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Capone talks WALL-E, I WANT SOMEONE TO EAT CHEESE WITH, CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM and much more with Jeff Garlin!!!

Hey everyone. Capone in Chicago here. Sometimes you just know that you're going to like and get along with someone, and Jeff Garlin was just one of those people who I knew would be fun and open in a conversation. The man did not disappoint. I'm a recent convert to HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm," having watched every episode leading up to the current season on DVD in the last year. So when I heard that Garlin had written and directed a feature starring himself, Sarah Silverman, and a host of mostly Chicago actors and comics, set in Chicago, how could I not be eager to sit down with the man for a half hour and gab. In fact, for the first five or ten minutes of my time with Garlin we just talked with my tape recorder running while we waited for a third party to join us to officially begin the interview. We talked about music, Garlin's recently developed back pain, the lack of any decent record stores in downtown Chicago, and an event that I had been a part of the night before involving Jerry Seinfeld on his promotional tour for BEE MOVIE (more on that later). Garlin is a classic Chicago guy: he was raised here, gets back to Chicago as often as he can, he was a part of the Second City improv troupe for a time, and is a huge Cubs fan. He was torn slightly because his film I WANT SOMEONE TO EAT CHEESE WITH was opening the same weekend as the Cubs were playing at home in a rare playoff appearance. To make things worse, the one theater where CHEESE is opening in Chicago is mere blocks from Wrigley Field, which, in likelihood will result in some pretty dismal weekend box office results for his film. But as you'll see, Garlin is the kind of guy who expects the worst from everything, making all of the good things in his life all the more special and surprising. We talk about his voice work as the only human character in Pixar's next offering, WALL-E; the possibility of another "Curb" season in the wake of Larry David's divorce announcement; and we even dip into DADDY DAY CARE. Yes, I said it! I was doing this interview with one other writer, so it wasn't quite a one-on-one, but it's still fun. Enjoy…

Capone: So talk about WALL-E.

Jeff Garlin: Yeah, in WALL-E, I’m the only animated voice. I shouldn’t say that: I’m the only human voice in WALL-E. That’s the best way to say it.

C: You’re playing a human?

JG: I’m playing a human being, yeah, yeah. I’m actually the only human being who speaks in the movie.

C: Wow.

JG: Yeah, I have a nice part. I play the captain. I just wrapped, like, about a week ago, my voice. It won’t be coming out until June. [At this point a publicist comes into the room to drop something off and shuts the door behind him.] SHUT THAT DOOR!! WILL YOU SHUT THAT DOOR! [laughs] Yeah, so it’s…Boy, it’s a very risky movie, because it’s kind of like Buster Keaton meets SILENT RUNNING. Remember SILENT RUNNING? That’s what it is, so, yeah, yeah, it’s very much a strange…So, if they hit, it’ll be an amazing thing. It’ll blow people away, and they could…It’s a risky proposition, I think.

C: We were kind of talking with Jerry [Seinfeld] last night about how in animation in America at least, used to be geared more towards kids. But, these days, [with] the technology and the detail, you have to appeal to everybody now. Adults are going by themselves and not just as a parent.

JG: You have to appeal to everybody. But, that’s why Pixar is brilliant. See, the truth is, it’s impossible to appeal to everybody…not impossible, it’s next to impossible to appeal to everybody. [At this point someone hands Jeff a package of a Wet Naps-like product] Thank you very much. Thank you. Yes, all fragrance free. That’s always good. I’m wearing makeup. [He begins scrubbing down his face.]

C: Part of your morning routine?

JG: Well, no, I’m wearing makeup. I had two TV interviews this morning, and I didn’t have my makeup taken off. And, I’m not going to do another TV interview for quite a while. So, I want to take it off. I don’t like walking around with makeup.

C: I wish I had a camera.

JG: So, Pixar…That’s why I’ve said before, “Curb” is not brilliant. “Curb Your Enthusiasm” is for smart people, whereas Pixar has figured out…You can be the dumbest person on the earth or the smartest person on earth and get something from RATATOUILLE. That’s how they are. They’re the only ones making brilliant movies. Other people can pretend and aspire to be, you know, [but] they’re the only ones. No other company, animation or live action, is making brilliant movies, I think. So, there you go. [laughs]

C: When we were talking earlier about BEE MOVIE, you mentioned you were part…

JG: I did the table read of BEE MOVIE. They didn’t retain my services.

C: What does that entail?

JG: You sit at a table with Jeffrey Katzenberg and Jerry and all these different actors, and you read the script. Jerry called me and asked me if I’d do it, and I said, “Of course.” At that point, I wasn’t cast in any Pixar movie or anything. Yeah, it was interesting.

Question: And then you were replaced by René Zellweger?

JG: [Laughs] I guess. I don’t even know who’s playing the part I read, actually I read a few parts. I have no idea. I don’t care. I’ll only see it if…Oh, I don’t want to start. Jerry’s been great. He’s a really…I like Jerry, and I respect Jerry, so I’m not going to say anything.

C: [Chuckles] Okay…

JG: I mean, I’m just saying, you know… BEE MOVIE? You know…c’mon. But, my kids, my younger one especially, will probably want to see it, so…I can tell you this: It’s going to be a huge hit—gigantor. People love bees; they just do. Animated ones. Like raccoons. They’re really the most unfriendly animals on earth, but you throw a raccoon in an animated movie, everybody’s thrilled to see the raccoon. A talking raccoon, people love that. But, I’ve had raccoons by my garbage. They’re not pleasant.

Q: You could shoot them.

JG: If I had a gun. I don’t have a gun.

Q: For CHEESE, could you talk about what the origin was, the original notion behind it?

JG: The original notion was, I’m going to sit down and write a movie. [laughs] There were no big thematic choices, or ‘I’ve got to get this out’. It was ‘I’ve got to get this out’ in terms of writing a movie. I went to film school at the University of Miami, and I dropped out to be a comedian when I was 20. So, my intent was always initially to be a filmmaker, and, it sort of got sidetracked doing other things along the way with television and standup. So, I just sat down and said, “I’m going to write a movie.” And, I did. There’s no thought process deeper than that.

Q: I wanted to ask you a little about the construction of the screenplay, because, first of all, when you have a movie with a lot of comedians in it, there’s always the thought, ‘Oh, they’re just up there improvising and making things up’. But, the film has a very well-structured screenplay. It doesn’t feel like people are making things up as they go along. At the same time, it still sort of has a feeling to it like it could be, even though it appears to be this very strongly constructed screenplay.

JG: I wouldn’t use the term ‘strongly constructed’. But, it is a screenplay, and 95 percent of the movie is the actual script. When we were shooting the script, I encouraged every actor to improvise. I said, “Feel free to improvise.” They just chose not to, for the most part. Bonnie Hunt did more than anybody else. But, in general, people stuck to the script. And, the loose kind of feel is just my style. I’ll always be that way, you know. Overlapping dialogue, which I got from Preston Sturges…I mean, I can point to anything that I do that I got it from somebody else. It’s not something that I try, I don’t try to do overlapping dialogue to pay homage to Preston Sturges. It’s just having seen a hundred million Preston Sturges movies--okay, he never made a hundred million, but you know what I’m saying? I've seen his movies a hundred million times. But, seeing Woody Allen movies, seeing Billy Wilder movies, every filmmaker that I love has influenced me, and it’s not conscious. It’s unconscious. Even the MARTY stuff in the movie--except for the actual ‘I’m angry they’re remaking MARTY, but I’m even angrier I can’t get the part’ thing--outside of that, like me living at home with my mother, I didn’t even notice that [that was lifted from MARTY] until I was in editing. Literally, I mean, I’m in editing, going “Oh, I live at home with my mother, alone. That’s just like MARTY.” Really, I mean, obviously unconscious, I get it. But, it wasn’t something that I even tried to do. Boy, I really am a big bowl of organic. I really work that way. I don’t like overthinking things. I just write the screenplay, I do it. I don’t overthink it, you know. [Intones] “In this scene…” When I work with the actors, if I have to start explaining the scene, I’m in trouble. They either inherently get it, or they don’t. And, if they don’t, I’m in trouble. They all got what they were supposed to do. And, I wrote it for most of the people that played the parts, so it was pretty easy for them just to slide into it.

C: You mentioned Woody Allen before. This actually did kind of remind me of the middle period of Woody Allen, the ones that are more relationship oriented. And, also just your directing style--sort of planting the camera, shooting the scene.

JG: Planting the camera, shooting the scene! I’d love to do a movie of all ‘oners’, where it’s just, literally, plane-of-field, walk in and out. I love that. I don’t like a lot of cutting. I try and keep it as simple as I possibly can, which for some people…Some people, when they read my script, said, “Your script’s not very cinematic,” or they see the movie, “Not very cinematic.” Well, what is cinematic? I’m not John Ford out in the desert shooting these lush landscapes, and the camera moves there, and the gun and the thing. You know, I just watched Wes Anderson’s [HOTEL CHEVALIER] short by downloading. And, I’m watching…even the scene in the hotel room with the two of them, so much of it, there’s so much camera movement and stuff. And, I’m going, ‘God, I wish I could do that.’ Now, what I do--and that’s why I like keeping my movies short, I don’t want to bore anybody. This movie is 80 minutes. Zip in, zip out. All good--not a lot of camera movement, there’s some. I like slow camera [movement]. I’m doing it for myself, like, I love watching a Wes Anderson movie. I’ll give you an example: I was watching GOODFELLAS on Blu Ray with my wife, and that segment where he goes into the nightclub. I’m watching it, and I said to my wife, “This is why I’ll never be great. I can’t be great, because this is greatness, and I don’t have greatness in me. I can’t do it.” It’s, like, I get compared to Jackie Gleason. He’s the great one; I’m the good one. I’m good! You can’t stop me from being good. If I’m better than good, Good for me! But, in general, I’m a big bowl of ‘good’.

Q: But, in a film like this, if you tried to do any camera shot like that, even if you pulled it off technically brilliantly, it wouldn’t work for this type of film.

JG: It wouldn’t fit in. It’s not that type of movie, exactly. And, maybe, if I did the type of movie where they need a lot of camera movement and different things…See, I’m of the belief, for myself, that I do…Here’s the thing: I do plant the camera and just shoot, but I also do a lot of camera movement. A lot. But, you don’t notice it. I don’t want anyone noticing me when I make a movie. I want them noticing the story. I went them just, like, being caught up in that world. If they notice me, then I’ve made a mistake.

C: I’ve interviewed actors who got their start in Chicago--whether it’s from the improv side of things or more theatrical, the Steppenwolf people, the Mamet crew--there’s, like, a real fierce…and obviously, the way you cast this film, there’s a real fierce loyalty, like trying to pull in other Chicago people, whenever you get a chance, on the project’s work. Can you talk about that?

JG: Well, it’s not a matter of Chicago people, to be totally honest. I don’t know if my loyalty to Chicago has been worthwhile. It’s a great city. I love Chicago, I’m from Chicago. I’m just moving my parents here, back from Florida, [where] they were living. And, they’re from Chicago, moving them back to Chicago. I’m pro-Chicago all the way. It’s a loyalty to people who come from the same background as I do. Not as much Chicago--even though this movie is filmed in Chicago, so that helps--but it’s a loyalty to an improvisational…A Second City actor knows how to approach things in a way that makes it feel fresh and interesting and improvised, if you will, whereas a classically trained actor is not able to do that. Not that they’re not good, but for my style it works with that style. I’ll know this weekend, when the movie opens at the Music Box, whether it’s worthwhile to have been loyal to Chicago and want to be the Woody Allen of Chicago, if you will. We’ll see if people really give a crap. I don’t know that they will. Of course, being a neurotic Jew, I’ve prepared myself. I expect the worst, and then if…it’s a pleasant surprise. So, I’m expecting no one to come this weekend, but…Like in New York, man, you couldn’t get in on the weekend, when I was there doing the Q&A. So, I know that that sort of thing appeals. And, I don’t know whether it’s worth it, like, doing it in Chicago. “He shot here. He used all Chicago people.” I don’t know that anyone gives a shit. And, it’s only occurring to me today, by the way. You’re catching me at a moment where it’s really occurring to me.

Q: They can go to the Cubs game, and they can walk just three blocks over, and…

JG: Well, here’s the thing, that I tried…The owner of the Music Box knows, and I’ve been explaining to IFC that Friday box office will be fantastic, because there’s nothing to compete, but Saturday night, if we get 20 people at a show, that’s going to be great. No one believes me, they all go, “No.” I go, “No, no, no, no, It’s going to shut down. Everyone will stop, especially because the game’s in town.” “Oh, it’s just…” It’s not! When I first started doing my one-person shows at the Remains Theatre and stuff, I remember one night the place--big theater, beautiful theater--would be packed. The next night Jordan and the Bulls were in the championship. I was lucky if I got 20 people. Lucky! And, I know I’m anticipating that this weekend. So, I’m not judging whether Chicago is worth it or not on Saturday. But, Friday night, I’m judging everything. But, it’s also available On Demand, so a lot of people may have seen it already. I don’t know. It’s actually done great On Demand, and I actually don’t mind them. I’d prefer that everyone sees it in the movie theater. But, this little movie with no advertising, and the fact that people can see it at the same time it’s in theaters On Demand is pretty great, because at least people are seeing it.

C: When you were writing the screenplay…because obviously writing a screenplay is a different sort of writing from, you know, writing for the stand-up material. Obviously, there’s a different rhythm, a different structure to it. Did it take a while to sort of adjust to the different way of doing it?

JG: No, I just did it. That’s the point I’m saying about being organic. I just did it. There wasn’t any…'This is so different than writing stand-up.' For instance, most of my stand-up is written on stage. I record it, and then I will say it again, if I use it. But, I generally improvise almost all my stand-up shows. I really need to write an act. I’m not joking. I’ve been doing this for 25 years, and I think it would be nice to have an actual act. There was no adjustment, and then, I’ve gotten questions of, like, whether there’s an adjustment of being the lead to being a supporting person. No, I just happen to be on camera more. It’s just more of what I’m already doing. It’s not like I walk to the set with a swagger, you know, ‘I’m the lead’. Or, when I’m sitting at home and writing, I go, ‘This is my baby,’ I just do it. I don’t think about it, I just do it. I really do. I always love, you know, when I hear…actors do it more than anyone, that whole ‘Well, my character…’ I love…By the way, there’s a great line about how “My character wouldn’t do that.” Well, yes he would, you know why: It says so in the script. Of course he’d do it. Right there!

C: One of the perks of it being your baby is that you get to have your character suffer to figure out whether he wants Sarah Silverman to be his girlfriend or Bonnie Hunt. It’s a rough life to have to make that decision.

JG: Oh, what a horrible thing! Actually, in real life, they’re both actresses, so I’m not interested. But, I was lucky, they [signed on]. I wrote the part for Sarah well before she was “Sarah Silverman.” And, Bonnie came on while I was filming. I actually had separated ways with another actress, and I had Bonnie come on. And, the character’s loosely--and I use the word ‘loosely’--based on my wife. I wrote the scenes, like, literally the night, two days before we did them.

Q: In terms of directing, did you, like, seek…I know, like, Paul Mazursky’s in the movie, for example…Did you, before getting up there and beginning directing, seek advice from any other filmmakers?

JG: I called Albert Brooks. I talked to Albert Brooks. After I was done filming, I talked to Alexander Payne about the editing, some problems I was having. They were both very, very helpful on two levels. Not on two levels, on eight levels…I don’t know what levels. But, they’re both very, very helpful. Paul Mazursky…one of the scenes I filmed with Paul Mazursky was the very first thing I ever shot. Having him there, he’s a mentor of mine. Having him there was so comforting, to say, “Wow, something is really out of place here.” And, I can just turn to him and go, “Um, what do I do here now?” and he would be there for me, which he was. I’m sure I’m leaving somebody or two out. Harold Ramis was an executive producer on that movie, and I certainly asked him numerous questions as I was doing stuff.

C: Every actor that I know who has come out of the improv background sort of has a theory about when it’s good, and when it’s not so good. Do you have a theory like that?

JG: My theory is either it’s good, or it’s not good, And, you know inherently. This doesn’t feel real. This feels false and forced, you know. I went and saw the Second City show the other night, and, I have to say, there’s a style where people do things in the context of the scene where it’s, like, no one would ever say or do that. And, it takes you out of it. I’d love to direct a show there. Just to do one show there where everything’s grounded in reality.

C: You don’t think you could make that happen?

JG: Not that I couldn’t. I’m busy, and they don’t pay very much. If I’m going to not get paid, I’m going to make my own independent movies, you know.

Q: Improv has kind of mutated over the years, because it used to be about developing characters and stuff like that, and now it’s gotten to be, like, blah-h-h-h…

JG: "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" Most definitely. But, “Curb Your Enthusiasm” has pulled it back the other way, though, from that. The masses look at improv as ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway?’. As a matter of fact, I just did a gig in San Francisco, Cobb’s Comedy Club at their 25th anniversary. And, I was hosting the improv night. We did some really good improvisation with some UCB people, and it was really good. But, I think the audience wanted more of and expected ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway?’, which there wasn’t a prayer of them getting anything like that. That’s not how I work, or the people I work with work. It’s all so joke oriented. It’s like comparing, you know, Richard Pryor to, I don’t know, Don Rickles pops into my head. I respect Don Rickles, but I’m just saying, like, someone who tells jokes.

Q: Joke, joke, joke, joke.

JG: Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s, like, I don’t think when you see ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway?’, that’s remotely an art form. And, I think that when you’re doing it the way they do it on “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” it is an art form. I really feel strongly that way. Just to do stand-up in general. There are people doing stand-up who are hacks, and there are people doing stand-up who actually have a strong point of view and they respect the art form. Same with movies. I look at movies so much now as product, you know. How many times are you guys given assignments to deal with some piece of product. And, it is actually product. And, it’s crap. And, that’s pretty much everything that’s coming out of Hollywood today is crap. I mean, a very small percentage do you see something like Wes Anderson’s new movie [THE DARJEELING LIMITED]. I don’t whether it’s good or bad. Have you guys seen it yet?

C: Yeah, yeah.

JG: Is it good?

C: It’s good. It is good.

Q: Not RUSHMORE, but it’s good.

JG: You know, though, I don’t know that he’ll ever be able to hit RUSHMORE.

Q: It’s closer to that, though, than THE LIFE AQUATIC, which may have been a little too…

JG: But, at least, everything he does, he trying. He’s, like, “I’m aspiring to do something noble here.” And, I can’t say that about anybody, you know. So, that’s why I get excited whenever…

Q: Yeah, it’s definitely a Wes Anderson movie. It’s not, like, him trying to make just, you know, like anonymous work.

JG: Yeah, but any great filmmaker tries not to make the anonymous. As a matter of fact, you know what, I’m getting tons of scripts now, since the movie came out and it’s been well reviewed. And, they’re all terrible. Here’s the thing: I’ll act in a terrible movie. I will not direct a terrible movie. I’ll act in a terrible movie: It’s a short time frame, and you pay me a lot of money, and it’s bad, and I’ll know it’s bad. I won’t care. But, as a director, there’s no way. It’s a year of your life. To do something bad? Ugh! I don’t care how much you pay me. If you got me $10 million to direct a really bad movie--No way! Unless it was a joke that I played on everybody…No, if it was a joke that I played on everybody, and I made it extra bad…that I really fucked with it, and then I could do my own commentary, you know, explain what I was doing, and why I hired this horrible actress or whatever. That might be fun. But, if I’m trying to make it good, you know… A friend of mine actually is producing a Disney Channel show right now, because there’s not a lot of work for television writers. There are no sitcoms, really. And, I said, “You should approach it like a game. When they give you these horrible notes, write down the note, and then make it your challenge to do the note. You should write a book about all of this.” And, he is.

Q: He could write the anti-"Project Greenlight", or something like that.

JG: Yes, most definitely.

C: Do you think that the DADDY DAY CARE sequel suffered because you weren’t a part of it?

JG: To be honest with you, it did suffer because I wasn’t a part of it. And, that’s not because I’m so great. It’s all because of marketing. You put me on the poster, it’s going to get more people in there, at least in terms of the DADDY DAY CARE thing. But, also, the movie was bad. And, also, let me also say…I never saw the movie, I saw the trailer, but that was enough.

C: Did they try to get you in that?

JG: Most definitely they did. They did not offer me enough money. I would have gladly…It was a very short shooting schedule. I like [director] Fred Savage, he’s a very nice fella. Cuba Gooding: my kids are friends with his kids, he’s a great guy. I think he’s a great actor, you know, sometimes he’s not. I’m sure he made a good check. I don’t know exactly. All the money went to him, put it that way. And, if they would have given me a big check, I would have gladly done that. Gladly. I wouldn’t have directed it, but I would gladly been in it and done it, you know. I mean, the original DADDY DAY CARE I did for two reasons: One was, they offered me a starring role in a movie. And two, I got to work with Eddie Murphy. And, that was so well worth it. That was just a thrill for me to work with Eddie Murphy. And, I’m not saying whether the movie…certainly, it’s not the kind of movie that I would normally see, you know? My kids liked it, and lots of people’s kids…You know what the weird thing is for me? And, none of these people ever go to your web sites. There are so many adults who come up and tell me it’s their favorite movie, and I want to ask them what’s wrong with them. I really do, because I think it’s a pleasant movie, and it’s a good kid’s movie type thing, as good as they do them that way--it’s not like a Pixar thing. And Eddie Murphy, I mean, to be around him. But, an adult who has no child: I go, “Take your kid?” “No, no, I went myself.” Wow!

Q: If they took a kid, it could be, like, a Stockholm syndrome.

JG: Well, being a father, I have two little boys, kids’ movies are either horrible, or you don’t want to kill yourself, or they’re brilliant like Pixar. And, I made a ‘you don’t want to kill yourself’ movie, which is, I mean, the parents go there, and they can watch it and not want to kill themselves. I mean, I’ve seen some where I wanted to…I might as well just be screaming, “Kill me! Kill me! I’m trapped! Get me out of here…I can’t leave my child alone! I just want to be in the lobby! I’ll start smoking, if you let me out there!”

Q: I think we’ve done that a few times--not during that movie, of course… Does that mean that, if you’re going through submitted scripts now, you would contemplate directing something you didn’t write?

JG: Most definitely. Why would I ever turn down good material? But, I haven’t gotten it yet. I’ve gotten some things that are very funny, but I don’t help it any by directing it, like, anybody could direct it, that’s sort of like a mainstream comedy done in a way where I go, ‘Well anybody can direct it. It’s all there on the paper. Good, go just do it.’ I want something that I can…where my expertise, whatever it is I bring to the table, helps make the movie and helps mold the movie. So, yeah, I would gladly, you know, sure. Be stupid not to.

C: You directed that John Waters show [THIS FILTHY WORLD].

JG: That was more of a documentary on his one-man show. And, that was great fun to collaborate with him. I’m a good collaborator, and I’m good at staying behind the scenes, and I’m good at being not noticed. That’s what I’ve learned from “Curb.” I’ve worked with a genius, and I stay behind him. I don’t need to be, like, ‘Hey, look at me, everybody!’ I mean, it would be nice to get some accolades, but I have. So, it’s all good. And, I have a career from that show, so it’s great. So, I have no ego, or ‘I must write everything I direct’. No, no, I don’t think that I’m that great of a writer [laughs], to be honest with you. I prefer to keep writing and doing my own things, but any good piece of material, I’m thrilled to be around. They just don’t exist. Or, they’re not being offered to me, yet.

Q: Now the Waters thing, that played at Toronto last year.

JG: At the film festival, yeah.

Q: I think it’s coming out on DVD.

JG: It’s coming out on DVD. It’s been exclusively available from Netflix…And, it’s been available at Netflix for a while, but it will be available for sale anytime now.

Q: Okay, I was wondering how you came to direct that film.

JG: It’s pretty simple. We’re both with CAA, and CAA asked John, “What do you think of Jeff Garlin for this?” And, he said, “Great!” So, they came to me and said, “Do you want to direct John Waters?” I’m, like, “Yeah!” It’s all that simple with me. Yeah, there’s nothing more to it than that. And, we put it together really quick, and he was a joy to work with. Man, I dig that guy. Another guy I learned a ton from. I love working with these directors that I learn from; I never stop learning. Being humble and expecting the worst--fantastic! It’s not a fear of failure, no. It’s not a fear of failure, because I’m out there doing stuff. But, if you think that you’re great or what you do is so great and you know everything, where do you go from there? But, if you think, ‘I made a good movie. Well, let’s see if people show up. And, let’s see what the critics have to say. It’s all good. Let’s see what happens. I don’t know’, you know, you never are disappointed. I’ve had a couple of reviews where they’ve been mean to me, but in general, it’s been great reviews, and so I’m surprised and shocked! Great way to be.

C: That’s good advice for film students.

JG: It is good advice, you know. Just do what…well, don’t believe the hype. Be lucky! I’m incredibly lucky. I know so many people out in L.A. who believe the hype, and it’s so sad. They think they’re that great [laughs], and they deserve, like, “I deserve everything.” No, you’re lucky to get anything you’ve gotten. Even if you’re the best actor in the world, if you win an Academy Award and you get the role of a lifetime, you’re lucky! Tom Hanks is lucky, okay. He is lucky. And, by the way, I guarantee you he’ll tell you that. You don’t have a career like his, and you don’t the play the kinds of roles he plays, unless you think you’re lucky. It just doesn’t happen that way. Jimmy Stewart, I bet you, thought he was lucky.

C: So, are you on permanent standby now with “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” or is it done? Is this it?

JG: Every season I thought was going to be the last season. Because Larry's gotten divorced, it opens up…It was supposed to be our last season, for sure, like 100 percent. But, I think now, like, 50/50.

C: It is strange to see in the storyline that they’re actually making Cheryl’s character more overly an environmentalist, and knowing that's based on Larry's wife.

JG: That’s stuff he knows. We filmed it all long before any of that stuff happened. Keep that in mind.

C: Yes, I have, but it’s still strange to watch it play out.

JG: Yeah, it is strange. No, I’m in agreement with you. Unless you’re writing science fiction, I mean, there’s [the adage] ‘Write what you know’. I think when you’re writing about the human condition, if you can imagine the scenario, great, but people write science fiction, so you can’t say you write what you know. I don’t know how Martians would really be. But, you know, there’s a truth that comes out of you, that comes out of Larry David that is unique to him, of his own experiences. And, I imagine if you’re a science fiction writer, you put that in your story.

[At this point, the publicist comes in an brings our time with Jeff to a close.]

C & Q: Thanks a lot.

JG: Sure, sure. That's too bad, I wanted to talk a little bit about Ben Vareen. [laughs]


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