehearsal to speak right now and we'd rehearse to play in the same space together four years ago in an like not a high budget environment at all and it's inspiring I feel now I think of the Green Book hopefully beautiful boy resonates in a similar way but the things that people want or they want like accurate reflections they want a mirror basically authenticity yeah and and I think coming into it as Hugh said like the demand for content whether it's Netflix or Hulu or Apple's making stuff I saw a thing that's at AT&T original and they're making things so there's so much out there so she's a young actor I think your first dream is like how can I be economically self-sufficient like that first time you could pay your check and you didn't do any other job you're like what that's success right there yeah yeah they people very often like you know they'll talk about how other people view the art and they'll say stuff you know like one day you're gonna make it one day one day you know one day and you're like wait a minute I paid my bills I love what I do and and I feel the same way about my work at that point in time as I do when my movie makes 500 million dollars I think there's a certain fulfillment of faith that doing this has because you you don't have a steady job you know no matter what no matter how well you're doing you're still trying to find what is the next thing and when this job is over you're like well what's the next one and if I know what it might be six months from now like what's gonna keep me going and so that that same faith that you had to have when people said you're gonna be an actor like that you were talking about yeah I think you you use that it builds on a day-to-day basis for every little part of what this is and if you don't have that from the beginning you don't necessarily have with it you don't have what it takes to do all the intricate moments is I love hearing you talk about the work for like quality of the business whether in film or theater H as a week it's you know it I had a teacher Lyle Jones at my drama school and on day one and he said dum all of you here you know how to act and on your day all of you can be brilliant and the next three years is about the other 90% of the time Wow quite take in what he was talking about but it's it's like that you can have a take it's just awesome everyone's grades but you're gonna be days where something's happening your private life or it's just not gelling or it's just six out of ten it's okay it's not great it's the day and the day out it's it's not just about the Superbowl it's the regular season it's the 163 baseball games to practice rights working out yes how much does self-doubt and perfectionism get in the way in all the years because I'm the oldest person in this table but my experience has been is that a common denominator that I've noticed amongst actors is this thing of having low self-esteem on one hand and large ego on the other I'm feel that my confidence is so index linked to whether I'm working or not or what I'm working on and always people say you know what are you doing next and if you don't have something next there's a kind I still think you know is what you've done before doesn't doesn't count on the one hand you're saying you know I want this job ahead of you guys but at the same time you think well I don't feel as worthy as those guys for the job well I think generalizing it's a it's a high-wire act and yes there's all these things you know I suppose we're wanting to make sure people understand yeah we're actually doing something from what we're paid acting is the easiest and most enjoyable thing that I know as an occupation when it works you don't have a good overview of it you know you can see the take after and then actually that wasn't so good I thought I was doing you know but and when it doesn't work it can be depressing that can be one of the most humiliating and because you're doing in front of people when I say it's a great time for acting we draw from what's going on around us conflict Beauty disaster chaos Kass is always there you know we tried to order we dress we brush our teeth we stop at stop signs but really the world is completely crazy all the time I think the world chaotic or do you mean your own inner life is chaos I think that I think people are for me anyway and acting is a very intimate thing you can't make a perfect movie anymore than you can truly be another person but the idea is to take on that person's point of view so that you can come as close as you can to feeling what it's like to look at the world that way and when you're doing that you are exposing yourself and when you're doing that with someone else you know like the in green book that if we didn't do that for each other wouldn't work two guys in a car and road trip it could be pretty dull you know no matter how sparkling the dialogue is you know in working with Marshall on Green Book we did that before we started we did it all the time because we needed to I think we both understood what do you think before you started I mean in how we spoke to each other we told each other things about ourselves in our lives we opened up and said well I'm worried about this I don't know if I'm I can do this and or how do we do this just says express your vulnerability yes you allow yourself to be vulnerable and if someone else does that in return then you're starting to move in you saw each other differently well we met about nine months before we started shooting and we had that moment funny enough not knowing each other where we were just sort of both you know having this introverted moment at a big luncheon with a bunch of amazing actors around and we were sort of found ourselves tucked in a corner we spoke for a while but I think that was the initial conversation that I think peppered the moment for us to meet later and to begin working it kind of set the tone for us sitting on a table and doing table time with a script and had connected in a way that felt deeper than the how the environment felt there's a lot of wonderful people in there but you only get to connect with folks I don't care how much you appreciate love respect you it's like two minutes I met Hugh a few weeks ago and he couldn't have been more kind you really connected with me for a moment I walked away like dang I appreciate that it was almost like Viggo and I but we got to talk for 30 minutes and so to have that and to connect and then step into about this and step into a project we brought to start shooting you had to we got to sit down and sort of share and communicate some of our concerns and fears and go through the script in a way that can you tell me one of your fears with the project Don Shurley is so different for me so physically and so when you're dealing with someone who isn't famous who does not have a presence in the culture and the that Don Shurley was an accomplished man accomplished pianist but no one really knew who he was no one would know what he looked like and so I got to see some tape on him that he appeared in this documentary called a little Bohemia and he's in there just in moments his voice the pitch was was quite a bit higher it was like up here you know and and I'm thinking about myself being 6 - mmm he's smaller shorter stockier so it was this negotiation for me and I was concerned about it but it was a negotiation with I couldn't go there but I could like drop it enough where it wasn't a distraction and then the fantastic ality you find I found like a happy medium for someone in my height compared to him being probably I'm guessing about 580 or something like that like you just you kind of like tuning in get your tuning fork right so that it's not a distraction to the audience so you just don't so that they can actually enjoy the story and not be distracted by a choice that they don't have anything to route it in yeah you know you were never able to meet him no he passed who did you meet Gary Hart yeah I did oh so Gary is 82 he lives in Colorado and was generous enough I really mean that to invite me up there to stay with him everybody who's met him knows him worked with him said he's hard to get a grip on he's mercurial he's enigmatic he's hard to define incredibly smart so I arrived at Denver Airport and he was there curbside to pick me up Wow the trunk of the car was open he was just waiting there on his own and I walked out on and shook hands with him and I mean his campaign people three of them had rung me said now when you meet Gary it was that kind of advice to that letter this is what so I was a little nervous because I was like are they giving me such a specific advice you know shook my hand and his other hand he placed on my cheek Wow and for about two or three seconds you just looked me in the eye and wanted to say this is gonna be okay I know this is awkward this give me account I went back to his house his wife had had hip surgeries so they were sleeping and the fold-out sofa downstairs so I slept in his bed so I'm sleeping in his bed he cleared some space and I was putting my jacket up you know I'm in his closet he was incredibly open and warm but I was nervous obviously about playing someone who was going to see the movie did you ask him anything that was difficult to ask we did go down to some turret I mean those who don't know about the front runner it's really the three weeks of his campaign which at the end of these three weeks he left politics forever right so he went from being the guy who was going to be the next president probably to never you know being in politics again it's the worst three weeks of his life we're bringing up 30 years later a really really difficult period I'm glad we tell the story because I think it had pride at his movie or the book been reduced to a joke a meme and this man's service and everything down to this monkey business and didn't he ask them to follow him around all this stuff but even that I knew it was gonna be super painful and I did ask him questions but I want my main reason to visit him was I wanted to be able to look him in the eye and let him know that I respected him and his story that I took it seriously and I never asked him I guess you're reading my mind yeah because it's also it would felt like and I mean this we're friends now felt like being with my father and there are things just don't ask III also didn't need to ask when you're with someone you get a sense of who they are without saying where were you on the night of you know we were afraid about taking on that character I I was afraid because the story itself I knew too too many people I'm not just saying to Gary but to Donna rise to the campaign team is a painful part of their lives I do think it's an important story to tell but there's no way getting around this experience is gonna be painful so are we on the right side of that line of telling this story honestly paying homage to everybody in the story not just one character and also personally I'm sure you guys feel the same thing I had a bunch of can I pull this off kind of fear right it's a very different type of character for me by nature and very open I've been harder than if you ask me a question you probably won't be able to shut me up and Gary's very private person so there were many aspects of it and ignite equality sort of a little more closed off that I was not a hundred percent sure I could pull off thank God I had a great team but yeah so there was personal fears as well as just fears for the product itself this right here is why people don't want to be in public life because someone will dredge on something you said in a moment 15 years ago and act like it's somehow and capsulate your life look okay well one more of these I'm not gonna sit here anymore we've covered all the stuff that matters - did you ask Reagan about his marriage no no no listen did you ask part of these questions are from rumors exactly about God's sake AJ just ask whatever it is you came here to ask or whatever your editor told you ask me this is beneath you before this round had began we were talking about self doubt and perfectionist right and you talked about how you get over that and I'd like you yeah at everybody else so I was on the phone with her mate of mine Richard Marx I said you know something about being a perfectionist and he goes I am stop I said what he goes yeah I'm gonna pull you up on that I said what do you mean he goes yeah I used to say the same thing I had my first number-one record I was 19 travelling the world and for the next ten years I used to say if ever somebody was gone I said well you know I'm a bit of a perfectionist so please excuse me can we I'm sitting in our hotel room this is Richard an alternate dawned on me like what have I done that's perfect I continued I don't anything is impossible so he said don't want to is great of course he said clearly I'm not a perfectionist I'm just insecure and it's just cooler to say perfectionist to say I'm a little insecure about what I'm doing already yeah and that's not as he said that's not an excuse for shoddy work you do everything as soon as you take away that there's a perfection the obligation yeah I mean also it's taking away the idea which is what you feel when you're alone thinking now I've said yes now I got to figure out how to play this character it's not all on you right I mean you gotta like put that aside and realize there's other actors in the scenes generally know but there are people trying to help you if you just open your eyes on a set generally people that are making a movie wanted to work they want to be able to say yeah I worked on that movie in it's pretty good when you go to see a movie you go or go to see a play you go in you you've paid your money I want it to be right you know and so the time that takes the pressure off and when you get to know someone a little bit and you care about how they're doing in the scene and then you're paying attention to them as a person - it's like you might there's a morning remember one morning you came in and you hadn't slept you know you had a new baby and the baby was there visiting and and you just um and instead of just going home and he's in a weird mood today how we're gonna get through this how am I gonna get through it's like how is he gonna get through it and it's just like what's happening what's going on and you said to me one time - and I said no I'm just not feeling well physically and yeah just that takes that scent okay well let's work on it well have you having maybe we're having a performance changed in the editing where it's not the performance you thought you'd given for the better I think always this is the the poet of a show you know you you write your poem and you sort of let it go in the wind it belongs to everybody else now I say that it doesn't mean that you don't tell the director hey I had a better take take two or three was a little bit better than that or I remember when you caught it from another angle there's there was a moment I think in some ways you have a journey then you have charted before you ever got to set and you remember these experiences that they're talking about that and that that's what makes it it's like you had you had an intimate moment with my Herschel Oh with Hugh and you're like now I remember that day like I remember what was going on that day I don't see the movie I remember I remember the connection that we had so if I see a first cut and I'm like well you didn't capture right you didn't capture what happened and I know you got the shot because you were close enough I saved this emotional part for this moment you've done all that you like I didn't give it to you on the wide I gave you a little bit on the medium when you got close I was like oh now I'm going to give it to you you did all that stuff so you you know what the journey is so if you don't see it you you have to say something I think hopefully you've chosen the right team of people around you you've chosen the right script of right director right producers and they have good opinions about this and they're going to make it work better so you you have to trust that in in most cases I think you know if you're sitting at this table you've had those moments have you ever not had that moment we or where you've been let down of course of course and how did you respond to it you just have to go to the next thing once it's over you've you said your piece they listen though they didn't you have to use that for the next thing you use those failures because that's what they are and every time you meet them you go to the next thing and you say well I learn from that and so now I'm gonna do it this way why doctor told me you at one point you say you have to protect your performance you wouldn't want that but you have to protect your performance meaning that when you come to sit you you trust the people around you but there are certain things that only you know and if you don't protect those things if you then then you're going to be the one kicking yourself later if the stunt coordinator is about to shoot to see before y'all shoot it and they don't know what your action is going to be and now they're there making this scene based upon the stunts as opposed to the acting and now you have to adapt your performance to the stunt they're going to miss something this is an art form but it's also there's certain skills that you learn to protect yourself to make sure that you get the most you know if you can do it yourself if you do this time you know when I skip out chemistry course yeah because you were talking about that you play essentially a two-hander in yours and in your film of last year you're essentially a two hand on I'm in the same situation with Melissa McCarthy and can you ever forgive me where you have to you have to have an intense relationship with somebody that is telegraphed or short-circuited with very very in my case little rehearsal time that we met on a Friday and started shooting on a Monday you mean you and Melissa McCarthy yeah so that you have to you have to make yourself vulnerable or open to somebody else in a way that it's almost like I'm imagine like speed dating we gotta go I'm gonna be in love with this person and I've got exposed myself physically and emotionally to them completely so you willingly go in there and it seems almost like magic in a bottle when it does work and you do have a connection with somebody and is riveted by how actors if they don't have that connection then have to deal with each other you see you see a love story of how beautiful how they are together you know they hate it how do you get home you do you go in with you know what you were saying you go in with the best intentions like nobody wants to go in and make a dog of a movie well if you go in with the best intentions I think it is almost like again speed dating or you go in with intention I am going to fall in love with this person and you hope that it works out you can't have beautiful moments or have something great happen unless you're willing to make big eggs you know you have that's part of the the vulnerabilities and it's like like take a chance and especially if it's a you know like a relationship that's really tight like that you guys have in your story right you have to be willing to kind of make an ass of yourself yeah well you completely right who's taught you the most about acting oh that's another big question I'm not forum I think well I went to a drama High School in New York so there's a number of teachers there I could point to which one Harry Schiffman would be the you know he's a teacher there who you know the importance of failure we're talking about I feel like I was bad so many times in front of him you get used to it then you have those moments of truth or chaos that are great but you know from the outside as a fan as a young person as a young accurate coming up like you know the Dark Knight came out when I was 13 I tried people with me you know I say that all the time but it's true I mean Heath Ledger Joaquin Phoenix Leo Denzel I didn't I did a movie with Lily rabe his name the actress the Fae rights daughter exactly she's David's daughter I feel like I learned so much that's the coolest you're good it's a remarkable dedication of being present in the moment and I don't want to sound cliche it or anything but you see like actors go in the control room and you're like well that's not as interesting to me as an audience member if you see an actor outside the control room like I think if he fled during the dark night are walking Phoenix in the master when he's opposite Phil Hoffman or I can think of a number of other things where you're like whoa that guy doesn't know what he's doing right now he's just living it and that's exciting because then it said that it's that mirror thing again where you're learning about humanity or that character or that version of an environment that they're portraying the movie but then conversely like they'll see things on stage sometimes where it's not about realism or naturalism like when you see Denzel Washington on stage and you're like he's otherworldly and you're not you're taking it all in it's not necessarily one thing so I think this whole film aking have to be naturalistic you've got to know what north of Europe yeah you guys know what story you're telling exist there's there's an aesthetic look we got with two categories drama comedy mm-hmm under that there's all these branches so an aesthetic can tone and you have to leave space for the directors voice the writers voice the actors how did that work on moonlight I'm really curious about that's it for me that's the closest you would get to doing documentary film mmm you want to feel like it's it's real you know other projects you don't want that that degree of realism like that you want to always be conscious of what what film you're in you always want to know what play you're in what story you're telling and I think and through listening I think your your compass guide you to what what world that is Hugh you've done very different films and Sean's how do you achieve that I mean when you're doing a musical how do you find the right tone so the higher the form for me things you know potentially like a superhero movie could be although now that I think they're morning so it could feel two-dimensional or arch or whatever or a musical could also I mean I couldn't get an audition as an actor when I started because I become famous even though I was it was a complete right turn that I got into musicals I've never sung before but then I was quite successful into musicals and I couldn't get a film audition because are you not an actor you're a performs I kind of scream like you have no idea how hard it is to make song appear and feel as thought and that's what it is and when you're working on a you know a Sondheim Laura Rodgers and Hammerstein and we were not allowed on Oklahoma for example we were not allowed to sing for the first three weeks so everything had to be a spoken dialogue and they had to make it feel real which is not easy when your first song repeats every line so in some ways for me the higher the form or more conceptual the more I'm gonna probably lean on being true to allow an audience to not feel weirded out by the form that all sudden we're singing you watch John Travolta in grease stranded of the driving now if you're in acting you read okay you go off and you have an argument she leaves and you're walking through the driving strand at the drive-in looking like a foot I'm like how am I gonna pull this off it's an effortless between the scene and the song you believe every second because he it's completely to the reality of the scene it feels naturalistic even though it's not so that's a beautiful theater acting advice I got was its acting on pitch and I gotta say being in New York when I was young you were such an inspiration in that regard he was pushing you did your one-man show on Broadway because you were doing things as well that liked to the superhero fan and me right like you were doing both I didn't feel like I think there was maybe a prejudice you know when I went to high school at musical theater isn't like cool or something and you were doing it so it was like he's in real life we have different dimensions of reality all right but the different heightened levels of experience we live in ritual at times and that can be heightened I feel like once you've done one thing so in other words once you've lived in a space or you've acted in a space that is say on stage that's heightened and then you you get in front of the camera there's a certain release that you don't have to go to that space in the vice versa when you're when you've been in that sort of intimate natural like I'm just breathing on space in front of the camera and you get it on stage you feel the exhilaration being able to go from one to the other like literally everybody has done it's it's it's it's a relaxing feeling that you have going from one to the other and you can mix this it's a fusion at times because you can be small on stage and you can be big on film right as long as you know when to do it what was the toughest thing about doing Black Panther for you was the particular scene was it finding that pitch for me it was it was the fact that as a person of African descent this searching for what my real culture is and showing that on screen and you know just being able to give that to an audience to say that I know so much about my past I know so much about my history you know as a as an African American I've searched for that in my entire life but but to be a person that didn't have to search for it what do you mean give it to me what do you mean search without your whole life meaning I think you bully being able to go through so far back yeah really the racial form when people say in El Salvador or you name a country you know exactly where you saying Texas as far back as we can go yeah you know you know having to having that as something that you're like oh not only do we do we weave out Donald ooh I know but I value it there's a sort of patriotism to something that is never been lost its agent and being able to hold on to that I it was something that throughout the movie I was like wow the weight of that is something that I have to convey to the world nothing like these other countries it's not clear if the world found out what you truly are what week was this we could lose our way of life bah Conda is strong enough to help others and protect ourselves at the same time if you are not so stubborn you would make a great Queen I would make a great thing because I am so stubborn because you could do that movie and it's a parody of that I did and that is insulting and so I think for me was constantly wanting to convey that this is real because it is you know it was constantly wanting to convey that to the audience and say no we're not making fun of this this is not coming to America this is watching the movie you feel yes it's a fantasy on one level but it felt very real I mean you're watching I'm completely in this historical mythological we didn't want to worry you know yeah you could feel it and a lot of it's not just a filmmaker who did it you know Google did a great job and and it's beautifully shot and all I said but it's the commitment that you and your cast mates have to that search you can feel that it's what's between the words you know you know you know for me it was just one of those things where I was like we want to make a superhero movie but that's not the most important thing here and people will will love the superhero movie if this other thing if they did this other thing for me it didn't make it movie changed your thinking in any way about life about the world about America I think the results of it did is the result of it the fact that because you because we will you know we have to do this we have to put everything we have into it you know I would say that even the way the studio responded the fact that they put so much into it I never thought I would see that just I never I never thought I would see a studio say yeah we're gonna put the money behind this movie with all weather basically you mostly a black cast sometimes we have we as african-americans we have the black version and it's not it's never as good it's never they never put as much into it and so it made me more idealistic about the world and about how things can go and that that could happen and for for it you know in the other places other production companies other Studios other projects that's aspirational for not just myself but for other people and not just in film but in you know other arenas you know I was curious you using from other segregationists the south and I wondered if anything you learned along the way surprised you the thing that I think came up most for me just in and going through the script and just looking at the characters in the story was Don Shurley resonated for me especially within the the black Canon of characters I didn't feel like he existed none of the things surprised me in terms of I wasn't aware of the green book first going into it but once I did my homework on that and that aspect of it sundown towns the thing like those there's pieces and moments that we've all seen but darn surely if you take a gentleman don't you know going back to to the 1960s who was educated at this degree of affluence and as this regal presence and his capacity for language I didn't feel like I had ever seen him before so I wanted to step into his shoes and and and offer offer that character you know to to the conversation dear Dolores de AR this is an animal as I'm writing this letter I'm eating potato chips and I'm starting to get thirsty and you know this is pathetic right tell me what you're trying to say yeah I miss her didn't say that but doing in a manner that no one else has ever done it before yes you're dealing with the 1960s and the the larger oppressive circumstances of our country but within that car within that within that Cadillac driving through the south he's in charge mm-hmm he is and he doesn't need to go on this journey he chooses to go on this journey to sort of make his offering and make an impact on on the percent perception and perspective of black people which was very limited not only in the South but in the north as well and but for him to go down where the laws are different was was a different thing so there's a degree of empowerment in this character that I had never seen who's making these films made you more optimistic or pessimistic about racism I don't think that a film can necessarily solve the problems what you find is that every person makes a city girl you know you some person one person comes in and what is it this is sunlight hits it you know some proper another person kills the soil so you you know that you're making an impact on the world you know that you're changing somebody's mind I'm making someone think a little bit different we learn from good stories and and that ultimately makes you feel better about the world but at the same time you know evil is always rampant you know it's always something's always happening you know we were talking about there early yeah with what's happening on both sides what do you mean what does that mean feel evil also is rampant was it means it's always rampant yeah well it breaks it going on in England otherwise yeah yeah evil or if it just misguided what would you say about mr. Trump do you think that's miscarriage I'm the moderator of this front ignorant it's any real life character like him you would love to play or that you would refuse to play well real life character you would refuse to play essentially several of you playing characters based on real life characters you know when you look at the world we say I would love to play this man or woman or I would not play this man or woman there's no character I wouldn't play that doesn't mean they're gonna let me do it yeah you know I mean you know people have this misconception especially someone's at a career that's gone on for a while or you're doing really well and you're in a huge hit movie well now you can do whatever you want and as actors we we have the privilege it's a mistake I'm saying no but saying yes is only possible if there's well let me throw this what I do you can learn climate would you play Othello all right there's no character I wouldn't play literally what do you mean okay for you as the white actor to play a black character oh what I plan on him I think that would be insensitive okay Richard insane no okay what about a transgender character would be fair for you to play a transgender character he's coming with the easy question we were talking about this thing and it was actually about Pete Farrelly being white being the director of being the right yeah and the other writers being white and someone was sort of in a very gentle very polite way sort of putting the question do you think it's okay that a white man directed this story green look and I said well do you think it would be okay if my harsh love fell madly in love with a short story about Scottish immigrants who become Cowboys in the West and about their descendants if he loved that story is there anything wrong with him directing that or directing us a story of a samurai movie in Japan no it's not one thing or the other the your question about a fellow obviously that would be insensitive and I mean why do you you know it's a difficult thing because I even as a kid I don't like being told no hmm it stimulates me mm-hmm I didn't like it when I was a little kid and I realized that animals die and therefore we do and I asked my mom I just wanted to double check I'm so am I gonna die and she's like yeah I didn't get scared I got really annoyed as I will have it'll get crackin yeah you know and so that's my mother and when someone says no you cannot the sometimes I speak before I think and I'll say well I can too yes I could try to but why should i what does that say beyond what it's going to obliterate no matter how well I played a fellow the overriding concern and interest and criticism would be why is he playing Othello so why waste my energy aren't there other characters I could play it's not a cop-out for me not to play a village just because he told me I couldn't that's it quit that's maturing that's growing up as a little kid I'd be I'm playing a cell all day won't and kids do that they don't care they can do anything and there's you have to preserve that as an actor you have to keep the I can do anything on a given day but sometimes you have to be an adult too it's a matter of taste you know what he just described you know we see is he gonna put on blackface and play Othello you know how we're we're artists in not just in in the matter of living out the life but we're painting a picture you even described it when you spoke of the voice and I'm six-two six-three do I want my voice to be this high you know is will that voice resonate in this time period with an audience or will that be a distraction so in this portrait that I'm painting if I put on blackface very similar to that as a matter of taste does that take away from what I'm doing and I in in as much as you're living out you can say well I can play anything you know when the ego is there and then the insecurity what can I taste taste also dictates you know that you know what frame you're in and how the audience is going to see it and if you do if you understand that that's part of what being a good actor is is understanding what what is this movie on me and what is the time period is man seen in and you're picking your projects based upon those things too and so therefore that doesn't work right now Tim if you're sending in the current climate that made you choose to play a guy wrestling with drug addiction absolutely addiction is the biggest killer in the United States right now it's over 50,000 people a year or died from this that's more than automobile crashes it's more than gun violence it's more than both of those combined a lot of young people go through this not necessarily methamphetamine that's what Nick chef went through I know I'm not only speaking from my experience I can imagine you guys to know people that have been seriously affected by addiction and there's still like a moral failing around it and weirdly I fill out with people my age there can be maybe it's not unique just to my generation but there can be like a glorification of it too and kind of like a martyrdom like yeah I'm destroying myself it's my right and that's really sad I feel even when we're talking here right now I'm looking at like I'm looking at always I've looked up to everyone basically at this table and where the we are getting the voice and I feel a real responsibility not in a fake way or in a facetious way not to be like inspiring but to point some way forward and beautiful boy the irony of that movie is it's not like the most uplifting unity in the world but at least there's a redemptive value in okay here's a story that maybe doesn't get honored all the time and and spoilers but but that that Nick survives you know that he made it through that there were four relapses in the movie he had 13 in real life and now he's eight years sober and I guess even when I just said is like misinformation a little bit too because it's a day at a time like he never made it that's that's one of the really interesting things in talking to people about the movie sometimes people are like well why was he addicted and like is he gonna be okay and I I kind of go oh you didn't really get it because that's not yeah yeah they were the Y is purposefully not addressed because that's not as important as the fact that one is addicted and secondly you never really beat it it's I guess you spent time with Ian and his father yes a father oh this very celebrated book what surprised you about the two then I was always wondering if the sons version it's actually the same version it's the father's fathers no well Nick Nick's book tweak is a dream for an actor it shouldn't maybe say it like that cuz it's such a treacherous terrible experience for that family but tweak is written in the present tense it is moment-to-moment he's not thinking ahead he's not thinking what just happened it's I'm gonna go do this I'm gonna go do this I don't have drugs now I need to get drugs here and David's is this beautiful like 360-degree view of how an addiction can affect a parent a family member a loved one a friend in a way that Nick describes it when you read it he didn't know how devastating what he was doing was to his family please I've been doing some research and doing research you gotta be kidding me dad you think that you have this under control and I understand how scared you are I understand why I do things it doesn't make me any different all right I'm attracted to craziness and you're just embarrassed because I was like you know I was like this amazing thing like your special creation or something and you know like Who I am now yeah who are you Nick this isn't me dad here this is who I am I think now it's surprising because we do Q&A is with them is just like their strength of character you know and the possibilities of love and something Greta Gerwig said to me could work in a little women right now the most important things in life are cliches and it is so easy to be cynical or disillusioned and it can be harder but as chadwick said it's not like you're gonna make a whole difference putting a little thing each times a little bit of this like you can impact a little bit and to again not like fake inspiring but try and help personal thing it's if you said you you know these things have made you less cynical to the rest of you feel more cynical or more idealistic but over the course of working in the industry no less less less less yeah I don't think I'm a bit like you I think I was very cynical to start with but no I it's an unbelievable job we get I went into acting because honestly it was more interested in trying to work out what's the meaning of life what the hell am I doing here I was 21 I wanted to understand things and actually if you're lucky enough to have your choice of projects every film is asking some question that we everyone involved in film doesn't know the answer to you you may not even get the answer while you're filming it sometimes you get the answer to Q&A and when you're with the people who knows sometimes it happens 10 years later when the film resonates in a way it didn't win it open the world storytelling is about simply trying to understand the world we live in and putting it in some mythological story form so that we can open our hearts rather than just hear everyone than just reading the newspaper we'd open our hearts to understand what you've just been through no I know people in my life have struggled with addiction and I don't struggle with it but I have no idea why or how and what can I do and it's a gift to be in a film like that for you at your age with your understanding and you hard to open it up to betray that is a gift every single person on the planet but there's it's not just 50,000 people it's the whole world do you think you know anyway big answers from that initial question about when you were 21 you know what is the meaning of life as you come to any conclude that this is your own conclusions but certainly curiosity that it's not about me that actually paying attention and listening and being open to other people and finding what connects us not what differentiates us is that to me is I suppose the closest I've come to understand one things I loved about and you have forgive me is it's a love story but with a gay woman and a gay man how did you think about that kind of love and did that change your thinking about anything to just speak about what you were saying before of what you've learned about anything if there was a something that John Lennon said just before he was murdered where he said that life is what happens in between making your plans yeah and I think of that as so applies to you know you're talking about chaos and that you try and find a way through all of this stuff and by having compassion and understanding of why people do what they doing even the people that's you know we've easily Mark and say well the brakes of people the trampoline or all that once you understand how somebody does something then compassion and forgiveness follow suit and I think that those are things that then love is part of that you know the world where you think were the majority oh there's all this evil is all this stuff going on the majority of us get along with each other for good or bad and I think that's you know that's always inspiring and setting that firmly has made us look at the people that you think are marginalized and shouldn't be have any focus put on them and and it does and in the middle of that you find that there's this bizarre platonic love story how do you get to create that character how do you work on it you researched you meet other people like him I know about you guys but Melissa McCarthy obviously had the book could follow that and it's literally the voice of the of the author so you get all the humor and warmth funds a Serb acoustic nature your character barely cliff in the book barely exists I knew that he had a little cigarette holder so I latched on to that I had a great friend who's in charge of firing best winning film you know the last century and he died of AIDS and he wore Ian Charleson he wore that's had bandana because he lost all his hair so I asked if I could do that but even with all that knowledge that you have or the road map of the script I still find that the day you actually start interacting with somebody something happens that I have no idea where that comes from in me and I see it in other people are here oh my god I can see how brilliant you are your reaction to something is that's that's the stuff that I have no idea what that is and every job I started I have no idea last time I saw you thank you we were both presently pissed some horrible book khadi am i right slowly flooding back to me you're friends with them Julius diamond yeah she's not an agent anymore she died she did Jesus s young maybe she didn't die maybe she just moved back to the suburbs I was confused there too that's right she got married and had twins that is you have died indeed that impulse to wanna be I mean from when you're a kid yeah to that end boss I want to be you yeah or I want to be you or you or you or you or you or Captain Hook or whatever depending on what grabs your interest in that moment that I really want to be you that impulse what you said you're trying to understand yeah the character you're playing because you don't an ideal you're not judging the character if you sit in judgment then I think you are already third eyeing on news with it so you don't really understand how something was what they do and that's how you help audiences understand no matter how reprehensible the character is actions money you're helping people understand characters but not judge them if you're doing your job properly I feel you know is so interesting you you start with the things you mentioned were the physical external things the cigarette holder the bandanna and if you read about Olivier it's the same thing I wonder if that's the difference between a British tradition and the American tradition when you created your character in green book who's pretty different from you once where do you start I think this thing about the is very antiquated this idea that the British America and I think it's a waiter and I think it's not very useful and I also don't think that people go oh you're a method actor why because I work hard and prepare my part I mean a method is whatever works whatever works for any given person I think when you ask like what you know are you less cynical now it's it's the people that you run across while doing this it's the fact that you see that people are going through the same thing you're going through they're searching for some of the things but when you actually meet the people you're like that's a cool tool you know he's he's cool like he's you know I really vibe with him and you when you have those in those personal moments that are not connected to the acting and then when once you go into the work and now you're sharing something it's like you know that it's happening across the way between you nobody else understands it the camera is capturing it you've blocked the camera out or you're using the camera whatever you're doing you know you shared something and that's what makes you less cynical it's a fraternity yeah amongst you with actors and actresses you know that this thing is is making you is shaping you and so I feel like and you never know where the help is coming you never know where it's gonna come again keeping from your home from your dresser the person who's who's dressing your your wardrobe designing anybody you know person was knowing your hair they may do something looking you know like oh that's it that's here well the conversations you with your makeup artist never start your day every day except the most important person Asians home every day what music yes you know all of that stuff you know like the film I'm swimming right now in New York this is called 17 bridges for the first two fittings he brought in the Indies coach and you know the directors very often talking about the silhouette of the character I feel like the silhouette is this I feel like you know I want him to look like that we know in the light or whatever and you're like okay okay I'm listening to you and he was like pick the coach you like the wardrobe designer listen to the director he watched me try on stuff third fitting game we're making the final decisions and I look at the coat that he brought every day I said let me try this on put it on looked in the mirror he knew the whole time and everything about that coat he's an artist is yeah it's like oh that's the character that's then that gives you something so so we work externally as well and then it gives you something on the inside it changes the way you walk it changes the way you talk it changed everything about who that character is you never know what is gonna be every role is different too right I mean you don't know what it's gonna be I mean we all have certain habits that we develop certain things that have proven to work I mean I I kind of leave it open to who's in it and what the character is the only thing that I always do is I just asked myself the simple question what happened before page one you could spend the rest you like a ruling that way did you find if he's still alive did you find out those things he passed away the same year 2013 within months of each other Marshalls character dr. Lee and Tony let's meet his family oh oh yeah what did that was invaluable to me I had I have to say I had a lot more resources like obvious resources at my disposal my hearse Allah did you know he had to do the way you put our love I had to do the math based on this rockumentary based on the music but you it was whatever you did it worked it's beautiful the guy who brought the story to be fairly Nick Val along that's his son well I was freaking out when I said yes I always do a little bit and if I didn't I feel like I'm just beginning jaded but in this case it was a little extra just cuz I'm an italian-american there's some pretty good Italian American actors out there I was like what am i doing what am i doing Pete you're nuts you're doing a drama that's already a big chance but once I said yes I said okay I gotta talk to Nick Vallelunga immediately he opened the doors very generously to everything he knew all the materials he had about his father recordings which we both listen this no well because he spoke about this trip about them and Nick it also spoke these tapes are like 20 years old right right yeah yeah yeah and and sound surely you taped him a little bit too and because his father told them all this is a great storyteller and he told them all this stuff that happened he says but if you're serious about doing this Nick you have to go talk to dr. Lee and you have to get him to corroborate and if he wants to add change he objects to anything being told so forth and I you know dr. Lee was particular about certain things and he told Nick first of all everything that Tony's saying here yes it happened and then I'll tell you some other things but I don't want you to tell the story until I'm dead there's a private man there's probably good reasons he didn't want to you know first family first whatever I think it's closer artists friends in New York knew about sexuality and other things that maybe his family did I don't know we don't really know but he didn't just knowing the time yes like and you we it's easy for us to forget in 2018 you go back to the 50s and 60s that people had had a lot to protect you're coming out of the lavador scare or whenever like there are real reasons why people needed to to own their privacy and you could throw all that away and as someone still wants to keep something private as a business and that's what and that's what do you want hey I'm just saying is salty and small it's cheating any question making salty to make it taste good without the salt we'll just yet of flavors that's the trick I mean think the basic things really get going soon if we expect to get to Pittsburgh bar dinner okay when I was in the army I know a guy from Pittsburgh except he called it Pittsburgh but he said all the women there had huge tits that's absurd Robert women in Pittsburgh have larger breasts and say women in New York disgust will find out how is the lack of privacy changed your life because Timothy and maja Sheila and Chadwick you're new to this relatively and overnight you've become pretty famous chanting some water on that dude it's insane it's insane like it's ultimately there are certain things that you cherish about your normal life that are different and you're not comfortable with obviously but at the end of the day I've already been very close to my family I've always like really cherished my friends and it just makes you do it more you know what surprised you most about Fame I what has surprised me the most is I was rehearsing this play prodigal son which was in the same space that rehearsal was rehearsing the play at second stage this was four or five years ago I did the play it's about a young person bursting out of their you know light of their constraints and whether cuz the tickets were too pricey at the theater or something basically no young people saw it which is fine I was happy to be working but I had this fear I was like Oh am I getting into something that's like opera or ballet or something that's becoming an art form that is not as viable or something and what's been I mean you know very inspiring about my experience or something is I haven't really worked on a commercial movie yet besides interstellar and they're like in there like art like calling Barney and was like an arthouse movie yeah yeah a lot of young people saw it and that's makes me really hopeful because it makes me feel like I'm starting a career in something that's viable and that as an art form is viable and then lastly I grew up in a building called Manhattan Plaza in New York that's an actor's building and people are grateful to be able to get there in come together for the year and like I said before economic self-sufficiency as an actor it's kind of crazy what are we doing so anything beyond that like maybe I'll regret saying this but like for at least for now I'm like this is we sat down for profile in in Fanta Barbara where you told your life story and I wondered how you felt oh my god suddenly my life story's out there and widely read online was it difficult for you has it been ever do is if I felt uncomfortable but I didn't not disrespect it at all at all I felt absolutely respected but I've been working professionally for 18 years so 16 year overnight success like and I've always had some sort of supporting principal position within a project but had gone unnoticed you know and so so it wasn't something I was accustomed to and and sharing you know things that are private about your life you know but I get that's that's a bit of the tacks that I go back to on this work and on the flip side I get to explore like the human condition and just get to grow so much from each and every one of these characters I go to sleep inspired because I'm thinking about the things that I want to be a part of and the people that I want to work with and then we all are this tribal folks who look for those projects that yes they entertain because they have to but they have something to saying you're drawn to them for a reason for me what's most important my relationship to this work is honestly not about money it is 100% about connecting to these stories in these projects and these characters and these lives if the tacks of it is that like there's aspects of your life that are no longer yours then I accept and I embrace that you just have to find those spaces that are still yours at the end of the day like there are certain things that you know you you set boundaries say well I'm not gonna give that part away hmm and people will get upset at times people say hey I supported you and even the rain for three hours waiting for looking within it but then I go wait you supported me when I was broke did you I go no I gave already gave the art to you mmm I gave the art to you you you enjoyed the art that's what I gave you this autograph you know I'm willing to give it to you but what I gave you before is what's real and so it for me I go that's great I love you this is the part that I have to keep so that I can continue to do the work and I think you have to know what that is for you if any one character in the movie the real life person that you would like to go on a road trip with I'll go with Melissa McCarthy would you Socrates I think is a good argument heating would be the wisest honestly I will get teary-eyed just thinking about Barack Obama I would man I would love to be comfortable enough to spend time with him and get to know him and speak with him but like that would be an amazing thing okay I swear to god I'm not piggybacking but that was the answer in my head but truly also to pick his brain about how he feels about everything I go Zora Neale Hurston writer and she's someone that was kind of erased you know as a writer and you know the vanguard of african-american letters men at the time they kind of I don't know they felt threatened I think and they they did as much as anybody else to suppress yeah you know the reason I was talking about her recently was because in connection with dr. Lee what I think this movie can do like Alice Walker did for her a lot of people will discover his music he's an amazing talent and then the jazz aficionados who sort of relegated him a little Mike reappraise him you know I think that that this movie does that and I've had my road trip with dr. Don Shurley I'm still what about you and and so I'd like to do one with her I have a lot of people but I think who resonates the most is you know I want to do a heavyweight champion in a world tour with with Muhammad Ali a little something I don't know this is usable but yeah from the moment I finished the answer that first question I slightly regretted something that I omitted which is it's not just a great time practice because the amount of good quality work but I really think for women for actors of Cohen mm-hmm it's a whole new world from someone who's been in the business 20 25 years I can tell you from where I started and the conversations were being happening it's like it's all opened up and I think it's amazing and the storytelling is I'm gonna get richer more surprising more vibrant and if our if our goal is to understand the world and the humans in it we please see stories about everybody you know and I think that's that's why it's exciting as well thank you thank you all my name's Richard Lee grant I'm Chadwick Boseman I have to be shouting you're watching The Hollywood Reporter The Hollywood Reporter actor round table actors round-tip actor round tea YouTube YouTube