Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Random Thoughts with Jeff Goldblum

Get ready Jeff Goldblum fans - tonight at 10:00 PM on USA Network you can catch him on the Season 9 premiere of Law & Order: Criminal Intent.

We were lucky enough to participate in an interview with “The Fly” star this week and, as always, he did not disappoint. Sure he talked about the new season and all the controversial series changes. But he also covered those internet death rumors, his favorite hobby (he’s a jazz pianist), some of his movie roles, and our personal favorite Goldblum career highlight, Tenspeed and Brownshoe.

Read what Goldblum had to say and watch our red carpet interview with Goldblum at last summer’s Oceana event where he talked about bee keeping and curling. Here are some of our random thoughts of Jeff Goldblum.

Q: How was it being dead?  And, how was it giving your own eulogy on the Colbert Report?

JEFF: Those are great questions. Well, I love the Colbert Report. I’m a fan of that show and him anyway, and when they asked me to do that, I was delighted because they are smart. I get a big kick out of their sense of humor and I thought they came up with something funny for that and it was delightful to do it.

The whole incident was bizarre and engendered a rainbow of feelings in me, of course. It was upsetting. People called who hadn’t heard right away or had—and would be—and called up sad. Nobody, thankfully, ran their car off the road or had a heart attack or anything, but there was some trauma. And for that, I would dissuade people from doing this. And I’m sorry that it happened and all of that.

But it was not of little interest to me to get in touch with, in some cases, people I hadn’t been in touch with for a while. And said oh, my gosh, is it true… I’m glad you’re alive and it made me think of you and all that kind of stuff. And it was trippy, trippy.

The first movie I ever remembered getting moved at was a movie called Gigot. I don’t know if anybody will know this. It’s a little known movie, I think, from the early '60s probably when I was a kid. With Jackie Gleason, and he plays a sort of a mute village poor soul and at the end of the movie, everybody sort of mistreats him. And at the end of the movie, they think mistakenly he’s dead. And then realize how much they cared for him, in fact, and give him a big funeral. And he, in fact, is alive and shows up secretly for a moment, peaking from behind a tree and seeing the funeral and getting teary and weepy himself. And then they see him and the whole movie ends in this sort of light-hearted way.

But I remember crying at that. It was the first movie I ever remember getting very moved at. So there’s something in that whole situation that’s kind of--I’m sensitive to, I think.

Q: How is it different working on a series than doing films and recurring roles? And do you enjoy one more than the other?

JEFF: I’m having as good a time as I’ve ever had right now. And there are some obvious differences that I’m sure you’ve heard about before. I mean, first of all, for me this is the longest, now, the longest job I’ve ever had. I’ve never had a movie that lasted this long and I never did a series this long. So now, into the second season, it’s the longest job of any kind that I’ve ever had.

So that’s a little different. I see the same people, happily, every day. That feels familiar and family like. And I’m enjoying that. And the character, you’ve heard people talk about this, but I think it’s a very nice creative opportunity where in a series where there, where you get great writers, too. And as Paul Schrader told me at the time a couple of years ago when we were doing Adam Resurrected, he thought the best writers in writing was now on TV.

But if you get great writers and people who want to, who care very much and want to do good things, and you kind of write as you go I think that’s a very viable legitimate creative way to sort of see what works and kind of make it up as you go and kind of elaborate on it and make it more and keep writing the whole novel and the whole huge screenplay as you go. And act it that way. It’s kind of like life a little bit.

It’s kind of like making a journey on a dark highway road in a car with only your headlights ahead of you and you can’t see the road, but you can see the road in front of you, but you can make the whole trip that way. I like that idea. And so, I’ve found it very creative so far, but maybe I’m in a relaxed and creative spot myself. I’m always trying to get better. And I do like that.

I have a work ethic that I think I inherited from my father in a way. He used to get up early every morning and routinely and put in an honest day’s work and I kind of like that. I like having a place to go and feeling like this is not just something I got to get through and make the best out of and hopefully, do my best with. But it’s my way of life. I still want to do my best with it, but it’s what I do every day. It’s part of the daily, my daily routine. I really like that. I really like it.

And this particular show, the actors are so good and the writers are so good and the producers caring. It’s a very nice, nice thing for me. I like it a lot.

Q: Will we ever see a sequel to Mister Frost or if you would be interested in doing one?

JEFF: Well, you see, am I alive at the end of Mister Frost? No, I’m dead. I’m dead at the end of Mister Frost… Well, I don’t know. But thank you. That’s very nice. It’s a specialty item. I don’t think a lot of people, not as many people saw that as Independence Day or the dinosaur movies or The Fly. But people come up to me here and there and it has a devoted following. I loved it.

I loved Kathy Baker. Now, that’s a wonderful actor. And Alan Bates, the late Alan Bates, was wonderful in that. Yes. We had a good time in that. We made it in Paris. It was a pretty good time.

Q: Is the end martian sequence in Life Aquatic a deliberate homage to the end martian sequence in Buckaroo Banzai?

JEFF: That’s so funny. At the time that we were doing it, I remember Wes Anderson talking a little bit about that and saying—let me see… He mentioned a couple of movies that he’s—because he’s a hipster and a sophisticate and archivist and knows all kind of movies. But yes, he talked about Buckaroo Banzai. He said that it was a little bit—He really related to that in some way. That’s right.

Q: You do a skip in both sequences.

JEFF: I do?

Q: Yes, you kind of do like the martial skip. Was it intentional fan in both films?

JEFF: That’s funny.

Q: That you were in both of them made it perfect.

Q: We know that you debuted in the Tony Award winning musical Two Gentlemen of Verona, and we’re wondering if you would ever consider doing a movie musical.

JEFF: Well, yes, I would. I like the movie musical. I enjoyed this last year of Nine. I enjoyed West Side Story that I saw on stage again. Made me think of the movie. Yes. In fact, go see—you haven’t seen my movie called Pittsburgh? Oh. So it’s not really a movie musical, but it’s about an actor who does, takes a part in a two-week run of a musical. And it’s called Pittsburgh. And I’m in it. I play the actor so I sing and dance a little bit. And I helped produce it.

Q: You have a very interesting musical background. What influenced you as a kid?

JEFF: Well, I remember the school, the earliest stuff I can remember is when—I mean, the Beatles were introduced when I was a kid. So I was very thrilled about the Beatles, including the first couple of—I Want to Hold Your Hand and Love You, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah. All that. When those came out on 45s, the world had changed in some way and I was very thrilled about it. And then a little later, when the White Album and Sgt. Pepper and Magical Mystery Tour came out, it meant a lot to me. It was a big deal.

Early on, too, Motown stuff was big in those days. Stop in the Name of Love. And all the Motown stuff around then was big with me. Then, my parents, we had a hi-fi and—they had—they were jazz lovers and they had a couple of—they had some Erroll Garner records, a jazz pianist who’s active, who’s also from Pittsburgh as I am. That made an impression on me. And I remember hearing Thelonious Monk. And then, my older brother was a big jazz fan and got the Modern Jazz Quartet—and was into that. And some Brazilian music. I remember Stan Getz, this album he had from Stan Getz from the Astrud Gilberto records. That made a big impression on me. All of those.

Q: We understand that you played a track on Lincoln Adler’s album Short Stories and we’re wondering if you have any plans to record an album of your own.

JEFF: You’re so funny, you and Amy sitting there. I love Lincoln Adler. I love doing that. What did we play? I think I played on Bosoco…Rosario Rosario …Wasn’t it a song for my father?… I remember it, yes, that’s right. I have no plans to do any recording because it’s kind of a hobby for me. If something comes up, I’d do it but no. I just—the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra we call ourselves. As is when I’m out of work in L.A., we gig around there. On the Christmas break, I did a New Year’s Eve gig when I was back in Los Angeles. And in late May, when I get back there, I’ll be looking for a place to hook up with my band again and play. But I don’t know. We have no plans to record anything.

Q: Could you talk a little bit about your memories of doing your first series Tenspeed and Brownshoe? How is that different?

JEFF: Let’s see. Let me see. I enjoyed that. We only did—what did we do?... I think we did like 13 of those. So fewer already than I’ve done of this. Well, Steve Cannell was great. And I think he’s talked and feels like talking. He thinks highly of—he’s proud of what we did there and Ben Vereen was fantastic. And I remember having a good time with it. I liked it. I remember Bill Clinton. I met him a couple of times. He came up and said you know you’ve done a lot of things, Jeff. But my favorite thing was Tenspeed and Brownshoe. I never missed an episode.

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