This is, without question, one of the most enjoyable interviews I was lucky enough to conduct in 2012. It's rare that I get to talk to someone with no real time limit, and I'll fully admit, I have the best time talking to actors or directors I consider (on the brink). When I talk to actor Noah Segan at Fantastic Fest 2012, I had seen LOOPER twice already, and was preparing to sit through it a third time. So to me, Segan was already a star.
Although I'd first noticed him seven years earlier in writer-director Rian Johnson's BRICK, a couple years later in the truly twisted DEADGIRL, and not long after in CABIN FEVER 2, it's his role as Kid Blue (Segan's actual nickname--a reference to the 1973 film of the same name starring Dennis Hopper and featuring Segan's favorite actor, Warren Oates) in LOOPER that really stands out as a breakthrough for the 29-year-old New York native. Kid Blue is the consummate fuck up, always trying to please his boss/surrogate daddy (Jeff Daniels), and always failing. Some believe that Kid Blue is actually Daniels' character in the past, but the deleted scenes on the recently released Blu-ray should put those theories to rest.
I was lucky enough to sit next to Segan and Johnson at Butt Numb-a-Thon 2011 and I discovered what an absolute film nut Segan is, along with being a guy with leading-man good looks who doesn't quite realize that talent combined with looks could actually push his career forward. He's a character actor perfectly happy in a leading man's body, which means one day, he'll likely be able to tread comfortably in both ponds. His unique position in the Hollywood food-chain made me especially eager to talk to him and capture his singular outlook at what it is to be a ground-level working actor (an admirable place to be considering most working actors don't make it out of the basement) with a promising future.
He's a wonderfully candid and funny guy, and we had a great time talking outside the Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar as he chowed down on chips and queso, with a side of deep-fried pickles (if memory serves). Please enjoy my talk with Noah Segan, and in the name of all that is holy check out LOOPER on Blu-ray as soon as humanly possible.
Noah Segan: Thank you for that shout out [on Twitter], by the way.
Capone: Of course.
NS: It kind of made my night.
Capone: That was my falling-asleep thought last night.
NS: That was the last thing I saw when I fell asleep, and it was like, “Awww.”
Capone: So did Rian [Johnson] write this part for you?
Capone: So it’s not just Joe that he wrote the part for. I figured anyone whose name is there name or nickname in the movie had their part written for them.
NS: I think yes, that is safe to say. I think I naïvely took for granted that based on my personal experience that you meet people that you love, that you truly have love for who inspire you and you work with, that you just keep doing that. Like that’s just what’s happening. [Laughs]
Capone: That Rian will keep writing a part for you in each movie?
NS: Yeah, well obviously he didn’t write the part in BRICK for me, but you just figure out ways to continue to be in each other’s lives, like “That’s it.” It’s like any other friend. Whether you or your colleagues here, you would still have to come to film festivals and watch movies. It’s like, I’ve still got to go work on movies, I might as well do it and be with people I adore.
But when he sent me the first draft of LOOPER about three years ago, and I opened it up, read the thing. My role in BRICK was a great supporting role, and I did a little bit of shtick; I did a few lines in [THE BROTHERS] BLOOM. I was not anticipating having a big role in LOOPER. I assumed I would do something, frankly. We’re friends and we love each other, and I’d show up and do something. I’d be an extra in a small scene or whatever. I read this role and I’m looking up going “Man!” He names a lot of his characters after his family. He plants a lot of his family’s names within his work, so I assumed maybe he had written this role and did not intend for me to do it, that he just named it after me. And then he said, “That’s you,” and then he stuck to it.
Capone: Just the nature of the role, and we’ve talked about this character and what a screw up he is, but did you go, “Is this how you see me? Is this some sort of personal judgment?” Or did he just know you could handle it?
NS: Frankly, I think that a lot of it has to do with first impressions. The way we got to know each other was through this very vulnerable, pathetic sort of foil in Dode--the character I play in BRICK--and I feel like that sentiment has carried over to LOOPER. Kid was a foil for Joe. In a lot of ways, I think in our friendship I think I’m a foil for Joe in real life. We’re very close and we're very different guys. He is a protagonist, this pure idealistic, very trusting guy when it comes to art, creativity and virtue, and I'm a cynical, scummy guy--a character actor [Laughs]. So I think Rian sees that, and that whether it's conscious or not, that’s the appropriate place for us. I think he probably also knew that I would understand how to articulate the antagonism without going evil. We don’t have to do that. You don’t have to do the cliché thing. “Don’t,” right? That’s when you make a movie for an audience that doesn’t need to see that.
Capone: Yeah, you definitely don’t. The one question that keeps coming up about whether Kid Blue is Jeff Daniels as a younger guy. It hadn’t occurred to me, but I thought, “What a funny thing that would have been if that was the secret.” There's a relationship there that is unique. For some reason, he tolerates Kid Blue--kind of like a father being disappointed with his son constantly.
NS: It's absolutely a father-son thing. I remember, like most young men, it has taken me well into my 20s to become close with my father. I am as close with my father as I have ever been now, and I think that’s something that’s sort of a common thread for a lot of men, especially men who are strong willed and left of center, who are rebellious. I think it takes a while to connect with your father in real life, and that’s a common thread. I found myself calling my father every day from work while working with Jeff, and if Joe is Oliver and Abe is Faigen, then I’m the Artful Dodger and again, it’s a foil thing. We make it very clear very early on that there’s a history between Joe and the Kid, there’s a history between Abe and Joe, there’s a history between Abe and the Kid, right? So all of a sudden, this concept of the foil is very applicable. You say, okay, if Joe is the rebellious son, we show the contrast by having Kid Blue as the company man.
Capone: There’s a line you have, I think after he gets his gun taken away from him where he says something like “I just wanted you to…”
NS: “…to say I did good.”
Capone: Yeah, I was just going to say “…to be proud of me,” which is what a son would say.
NS: He also says that.
Capone: And it’s so pathetic the way you delivered that line. I noticed it more the second time that there are these Western elements to this, or Midwestern elements to it, that most of them are embodied in you, because you are wearing the long trench coat and you carry what seem like old-fashioned guns. Was it fun to represent the Old West?
NS: It’s funny. When I’m an old man sitting in the Malibu colonies surrounded by my perpetually 20-year-old wife, then I can thank Rian Johnson for the wonderful career that he has given me. But beyond that abstract, the most wonderful thing that he gave me was being able to play a cowboy. He knows that my great love are Westerns, and I love a lot of modern Westerns--American new wave stuff in the 60s and 70s, [Monte] Hellman, [Sam] Peckinpah. These guys are my heroes.
And of course those movies have a dystopian tone to them as well, so I think Rian very graciously figured out how to make that fit for me as well as illustrating the redundancy of history and the redundancy of fashion and style and how silly that is. KID BLUE itself, the actual movie that the name is based on, is sort a goofy comedy. It’s a tongue-in-cheek, left-of-center commentary on really what the industrial revolution and modernity did to the spirit of the Old West, so it is completely applicable to our movie.
Capone: When did that nickname get assigned to you? What were the circumstances?
NS: I have a buddy in New York who is a few years older than me. I met him just as I was entering that point of my later teen years, when you really start to discover the things that will no longer be fads, that will be the identifying material you’re going to hang on to, that you are going to reflect who you fucking are. I had always loved movies, but I just didn’t have the vocabulary yet. That was it, “This is my opportunity” and this guy said, “I dig it, man. I see where you’re at. Let me tell you about Sam Peckinpah, let me tell you about Monte Hellman, let me tell you about Cassavetes, let me tell you about Warren Oates and Dennis Hopper. And I started watching those movies. Eventually this buddy of mine said, “You know, you’ve got to find this movie, KID BLUE. It’s completely out of print. There’s no where to find it.” And this is still 10 years ago, before you were renting the DVDs. We had Kim’s Video in New York.
Capone: I used to live in the Village, so yes I went there frequently.
NS: So he sends me to Kim’s, and he says, “You’re going to have to dig and what you’re going to find is not going to be pretty. You’re going to find a bootleg from Spanish television that’s a pan and scan with bad tracking of a beautiful cinemascope movie shot by the guy who won a fucking Oscar for GANDHI, but just trust me. Just trust me.” So I go and I find this movie and watch it.
I had spent a lot of time as a teenager being a rebel and a rapscallion and running away from home. To watch a movie about a guy who was this well-respected kid bandit trying to go straight, it actually made an impact, and I was young enough too that the humor didn’t quite get me, so I took it seriously. That's the thing: all of this shit that we look back on and we intellectualize and we say, “It’s tongue in cheek,” when we were kids, we thought it was serious. We didn’t know the allegory, and so I took it seriously. Instead of looking at Dennis Hopper and Warren Oates and going, “Man, these guys are goofy looking,” or looking at Ben Johnson and thinking, “Man, this guy is an old-style macho prick,” I learned how to hate macho pricks based on that, on this guy who was in on the joke. It’s like listening to Merle Haggard sing “The Okie From Muskogee”--you don’t know that it’s ironic, you know?
Capone: You have no point of reference.
NS: Exactly. And I’m very grateful to have had that. I’m very grateful to have not discovered that stuff at a film school or after I became a cynic myself [Laughs] and go, “I’m just going to find other cynical people to support my already-jaded views.”
Capone: So how did the name get stuck to you?
NS: So, my buddy Paul starts calling me “Kid Blue,” after I saw it. It’s a catchy nickname and it catches on, and I was the precocious young dude anyway, so people were always calling me “Kid.” That was easy. “Kid” was all right and “Blue” made sense, so that caught on. It probably ended up with Rian through Tom Richmond, who’s a very well known indie cameraman, a friend of my family, a guy I grew up with sort of as a godfather figure, who before I acted, I worked for. I wanted to be a cameraman. That was my dream. I wanted to work in the movies and be a cameraman and circuitously ended up in this acting thing. Around the time of BRICK, being a broke 20-year-old kid, I would stay there and Rian would come over and I’m sure that’s how he started hearing “Kid Blue.”
Capone: I know you met Rian through your BRICK audition, but why do you think you guys kind of connected?
NS: I’d like to think it’s because we like the same stuff. We have a really similar senses of humor, tastes. We're still turning each other on to shit. I mean the fact that we have been friends for damn near 10 years, and in the last year he turned me on to Warren Zevon is a testament to the depth of his knowledge.
Capone: I forget how young he is, because he seems so much older just with his tastes.
NS: He just knows a lot of shit.
Capone: It’s like he’s lived many more years than he actually has.
NS: And that’s like such a direct connection to the contemporary intellectual, the contemporary nerd, you know? [Laughs] Okay, the “Contemporary Nerd” as a proper known, that genus, is a renaissance man who’s capable of all of the various flourishes, and Rian very much is. And also I think we are complementary enough in that Rian can be humble and generous to a fault, and I can be reactionary and nasty to a fault, and I think, as much as we respect the intellectual connection that we have, we both look at each other and go, “Man, I wish I was a nicer guy like him.”
Capone: He’s put you in some really great company in this movie, between Jeff Daniels and Bruce Willis. Especially with Jeff, it’s wild for me to see you guys working together but it makes sense.
NS: It’s wild for me too. [laughs]
Capone: What did you learn from the time that you got to spend with Jeff? I assume you’re always learning about acting.
NS: Always learning? I don’t know anything about acting. [Laughs] He is the pro of pros. I mean here’s a guy who not only has this career where he’s a big-time movie star who’s been around forever, so you’ve got that going, but he runs a theater company. He is like legit. He is to his limb what Bruce is to his limb. In fact, I remember I was sitting in a chair off to the side on the first day Jeff worked, and Jeff was just reading his book, not ignoring everybody, he’s just a very stoic guy. He’s a very centered guy. He’s a guy who’s done this before. He knows how to get on the fucking horse. He bred the horse. He trained the fucking horse.
Capone: He trained the horse’s mother.
NS: Exactly. He’s the horse’s father, you know?
NS: This shit is deep man. He’s just sitting there reading, and I’m like so self satisfied with my hands on my lap sitting next to Jeff Daniels on a fucking movie set. “This is the greatest fucking thing I’ve ever done.” And Bruce walks in right up to Jeff, and Jeff leans in, they gave each other a hand on the other’s shoulder, and some language that only twins know as being spoken between these two guys. And they are, they're having a weird fucking top-shelf conversation in a top-shelf language that only dudes who have been pro ball players for decades can have. And after a good solid two or three minutes, I’m sitting there shaking a little bit, Jeff turns to me and puts his hand on my shoulder and he turns to Bruce and goes, “This is Bruce Willis.” [Laughs] He’s not unimpressed.
And that I think is something that probably helped, whether I knew it or not, the connection between all of these cats and Rian. It’s like that is a unifying factor with Rian, that everyone is fascinated to be there. Everyone is willing to let it show that they're excited about what they do, that they're not the coolest motherfucker in the room, and even if they are the coolest motherfucker in the room, they may still be excited to be there. With Jeff, all of the work we did--because he does have this stoic control of the character who does keep everyone at an arm’s length--we spent most of our time on opposite sides of the table, in vibe and literally.
I remember we had sort of a big scene where I blubber at him and I’m very upset, and a scene like that takes a day to shoot. I had prepared for a few months to be in that zone, like, “Okay, that’s what that day is going to be like man, you go and you prepare and you learn your shit and you do your mojo and do some prayers and light a candle and hope that you can pull it off and do it consistently.” We were starting our work and Jeff leaned over and he said, “You know, I’m not in the same place that you are when we’re doing this together. Don’t worry about me. I can do everything I need to do when the camera is on me, and you don’t have to spend all of those tears. You don’t have to drive yourself crazy in those shots.” And I made it very clear to him that that wasn’t what I had prepared, that with all due respect, I needed to do it the way that I had planned on it, which meant just being there and letting it kick my ass all day, and I kind of made that clear and he nodded, and the entire dynamic between us changed after that.
I don’t know that it had anything to do with me. Actually I think it was just a respect moment of, “Okay, you don’t need any help. We’re gonna to dance.” We shared a trailer, and that night he left the trailer and then walked off into the fog like a movie star looking like he’s in a dope movie wearing a fedora and a scarf walking into the New Orleans nice. He looks back to me as I’m sitting outside of my trailer smoking a cigarette trying to compose myself and he goes, “You did good, kid. We're in a good one.” And I thought “Alright.”
Capone: That’s weird, because Jeff and Bruce didn’t even have a scene together…I don't think.
NS: Well, we shot a huge number of the interiors on a stage, so they would overlap where we would be in it maybe at the beginning of the day, and they would come in at the end, or Bruce would be coming in for a makeup test while Jeff wrapping up. There were a few days there that overlapped.
Capone: That’s cool that you got to see them together, sharing that moment.
NS: And they definitely vibed it out like two dudes do. It was very cool to see.
Capone: So let’s talk about Kid Blue's gun.
NS:Rian had written in this skill of spinning the gun, and I had a lot of anxiety about getting the part in the movie, because you set up a big giant movie with big giant movie stars, and all of a sudden people become less and less excited about hiring somebody you’ve never heard of for the last big part, the last significant role in the film.
Capone: I don’t want to get sidetracked, but was the fact that he had these other people lined up who were, to varying degrees, proven material, did that make it easier or harder to cast you?
Capone: Logically, it would it seem like it would make it easier to bring you in because he could say, “Well let me get in this one guy that I want to get in.”
NS: I should say not a blanket “harder,” and this is just my perspective.
Capone: Yeah, you’re not in all of those meetings.
NS: No, but I think there’s a basic skeleton that gets formed, or “meat goes on bone,” I should say is a better metaphor as soon as you hire a Bruce Willis or a Joseph Gordon-Levitt. At that point though, it becomes such a commodity, with good reason, since it is a commodity now. Now it’s something that is worth money, and not abstractly so, because you think it’s good, not the way you would read a script or look at a picture. What that does is attract more money, and we can bring in a Jeff Daniels or an Emily Blunt or Paul Dano. And what that does is it gets a lot of people excited about how you can continue to do that. It’s a very addictive concept, like, “I’m going to hire good people who are going to make me more money." This is a win-win situation all around. And in the case of Rian, it is. In the case of Rian, the people who he could attract to play any number of these roles are not only well known, but they are also brilliant actors.
So you do end up with financiers and producers saying, “Well, why wouldn’t you hire so and so? They’re great. You’re going to get along with them. They love your movies. They love your script.” So Rian and Joe and Ram [Bergman, producer] really did have to go to the mat for me. These guys really did have to work hard to prove that I was the right guy for the role, and that it made sense and that maybe at the end of the day I would have a place. From a corporate perspective, businesses that are run like corporations, not like small businesses, they want to know where everything is. They want to have things in their place. They want a leading woman. They want a leading man. They want a good villain. And frankly at some point, everyone kind of realized, “Well, wait a minute, now we’ve got a guy you’ve never heard of. We can make it work.” And that’s when things became interesting. Of course, we were already shooting when that happened.
So the whole process to getting up to there was really nerve-racking and a big part of that--and we can actually segue into the gun question--was I wasn’t cast in the movie until the last minute. Rian couldn’t get a yes or no from the financiers really up until a couple of days before we started shooting. And so I was sitting around freaking out about that and I channeled, subconsciously, a lot of that into my preparation. Instead of going, “I’ll just pick up this gun and start playing with it, and that will be what’s in the script,” I said “No, I need to be prepared for this.”
So even though they were still technically trying to get me hired, Rian and Ram found one of two professional gunslingers left on earth--this guy, Joey Dillion--and they sent me to go hang out with him, and he taught me how to spin this gun that Rian had picked. Rian has this concept with relation to the movie where it’s not a post-apocalyptic movie, it’s a dystopian future. One of the terms we loved to throw around is “post-manufacturing.” This is a world where the only shit that exists is shit that lasts, that is hard to break. We're not really making new shit, and the new shit that we are making, like hover bikes, don’t work that well. So with respect to the weaponry, all of the stuff that he wanted to do was stuff that was going to be reflective of having been built to last. That’s why the blunderbust is a distillation of a shotgun. It’s the basic…
Capone: …pipe with a trigger.
NS: That’s it, yeah. It’s as low-fi as you can get and still have something that blows something up. And then the gat, the gun that the gatmen use, and I use a modified version of is philosophically the exact opposite of the blunderbust. It’s not a shotgun; it’s an extremely large hand gun that is designed for accuracy. It uses an elegant, large cartridge cart, called a .45-70 that’s four times the size of a Colt, of what we think of when we think of a revolver cartridge. This thing is something that’s usually reserved for big-game hunting and. The cartridge, the round, the ammunition is something that they fire at tanks, a .45-70 cartridge. It is within one or two of the largest calibers that has ever been put into a hand gun. And the type of hand gun that it is, it’s not a semi-automatic. It’s not this modern glock; it’s a single-action, side-loading revolver, meaning you have to cock it and everything is manual, it doesn’t do anything for you. It is the exact same technology that was used in the Civil War, man. It is a classic Western revolver that is simply about two-and-a-half times the size of what you think of, and it’s made as a lark, a really expensive novelty by a company in Minneapolis called Magnum Research that make it just, I think, as a proof of concept. It is the monster truck of guns.
So Rian’s like, “Okay, well that’s what you’ve got to spin.” This things is eight pounds! [laughs] So I ended up having to go to the nice people at the state department and get what’s called an entertainment fire arms permit, which is something that’s usually reserved for prop masters. It allows you to do one of the things that the government really does not want you to do, which is use, carry, and transport weapons that are not registered to you. That’s the whole phenomena of registering a gun, like, “Who owned the thing that shot the guy?” That’s what they want to know. “Where is it? Who owns it? How do we find them?” And the entertainment firearms permit allows me to take a gun home, so I can sit in my living room and spin it, which is also something you should never do. [Laughs]
Capone: I’ve got to ask you. Do you have the story of how Kid Blue shot himself in the foot? Are you allowed to divulge that story?
NS: That was in the script that he had blown his foot off at some point. My assumption is--and I didn’t figure this out until we were shooting--that I had become so diligently good at spinning this gun to the point where my fingers actually shape slightly differently still.
Capone: They look curved.
NS: That’s all callous still. But I had become good at it and I did it as a nervous tick. I’m sitting around for six weeks trying to figure out whether or not they're going to hire me for this movie or it's going to be Joe Movie Star, and somebody is going to convince poor Rian or hold his hand to the fire and say, “Man, you’ve got to hire this guy we're heard of who's going to put butts in seats.” So I’m standing around spinning this fucking gun freaking out. I might as well have been nervously masturbating for six weeks in the corner, crying eating wet cigarette butts in the dark like a dog playing with myself trying to figure out what I was doing. Instead, I was spinning this fucking gun and I became really good at it.
So I’m spinning this gun, and Rian started making the point that it looks too easy. I pick this thing that weighs seven pounds, this enormous machine, and it kind of just looks like a normal gun, and I’m like “I don’t know what to do about that, man.” [Laughs] “That’s not my department. What do you want me to do about it? How do you want it to look?” And subsequently he ends up shooting one of the scenes where I spin the gun, and he shoots so much of it because he's waiting for me to screw up, and we left that in the movie.
Capone: Yeah, that’s in the movie, where it falls off your finger.
NS: Exactly. I actually make a sound. When we were looping, no pun intended, in the ADR booth, and he goes “Will you just do a little “Uh!,” like a little “Uh Oh!” and I do. I make that sound. So I gave him that. It fits with the sort of pathos of the character, so we did that. I assume now that that’s some variation of how the Kid lost his other foot.
Capone: And you have to limp through the movie too, which I completely forgot about. That's like a classic villain trait.
NS: Shared with Lucas [Haas] in BRICK. He’s got a limp. But this poor guy, he’s already got a limp, then he gets his hand smashed, then he gets shot in the other leg. Let’s not forget as he’s hobbling through after old Joe has his massacre and he’s hobbling through the club, he’s been shot in one leg and he’s limping on the other.
Capone: I remember finding it incredible that you last almost the entire movie.
NS: I think, and you may have to corroborate this. You might have to do your journalistic fact checking that I know Ain’t It Cool News is famous for… (Laughs)
Capone: That’s what we’re all about. Double sources on everything.
NS: I think I’m the only other guy, other than Joe, who is in every reel of the movie.
Capone: I could believe that.
NS: Because I keep popping in and I’m hard to kill. You can’t get rid of me.
Capone: You’re the Terminator.
NS: Yeah, but the limp was tough, because I’m an over preparer. I like to do my research. The amount of pronunciation that that limp should have, someone who had blown off half their foot, we tried and it was too much. It’s like, I’m already the comic relief in this movie. I’m already the goofy hapless guy, the dangerous goofy villain guy, but you guys should have seen some of the tests we did of the limp. The limp has become movie magic a little bit.
Capone: People are starting to see the movie now. Are you feeling the rumblings? Are things about to start happening now that maybe weren’t happening for you before? Are you getting a sense from people outside of the festivals.
NS: I dig these festivals man, it’s like I’m just hanging out with my buddies who like movies. That’s been my experience.
Capone: But are people starting to pick up on this performance?
NS: Oh, I don’t know about the performance. I’ll be honest, and I hope that it doesn’t come across too snarky, but I love my job. I’m very ambitious. I want to do a good job and I work in indie movies. I don’t make any fucking money, man. [Laughs] I’m in the exact same boat that every other young kid in the world is in right now-- I’m a dude looking for a job, just like everybody else who eats a lot of rice and beans. When I’m here and given a very generous stipend by the nice people at the Alamo Drafthouse indulging in fried pickles and queso and caramel milkshakes, I am trying to do what is unnatural for me, which is jockeying for a seat at the grown-up table, and the grown-up table is packed. The grown up table is packed with Bruce Willis and Jeff Daniels and Joe, who’s one of my best friends. Because we're friends, he’s able to really directly inspire me and I can look at him and go “Okay, great. He can show me how to do this. He could show me the right way to do it.”
Capone: The template he has built is unbelievable. The transition he made from being a kid actor on a TV show to where he is now.
NS: He did it by being really talented, well adjusted and a really good human being. But I am jockeying. I am definitely trying to throw elbows to get there. I don’t really know how you do it. Like, to talk to you, you’re the level of person that when I started reading about movies, I wanted to talk to. I thought, “This is when you arrive,” you know?
Capone: You have arrived!
NS: I’ve arrived by being interviewed by fucking Capone, man. This is a big deal to me. You don’t even get it. So to sort of put it now in this mainstream wrapper, I don’t know what that is and I don’t know how to turn that into something. I assumed “you keep getting jobs by talking to cool people and finding somebody you want to make movies with,” and at some point I’m going to need to fix my car or buy a new pair of shoes or something. So I need a job and I have no frame for that. I don’t know what that is like and I don’t know how it works with the rest of the movie. I don’t have any perspective. I live there. That’s my home. If somebody says, “Well, your home is shitty,” you’re like, “Well wait man, that’s my room. I love it over there. What are you talking about? It’s got all of my stuff.” “You need to clean up your room” or “I really love your place. I really love what you’ve done with it. The rug really ties the room together," and you go “Thank you, I guess it does.” It’s hard. So I don’t know. What should I do? [Laughs] Give me some advice, Steve
Capone: I am probably the wrong dude at Ain’t It Cool guy to ask for advice. I have no ambitions to actually be a part of the movie-making industry. I’m like “I want to watch and write about movies.”
NS: The end game, the hope, is that I can be a made man. That’s the dream. The guys who I look up to, whether they're the Dennis Hoppers or the Warren Oates, or these days the Buscemis and the Roths and the Oldmans, the guys who are given faith.
Capone: Go-to character guys.
NS: Michael Shannon, Walken, these people who filmmakers put faith in--that’s the dream. That’s how I feel is when I’ll be really excited, and that’s what Rian has done. That’s what I learned on, somebody putting faith. You see that with good filmmakers. You see that with the Coens, with Wes Anderson…
Capone: The Coens put those type of actors in lead roles a lot.
NS: I guess they do. And then there’s guys who we forget. It’s very easy for us to forget. If you look at the first 20 years of Nicolas Cage’s career, here’s a guy who ruined his uncle's movie with his fake teeth. He's a guy who was a left-of-center weird-o until somebody said, “Be a left-of-center weird-o and blow up Alcatraz.” Who had a year or so beforehand drank himself to death and won an Oscar for it. So I’m very optimistic, but I don’t know how you do that. If someone is listening, could you take me aside? [Laughs] I feel like that’s what happens.
Capone: I’m so outside of knowing how it really works, but that’s just how it feels.
NS: There’s a famous phrase, and I forget who said it, but they said that there are three stages of your career. There is “Who is Noah Segan?” “Get me Noah Segan.” And then “Get me a Noah Segan type.” [Actually, the fourth and fifth line of this quote--from an actress named Dolores Faith--are "Get me a young Noah Segan" and finally "Who is Noah Segan?"]
Capone: There you go. Thanks so much, Noah. I was great to finally do this with you.
NS: Thank you. I’m sorry, I hope I didn't talk too much.