– Santa Monica and Vinethat's just like legendary as, you know something out of a, “The Star is Born.
“- Right? With Judy, on roller skates.
– Right? Where you at CarHop, like she was in that movie?(laughter) – No, I had my little yellow rubber gloves and I was incognito.
It was fantastic.
– So there's people out there.
– One of the best jobs.
– That can say, “I drunk at this place, “turns out Renee Zellweger, – Oh yeah – “was serving back there “as a bar back.
“- Oh yeah.
– I can make a list of thepeople that I served in there.
It was the best fly on thewall job I've ever had.
– Big showbiz legends types? – Oh sure yeah, I mean let see, Billy Idol would come on there.
– Get out I just met BillyIdol the other night, crazy.
– Isn't he fun? – Yeah, he's daughter works, at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, believe it or not.
– I do believe it.
– I do believe that.
Smart guy, yeah.
(upbeat music) – I only read the firstcouple of paragraphs of any like story about thepeople that are making a movie.
– Oh that's wise.
– 'Cause that always, that'swhere the juicy thing.
I read the thing whereyou couldn't believe that they where asking you to play, to play Judy.
It was like, “Why would they come to me, to play Julie Garland?” – Oh sure, yeah.
– What they say? – I don't know if they everactually answered the question.
They just invited meto come over to London so we could talk about it.
So that, yeah we could just talk about it.
– So they actuallyponied up, you air fare.
Who turns down a free trip to London.
Nobody does that.
– Oh and by the way, they said, “Come over, we'll talk about it.
“We'll just take some picturesand see if you feel kinda “what it looks like, if it's possible.
” “We'll just see if it's possible.
“And then we'll go to, Abbeyroad, and record somethings.
” – Oh you were fish on a hook.
(laughter) There, you were done.
You could not say no.
– I could not say no.
– So what it the first thing you do when, I mean the legend, likeplaying Judy Garland is like playing Elvis, or you know it's like playingJohn Lennon or something.
What is the first thing you do.
– Well I mean there's a lot of material.
– Thank goodness.
– You watch everything.
– You watch everything.
– All of her, you know, her body work.
– Did you watch the varietyshow that she did on– – Oh yes.
– Oh that was a work of art.
– It was so good.
– It was stunning, andthe fact that nobody was tuning in on it, because she was– – Bonanza.
– Oh is that what killed it? – They were up against Bonanza.
– Did you know who wasone of the house pages in the studio audience helpingseat people in back stage? And wearing a little CBS suit.
– Are you kidding? – He was a CBS page forthe Judy Garland show and evidently helped, tend to, the kids for Lorna Luft and is it? – Joey- Joey, yeah.
Did they talk to you about it? – No, I didn't know that.
I had to ask him about that.
– Oh, yeah.
– I'm still fascinatedyou know when you go into the rabbit holeyou just get more greedy don't you find? I mean don't you find? – You get frustrated because you can't, you found this nugget, that explains the entire character and you can't find any placeto put it in the movie.
There's something that is, is there any way we can work this out? We had one thing that found out, I asked the JoanneRogers, he said you know, “What did Fred drink in the morning?” And Joanne said, “Did he have coffee? “No, he ate, he drankhot pomegranate juice.
” (laughter) And so I said, “How are.
No cranberry juice, hehad hot cranberry juice? And I said, “Is there any?” I went to Marielle Heller says, “Is there any way we can get it?” She says, “The mostwe're gonna be able to do “is have a, “glass of red liquid, (chuckles) “sitting on the counter whileyou're talking on the phone.
” I said, “Good enough for meas long as we can get that.
” – Well might explain somethings you know 'cause.
– Oh yeah.
– You know, you'll see it.
You'll see it.
– That's right maybe, some red teeth.
– How interesting, what was your? 'Cause it's different when you're playing a person whose lived.
– There's a different responsibility.
– Well not, I talk to a lot of people who had very specificlong-term relationships with Fred- Nice.
– Who could tell me all about, everything about him, how, what, the normal, how he took his work, how regular he was.
(laughter) – Meaning that he was, you know that he was very dedicated to doing this show in Pittsburgh.
But, Judy, you're dealing with the legend of, Fred has not gone through anykind of like bowdlerization that it has with with Judy.
I mean, they're the legendarystatus of everything that she's been through andhow she became who she was.
– Come on.
– No Sid.
– No, No! I'm working harder thanyou would ever believe.
– Are you? – And right now my husbandis making a deal for me.
That means I can start over.
– You're not listening.
– I have someone I can rely on now.
– All the stories are betweenjust individual recordings of certain songs like “The Manthat Got Away” and whatnot.
That, did you have, did you have anoverabundance of information you had to sift through? – Well, you know, how well, you try to be judicious about what it is that you take as fact.
– Consider the source.
– So there's a lot ofcontradictory information.
And a lot of it was, it seemed like, oh, the truth is in hersomewhere, but that's not it.
It sort of lies in betweenthese bits of information.
And there's so many biographies out there of people who claim to have known her that don't get mentionedin the biographies of the people or theautobiographies rather of the people who we knowknew her from public record, because it's familial connection you know.
So, yeah, I guess.
Um, I mean, there's neversuch a thing, is there? Because, if there's so much information, inevitably something's going to become repetitive.
– Yeah – In a way that okay thatsubstantiates the suspicion.
– The only thing that kind of helps, the only shortcut we have is in the choice of wardrobe.
(laughter) – Because, you have aphotograph and they've made it and then there it is.
So, but you know, – That's true.
That's the beginning of layering on the suit of armor thatdoes become something and I was, there was twothings about your movie.
One is when you're in the cab, you're trying to find aplace to stay and Lorna, the daughter says, “Are yougoing to sleep now mommy.
” 'Cause you took a couple of pills.
And Judy says, “No, theseare the other kind.
” (laughs) Means you're gonna go up.
So there you've laid downa foundation of somebody who was pretty strung out by the time.
Suffering from a lot of lifetime of taking mood altering drugs, just in order to get along with a day.
Those stories and thenputting dexedrine in her and Mickey Rooney's soup so they could get through those Andy Hardy movies, you know.
– You see you knew about this.
– It's not something that a lot of people were familiar with.
I wasn't, I wasn't aware of any of that.
– I can't remember, in thescenes will Louis B.
Do they make mention of any of that? – Yeah, just a little bit of it.
She can't sleep anymore.
– The woman is with her sothat's not my department.
– You look at that output prior to, “The Wizard of Oz.
– And she had already, I mean, she had already workedherself into a puddle in that backbreaking kinda quick.
Like all those big musical numbers for those Andy Hardy movies.
– And everything else that she did.
And how old was she made.
– “Wizard of Oz?” She was 16, or was she 15 or 16? – Oh men that tough.
– Yeah, she was just starting to, her body was just starting to change and I think that one of the tools that they use to keep her slim.
Besides binding her and trying to keep her weight downbecause they didn't want her to be voluptuous, becausethey had finally found a way to market her as the girl next door, and God forbid thatDorothy be sexy, you know.
So they found her and kept her you know, her weight down and the drugs.
– I was disappointed, that we didn't get to seeyou recreate moments like from “The Harvey Girls” or “Meet me in St.
Louis, ” or the ones where, – Right, interesting.
– Where she had but this is from what the reading that I did.
When she had that kind oflike negative self image that she wasn't the prettiestwoman in the world, on camera.
And yet, she's the onlyone you look at, you know.
I know, she's just ethereal, wasn't she? She was so beautiful.
It's impossible toimagine that she had that.
I don't know, that she'd been broken down to where she couldn't see it.
– The expression thatshe was able to put into what was I'm guessingwas pre-recorded tracks.
You know, the songs wereall pre-recorded somewhere.
– In the MGM? – In the MGM days.
– Yeah she talks about that, yeah that they would go in the morning and lay down the tracks.
And I heard that she didsomething like 28 takes of “Men That Got Away.
” Until she could recognize that everybody in the room was feeling itthe way she was feeling it and then she was happy.
– But then the recreation ofthat on camera to a playback and what you're not reallyimpacting the soundtrack because you are essentially you're miming or mimicking or recreating something, but her eyes and her face and the emotion that you put into that is, I wouldn't know, Iwouldn't know how to do that, you know, from the beginning.
And you don't sing for thelongest time in the movie.
– Oh interesting, I didn't think about that.
– I was checking the watch, and said, “Okay, this is amovie about Judy Garland.
“We're gonna get Bang, bang, bang goes the trolley.
“We're gonna get somethingright off the bat.
” And it is a long time before you sing.
– It's interesting, itdidn't feel that way to me.
(laugher)- Oh really? – Here it comes.
– Did you?- It's interesting, I didn't think about that, butI did know that Rupert wanted to establish this story in away that you would understand where she was in terms of her ability to access her instrument at that time.
So you wouldn't be quite sure whether or not she was going to succeed.
He wanted to set that up so that it seemed a precarious moment when she stepped onto the stage.
– There's a lot of educationthat you have to go on in your movie becauseI don't think anybody could believe that Judy Garland was broke, or that Judy Garland, – No, that was shocking.
was not wanted.
– Made no sense.
– Or Judy couldn't get a job.
No, she was always Judy Garland.
– Yeah, it made no sense to me.
I mean, she's iconicand deserves her place at the table of of internationalsuperstars for all time.
– Well, yeah.
– You know, so that she would be havingfinancial challenges.
– When you finally sungand the fireworks go off and everybody who's watching the movie has to collect the back of their head because you've blown them away so much.
(laughter) Those weren't prerecorded songs.
Did you do, you were you were recording those live?- Yes.
– And did you do them all in a row? Because of the block shooting, were you always in that space? No, we could do a couple numbers a day, there were a couple of days when we would have to cram ina lot of things on the side.
Like we did the San Francisco stuff, which also included a lot of choreography, and, then we throw in some, you know, which one did we do that day? Someone who loves me or needs me rather, oh, yeah, like, you know, just then but we had a week or something to get all that stuff together.
– It's hard enough just to go and figure out how to shoot the scene that you've sort of memorizeand familiarize with the text, but you also have to do all that rehearsal for the musical numbers themselves, which is equal to preparing for a Broadway show or something.
How do you get through a day? I mean, this is what I always think about when I look at these old musicals, particularly and Judy without a doubt, is like, “Man, they werein rehearsal hall somewhere “for, you know, a long time.
“Before they ever put on the makeup “and showed up on the set inorder to shoot it for real.
” What was the rehearsalprocess like for you? How much did you haveto work on those songs before you got around to the day that they were on the shooting schedule? – Well, um, the songs I started, by myself before any of the pre-production began after that conversation, the initial conversationat Abbey road in London, 'cause why not?- Why not? – Cause of course you say yes.
– They couldn't throw in you know, Buckingham Palace or somethinglike that in there as well.
– Yes why didn't I ask about that.
Yeah you know, that was fine, you drive and they actually let you that was pretty miraculous.
That, yeah, that was a good day, by the way.
Have you been to Abbey Road? Sorry to get tangential.
– I have, yeah.
– But I know you're a big music fan.
– Yeah I have.
What were the circumstances? They were pretty heady.
– Tell me, tell me.
– We were with Olivia Harrison, George Harrison's widow.
And, said, “Oh come on by'cause we're gonna listen “to some stuff.
” And we ended up going and you go to Abbey Road and everything is Abbey Road.
– There's that stairwell.
– And there's that, there's the studio where it actually happened andnothing really changes in those studios except the equipment, the walls and the floors and the piano and they're all pretty much the same thing as they always have been.
– And they kept the old boards.
– Yeah and there's a little room that you go up whereyou know, there's a.
And, it's stunning.
I mean you're vibratingwhile you're in there and it's not hard then to go back and look at certain photographs and realize that, ohwell that mic was right, that mic was right here andit was taken right there and, you hear the music.
The sound stages area lot in the same way.
What is now Sony Pictures, was MGM? – Yes that's right.
– And the proportions of the streets and the stages are allexactly as they were.
– And I think they've justbegun to do things like put up the list of themovies that were shot, in certain places.
– Oh outside of the stage.
– Yes I've seen that.
– And see there is like, oh, and the funny thing is, this is where they shot, “The Yellow Brick Road, ” was right here.
And you realize that, well”The Yellow Brick Road” is an awful lot of that movie, so it's probably on everyone of these sound stages, you know.
(laughter) One way or another.
It enters into that.
– Yeah, for sure.
– Do you know what this is? It's Lloyd Lloyd.
– Hold, please.
We can't fire him, can we? Hello, Lloyd.
Oh, it's nice to meet you.
– How many years have you been acting now? How many years.
– I got my firstprofessional job as an actor when I was, 20.
– What was it? I was at the Great LakesShakespeare Festival.
I got into the union.
I got into actors equitydoing repertory Shakespeare so that was (laughs) 43 years ago.
– So you, did you knowthat you wanted to do this? – No, when I started going to the theater because there wasrequired for some classes that I was taking, thatI thought I was going to be a lighting designeror a stage manager.
– Really? I thought that at being an actor was, this other.
I didn't know what youcould get a job doing that.
I thought you had to be like, you had to go throughsome miracle of discovery or something like that.
– Your were anointed or you.
Or yeah, or you went toEngland and studied somewhere.
You went to Juilliard maybe.
I thought I was gonna be working at like Marriott's Great America and the RoadrunnerTasmanian devil half hour, you know, thrill show.
– How did you get into that from Oklahoma.
– Oakland, California.
– Oh Oakland, but youare from, you were from.
– Your from Texas, so everything becomes Oklahoma.
– Goes that way.
Yeah goes that way.
You're from Oakland.
– Yeah, I'm from Oakland.
– Okay, so you always had, you always had.
– I ended up studyingTheater Arts for three, I went to junior college and I did a show.
I was in a play that did our town and then I was in StateCollege in Sacramento, and I didn't get cast.
This is funny all thingswill pass, all things, this too shall fade, you know.
I didn't get cast in the show at school and I thought I was an abject failure 'cause I had come to Sacramento to study, to be a theater arts major, and I couldn't get cast in a show.
But there was a play thatwas being cast downtown at a sort of like, notreally a regional theater, but a semi-professional theater company.
And the guy who ended upbeing the guest director of it invited me and a few other people.
To his real job, was as artistic director of the Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival.
And he needed bodiesto change over the sets because they were still in rotating, but everybody got a partin one of the shows.
And he said he was an Irishman.
named Vincent Dowling, and he said, “Tom, I can't pay you a salary.
“But I can give you somethingmuch, much more valuable.
“And that is experience inthe professional theater.
” (laughs) Which means like, you're gonna work for nothing.
– For nothing.
(laughter)- Which we did, but he was absolutely right because you end up doing it.
And then from there, Ididn't, without even realizing that I had become aprofessional actor overnight, meaning I was paid to do something I had just enough moneyfor, you know, gas.
And I got in, I ended upgoing to New York City based on the advice of some really great pragmatic professionalactors who I worked with.
And from there I you know, after that, it's all just how manycards land in the hat.
You know, I got cast in a TV show.
And next thing I know I'm in Los Angeles, trying to just being that guywaiting for the phone to ring.
– What was it that madeyou go to New York? I'm just curious because, there's that moment when you– – Did you have that? – Yeah I just ran out of things to do.
I didn't, I never consideredit as a profession.
– So you in Texas.
– Yeah, college.
– Gonna be a journalist.
– Did you go to Los Angeles or New York? – I went to LA.
– Okay, all right.
That was, I was from California.
– And you went to.
– I didn't like LA andI knew a lot of people that just kinda went down there and they disappeared in the mist.
And I was working with professionals.
You know, trained professionals who'd done an awful lot of theater and says, “If you come to New York, “you can audition for anything “that exists in show business, “from Broadway plays to you know, “being in the chorus of tour boat shows.
“You know, you could goout on the Princess Cruises “and sing selections from high button shoes.
“- It's a good job.
(laughter)- Which I could never do.
And it was just there and it was through.
It's really who you meetand somebody introduces you to somebody else and says some things and the next thing you know, you're in somebody's office.
And you know, the potentialand his new talent is kind of like coin of the realm and then they throw you out there and see how you do.
And the first thing I found myself, my first actual, I made apilot for “Bosom Buddies” but my first actual thing that aired on TV was my episode of “The Love Boat.
” I was on “The Love Boat” in 1980.
– What was the episode? 'Cause I was watching.
(laughs) – Well, it was with, I was on it and I was but for some reason, I was cast as an old collegefraternity buddy of Gopher, who comes on and hit on Julie McCoy.
(laughter) And then he pretends and theyalmost have a love affair but then they laugh but they gang up on me in order to make me feel like I can't, I can't get laid on “TheLove Boat” or something.
I was like 10 yearsyounger than Fred Grandy, there was no way we could have gotten it.
But I drove through the maingates of 20th Century Fox, where the set from “HelloDolly” was still up and I went on to stageI gonna say stage 24 or stage 19 or something like that.
And I was on the frigging “Love Boat” and when it aired night, I can't tell you what itmeant to my world, you know.
My fifth grade teacher called me up and said, “I can't believe my, you know, “Tom you were on “The Love Boat.
” It was a big deal.
– You made it.
– Did you have a party? – No, no, no.
– You didn't have anybodycome over and watch? – No, I couldn't afford a party.
So we just watched it with the kids but my son, my son Colin, he was, Oh Geez it was, he was only like three, maybe three or four.
And at the end of the movie, at the end of “The Love Boat.
” You know, it's sailing way and they show, they show the closecredits he started crying.
And I said “Why are you crying?” “It's 'cause you're goingaway on the Love Boat.
” He thought I was onthat boat sailing away.
It was very very sweet.
– Oh sweet Colin.
– What was your first? what was that first thingthat the world got to see you? – First thing, gosh, 'cause yeah, I did a lot of commercials.
– Oh alright, this is great.
For like a year, two years.
– My wife did 8 millioncommercials as well.
And I have to put them together and I'm astounded how many times I saw her growing up on Television.
– Oh you're kidding.
– I said, “You were in theKodak crank commercial? “Oh my Lord, oh you were inthat Coors light commercial, “oh my Lord.
” What was the most? What was a extraordinary thing you had to do in a commercial? – Coors light.
– Coors light.
Yes, yes I had to roller blade, down a hill carrying asix pack on my shoulder, in a bikini.
(laughter)- Of course, rightly so.
And by the way (laughs) And let's look at that clip right now.
If we could.
– Oh, thank God, I'm notgonna tell you where it aired.
So you can't find it.
– Well it's Coors Light.
Was it a national? – It was not.
– It was not a national.
– And now as I sit herein this pink chair, I might be glad of that.
(laughter) But, I just, I'm so fascinatedto talk to you about that.
Because you know that youjust had the inclination that it was time to go andyou had children at the time.
So that's a big decision that you're gonna take that chance.
– It was the only thing I knew how to do.
– It was the only skillthat I had any sort of like paths that I cansay, I have a resume.
You know, I did these four roles at the Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival.
Then after a second season, I said, “I have these eight roles “at the Great Lakes ShakespeareFestival that I did.
” – And where people pattingyou on the shoulder going “Yeah, good luck.
” Or were they encouraging you, because they could see that there was– – The other act, the greatfriends that I made there, understood that we were all in the same, we all have the same desire.
And that is to, celebrate storytelling, somehow.
We all just dug it morethan anything else.
One of the things thateven Vincent said was, you know, “Work in thetheater is more fun than fun.
” And when he said that I said, “That's exactly right.
“Because nothing else I do in life “is nearly as exciting asgetting ready to be in a show, ” you know.
– I've never heard that saying before and applies, that's theonly way to describe it.
– 'Cause you did plays and you studied in college like crazy.
– No I didn't, I didn't.
I'm like you.
I didn't get cast.
I didn't actually go tocollege to study acting, I was gonna be a journalist.
And I failed.
(laughs) It's a good thing, It's a goodthing to deal with sometimes.
– No I failed the typing test, I didn't type enough wordsand however many minutes.
I didn't make– – And so that's the onlyrequirement of being a journalist? – Well, to get into the journalism school.
So I was waiting to go the next semester and I started to work.
And I started working a lot and one thing led to the next and I started to think maybe – Okay, so outside of commercials.
– Yeah, okay.
– What was?- Like so long ago.
– What was the half hour orone hour or motion picture that they cast you in, that you ended up? – The first thing.
I did something with John Avildsen.
– Called “8 Seconds”.
– Yeah, okay, yeah.
– And you know, it's a blip.
I played the, you know, the indiscretion.
(laughs) – You were in a movie? – Yes, yes, pretty special, right? I didn't know, I wasn't sure.
I didn't know.
– Here's what happened.
– Who he was.
– You were in “8 seconds.
” – Yeah.
– And Even if the moviedidn't come out yet, the next meeting youwent to it said Renee Z, and in parentheses, itsays, in “8 Seconds.
” You're in a movie.
So therefore, you were automatically had this other tangible, you know, potential as you are walking.
– Yeah, there is that.
I think the first film film was, the first lead that I played was in the “Chainsaw Massacre.
” And it was a, it was an independent film that was financed by a local lawyer, who had somehow beeninvolved in the original.
And, yeah, the director.
Was doing it locally.
And that's where I met McConaughey.
– Oh! – Yeah, 'cause we'd done.
We had done “Dazed and Confused” together, but we didn't meet on that set.
– Forgive me, “Dazed and Confused” was one of most importantmovies of the 20th century.
– Oh, interesting, yeah.
– Where you a senior in that? Are you a bad girl, mean girl? – I was, I was filler.
I was, they needed more senior girls, but I don't think they had abudget for more senior girls.
And I wasn't cast out of Austin.
They had cast it elsewhere, but they said, “Why don't you come and be “you know, a featured player.
” So I had to be there every day.
But, you know, I wasjust basically watching and it was a great experience because I got to watchand come to understand how the different departments work.
– [Announcer] Ladies and Gentlemen – I can't – What do you mean you can't? There's an audience out therewaiting to hear you sing.
– My mouth, dry and it could fall apart.
– No, no, no, listen to me.
– [Announce] Judy Garland.
– I can't.
– You'll be fine.
Now, on you go.
(loud applause) – I was wanting to askyou so many things about, about your experiences in New York and the differencebetween playing characters that you sort of havea little more liberty in defining yourselfand discovering yourself and then playing thisperson who is well known, who is, you know, pretty iconic in terms of his appearance weekly, and the way that he influenced an entire generationof children of people.
And I was curious of a couple things in your process with that.
I mean, I mean, by theway, congratulations.
What a beautiful, representation.
– Oh thanks.
– I mean really.
– But that's just something that you do.
You have this, It's so– – It's scary.
– It's weird because your sucha recognizable unique person and yet you disappear inwhatever it is that you do.
It's really magic.
But anyway, beyond that.
– Okay, alright.
– I gotta ask you, what, inthe experience of playing him, how was it different to you, when you're, what do you look for in terms of the parameters? – I have played a lot of real people with actual people, Charlie Wilson in “Charlie Wilson's War”.
– Was so good Richard Phillips in “Captain Phillips” and a lot of times, JimLovell in “Apollo 13.
” And you get to meetthem and you get to say “Okay, for good or for bad, “I'm playing you, “so you're gonna have to make your peace “with me playing you.
“And you always have to make your peace “with me saying things you'd ever said “and doing things you never did.
” And you know, perhapsproviding motivations that you yourself didn'tfeel but at the same time, I want to be as accurate as possible to the behavior and the procedureof what you went through.
That's a really good bridge to work with somebody to get there.
Fred, number one is gone.
And the interview processes of which is you can't get enough of that.
I watched 8 millionhours of Fred's program.
There was an excellent documentary called, “Won't You Be My Neighbor?” – Yeah, was beautiful.
– That, you know, it's actuallya companion piece I think we were, when we saw that Iactually said to Marielle, who was the director of “A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood”, Marielle Heller, I said, “Is there a reason to actuallymake this movie anymore “after the documentary came out?” And it's actually a wonderfulcompanion piece, one for each.
The biggest challenge I felt, as portraying Fred was, the genuineness of him.
You think about it, he's not going through an extraordinary crisis.
He doesn't have a thing thathe wants to make happen.
He's not you know, tryingto get home from the moon and it's sort of big struggle.
He's literally just being Fred Rogers, being interviewed by a journalist.
– And I think becausecynicism is the default mode for an awful lot of him even as a actor I was coming on as what, “Is there somethingspecific that I don't know “that I need to somehow be able to hit.
” And his wife Joanne andall of his co-workers, even his two boys.
I don't think they hadthe language necessarily in order to communicatethat there was no agenda there was no, he was just simply a guy.
He was a cracked vessel who took his, who worked very hard at his job and took it very very seriously and I think when the jobyou're taking seriously is to make two year oldkids feel safe in the world.
That's not necessarilya real active choice.
You know, that's not there's not a lot of Sturm and Drang to it, there's no, you don't train for that, you don't learn how to fly a plane or something like that, you're not dealing with it.
You have to instead just embody this kind of ministerial quality, 'cause he was an ordained minister.
He was a Presbyterian Reverend, you know, but his church was this Television show.
And if you, if you'renot specific about that you're just gonna come offas some sort of like saint that always has benevolent, beguiling eyes you know and always has a gentle manner.
And the outside, MarielleHeller did me a great favor because in the first meeting we have, I'm sure you've facedthis as well as Judy, which is, how deep arewe gonna go on this look.
You know, I get a wig, you know.
But I got a very specifically shaped head.
I have specific teeth.
Are we gonna do, arewe gonna do his teeth.
I have a specific nose, we're gonna do his nose.
How far are we gonna go to reconstruct, our body, into these very well known, icons? And Marielle just said, “We'll do a wig andwe'll do some eyebrows.
“And that's that.
” I said, “Great.
” knowing that that's the parameters that, that tells me where I'm gonna have to make the construct of everything else.
– Celebrity, mercy.
– You don't consider yourself famous? – Fame is a four letter wordlike tape or zoom, or face.
But ultimately mattersis what we do with it.
– And the voice and the lilt in is voice and he's movement, the waythat he carries himself.
He's such a gentle presence.
– I had a great difficulty slowing down.
– And if I was going to show you, we were gonna sit down the movie, I would get to a point and say, okay, “That's my first day of shooting.
” They had been working for two weeks.
And this is my first day of shooting.
– Yes 'cause there's astillness that you embody.
– But compare that firstday of shooting stillness to a week later in which, first of all, Marielle Heller is you know, kicked my butt just enough.
And I have learned how to feel as though I'm not just wearing clothes, but that the clothes are wearing me and I become something else.
That, I am wiseacres and I talk a lot and I have a lot of energy.
And, to slow down, like that, how often does your directorcome to you and say, take more time with this? They never say that.
– Oh, no.
– They never say that.
– No, most of the direction that you get in a career is, speed that up, talk faster, act faster.
(laughs) – And you as Judy, I mean, you had this ongoing constant twitching that was going on that came from, you know, a different sourcebesides just a personality, but, were you exhausted atthe end of some working days? – Probably, but, you know, that's one of those things that you train yourselfnot to pay attention to.
– Yeah, yeah, right.
– 'Cause it's irrelevant.
You can't do anything about it.
So there's no reason to.
– if you look at a clock, there's a reason why you know your clocks, your watches never workwhen you're performing because if you actuallykeep track of the time you're doomed, oh my god we're gonna be here till 10 o'clock at night.
You can't let that, youcan't let that happen to you.
– No definitely not.
And with, you know, there are certain things where you don't want to stop anyway because you get greedy andyou just want more materials.
And it happened, I mustsay produce particularly when we were working inthe land of make believe And the opening I couldnot get enough of Fred, in Fred's house.
I actually I took napson the set just 'cause I.
– Oh your kidding.
– Well that's a comfy couch there and so I don't wanna go all the way back to a dressing room and there it is.
It just— And it just felt.
– I wanted to stay there allday when they finally wrapped.
It's like I gotta take off these clothes.
I gotta go back and be myself, again.
I'd love being in Mr.
– Ensconced in that.
– It was just so wonderfully familiar.
– And he created probably a sense, there is a different kind of peace.
– Oh very much.
And we had the actual, weactually had his lighting grid and his lighting diagrams, were what we used in the show.
– And Marielle went off and found these old Ikegami video cameras that are hard to find.
And so even if you werelike looking at the monitor of what the camera was saying, it was just, it's justwonderfully soothing.
– Oh how special.
– It was just beautiful.
– It was very pleasing though.
– So special.
– That's you know, that's you know, that goes beyond you know, the amount of bobby pins orhow much weight you've lost or you know, whether or not you really got the right slouch down or something like that.
– No, of course.
But, did you get from, Idon't know your conversations or, 'cause you were saying earlier, it's not really a proactive thing when your goal issomething that is sort of from your, its internal.
It's not something that youcan easily express physically or in the choices that you make, but did you get a sense that he recognized the importance of what he was doing? I mean, because we'veseen that he spoken out to Congress and all that.
But do you think that? And how did you capture that? – There was Tom Junod, who was actually the journaliston which the movie is based.
He was around a set a lot, which I thought was fantastic, you know, because if anybody knows that movies are gonna to make a talk of maybe version of what you really went through, it's gonna be like a journalist who did the same thing at some point.
And, I asked him about, the interviews and Matthew Reese who playsLloyd was the alter ego for Tom, went through the same thing which was experiencing the jujitsu that, Fred used as a self defense mechanism.
And, once he told me thatI was able to go back and there were all, Ihad all these tick marks from an awful lot of the interviews that he had done that we're just, “Oh that's that's wherehe turns it around.
” 'Cause even even likewith, any interviewer say, you know, Charlie Rose, they'll say something like, “Well, do you ever have a dark side? “Do you ever get very angry Mr.
Rogers?” And he goes like this.
He goes like, “Well, yes of course, “I'm just like anybody.
“There are times that I get very angry.
“And I'm sure that you at times, “sometimes have a greatdifficulty communicating “what you want.
” And so he literally just, it's like he allows a questionto Boomerang around him and come back on it.
And he asked Joe and Bill, and a few people at QED said, he was the master, at that.
And I think, it comes off as best, there wasn't a person who knew, who worked with him in Pittsburgh, who didn't say when youwere talking to Fred, you were the only personthat mattered in the world because he was.
That's what his connectionwere to these little kids.
And a two or three, see him interact with a two or three year old kid or even kids who just watched them when they were two or three.
Now they're eight or 11.
They are already sovested in the investment that he put into them thatit's by and large grown ups, speak to kids in a lot of questions, and, ultimatums.
“What's your favorite class at school? “Who's your favorite football team? “Oh, do you like to dance? “What your favorite kind of dance? “Oh, really, did you have a good?” They don't pause and wait for an answer they suppose onto them.
I don't, how can a kid havea favorite class at school.
They can have a fun class at school.
They can have a classthat they look forward to.
But the idea of themhaving a favorite class requires some sort ofjudgment that a two or three or four year old kidprobably doesn't have.
And he knew that, he knew that he would.
His ability to share, a moment in real time with somebody and that washis ministry with little kids.
But it was a self defensemechanism with adults.
– Isn't that interesting.
He was awfully good at it.
Because you think about it, if he's a minister, let'simagine he's a minister, and he's tending to his flock.
If someone comes into theoffice to talk to the Minister, they're not to talk about him.
They're coming in totalk about themselves.
And that's what he was always able to get, to get somebody to do, to talk about themselves.
And, Matthew Reese, wastalking about the amount of time that a journalist uses as an ally, as Tom, Tom would say, “Hey, I could always outweigh my subject, “I could have outwait them.
“I would just be out thereon the periphery waiting “for them to get boredor say something else “and then I'll find out then I'll pounce.
” Fred Rogers could waitthem out of the best them.