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Wray Nerely, the character in Con Man, he actually had a role in Rogue One, but he got cut. It sucked. John Swartz, the producer, is a big fan of Con Man. I even got to screen Con Man while we were shooting Star Wars. They had a theater there, and they let me screen one of the little 10-minute episodes for everyone. What sucked was I had to follow Star Wars.
Our self illusion is so interwoven with personal memories that when we recall an event, we believe we are retrieving a reliable episode from our history like opening a photograph album and examining a snapshot in time. If we then discover the episode never really happened, then our whole self is called into question. But that’s only because we are so committed to the illusion that our self is a reliable story in the first place.
Sometimes as human beings, we’re so contradictory – we may say something or do something and completely contradict ourselves. That’s what I’m learning to embrace in television – not knowing what’s going to happen. I might make a specific choice for myself and then in the next episode the writers might write something that contradicts it.
Director Michelle MacLaren is the John Cage of this malevolent silence, able to wield it as precisely as a pointillist with a paintbrush. And with ‘To’hajiilee,’ the final episode of Breaking Bad she’ll ever direct, she has painted her masterpiece. Under the unblinking eye of her relentless camera, this was television not as entertainment but as endurance. It was agonizing, nauseating, unbearable. I loved every minute but hated every second. I couldn’t wait for it to be over but I never wanted it to end. And I especially never wanted it to end like that.
It’s really wonderful to come to work and have each episode be different, in a way. They have similar structure sometimes with the villain, but we can go in any direction we want. If we want to do an episode set in the circus, we can do that. You know how precious that is. That doesn’t come around a lot.
I don’t think it’s possible for the Fed to end its easy-money policies in a trouble-free manner. Recent episodes in which Fed officials hinted at a shift toward higher interest rates have unleashed significant volatility in markets, so there is no reason to suspect that the actual process of boosting rates would be any different. I think that real pressure is going to occur not by the initiation by the Federal Reserve, but by the markets themselves.
You watched and you saw what happened and in the accumulation of episodes you saw the pattern: Daddy ruled the roost, called the shots, made the money, made the decisions, so you signed up on his side, and fifteen years later when the women’s movement came along with its incendiary manifestos telling you to avoid marriage and motherhood, it was as if somebody put a match to a pile of dry kindling.
I was under contract with Walt Disney at the time. I was co-starring in my second season of a show called, Texas John Slaughter. The Andy Griffith Show hired me to play Thelma Lou. I only worked when they called me. I would do an episode in two days and I got paid $500. After all the federal, state and local taxes were taken out and then my agent’s commission I only got $200 some dollars per episode.
You never know where your next job is going to lead you, down the road. One single episode that might seem so far removed from what you might end up doing in the future might spark somebody’s memory bank. Just one little line you said or a look you gave might be what they want to pursue with a character.
Joey being one of my finest performances ever. Matt LeBlanc’s basically doing the same thing right now, playing himself on Episodes. When I did Joey, I really leaned on them to make me the biggest ass they possibly could, because, frankly, everyone in their heart of hearts thinks of themselves that way. Or at least I do, anyway.
The thing that has disturbed me most about the Russian hacking episode is – and the thing that surprised me most has not been the fact of Russian hacking. The cyber world is full of information gathering, you know, propaganda, et cetera. I have been concerned about the degree to which, in some circles, you’ve seen people suggest that Vladimir Putin has more credibility than the U.S. government. I think that’s something new.
The artistry on the show [ Underground] is apparent in each episode. From the riveting writing to the purposeful and precise direction, the masterful work of the DP [Director of Photography] Kevin McKnight and his crew, and the layers and depths each actor goes to to ensure we the audience feel a human connection to these characters led me to sign my name on the dotted line.