Drama Actresses Roundtable: Emilia Clarke, Niecy Nash, Danai Gurira & More | Close Up


(soft music) – Hi and welcome to Close Up with The Hollywood
Reporter, Drama Actresses. I’m Lacey Rose and I’m
joined by Patricia Arquette, Danai Gurira, Christine
Baranski, Michelle Williams, Niecy Nash, and Emilia Clarke. Let’s dive right into this. Okay, so we’re gonna
start with an icebreaker. – [Niecy] Oh-oh. – You can do this. I have faith. (actresses laughing) Complete this sentence. I knew I made it in Hollywood when? – At first somebody told
me you’ll know you made it in Hollywood when you
become a Halloween costume. (all laughing) So there was a moment of that, but then– – Wait were you? Did you become one? – Yeah, I became a Halloween costume. (actresses laughing) But for my character from “Reno 911!” And then when I used to always
wear a flower in my hair. People started to copy
and there, there was. But then I was at an event and I saw America’s Diahann Carroll. Now I know her. But the fact that she
walked up to me and knew me, I said boy, I might have arrived! (all laughing) – That is true. That is true. – [Danai] That’s amazing. – So yeah, I was at (Emilia laughing), I was a gala event and
somebody had asked me to like auction something so
we were trying to go through all the stuff and then I
couldn’t auction and I was like “Oh, just auction a dragon,”
but you can’t do that. So I was oh, I’ll auction like, come and watch your
favorite episode with me and we’ll eat a horse’s
heart or something. Anyway so I have that and I
don’t think about what it is until I actually get there
and I’m sitting in the room. And I’m sitting in the room
with like every celebrity on the planet going, “I thought this would be
like a private thing.” Like we wouldn’t say it out loud. So they’re saying it and
then I have to stand up attend the thing and so
the auction comes up, the room goes completely
silent and I’m gonna die. I’m actually gonna die. And then one of my friends
who was on the table puts his paddle up and then suddenly
some other people start to put their paddles up and
then one of those people was Brad Pitt, so that was– – [Lacey] That was fun.
– [Actresses] Ooh! – And then I went the
color I’m doing right now. (all laughing) And it was, yeah, that
was, yeah, that was it. That was a pinch me moment. – But he didn’t he ultimately win. – He didn’t ultimately win. I know, my friend ultimately won. Go figure. But I was itchy, like “You can stop now.” (all laughing) And you were already my friend. – I would say that I was there and there was a lot of back and forth. It was like “no, yes, no, yeah, no, no.” I mean it was some serious competition. – It was the most
ridiculous surreal moment of my entire existence. (actresses laughing) And never call my
friends and say anything, and I was like guys just wanted, just wanted to let you know. – I think I realized I got a phone call after I did “True Romance”
or someone left a message and it was Bruce Willis. So I call back and I’m
like “Shut up who is this? “I got a message from Bruce Willis. “Hi” I’m like “Who is this? “Shut up.” He’s like “This is Bruce Willis.” (actresses laughing) “Oh, hmm, hello. “Nice to meet you.” So that was very weird and surreal. – I didn’t get to Hollywood or
accept any jobs in Hollywood doing television I think ’til I was in, I was about 41 when I finally
made the jump to television. I’d done some things, guest stars and all, but like Hollywood, no. I was just this theater actress for years, and years, and years. And then I did this sitcom called “Cybill” and got an Emmy nomination. – Immediately. – And I remember arriving
almost in time for the ceremony because we were stuck
in traffic in that way that you get stuck in traffic
on your way to awards, but I remember walking
in with my borrowed, $500,000 Chanel Chamelia diamond necklace, like holy cow, when you
work in the theater, you have to buy your own jewelry
and get your own clothes, but I walked in and down and I was sitting behind David Letterman, and there was Barbara
Streisand across the aisle. And I barely had time
to sit down in my seat, adjust my boobs in my leather bustier and I heard my name
called in the nominations, because they always announce the supporting actresses first. Which is great, and they called my name. And I went up there and I got an Emmy, and then it was like “Holy Cow.” (actresses reacting) Lovely moment. – Yeah, I’d say. – I guess mine is more related
to the comic book genre. (Danai laughing) It was more like the definitely
the Halloween costumes was definitely like “What
the heck is going on here?” You know that moment. And then lately, it’s been two of them, so it’s one character I
played and then another at the same time, which is sort of bugged
me out in a great way. It’s like that’s awesome. – You’ve been on cushions I believe right? – Oh Christ yeah. Entertainment Weekly do a
cushion, they do a cushion. And if you’re on a cover,
then you’re on a cushion. And one quite early on, my mom came with me to
like a junket thing, and she saw the cushion, she flipped out over the cushion, so I was like “Okay cool, “keep your cool mom, it’s just a cushion.” And then, I was doing “Star
Wars” and she came to visit me when I was getting cyber
scanned for the dolls and all that stuff. So she’s with the marketing people, who make all of the merchandise. And literally, it was
just like “Can I get like, “what else can I get with
my daughter’s face on it? “What else can make up for me?” (all laughing) And the guy was over seeing
being really incredible polite and “of course whatever you
want and dah, dah, dah.” And I was like “Dear God,
please don’t send her anything.” And then one day I get back
from being away for a while, my mom has made up the
spare room with blankets, and cushions, and like
this isn’t for sale. Like I sincerely doubt this is for sale, they made specifically for my mom. (all laughing) Just the huge amount of
stuff with my face on, yeah, so which is just– – I’m hoping you’re aren’t
pillows and blankets in other people’s houses
with your face on it, but who knows. – Who knows, but in my
house they’re in the attic. – How would you guys
describe this current phase of your career? Vis-a-vis the roles that are coming in. I mean I feel like I
could do this for you. Feels like the year of the complicated, I think you called it the monster women. But yeah, how would you sort of describe what’s coming your way now
what that phase looks like? – I feel like it’s a very
exciting phase for me and I didn’t see that coming
because I had always seen that women were sort of
retired by the business at a certain point and
didn’t have much work. And I think, I happen to be
coming of this age at a time where all these networks. We had like 500 networks and
then there was 500 channels, but nothing was really on, they were just all
recycling the same stuff. And I kept thinking, there’s
gonna be a lot of work for actors at some point, there’s gotta be or people are
gonna shut off their cable. And now all these networks
are making content and I’m so happy to and lucky
to be coming to this age at a time where people are
wanting to produce more material. – Danai are you in the
huge franchise portion? These are not Indie projects
that you’re working on? – Yeah, I mean I was
saying earlier to you, this is like not how I ever
imagined how my life work would go as I used to potentially call it. – What did you think the lane was gonna be and how would you describe
the lane you’re currently in? – Well, ’cause I’m a playwright, so I really just expected to
stay like in the play world. You know what I mean? And step into this area
in very specific ways. I never expected things like
“Walking Dead” or Marvel. I just never imagined it. So it’s kind of, I’m sort of am catching up
to that in a little way, but at the same time, there is approaches that involve that type of stuff that happen now. But I think the beauty of it, is I just love to tell like the idea of all the opportunities
that are now out there for so many different
sort of stories to be told and sort of the thing on my heart is to get different stories told
from various perspectives that I haven’t seen in
certain mediums yet. Like on our network television
yet or the places like that. And that’s kind of the idea, that thing that drives me a lot. As a writer as well as
getting those sort of stories, perspectives we rarely hear from heard. We still have a ways to
go, we got some work to do. – We have a long way
to go and also I almost never see projects with the elderly, like great actors, great directors. They really, even just the
stories, what’s going on? It’s like a world we
almost never ever see. – That’s very true. – I think there’s a lot
of stories to be told and I feel like the lack of
diversity in all these stories has really harmed this
form of art because it’s– – And it shouldn’t be just people who are losing their mind or suffer, you know movies about something with Alzheimer’s.
– [Patricia] No yeah, exactly. – I mean I can speak to that. I’m in my, I just finished my 10th year of playing the same character
of Diane Lockhart and for seven years I was number two, the supporting actress on The Good Wife, and I loved my role, and
I thought it was great. She was the head of the law firm, and the authority figure and
she was strong and dignified and well dressed and I loved that role, but she’s with the spin off that was created three years ago, she’s now number one. And honestly I got the
number one position finally in my career and I was in my 60’s. So it’s like all right. I like to think, I like to say, that there is movement forward and these are the best years of my career. I get offered wonderful theater roles. I’m finally a leading lady. (actresses reacting) After all this time, I was
always sitting waiting, the best supporting actress
award goes to somebody else. But it was always the supporting actress and I’m the leading lady in
a show that’s I’m still this strong, authoritative,
professional, woman, well educated. We’re seeing women like
that in our culture, who are now running for president and running the House of Representative. Thank you very much, doing very well. Women this age are powerful
and I love that somehow in this moment of time, moment in time, I’m playing in a TV
show that reflects that. And it’s high time that
women of such authority and have their real air time. Long overdue. – Do you guys feel like there is a certain type of character, a role,
that are coming your way now? – I probably have to say for me, it would be things that lend
themselves to this category, the dramatic category. ‘Cause I spent the majority
of my career in comedy. That was the whole bit, you’re funny. That’s what we know you as and that’s where you shall remain. And it took me many,
many years to get someone to give me a chance and then
things started to change because of it. Now don’t get me wrong,
I love, love, love, to make people laugh
and I think it’s a gift. But there is something I feel, blessed, to be able to use a different
part of my instrument. Because the other part, I wake up funny. You know what I mean? (actresses laughing) So I’m so used to being
funny that when I get to be anything else, I’m like “ooh,” and it blesses my soul. – I have heard you say that you have, that you were sort of told “yeah you have a lane, you’re funny,” and that you sort of set a meeting to sort of reintroduce yourself. What did that look like? How receptive were people
to that reintroduction? – The interesting thing about us, you know everybody has a team. We have folk, we have people. (actresses laughing) In those people I kept trying to, “Well let me talk to this one
’cause maybe you get that. “Well let me ask you what you think?” and then finally I was
like nobody is hearing me. So I just called a team meeting
and got everybody together and they were like “Well what’s happening? “Why are we here? “What’s going on?” and I said “I just wanted
to reintroduce myself to you “because in the years
that we’ve been together, “mother has changed!” Things are different. You know what I mean? I don’t want today what
I wanted back then. Back then I was just hungry. I wanted to eat. You know what I mean? And now the refrigerator is full. (actresses laughing) Now we can do some other things. So I just wanted them
to see me like I saw me. (actresses reacting) It’s so that we can go
on the path together and not have it feel like
we were disconnected. – Can anyone else relate to that? I mean having those sort of
conversations of I’d like you to see me in a different way. – Yeah, yeah well cause
I was stupidly lucky at a very young age
and fell into something that has just been
miraculous on every level. – A small show. – And like in the beginning
I was just like I’m employed, yeah, I’m hungry, I need to
put some food in the fridge. That’s and it happened to be incredibly, it was brilliant, it’s been amazing, but it’s, yes ten years on one show. And when I started I was a baby. I was an absolute child who
didn’t know what IMDB was. You know what I mean? And so throughout this time, I don’t have the guts to be like “Yo guys, this is the new me. “I have something to say and
it’s not what I said before.” But in the beginning it was like “Hey do you wanna do
this really big movie?” And you’re like “Yeah, of course I do. “Like you kidding?” Yeah, this is and then you
do lots and lots of them and you start to see that you haven’t or not at any point, at no point you’ve kind
of gone in and gone “No this is my voice. “This is what it sounds like.” I didn’t know what my voice
was ’cause I was so young, and I just wanted to do
all of the fabulous things that everyone paints to
be like Hollywood perfect. And then suddenly you’re like
“No I went to drama school. “I care about art. “I care about telling the right stories. “I care about working with authors. “I care about inhabiting characters “that have something to say.” And it takes a minute for
the people around you to go, “Oh right, oh sorry, I thought
you just wanted to eat.” (actresses laughing) Lots of food. – I did feel like I also
encountered a little pushback. I was lucky enough to have
success when I was young. And a lot of that was
the boy and girl story and being an ingenue and
then as I was getting older there was still this kind of
pressure to look a certain way. I had an argument with one
of the producers on “Medium.” He told me I should lose
weight and I was like, “No this lady is a mother. “She’s married, she’s got three kids, no.” But still that kind of
expectation of being beautiful, of looking a certain way, and
then “Okay you could be 40, “but you gotta look like a great 40. “You gotta look like 40 who looks 30.” (actresses laughing) That kind of a thing. So when I was starting to
work on “Escape at Dannemora” and then again with “The Act,” I definitely felt some push
back and had some conversations about taking that chance and looking a certain way.
– What were people scared of? – That I wouldn’t work anymore. That I would lose work, because
really, and in fairness, they’ll have those conversations. “What does she look like now? “Why don’t you send us a picture “of what she looks like right now.” And I said, “You know
what, I’ve had a good run “as an ingenue, all
these different things, “but it’s also always been
a little bit of a box.” I always wanted to be an actor, and I never got to
really do character work. And you know what I
wanna really go for this and really explore this thing
’cause I feel like it’s free. And I trust myself as a artist. I’ve earned my own trust
within myself to say, “that’s the path I wanna go on.” – And so you know what the
trick bag is about that? Is that when we enter on a set, the very first thing that they do, is they put us in hair and make
up and we walk out of there looking like angels are
dancing on our face. And so the minute that you
have interpret a character because this happened to
me when I did “Getting On,” which is where I got my
first Emmy nomination, and they took everything off. They wouldn’t even let
me wear a spanx, girl. (actresses laughing) I said this is, “What
kind of evil is this?” (actresses laughing) They took everything. Then they put me under
the worst lighting God has ever created and said, “now act.” And I said “Oh, oh what’s happening?” But I will tell you that
it was so freeing for me. And I leaned it so much
on just trusting my gift. And the pretentiousness and
the part that I had learned early on in the career that
you gotta strap it down, and hose it back and do all these things. (actresses laughing) I was able to divorce myself from that and honestly the worst I looked on camera, these are the jobs that people show up for and be like “We see what
you’re doing over there girl.” – Yeah, ’cause they see through it. They see through the powered
beauty and the kind of, ’cause it can be distracting. Then you get to actually
show humanity in a part, in a character. – Are there roles and ways that you guys are still hoping to be seen? Are there sort of doing roles
that are not coming your way? – Buddy cops, let’s do the Buddy Cops. (actresses laughing) – [Lacey] I like it. – No I’m just kidding, but sort of, yeah just like something goofy. I think I’ve been doing a lot of like well my characters have been
very quote unquote strong and that can have it’s own trap dom, you know what I mean? Though thankfully I’ve had
a really like especially with lately like Okoye for instance, whatever in the Marvel movies, she’s got a lot of different things, she’s very humorous so
she’s got a lot of heart. So and so does Michonne,
but it’s just like, but I just got to expand more
of the spectrum with her. But the idea of say putting
away strong all together, I have no strength. Let’s start from there. That would be interesting. – Yeah that would be really good. – What about you guys? – Michelle and I were talk, I was saying to Michelle
what a brilliant job she did as Gwen Verdon and what
was the preparation? We were both talking about how liberating it is to sing and dance. And there’s never enough time to learn it, but when you get into it, it’s such a wonderful frontier. I can’t announce what I’m doing next, because they haven’t
formally announced it, but I am singing any chance I get. ‘Cause I’m preparing for a role
that involves singing and– – So we going to karaoke
after this or what? (actresses reacting) – We’re gonna do it, we’re gonna do it. It’s so liberating in a
terrifying, wonderful way. – Well this release. – Isn’t it? – There’s joy there. There’s joy. Like you return to some
sort of childhood state. Like you lose your self consciousness because you can’t really, that part of your brain, it can’t be accessed while
you’re singing and your dancing, because your sort of logic is turned off, because you’re remembering
things and you’re doing steps. And your body is involved and like your diaphragm is involved, so it’s this kind of, it runs through your entire system. And I found it when I did, when I did Marilyn I started
dancing a little bit. And then when I did “Cabaret” for a year, I was singing and dancing and I, and as difficult as those things were, I noticed that there was something
inside of them, this joy. And I just thought well whatever, I wanna get back to that. Like that’s the place that I
really want to live more often. And because of living in New York and because of having access
to this theater community, I have just made that a part of my life. And it’s something that I’m
always kind of looking to do. And so when she came
up, when Gwen came up, I was like “Oh, perfect.” That’ll cover everything that
I really interested in doing right now that’ll check all my boxes. – Sure, you guys are at
points in your careers where you can afford to be picky. You can afford to say, “Hmm,
no, don’t wanna do that.” What are the examples for
you guys of the things that you’re like, yeah,
I’m just not gonna do that? – Don’t wanna play a cranky old lady, don’t wanna play a bitch, it’s just too or a powerful woman who because she’s powerful, is a bitch. You know all the stereotypes
about older women, nope. – [Lacey] Not gonna do it.
– Nope, no. – I don’t wanna travel for work. (actresses laughing) I’ve somehow managed
to work out of New York for the last seven years. My daughter stayed in the
same school, same friends, and that’s like a super
high priority to me. I really wanna be able to find things that I love to do and stay at home. – [Actress] I love that. – I’m at a place in this
moment where I don’t wanna be a sassy black anything. I don’t wanna be a
sassy black know it all. I don’t wanna be a sassy black neighbor. I don’t wanna be a sassy black friend. There’s so many more notes to be played. Broken is a delicious
note to play on camera. The mother that I play
in “When They See Us,” is just white knuckling
and doing the best she can. And I know that when I had my first baby, they gave me this kid
and I literally was like, “They’re gonna let me leave
with this little thing?” (all laughing) And I was inching towards
the door like “I’m leaving.” And then someone would say like “ma’am.” (actresses laughing) But as a mother, we are so, that’s when you realize
how imperfect you are. You have this idea, I’m
gonna show up to the thing, and I’m this, and it all falls apart. And surviving and
thriving and still trying to create a life that is good
for this other human being you brought into the world, but you’re a victim of your own pain. You’re a victim of your own experience. Just because you had a baby doesn’t erase all of those things. So leaning in to this
woman that I played here, she wasn’t a sassy anything and it was absolutely
delicious to find her pain and her brokenness and some
places it overlapped mine. You know what I mean? And that’s when you get in that scene and y’all have experienced it where when them tears start flowing and they ain’t because of the script, (actresses laughing) “Do you need some menthol? “No (Niecy laughing)” (soft music) I’ve been really, really
lucky with playing Daenerys That every single season she’s different. Every single season she
grows and she changes and evolves and gets
stronger and more powerful, but also the kind of the thing
that I’ve enjoyed the most is the fragility. So when looking at what do I not wanna do, I’ve been so insanely lucky
with this woman who is evolving and changing and it’s
very much this season and so I’ve got to kind of inhabit so many different spaces with her. So from a character point of view, there’s nothing in my mind that
I would not want to venture into because I kind of, I just wanna try everything now. That the show has done, I wanna kind of see what I’m gonna be, what I’m gonna, I don’t
know what I wanna do. The one thing I do sort of know is that I would not like to do something that would have like a sequel. You know what I mean? Something that could have like
and then two, and then three, and then four, and like, I’d
like to not do one of those. – But that is what a lot of
these franchise movies are. – That would be really good. – You’re signing on to
eventually committing to the next seven years of your life. – Exactly and doing something
that has been made before. I mean literally has been made before. Not like a character
that we’ve seen a bunch, but like an actual thing
that has been made already and I just do it again badly, not into it.
– One of the things you sort of famously did not want to do was– – Oh gosh I know. No such thing as off the record. – [Lacey] No. – Literally that was the article. Oh my God and someone was like “It’s fine. “What is it? “Did you turn down anything really juicy?” And I was like, this conversation has been going on for two and a half hours. Okay fine, yeah, I did. I turned down. – [Lacey] “Fifty Shades of Grey.” – [Emilia] There you go.
– But I’m curious in that, I mean how much of that was this sort of idea of being pigeonholed? – The last time that
I was naked on camera, on the show, was a long time ago. And yet is the only question
that I ever get asked, because I am a woman and
it is annoying as hell, and I’m sick an tired of it. ‘Cause I did it for the character. I didn’t do it for titillation, I didn’t do it so some guy
could check out my tits for God’s sakes. So that coming up, I was like, “I can’t.” So me saying yes to that, I was just like no way am I
gonna voluntarily walk into that situation and then
never be able to look someone in the eye, and be like, “No you can’t keep
asking me this question.” ‘Cause they thought that
would be the question that they would then ask.
– ‘Cause that, you signed on for that. – Cause you’re signing up for it. – You guys are all looking.
Can you relate to this? – I can. Well and I had a situation that was a little bit of the reverse
in that I had to do a scene. And it was only like partial
things I kind of had to show, and my thing was, you
know I’m not a size 2. You know what I mean? And I was taking one. I was like I’m gonna go for
the thick girl out there that needs to see herself represented, having sex on her own accord, and owning her own body, and not she’s just showing
up for the pleasure of a man. I was like “Oh Lord, let
me take a water pill, “let me think thin. (actresses laughing) “And let me get out here.” And then after I go through
all the amalgamations and the people are in
there, and it’s the boom, it’s the mic, and all my
kibbles and bits covered, and weight and what’s happening, then I see the edit and they
just completely took it out. And I was like not so
much from a vanity’s sake, but just my emotional piece of mind. “Why you make me go through all of that?” (actresses reacting) And I was just like “Oh okay, okay.” – It’s scary.
– Trying to still myself. You know what I mean? And then to not use it. Like “We just decided that we thought “it would be better if”
and I was like, “guys.” And I just feel like I’m to
the point in my life now, where if I do it, you
better put it on there. (actresses laughing) You better. – Damn straight. – Why did I eat grapefruit for a week? (actresses laughing) – I’ve just been like in my experiences have been like the idea, like for me it has to be very and luckily I started out, like when I started to do TV, I was like 30’s, so it’s
been, it was a while, so I had, I got kind of
stuck in my ways in a sense. – You had the confidence. – I don’t know about that, but
all I know is I had to know I could wake up in the morning and feel good about what
I’d done the day before. That’s the thing I always think about. So I remember having an
argument with the director, ’cause I was like, “I know you have it
written in here like this, “but this is what you’re getting.” And I wrote it on the script
and I handed it to him. I said “you’re not getting that
and you’re not getting that. “These are mine.”
– [Actress] These are sexual? – These pieces or is that what you mean? – That’s what you have to do.
– Love scenes or? – It was a love scene, love scene. And I was like “these
parts aren’t being seen.” And he was like “yeah no.” And I was like, “no, I’m really serious. “This really is not happening.” And I had to really get him there, because he had to adjust
his mind around it. And he’s an awesome guy, but he had to adjust
his mind around the fact that this was where I was going. And I realize this is what
we have to do as women. We actually have to like
get the minds of folks there sometimes that it’s not, I know what your vision is, but this is, I will tell the story for
her without that happening. – There you go. Is it like they pull it
down, keep pulling up. They pull it down, you pull it up. I’m like “I know.” – I’ve done all types of tricks, like I do this thing where I had like, I had like your skin color,
like things on my breast, like how you gonna use that? – Green ones–
– I’ve done that before. Yeah, yeah exactly. – Nope stuff like that. – Where you’re like that’s a
top. I’m wearing a bandeau top. – Exactly I have like 17 of them on, like there’s just nothing to use. – Safety precautions. – So Christine when you were
filming “The Good Fight” pilot, Hillary was assumed I think
for most people on your set, she was going to be president. – Well it was sort of in the plot, because one of the first
scenes was me in the boardroom in a fabulous suit saying “There are no more
glass ceilings to break, and I’m retiring gentlemen.” And the pilot was supposed to be about how I lost all of my money, and that was the dramatic thrust of where they took the character. But then when we were filming the pilot it was election night, and the camera was turning
around on my close ups when I checked the phone to find out who was the assumed
winner of the election. So we changed the pilot considerably. – And you lose that line. That line about– – You lose that line
about the glass ceiling and then the very first scene of the pilot is my looking at the
television set like this as I’m watching the
inauguration of Donald Trump. – And it’s the actual, in real time. – Yeah, and what’s amazing– – And how does that inform, yeah, how does it inform where you go? How does that inform where the show goes? Are you terrified in that
moment both as a human and as a performer? – It was really serendipitous, because for seven years on “The Good Wife” as I’ve said, Diane Lockhart was always a liberal, Emily’s list carrying
card member, feminist. She was written that
way and she was written with a certain moral authority and passion for breaking
the glass ceiling. And I, in my office, there was always a
picture of Hillary Clinton and I was photoshopped obviously, but from the time of the pilot. So when we filmed one of
the scenes in the pilot that we were still, it
was before election night, I was packing the picture of
Hillary Clinton and I in a box, and I remember saying to my director, “Well this woman is going
to be the president so maybe “Diane is looking at that picture
thinking if she can do it, “I can do it.” (Christine laughing) And then a few days later, we were facing a new reality. But what was amazing is that
because we took the character into a spin off situation, but this was before Donald
Trump had been elected, but it provided fertile ground for a woman who is a passionate liberal
feminist of a certain age, who was a Hillary supporter
to be the leading lady in a show where now
she’s a Trump resistor. And it’s very much, the
story’s very much predicated, her story is a lot about her inability to process what’s going on in the country and what’s happening to women. And are we going backwards? So it’s provided a lot
of dramatic raw material. Where did the real guys go? Why do we now have these
snide little creatures with slick back hair and cologne? What happened to Paul
Newman and Burt Lancaster? What happened to men who were
slow to anger and responsible, and wouldn’t cry like
whiny little bitches? When did Trump and
Kavanaugh become our idea of an aggrieved man, quivering lips, blaming everyone but themselves? – But I am curious. I think you’ve talked about
certainly I think on both of your most recent projects
about sort of how you, they call, you finish at
the end of the day and yet you sort of have to take
these projects home with you and these characters home with you. I mean you were living
in the belly of the beast on this show. So there isn’t that sort of
release at the end of the day. – Cable news is like research for me. I have to keep my sense of outrage which isn’t hard. It’s not difficult for me. – Is there a release and what
does it look like for you? – It’s called a vacation and in two weeks, I’m taking it. I’m turning the phone off and
I’m not looking at the news, but that happened last year as well. You get, but I think people
are collectively feeling this, not just actors. I just happened to be in
a show where we really are dealing with, they’re
fictional characters, but we are living in the moment. In this historical cultural moment. Yeah, it can be a little
(Christine snoring), get me out of it, get me out of here. – Yeah, so with “Escape at
Dannemora” you shot in a prison, you were there surrounded by people who were living this life. How did that sort of inform you? How scary was that? – It was very intense to feel the energy and see all they dynamics. I mean even briefly at these prisons, ’cause we shot at five different prisons. – So what happens at the end of the day? When you’re driving back
to wherever you’re staying? – Well in also shooting up
north, it was very cold. It’s like winter. It’s a great town. The middle of the town is the prison. This huge wall and there’s
a depressing quality. There’s a tension going
on everywhere I think and then gaining weight for that part, and wanting her to look a certain way, and feeling that was the
right choice for me to make. But then going into the world, and having people’s reaction. It’s like a scientific experiment. People would look at you
like “Oh, I used to love you. “Are you still acting?” – Oh my gosh. – Or people just wouldn’t really even, but more than that, the way people perceived me
was as an invisible person. Like oh, you’re just kind of a matronly, dumpy middle aged lady,
so you just don’t exist. – Yeah, but better for you if they die. – What does it? What does that mean? – Wouldn’t it be convenient to
be the only person who lives to tell the story? Am I wrong? – (character scoffs) well
yeah, yeah you’re wrong. I mean what, I mean what does that mean? – I’m uptight. I’m not comfortable. I take baths in the dark. I’m always been modest
since I was a little girl changed behind a chair. But I really wanted to
do these loves scenes. Like I’m gonna gain a bunch
of weight and my boobs are gonna be giant, and
my stomach, no I’m not, actually there’s a first love scene, I’m not wearing any body make up. I don’t care that you have real sunlight and it’s HiDef or whatever. (Patricia laughing) This is all a nightmare. – But not really, because
I really wanna say, “Who’s allowed to be
sexual now in this culture? “When are women allowed to be sexual? “What body type do we have to have? “And this lady is more
comfortable with her sexuality “than I am and what does it
feel like to be in a character “that is willing to embrace that.” – I was gonna say when you
talked about taking things home. I did the story of the Central Park Five. And the new title is
called “When They See Us”. And this is the first time
I’ve ever done a project where they provided crisis counselors after the end of the day, there was a number you could call, and somebody could talk to you. Because the material was so
heavy and there were oftentimes that the real boys, if you
guys don’t know about it, they had been accused of
raping a woman in Central Park, but they were all babies,
and none of ’em did it, and they got convicted for
something that they did not do. And it’s their story. But there will be times sometimes, where the real men now, would be on set. So to come and meet you or talk to you, or just be there. Because it’s their story being told. So you have that and you
have the waiting material and going home at the
end of the day, listen, seeing these children being
dragged out this courtroom, and as a mother, feeling so powerless, I would get off that set and be like, “I’m not gonna make it. “Bring the funny back.” Because I felt so full
at the end of the day, but you feel so driven to tell the story. And you just get back
up and you figure it out and you muscle through it. Because that has to be more
important than how you feel. – I’m sorry to ask, but can you put a little something extra on my commissary account? Mama not much. Any little bit helps. 10, 20, just, just to add to my books. – Boy I ain’t got nothing to give you. I ain’t go it. But I will work on it. – I think Michelle with Fosse Verdon, I think one of the things
that sort of come up is that we’re all so aware about
Fosse and his story. And I think we weren’t
as aware of Gwen’s story. And I think that over the
course of the creation of this show, her role became, I believe a bigger piece of it. A story that was worth telling. What were A, why do you think
that we know the man’s story? What does that say about our culture? And how important was it
to explore both stories? – Well I think when the
project was initially developed it was just called Fosse and
that was about two years ago. And I think about I don’t know a year into developing it or something, they realized that they actually wanted to tell both of
their stories which was after meeting their
daughter, Nicole Fosse, who said that she would be involved in it, but she gave them so much
information about who Gwen was, that they said, “Oh we should make this “about two people instead.” But I think it’s a lot of
what we’re talking about. Gwen aged out, because she
was primarily a dancer. They say like a dancer dies two deaths, when you actually die and then
the day that you can’t dance in the way that you used
to be able to dance. And so she had that creative death. And so her story sort
of it goes more quietly. And if you know people
who, if you’re lucky enough to talk to people who knew
her, of course it didn’t. She continued to live a very
full life and she taught and she choreographed and
she recreated his work, and she re-staged his work, but in this creative birth
that they were living in while she was still an active
dancer and actress, she was sort of written out of the story. And the show attempts to rectify that. Kids in the jungle are
being zipped into body bags on the evening news. Richard Nixon is our
president, God help us. People aren’t going to the
movies to escape anymore, they’re going to find something true. – Well I wish you had
been here from the start. He needs you. – I just know how to speak Bob. (both giggling) It’s my native tongue. – You became a sort of
a face of a movement. And your experience on “All
the Money in the World” became I mean it wasn’t
just your story anymore. It became the world story
and you became someone that Hollywood was
outraged on your behalf. What did it feel like to
be in the middle of that? – It was interesting. So I went to DC recently
to speak on pay equality. – [Lacey] At Capitol Hill. – It all happened very quickly. I’d become friends with, when we went to the Golden Globes, and we took these activists as our dates, we all became friendly. We all just sort of stayed in
touch and one of them reached out to me and she said
“Hey like are you available “in three days to come
down to do this thing?” And I said, “like for
you yes, I’ll get rid “of everything else I was
supposed to do and I’ll come, “what is it? “Like what’s going on? “What am I doing?” And she’s like “just write a quick thing, “and you’re just gonna say a quick thing, “and then you’ll go on” and
so I was like “okay sure.” – [Lindsey] Famous last words, uh-huh. – Yeah and it was a much
bigger sort of platform than I had even realized. Something that was interesting
that was said to me there was that they were so
grateful for me coming to tell this story because it’s hard
to see when you’re talking about sort of $10 versus $14. People have a hard time
hearing the difference. But when you use an
example as extreme as mine, it sort of brings, it really brings the entire
case to come home to rest. You can really, the larger example, like can speak to the other example. And I’m so moved personally
and professionally to have found my place in the
conversation and my voice through the conversation and
to feel like I’ve grown up inside of the conversation
and it’s the thing that I’ll feel the closest
to more than any work that I’ve ever done. Being able to if I can just incrementally move the needle for other women, it’s the same with the process. – Have you seen the response
to you change in the process? As you take new jobs? As you walk into rooms? – I don’t know if
everybody feels like this, but I just feel like the
dynamic on sets has changed. I don’t know if you guys
experience the same thing. – In what way? – But I feel like the workplace, I said before, but they
don’t hug you anymore. (actresses laughing) Yeah you don’t get a morning grope. You get like a morning handshake. That’s been my experience recently. And I just feel like more space
has opened up in the room. In the actual creative process, when you’re sort of when
you’re figuring out of things. I feel like I’m heard in a different way. Not even heard in a different way, but the space has opened up
for me to be able to be heard. – Nobody will be surprised
if a woman speaks out now on certain things versus
and that has changed. It’s a corrective moment in the culture. There’s no question. Certainly in our industry. – I’m definitely seeing also
a lot more women on the set. – [Emilia] Oh definitely. – I see women boom operators,
and dp’s, and I’m seeing, I’m working with a lot
more women directors. And I think that space has
given me a little more strength as an actor in myself. There will be times where
creatively I really disagree with someone’s choice for
the first time in my life. And I’m not saying young
actors should do this, ’cause you can learn a lot
by trying to step outside your comfort zone, but I said to somebody, “I’m not doing it like that.” And because of this and
this and this and this, I had tons of reasons. And the scene before and the scene after and this is the choice that I made. It’s a conscious choice. Don’t wanna hear, “well
shoot it both ways.” “Don’t worry, we’ll see.” – Yeah you know what that means. – You know what that means. – We did your take, but
I’m doing my take, yes. – It’s really important because
like we’re in a society, so often women in every field I imagine, the idea of pleasing or being amenable, and doing what your told in
a sense and getting along is so paramount and so breaking that down and being like we’re
gonna collaborate here. This is gonna be about
the fact that I’m here as a whole artist and we’re collaborating. I’m not just obeying,
but I mean I collaborate. I don’t not listen, but sometimes there are things that are very clear to me
and I want that respect and I think that’s the
place that we’re going. (upbeat music) – When I first started acting, I got my first big break and
it turned out I was pregnant. And in that project I was
supposed to gain weight. And I was like you know what, even though the producers
were cool and like “We don’t think you’ll
be showing that much, and it’ll be all right.” I was like I’ve never had a baby before and I don’t know how heavy that’s gonna be and I don’t wanna worry about throwing up or keeping you guys waiting. And I don’t wanna worry
about gaining weight or not. So I kind of walked away
from like my big star chance, and I didn’t know if I’d
ever really have another one. And after I had my son, I
wasn’t getting any work acting, and so I got a job waitressing. I was supposed to start in a few days, I told my agent, “Hey I
don’t think I’m gonna be able “to do this thing anymore.” I need a full time job. I have a baby at home. Twenty years old. I need to take care of my
kid and maybe that train has left the station but
I’m not looking back. But I got a job. The night before I was
supposed to start waitressing. (actresses reacting) So I was like, “Thank you, I got a job.” They were like “Yay”, ’cause
they were all actors too. All the other waiters. (actresses laughing) So they said, “Thank you,” but I was supposed to do this movie and there was a love scene. And the concept was, well
the whole really plot was, this guy was videotaping
women he was having sex with and it was a hidden camera. So yay I’m so happy, I’m
a single mom, I’m broke. I don’t know where I’m gonna buy diapers and now I’ve got an acting job again. And so I have this conversation with the director like “What
do you wanna see or not see? “What do you mean? “I mean, how do you envision this scene? “Do you wanna see breast? “Do you wanna see? “What are you? “I don’t wanna decide. “I wanna be free. “I want you to sign a piece
of paper saying you’ll do “whatever I want.” (actresses reacting) And now I was breast feeding
and I felt really vulnerable and I was so broke and I
had to say, you know what, I have to walk away from this job. (actresses reacting) And it sucks! – And did you?
– Yeah. – [Lacey] You did. – This is the second time
I’m having to kind of make a really important moral
decision and dude I’m like a broke single mom
with a tiny baby at home. – [Danai] But that’s so powerful. – And you as our director
can’t make a decision. – The power of the word no. I think that really
defines a path in a sense, ’cause you’re really
creating this is who I am, this is what I do. This is what I don’t do,
and I’m okay with that, and if you’re not, that’s okay. And it’s such a powerful to
be able to stand in your no. I think it’s the most
defining thing you can do. It’s the most awful word in this business, because you show up to it
so young and you wanna say yes to everything. “What, you
want me to do jumping jacks? “I got, yes, I can yes, yes.” They’re saying yes to everything. And the minute you realize
that when you tell somebody in a position of authority,
no, they’re taken aback, because all they get is yes’s all day. – I’m gonna take a little
bit of a left turn, but I wanna touch on some of the shows that you’re a part of. You’re on these shows where every episode could be your last. I don’t know how much you
know how many questions do you ask? – As in are we gonna live another episode? – Live and die, yeah. Whatever you want. – On the show you have the phone call. I mean you get the call. – You’re sitting there
waiting for the phone call for the last ten years? – No, no, it sort of depends. Like in early days we
were kind of like oh okay this is like a theme,
you’re killing everyone, we’re like again, like
guaranteeing our mortgages, so let’s just get that straight. So you get a phone call from David and Dan who are the creators of the
show and everyone starts to really dread that phone call, because if you’re like oh my God, they want to take me out for dinner, they wanna take me out for dinner and so then you know that’s
the kiss of death, literally. – That’s it, so nobody wants
to go to dinner with them or hear from them. – But then every time they’d
ask you out for dinner, they’re like we’re not trying to kill you. We just wanna get dinner. We just wanna talk about–
– We just wanna feed you. – Yeah, we just wanna
talk about what you’re, but for me on a very real level, ’cause I started so green and was so incredibly grateful to be employed, I just assumed that every imposter’s syndrome times a million. I just assumed that every time I was gonna read the script I was gonna be written off ’cause I was just crap and
that they had had enough. And that this time was the last time. So almost every single
season and genuinely until like the last season where you’re like, “Oh wow, I did the whole,
that’s good, nice, nice.” But yes it takes–
– Do you ask questions? Do you ask where it’s going? And how much are then told? – They really don’t give anything away. – Does that help you? – So yeah I don’t like to live season, in anything other than in
the season that I’m in, because Daenerys she
really has evolved so much. And she’s grown so much in every season there’s something new that happens. So it does feel like a new character. I’m very, very, very
lucky in that sense to have lived with a character for ten years, but we’ve grown together. So I have to just deal with what I’m dealing with in the moment. – You are my queen. I don’t
know what else I can say? – You can say nothing to anyone ever. Never tell them who you really are. Swear your brother and
Samwell Tarly to secrecy and tell no one else or it
will take on a life of it’s own and you won’t be able to control it or what it does to people no matter how many times you bend to the knee, no matter what you swear. I think they very quickly
started to write each individual actor but with me, they,
I think they definitely, you start to see in the stage directions. Like there complete goofballs. So most of the stage
directions are like ridiculous and very funny and
mention really rude things that I can’t say. – Daenerys farts. John looks– – Just like a lot of in jokes about like and then John Snows hair
glistens in the sun. Like we know it well. Like the Pantene advert,
this should be okay. All that kind of nonsense, but yeah, so they started writing for us very much. I think they knew that
whatever kind of stoic sort of cold sensibilities
they might be writing down that I was gonna try and
bring a bit more warmth and a bit more kind of humanity to her where I possibly could. And that was always a conversation
we were always having. And every season I would go
off and do something else in hiatus, come back and
be, like “What’s up?” Yeah, I’m just gonna sit like this. This is how’s she’s gonna, and every time they’re
like “That’s really cute, “but sit up straight, and don’t smile, “and you’re not funny” and let’s just. – [Lacey] Let’s do this. – And so you have to keep
kind of bringing it back into like the parameters
that I myself set up. But just set up real young. So yeah, perfect posture
being one of them, which can be really annoying. – And you obviously, you
have the comic books. So there is source material there, but I am curious what kind
of questions are you asking and how is it informing you?
– Oh I’m a pain in the ass. I’m a total pain in the ass.
– [Lacey] What does that mean? – Well because I’m all up in it. Like I’m the one who
when I really wanna know or I really wanna collaborate, I really wanna think
about something with them, I have the conversation
and we get on the phone. I chat it out. I’m like so I
think it’s trying to do this, but what about, you know what I mean? I’m not pushing the whole
story to another place, but I’m just, I’m trying in my head, in my pretentious mind, I’m trying to help them
accomplish what they’re proposing. – How much of that is
you are a playwright? You are somebody who is used
to also being the person who is crafting the story. – Right and they’re so awesome. I’ve had such an amazing
opportunity and experience working on this show for
the last seven years. And it really is family and so the showrunners have been, I’ve worked with of course Scott Gimple, and now Angela Kang. And she was there also the entire time and so they’re family to me. So I can really talk to them
and really hash things out and give ideas and thoughts. Not necessarily ideas so much. – I was about to say, yes. – Thoughts, the ideas are theirs. Sometimes they’re like “Yeah,
discuss that with the writer.” And I think as time goes
on, as Emilia saying, you get more and more able to do that. They understand, you’re living in her, she’s living in you at this point. So we’re totally, the collaboration becomes
more and more full. – You’re my mom. You chose to be. Because you love me and I love you. – Yeah I do. – And loving someone means
doing whatever it takes to keep them safe right? But when did we stop
loving Daryl, Aunt Maggie, Carol, the King? – We, we didn’t. – I’m curious both of you
have done huge franchises, film franchises and huge
television franchises. How do the fans differ? The experience and the
relationship with fans, how does that differ? – Regardless of what movie I’m on, I only get asked about “Game of Thrones”? – [Lacey] Only get? – Yeah when you’re on “Star
Wars and “Star Wars” are like, “That’s not okay.” – And I’m like “I’m not mentioning it, “but in saving my dragons, dragons,” but yeah it can be, “Game
of Thrones” fans are very, it’s a beast into and
I am indebted to them, and bonded with them. (actresses laughing) – In a way that no other job
would ever do will touch that. – Well I don’t know how
you moved on from that. – Those guys are my people.
– They’re your people. I like that.
– Are my people. – What about your experience? You’ve got the Marvel audience, you’ve got the “Black Panther”, all these different things? – Okoye is, she’s leveling with Michonne. I think it’s definitely like things, when you’re asked to sign things, it’s kind of– – [Lacey] Oh yeah, which one is it? – They’re kind of, they’re
kind of, I never know, it’s kind of a 50/50. – That’s a pretty cool place to be. – Yeah sometimes one tops the other. I never know. It’s unpredictable. – And you can’t see ’em
and know who’s coming, and like “Ooh, I think you’re gonna be?” – No, no sometimes they have both. Like okay, cool, yeah. – Emilia you wrote
recently a wildly powerful, devastating piece, an essay, about sort of what you were going through that the world didn’t know
you were going through. I’m curious what got you to
the place where you said, I’m ready to share this with the world? – Yeah like two weeks before I did, I was like I’m not ready to
share this with the world. They’ve already said. – Why did you decide you were ready? – ‘Cause I’ve been working on a charity for about five years. So I basically with the first, so I had two brain hemorrhages. With the first one, it started off as like
I want to make a sofa for the family room, ’cause every time my parents would come in from chilling in the room, which obviously they ended
up spending night and day in, they’d all come in like, “Ugh.” Like they really hurt themselves or like they got a crick in their neck and I’m like we need to
get a new sofa in there. We to get a new couch in there. And it it started as that and
then like how can we build it? How can we build it? And then it became a kind of mission and it just took me a really
long time to narrow down my point of focus to what I
felt like I could do to help. Because surviving the first one, anyone who survived anything
where you should of died, you feel it’s sort of responsibility. At least I do, and so when starting this, in building this charity, that I’ve been building for a while, and in trying to figure out what it is, I went through a phase where
I was having a tough time with doing lots of press. And I don’t know if you
guys have felt that this is, at any point in your
life, where you just feel, I don’t think I can be seen anymore. I’m drowning in this. I feel anxiety and it’s too
much and I can’t handle it and in that moment, I was like I can’t tell my story and we were gonna do this
huge partnership with HBO, which Richard Pleper, the dreamboat that he
is, was gonna do so much. It was gonna be amazing and
then suddenly I was like, “Ahh, I can’t.” – Na-ah, too much. – “It’s way too much. “I’m not ready for that. “I don’t feel safe.” I don’t feel safe in this
environment when people are like, “Hey, talk about your tits,” and you’re like “No.” I’m not gonna give that to you
’cause this is my experience. And I wanna help people. I don’t wanna make anything sensational. I don’t want anyone to
turn around and be like, “Oh another celebrity sob story.” (actresses reacting) And so I really wanted to
keep the integrity of it. And then it took some time
and then we finished the show and then all of these things
happened and then one day I woke up and I was like, “I have to, I have to say this
’cause I can’t help people “if I don’t.” You know like, “Oh so you’re starting “a brain injury charity? “Why?” – [Actress] I don’t know. – It just sounds like a good idea. – I felt like it. To make an area that
was such was intrigued. – How much of that experience
sort of informed how you not only went through life, but also how you approached the character and the strength that it required? I mean you talk about
the drinking morphine– – No, I’ve been lying
for a number of years. Every time anyone’s like “Where’d you get “your strength from? “Heavens, no, no idea,
really idyllic childhood.” Yeah so she and I grew together, but she absolutely, it’s corny as hell, but she saved my life. Because the main things
that happen after you have a brain injury
universally obviously paralysis and all of that aside, is
you have fatigue, which is, it sounds like a fancy way
of saying you’re tired, and it’s not. It’s debilitating to the point
of it’s just so demoralizing. Especially as a young person, when you’re like, “What, why
can I not get off this sofa? “This is ridiculous. “I feel lazy. “I feel all these things.” And so feeling that and feeling again when you’ve had, especially
with the second one. ‘Cause the first one was non-invasive. So they went up through a
major artery in my groin and went up through my
brain and fixed it that way. But the second one, it
went wrong in surgery, so they had to, it was preventative
surgery that went wrong. So they had to crack my head
open and do it that way. And when you have a brain
trauma, I can’t, you just, you know like if you break your leg, you’re like “Hey watch
the leg, it’s broken. “This is a fragile thing right here.” When it’s your, first of all when it’s
just on a physical level, you’re skull, your face, I kept hitting my head (giggling)
which is really annoying. But you get very like and
then as soon as you see that that is something
you wanna be protecting you can’t look someone in the eye, because it’s, somehow it brings up shame. I don’t know how. (actresses reacting) But it is such a, you
just get so protective, and so scared, and you
think so little of yourself, ’cause you’re constantly
not wanting to anyone to be anywhere near you. And that can be just, people
who do not get the help, and do not have the Mother Dragon to walk, the shoes to walk into to kind
of help you get out of it, those are the people I speak to. That I’m speaking to the most with this charity for aftercare. But for me, I was able to then get up
and the show must go on. And so you get back in those
shoes and then Khaleesi’s like killing all the masters, she’s like speaking to
300 people in a language that is not real, she’s literally killing
people with flames, having sex with Kit Harrington, all sorts, and it’s just, and it just
literally forced me awake again. And forced me to look someone
in the eye ’cause I had to. – [Lacey] I love that. How awesome that can be. – Yeah, so that’s kind of, it’s been an unbelievable blessing in a really, really crazy way. I mean I’m so lucky that I
have all of my cognitive skills and I’ve just missed, there’s
a bit of my brain that’s died, and we don’t know what it
is, probably my taste in men. – I wanna touch on “The
Act” really quickly. I believe I heard you say this
is one where your children said, “Ooh, don’t take this. “Don’t take this role” Why and what made you
say, “I gotta do this?” – Well it’s based on the story of Dee Dee and Gypsy Blanchard. And Dee Dee has Munchausen by proxy, so she’s having her daughter treated for all these medical
conditions she doesn’t have. So I told my kids, “Oh you
know I might do this story. “It’s about Dee Dee and Gypsy Blanchard.” And they’d both seen the documentary. “No, don’t do it. “Mom, don’t do it please.” I’m like “You guys know I’m an actor. “I’m not the kind of person who comes home “like take your medicine. (actresses laughing) “What are you guys thinking?” They’re like, “It’s just so scary.” And it is, because I think, you
give up a lot to give birth. Your teeth go, your eyes get worse, it’s physically difficult,
and nature’s built it so that you would die for your child. And you would do anything
to avoid their pain and that’s natural. And when a parent is the opposite, or would inflict pain on their child, it feels like such a
perversion of our natural self. And that was where, I mean I
was very clear with myself, like you are leaving Dee
Dee at work everyday. Like everything about her. – Girls wear make up mom. – You’re not like other girls. Awe, sweet pea, I know sometimes you wanna
be like everybody else, but you know what, (scoffs)
I like you special. – We’re gonna end on some
questions that I’m hoping everyone can answer and we’re gonna move as quickly on this, but the first one, is hoping you guys can
complete this sentence. I act because? Why do you do this? What drives you to do this? – It just came to me
early on, my grandmother. And my grandparents were
Polish actors in Buffalo, at the Polish American theater. So I grew up around
flamboyant personalities and music, and expressivity, and it seemed like a wonderful playground. And I still feel that way. I still feel that’s where my
playful self, my open self, ’cause I think I mean
like a lot of actors, I think I’m naturally shy, but I play characters that are not shy. And that’s been very liberating. I’ve loved the journey’s my
characters have taken me on. I’ve never be that much. – We’re twins, I too. Can y’all tell? (actresses laughing) – What about you? – Well my siblings say,
they’re all older than me, that in the backyard,
I grew up in Zimbabwe. I would walk around
imitating Alexis Colby, so said either she’s
crazy or she’s an actor. (actresses laughing) Maybe both, but I think
the interesting thing, is I imagine interesting
moment for that question, because I was just being asked that by some of my more acting bosses, because I’m creating a show right now. I have a team of writers
and I’m stuck in this room, and I’m like, well it’s a
mini series to be specific. – It’s still a show. – Yeah, mini show. And it’s like they’re looking at me like, “Okay, you’ve never done this before.” (actresses laughing) I’m like “no,” but yeah. Thankfully I have amazing
mentors and teachers. I have a bat phone named Scott Gimple and I’ve been wanting to
do this for a long time and so it’s such an interesting moment, ’cause I just got asked that. Like, “So which one do you like better?” – Do you have an answer? – Sometimes I don’t. As I created, well created. As I was growing up in Zimbabwe, I was in part of like a
story telling type process where you just sort of created
and you acted and you created and you acted and they kind
of went back and forth. They were never separate. So as I grew into the
field, they separated. They had to, but they
both complement each other in my head though I do look
forward to rolling out of bed, and putting on the skull
cap and sitting on set with a big pair of (mumbling)
and just mumbling stuff in someone’s ear and not
going into hair and makeup. Though I love to act, for
the record, I love to act. I love it, but I do look
forward to the other side. – This company’s so delicious. I’m telling you. – All right this is hopefully a fun one. The last time I fan,
present company excluded. The last time I fangirled on somebody was? – I’m gonna just say, I don’t
know how you can ever not fan girl over Oprah. I just don’t know how you cannot. And I got a call from her office. I just recently got a star
on Hollywood Walk of Fame. (actresses reacting) Thank y’all. And then she texted me after
she saw “When They See Us.” And I was walking around
all day with my phone, “I’m just gonna reread that.” (actresses laughing) – What does an Oprah text say? – Girl! Bravo, with a whole bunch of,
hey Oprah used clapping emoji! (actresses laughing) Struck down realness, yes
and then the hand claps! I was like, “Come on now Auntie O!” – That’s awesome. – [Emilia] That’s good. That’s really good. – What about you guys? – [Michelle] Lin-Manuel Miranda. – [Lacey] Yeah? – [Michelle] Yeah. – [Lacey] He was a producer on your show. – Yeah, which is uncomfortable for him, because the first time I ever met him, “Hamilton” is like a really
big deal in our household and we were seated across
from each other at something. And when I saw it was
him, I just screamed! And I asked for pictures, and like videos, and if he could come over
to like another area with me where it was quieter,
and he could just like. It just like came over me. I didn’t know. I just was so, well you can
get something for like kids in your life, you’re like I’m sorry. Like I have, but I lose
like all decorum, I’m like, I need this for this 12 year
old, and this 12 year old, and this 12 year old. (Michelle giggling) So yeah, but I’ve settled. I’ve settled now. – I love it. Well does anybody else have one? – I had one just the other day. I did the Today show and
I found out that Sting was in the green room. (actresses reacting) Going to be the next guest
after me and I turned into like a teenager. I mean he’s just so hot and I, when I approached him in
the green room feeling, I’m like “Hi, my name’s Christine. “I’m just so such a fan.” I felt so stupid that it was real, and so wonderful, and
you kind of get that, (Christine sighs) – Yeah, you still get to be
that little girl inside, sure. – [Danai] Yeah, sexy, oh my God. – I’d be sitting by Glenn Close
and there were photographers present for all of my
like (Emilia gawking). “I don’t know how to, oh my God!” I love her so much and “The
Wife” like blew me away. And I just think she’s magnificent. And then over see in real life she was completely magnificent and
just wonderful and brilliant, and yeah, I love her. – [Lacey] Do you guys have one? – [Danai] I would say, oh
there’s been so many lately, but I would say Cicely Tyson. – [Actress] Oh my God. – Meeting her. I’ve met her a few times
now, but every single time, it’s like– – Like drool coming out of your mouth, stumbling for words. – I’ll mention a little something. I have a condo in Atlanta and
the only thing on the wall is just a massive picture of
her in like black and white when she was, she was middle aged. And I think it was
something like so beautiful about that time. It’s like the idea that that’s
something we’re supposed to be frightened of. Or the longevity idea in
this industry is like, there is none for women. That idea that gets fed
to us and just looking at her everyday reminds me that my journey as an artist is long. – Love that. The last one. Do you have one? I have shivers from that. I did just go to Coachella. (actresses reacting) As a mom. – I love it. – Yeah for my daughter. I brought her, but I saw
Charlotte Gainsburg there. And then afterwards, I was
watching this other band, and then she was standing in front of me, it’s like (whispering). – [Lacey] I love it. – I just watched you. I was just at your show, wow. So that was cool, but also
what popped in my mind, there’s been amazing actors and directors, but politicians. Maxine Waters, hugging Maxine
Waters was very exciting. To meet with Carolyn
Maloney, Jackie Spears, powerful women, who are doing things that I’m so grateful for. I mean that kind of gets me excited. – It’s a great way to end. Thank you guys all for being here. – [Actresses] Thank you. (soft music)

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