I’m not much for celebrity interviews.
I can count the number of celebrities I’ve followed and admired in my life on one hand. Cher is definitely up there because she’s always been totally and unabashedly her own person. That is, to me, a fascinating quality in entertainment people. Especially rich Hollywood people because there is so much pressure in that industry to be something you’re not as a way toward greater riches. Madonna is also in the small group I admire.
So is Harrison Ford, who has an interview in The Hollywood Reporter where you can definitely tell the last place he wants to be is being interviewed by a member of the entertainment press. But he’s cordial, all while still being his own person. I mean, how grounded do you have to be to be Harrison Ford saying these things?
Did being in your first TV comedy, Shrinking, make you feel like you used some new muscle or learned some new things?
Would it be arrogant to say that I didn’t learn anything?
Not if it’s true.
Well, look, I really didn’t learn anything. (Laughs.) It’s about being in the room where it happens and being appropriate to the circumstances and welcoming the opportunity to generate something with a little spontaneity and a measure of truth.
The show’s co-creator Brett Goldstein said when he presented you with the script that you found something in it that related to your life. What was that?
I’m not sure I want to talk to you about that. There are family issues that were relatable to me, OK? I’ve got five kids. This guy’s got a daughter he doesn’t see very often and an ex-wife. There are issues with his family — which are not the same issues I have with my family. But there are things we worked our way through, so I found an emotional reality to attend to.
Your Shrinking character Paul is, I would imagine, closer to how you are in real life than your other roles. He’s low-key, smart, affable but also sometimes grumpy. Would that be fair?
I don’t have Parkinson’s [like Paul] or a deep knowledge of therapy, and I’m not in business with a couple of fucking maniacs. But I recognize that maybe he’s like me. Or maybe he’s not like me — and that’s acting.
So whether he is or isn’t is not something you’d want me to know.
You’ve hit on the first rule of Acting Club: Don’t talk about acting.
You said in a 2002 interview that you did some therapy once. What’s your honest opinion of the profession?
My opinion is not of the profession, it’s of the practitioner. There are all kinds of therapy. I’m sure many of them are useful to many people. I’m not anti-therapy for anybody — except for myself. I know who the fuck I am at this point.
I would feel like a failure after I did that interview.
There are a couple of my former reporters who have made it big in the entertainment press. If you’ve watched the red-carpet awards show previews, you’ve seen at least one of them on there, or on the likes of E! Entertainment Television or Bravo.
I won’t name them here because I get the impression that they would rather focus on their big-time success jobs rather than their little journalism job when they worked for me.
That’s OK. I get that.
But I will never, ever get how they do what they do. I would kill myself if I worked in a job where I have to suck up to entertainment industry types all day, every day. Seriously. I would put a bullet in my head. Interviews with people like Harrison Ford, whom you can tell doesn’t hold entertainment reporters in high regard — even as he is unfailingly professional with them — would give me an existential crisis afterward.
Oh, well. To each his own.