tv Late Night With Seth Meyers NBC January 22, 2016 12:37am-1:37am PST
new york, it's "late night with seth meyers." tonight -- paul giamatti. from "dirty grandpa" actress and comedian, aubrey plaza. "new york times" columnist, frank bruni. featuring the 8g band with josh freeze. [ cheers and applause ] ladies and gentlemen, seth meyers! >> seth: good evening, everybody, i'm seth meyers. this is "late night." how's everybody doin' tonight? [ cheers and applause ] very good to hear. in that case, let's get to the news. the east coast is bracing for a winter storm that could dump as much as 2 feet of snow in some places. or as one local meteorologist put it -- >> winter is coming. [ laughter ] >> seth: that guy's such a bummer. [ laughter ] due to this weekend's expected snowfall, experts are predicting a spike in usage of the dating app, tinder. but remember, in either case, you rarely end up getting as many inches as you anticipated.
[ cheers and applause ] keep in mind. donald trump this week questioned how ted cruz could forget both that he was canadian citizen by birth and that he once accepted a $1 million loan from goldman sachs. i don't know. probably the same way someone could forget that they once supported gay marriage, universal health care, a wealth tax, private sector union, an assault weapons ban and hillary clinton, so -- [ cheers and applause ] people be forgettin' things. donald trump said today that he did not expect sarah palin to speak for, quote, that long during her rambling endorsement speech earlier this week. she did speak for over 20 minutes. but remember, for sarah palin, that's only three sentences. [ laughter ] a ton of commas, but only three
music icon cher said recently, donald trump can't come up with a hairstyle that looks human, how could he come up with a plan to defeat isis. so if you're looking for a plan to defeat isis, i wouldn't count on cher, either. [ laughter ] bein' honest. [ applause ] and adviser for donald trump's campaign today said that trump is a person of deep faith. said trump, "it's true. i've spent a lot of time reading the bibl." [ laughter ] [ trump voice ] it's a wonderful book. i've read all of it. [ laughter ] and let me say, it's very great. a 93-year-old world war ii veteran is making headlines for his plans to travel to australia to reunite with his war time girlfriend after 70 years apart. the man says he's excited to see the land down under, and australia.
be happy for him! [ cheers and applause ] i just hope he doesn't get lost -- i just hope he doesn't get lost in the bush. [ laughter ] or if he's lucky, the outback. you guys -- [ light laughter ] gonna wait for this to die down so we can edit that part out. [ light laughter ] singer r. kelly has come forward to defend bill cosby. so that ought to clear bill's name! [ laughter ] [ applause ] there we go! that was a call from bill's lawyer that was one of those good news/bad news things. a recent poll found that 10% of college graduates think judge judy once served on the supreme court. to be fair, it's the same 10% who think justice antonin scalia is the cake boss. and he's not.
and finally, the los angeles public library has announced that it will forgive late fees for borrowers if they turn in their overdue books within the said library card holders, we died years ago! you guys, we've got a great show for you tonight! [ cheers and applause ] he is the star of showtime's "billions" and a fantastic actor. paul giamatti is on the show tonight. [ cheers and applause ] can't wait to talk to him. she is a fantastic actress, she is a very funny person, a friend of ours. she's in the new film "dirty grandpa." aubrey plaza is back on the show. [ cheers and applause ] and we will be talking politics and the election with "new york times" op-ed columnist, frank bruni in the house tonight. [ cheers and applause ] it's a fantastic show. but before we get to all that, the city of flint, michigan, continues to face a massive water crisis that has lasted for nearly two years. and many are now calling for the resignation of michigan's republican governor,
new evidence suggests his administration dismissed concerns about flint's water. and now the questions are, who is to blame, was there a cover-up and should snyder step down. for more on this, it's time for "a closer look." [ cheers and applause ] now, as americans, there are certain things we take for granted. the mcrib will always come back. [ laughter ] mark harmon will always be on tv. and we'll always have access to clean drinking water. but in flint, that's not the case. their water has been poisoned with lead for almost two years after a cost-cutting measure forced on them by the state. >> the problems began in april 2014 when the city switched its water source to the flint river to save money. but the corrosive river water wasn't properly treated and stripped lead from pipes. >> immediately, there were complaints about its taste and smell. >> seth: now, i'm no expert, but i'm pretty sure water isn't supposed to smell. you never get on the subway and say, uh, this car smells like water.
also on the subway, it's never water. [ light laughter ] so just how bad was this problem? >> lead in drinking water should not exceed 15 parts per billion. in flint, more than half of the homes sampled had over 1,000 ppb. the highest reading was 13,200, more than twice what the epa considers toxic waste. >> seth: that's right. the water was twice as poisonous as toxic waste or just slightly less poisonous than a monster energy drink. [ light laughter ] in fact, the water was so toxic in 2014, general motors stopped using it to make cars. >> the city of flint is making the water safe to drink, but when you use that water to make engine parts, it creates some sort of corrosion. >> gm says those higher chlorine levels can cause car parts to rust. >> seth: the water was so bad it caused car parts to rust and yet they let human beings keep drinking it. because when it comes to poison, everyone knows the human body is more durable than a chevy cruze.
so the result of this man made public health crisis is that thousands of people have been poisoned by their own state government. and the question now is, was there a cover-up? did state officials know the water was unsafe to drink? and so far the evidence very much suggests they did. >> one researcher claims the state altered data to make the water seem safer. he says the state not only tested the wrong homes, but altered a report, eliminating tests from two homes that would have shown toxic levels of lead. >> in essence, the state took an 'f' grade for flint water's report on lead and made it into an 'a' grade. >> seth: they turned an 'f' into an 'a.' that's something kids do to avoid getting grounded. i didn't fail the test, mom. i aced it. [ laughter ] now this crisis began in april 2014, but the first public acknowledgment from michigan's governor didn't come until the end of september 2015. snyder says he spoke out publicly, as soon as he found out about the problem, but flint residents aren't buying it. >> the governor says as soon as he found out that the lead was
people to stop drinking it. >> no, that's bull. that's bull crap. [ laughter ] >> seth: bull crap, incidentally, still healthier to drink than flint water. [ laughter and applause ] and in spite of all of this, flint residents have actually been forced to continue paying for their water this whole time. >> you're talking about an economically disadvantage area where people are still paying for their water bills, despite the fact that most of them can't even use the water. >> residents say they're paying for poison. >> seth: they're paying for poison. the only way you should ever pay for poison is through ticketmaster. [ laughter ] give them something to believe in! now snyder has finally started taking some responsibility, but flint's water isn't the only crisis snyder's facing. he's also dealing with teachers in detroit who effectively shut down the city's schools on wednesday with preplanned sickouts. what were the teachers protesting? >> teachers are upset about recent pay cuts and what they are calling deplorable conditions at their schools.
heavily damaged ceilings in roofs, mice sharing rooms with students. >> seth: there's not a mouse in the classroom, the mouse shares the classroom. see it all in the new pixar dud, rata-teacher. [ laughter ] the governor rick snyder, the same governor is now apologizing for the way his administration poisoned the people of flint have to say to the teachers? >> in terms of the sickout in the detroit schools today, what is your message to the teachers? >> i would hope you would stop harming the children. >> seth: unless the school was serving pencils for lunch, they weren't harming kids worse than lead in the water. this has been "a closer look." [ cheers and applause ] we'll be right back with more "late night" after this! so what's your news? i got a job!
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[ cheers and applause ] >> seth: everybody, please give it up for the 8g band! [ cheers and applause ] so happy to have them here. also, he's been working hard on the drums all week and done an amazing job for us. josh freese, everybody! thank you so much for being here. [ cheers and applause ] josh has worked with everyone from katy perry to a perfect circle and has been a member of such iconic bands as sublime with rome and the vandals and yet he says this week has been his greatest accomplishment.
>> thanks, man. >> seth: and come back any time. >> absolutely. [ applause ] >> seth: now, as many of you know, movie awards season is in full swing. the golden globes were a few weeks ago. the oscars right around the corner. and there are so many great movies this year vying for the top awards. but i think there is one movie right now that really stands out, and my bet is that it's poised to be a big winner come oscar night. let's take a look. >> in a town where loyalty is king, with the line between right and wrong, blurred. and justice is anything but blind. one thing reigns supreme. >> you all know me. i'm not just a cop. i'm a father, i'm a son, and above all, i'm from boston. [ laughter ] >> "boston accent." [ light laughter ] critics are calling the film "boston accent" gritty, emotional, and the movie with
[ light laughter ] the politician with the upscale kennedy type boston accent. >> i am the mayor of boston. i was elected to clean up this town but that doesn't mean i'm not going to get my hands dirty. >> the townie who says the word bro in every sentence. >> bro, don't tell me to chill out, because i'm cranked up, bro. and i know where you live, bro. and bro, i know where you work, bro. and bro? i know what you drive, bro. a nissan maxima, bro. [ light laughter ] >> the hard nosed detective played by a british actor who is trying his best, but doesn't quite have it. >> i know he thinks he's wicked smart. here's the thing, i'm wicked smarter. [ laughter ] >> and one actor, who decided at the last minute, not to do a boston accent at all. >> i'm going to go park the car in harvard yard. [ laughter ] >> "vanity fair" called "boston accent," a tour de force of dropped rs, and a brilliant
the new york times says, as with all movies set in boston, i spent less time paying attention to the plot, and more time thinking that accent is good, or yikes, what's that guy doing? [ light laughter ] i kept wondering if the director ever stepped in and asked, where do you think your character is from? [ light laughter ] featuring the word forty, but said in the boston way. >> 40. >> 40. >> 40, bro. >> 40. >> 40, i'm sorry, 40. [ light laughter ] >> and loaded with geographical references to cities and towns in massachusetts and the greater boston area. >> i can meet you in an hour in worcester. >> how about medford? >> how about dorchester? >> how about gloucester? >> how about taunton? >> ah, my cousin eric's from taunton. >> wicked. wicked. >> you want to meet there? >> nah, nah, how about waymouth? >> how about revere? >> how about somerville? >> how about marblehead? >> how about arlington?
>> how about swampscott? >> why don't we meet in braintree? >> that conversation goes on for ten minutes. [ light laughter ] and the only thing stronger than these accents is the love between a man and a woman. boston style. >> what do you want from me, donna? >> i want you to stop treating me like garbage. [ laughter ] >> but when are you going to stop putting jimmies on my ice cream? >> oh, i'll put jimmies on your ice cream when you stop acting like a [ bleep ] prick. >> donna! [ light laughter ] see the movie that is being hailed as chock full of aerial shots of fenway park. and "boston accent" would not be complete without people talking about loyalty and southy and all that other boston stuff. >> i mean, you know, southy loyalty is more important than a gun, you know. don't take my word for it. you know, just watch "the departed," or "cal," or "black mass," "mystic river," "gone, baby, gone."
"boondock saints." you know, "goodwill hunting," actually, has a lot of those themes too. you know, there's not the same amount of violence, but i think it still holds up, ya know. >> the "boston globe" asks, why did they keep doing this? [ light laughter ] and the "los angeles times" says, nearly every scene has people talking about knowing one another's relatives. and inquiring about their current whereabouts. featuring 75 new songs from the dropkick murphys that all sound like this. and shots with real bostonians who stand in the background to give the movie authenticity. oh, and i almost forgot. it also has people getting shot in the head. [ gunshot ] >> what are you going to do about it, bro? [ gunshot ] hey, pal. [ gunshot ] [ gunshot ] [ gunshot ] [ gunshot ] >> "boston accent." probably a ben affleck film. [ cheers and applause ] >> seth: we'll be right back with paul giamatti!
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[ cheers and applause ] >> seth: welcome back to "late night," everybody. our first guest is a talented actor who you know from his work in "straight outta compton", "12 years a slave", and "sideways." he's currently starring in the new series, "billions", which airs sunday nights on showtime. let's take a look. >> what it does is that every once in a while there's this thing we say -- i am never so proud as when i choose not to prosecute a case. and that's true, in theory.
i could just be more -- human. i haven't figured out how to do that and my job at the same time. you know? >> seth: please welcome to the show, paul giamatti! [ cheers and applause ] >> seth: how are you? [ cheers and applause ] >> fantastic! >> seth: so happy to see you. >> thank you very much sir. >> seth: this is -- there's a lot of coincidences here. we haven't seen each other for 11 years -- >> true. >> seth: since you hosted "snl." >> yes. >> seth: we have a blizzard coming, potentially. >> that's right. >> seth: and when you hosted "snl", the night you hosted, there was a blizzard. >> that's right. >> seth: and after the show, the after party at the restaurants, everything closed. >> that's right. >> seth: and we had the after party right here in this studio. >> i remember it well, yeah. blizzards follow me wherever i go. >> seth: yes. >> i'm the blizzard king! >> seth: you got ripped off. so instead of getting this cool party at a restaurant -- >> i know!
mitzvah with cooler people. [ laughter ] >> yeah. yeah, you're right. it was kind of a letdown. i was looking forward to the party. >> seth: it was basically boxed wine and bud light. >> yeah. >> seth: it was a bummer. >> doritos. >> seth: sorry about that. >> no, it's okay. it's all right. thank you. >> seth: congratulations on "billions." >> thank you, sir. >> seth: this was the highest rated premier in showtime's history. [ cheers and applause ] >> that's what they say. yeah, thank you. thank you. >> seth: you play -- >> people love it. >> seth: you play a u.s. attorney for the southern district of new york. >> that's right. i play, like, rudy guiliani --e >> seth: and you're trying to take down damian lewis. >> that's right. >> seth: and you guys are fantastic. >> thank you. >> seth: there is some nuance though. do you feel like people watching the show know who they're rooting for? and who do you want them to root for? >> well, i think the idea is that it's going to be complicated for people. >> seth: gotcha. >> i mean, at the end of the day, i play the good guy. so i hope everybody roots for me. >> seth: there you go. >> 'cause i'm the good guy. >> seth: but you're super biased -- >> but i play the law man -- >> seth: that's super biased. >> i'm super biased. i'm super biased. [ light laughter ] yeah, at the end of the day, i hope the guy who breaks the law, people aren't going, "yay, the guy who breaks the law." >> seth: okay. >> you know? but we'll see. it's supposed to be complicated. >> seth: i will say, when we're talking about what's complicated about it, it's one of the great -- you've played a lot of
introduction scenes i would say you've ever had in anything. the first time we see you -- >> yes. >> seth: you are lying on the ground, and a dominatrix is standing over you. >> that's right. [ laughter ] >> seth: and -- >> dressed up like a big ol' turkey on the ground. >> seth: dressed up and it's pretty compromising. >> it is very compromising. i have to say, it is one of the most enjoyable things i've ever done. >> seth: it was. [ laughter ] >> i'm not kidding. i read that first scene, i was like, "i can't wait to do this, actually." [ light laughter ] i was really like -- but i only hoped it would be, and i'm not kidding, tastefully done. >> seth: that's nice. >> you know what i mean? >> seth: and it is. >> yes it is. >> seth: it is tastefully done. the lighting is dark, the dominatrix is shot from behind. >> that's right. it's very tasteful. so it's an interesting part of a character. and, you know, it's great. it's like -- i got to talk to a dominatrix, an actual one. i got to learn about all this stuff. it was great. >> seth: so you did research with a real dominatrix? >> oh, yeah. yeah, yeah, yeah. [ light laughter ] >> seth: and, now, i also heard you shot on location in actual new york city sex clubs.
we shot in two sex clubs. one was just a strip club. >> seth: okay. >> very tasteful. >> seth: great. [ laughter ] >> and the other one was a sex club. >> seth: what -- i have no -- i have no idea what those would be like. [ laughter ] >> really? >> seth: fill me in, paul. >> where was it? there was this veterinary clinic. >> seth: okay. >> and there's a service door next to it. it's on a street -- it's on like 28th street, or something. >> seth: uh-huh, 26th. >> 26th. [ laughter ] and you go right in the door. and you go down this corridor -- i mean, people are bringing their dogs and cats to this place. and then you go through another door -- >> seth: so if you don't have a pet, they know exactly what your deal is. >> i think so, i think so. so then you go down a staircase, and yeah, you're in a sex club. and it's like -- it's creepy and scary. >> seth: yeah. >> and there's, like -- there's fantasy rooms. >> seth: oh, wow. >> like i'm a naughty boy black board. there is an operating room. and there's like all of this weird stuff. it was -- the weirdest part of it is, there was a bar. and i thought, oh, they serve --
there. there was just a bar with some stools. and the only thing behind the bar that they serve, there was a milk shake machine and a waffle iron. [ laughter ] >> seth: a waffle -- >> so i'm like -- so guys are going there for brunch? [ light laughter ] best brunch in new york city. >> seth: that's how they get the woman there. they're like, "we're gonna go to a place -- fantastic waffles." >> "you're gonna love it." >> seth: "and then once there, let's see what happens." >> absolutely. crispy belgian waffles. >> seth: i would not want to -- i do not think about the head space i'd have to be to be at a sex club and the head space i'd have to be to want waffles -- >> to eat, at all. >> seth: seems very different. >> absolutely. the whole thing was really kind of crazy. and i mean, researching it and stuff, you're hearing about stuff that i can't talk about. but the dominatrix would talk about stuff, and i would just be like, "that's cool, that's good. i'm done. that's great." >> seth: so you needed a safe word just to talk about it. [ laughter ] >> i did. get it out of my head, totally. >> seth: like, tambourine! tambourine! >> please, please. tambourine!
you about this, because you mentioned you're seeing "hamilton" next month? >> i am. >> seth: yeah, "hamilton", fantastic. [ cheers and applause ] >> everybody's big fans. i'm really psyched. i'm really psyched. >> seth: so i saw it and it inspired me to go back and watch "john adams", your fantastic hbo mini series. >> wow, i appreciate that. [ cheers and applause ] wow, thank you. thank you. >> seth: do you -- because john adams gets pretty short shrift in "hamilton." >> is he in it at all? >> seth: he's not. [ light laughter ] >> really? >> seth: and i will say, you know "hamilton" -- >> nothing! >> seth: but you know it's sort of like a sort of a rap-based musical. >> i do know that, yes. >> seth: 'cause there is -- he gets name-dropped a couple times. >> okay. that's it? >> seth: and i'm pretty sure one of it -- one time hamilton says, and i apologize, these aren't my words. these are alexander hamilton's words. >> oh, really? >> seth: "shut up, john. you fat mother [ bleep ]." [ laughter ] i'm pretty sure that's in the show. >> i'm pretty sure that's in the declaration of independence. absolutely. you're kidding me, really? they say that about him? >> seth: they say that. do you feel close? do you have a closeness to john adams, playing him? again, i would imagine you did a lot of research. >> yes i did. not the same dominatrix research. not nearly as entertaining.
i definitely do. you know, he gets a really -- he was not a very good president. let's just be honest. >> seth: yeah. >> he was kind of a crappy president. and you know, but it is funny. i'll walk around and people very nicely will recognize it. and still, they'll all be like, "you were sensational in the ben franklin biopic." [ light laughter ] and i'm always like, the guy can't -- or the sam adams biopic. and i'm like, "you've got to be kidding me, man." but that's unbelievable. he's not in it at all? >> seth: well, to be fair, when i went back and watched "john adams" -- the "john adams" mini-series is not that kind to alexander hamilton. >> that's true. >> seth: like, that was a fun -- like, reminded me, oh, history really depends on the point of view it's told. >> absolutely. >> seth: because hamilton was kind of a dick head in "john adams." >> in john adams's mind -- in a lot of people's minds he was kind of a dick head. but he was cool. that's the thing. he was sort of a bad ass. i mean, i remember when i was reading about him -- he's like a super hero or something. i mean, he's really cool. >> seth: here's the thing. when you go see "hamilton", i do think, when that line happens, you should make a big scene about leaving. [ laughter ] >> i object!
i played ben franklin in the "john adams" mini series! [ laughter ] i can't wait to hear what you think about it. thank you so much for being here, man. >> thanks man. appreciate it. >> seth: always good to see you. paul giamatti, everybody! [ cheers and applause ] new episodes of "billions" air sunday nights on showtime. we'll be right back with aubrey plaza. [ cheers and applause ]
let's take a look. >> you're a hard man to track down, professor. >> are those my pants? >> yeah, these are your pants. i found a werther's original in the pocket and i've been sucking on it all morning. >> you do know that i'm not a professor, right? >> yeah, i know. you're just a dirty, dirty grandpa. i like your pullout couch. >> yeah, well, i've got news for you. that's the only thing that's going to be pulling out tonight. [ light laughter ] [ audience ohs ] >> seth: please welcome back to the show, a young woman who hurt her acl so i'm going to go carry her over. aubrey plaza! [ cheers and applause ]
[ cheers and applause ] >> hi! >> seth: you always look super sexy, but the cane was what was missing. >> i know, i know you love a cane. >> seth: i love a cane. so how did it happen? how did you bust it up? >> i tore my acl playing basketball. in a basketball game. >> seth: all right. >> and i had to get knee surgery. and i got a cadaver tendon put in my knee, so my knee is haunted now. >> seth: oh, it is haunted. [ laughter ] that's official, right? they tell you that when it goes in? >> official, right? [ light laughter ] >> seth: you get to meet the cadaver ahead of time? or is it just -- >> no. >> seth: really? that's a bummer. 'cause it would be fun -- >> i asked if i could pick, but they said no. [ laughter ] >> seth: well, hopefully you got a good cadaver acl. >> i know! [ laughter ] >> seth: you play a lot of basketball. i did not know that. >> yeah, i just ball hard. [ laughter ] and i won't stop. >> seth: and you balled too hard and now you have to stop. >> no, i won't. >> seth: oh, you're still gonna just get out there -- >> nothing can make me stop! [ laughter ] i'm gonna stop. >> seth: last time -- last time you were here, we had a problem
"parks and rec." it wasn't really a reunion, it was the night you aired your finale. >> that's right. >> seth: and jim o'heir, the fantastic actor who played jerry -- during the goodnights for the show, you guys just full on made out for like a long time. [ laughter ] [ cheers ] >> yeah. >> seth: and have you guys stayed in touch? >> you know, we have three children. >> seth: oh, okay. [ laughter ] so it went really well. >> yeah. we kind of just took it and ran with it. >> seth: that's fantastic. that's a fast turn-around on three children. 'cause that is under a year ago. >> i know. i know. [ laughter ] our kids are disgusting looking. i hate them all. [ light laughter ] >> seth: "dirty grandpa." congratulations. it's super funny. you auditioned for a different character than the one you ended up playing. >> no. i -- i was asked to audition for the other character. >> seth: gotcha. sort of the zac efron love interest. >> zac efron love interest, like the cool girl or whatever. but when i read the script, i was like, "if i'm going to be in this movie, i'm going to play
>> seth: sure. [ light laughter ] >> because that's what i want to do. [ laughter ] >> seth: yeah. with all due respect to zac efron, a lovely man. >> yeah. no, no, no. >> seth: not your type. >> yeah, no offense to him, but i was just like, "when will i get an opportunity to play de niro's love interest ever?" so i just was like, "i'm doing it." and it was actually at "parks and rec" i decided this. i left one of the last days of our shoot, the last episode, i just went from there to the audition. and i had a plan to flash them. >> seth: oh. >> like my butt. >> seth: uh-huh. [ laughter ] >> and it was in the script. so it wasn't, like, totally, you know -- >> seth: out of nowhere. >> freaky on my part. but it was. and i even had the "parks and rec" make-up department, like, put make-up on my -- just make sure my butt looks good. [ light laughter ] and then i just went there, and i just like threw the script out and just looked at the camera and said a bunch of really dirty things. and then i flashed them and then
and then i got it! [ laughter ] >> seth: so this is -- [ cheers and applause ] this is like -- this is an instructional video for young actors. >> yeah, if you wanted to be an actor, you just take your clothes off. >> seth: there you go. that's very inspirational. >> but it was a character choice. >> seth: gotcha. >> i'm a character. >> seth: you -- do you -- you have sex with robert de niro in the movie. and you guys -- do you have to like psych yourself up for this? this is throughout the film. this is pretty much all your character wants. that's you dancing with robert de niro. >> that's robert de niro >> seth: yeah. of acting. >> yeah, that scene was awesome, because we didn't rehearse it. we were dancing in a nightclub, and he was just down. he was like, "whatever you want me to do, tell me where to put my hands." >> seth: wow. he looks pretty down there too. [ laughter ] >> yeah. that's like my favorite. that wasn't even in the movie. that was just something we just did for fun. [ laughter ] yeah.
a comedy. so when i say intimacy, it's not so intimate. >> well -- >> seth: but did he -- [ laughter ] >> to me it's a love story. [ laughter ] it is! >> seth: yeah, it is! i believed the minute i first saw your character, i believed that you wanted to have sex with robert de niro. >> he's met his match. >> seth: he has met his match. did he give you -- did you guys like connect before the film started? did you -- i heard he gave you a gift. >> yeah, he's a very classy guy. he gave everyone a start gift. i believe it was a very expensive bottle of wine and a little card that said "break a leg" or something. >> seth: uh-huh. >> and i was like, "should i give him a gift?" i didn't know him. we never talked. and i was like, really scared of working with him. >> seth: sure. >> because i was terrified. but i was like, "i'm going to do something kind of crazy." and i took like a real slutty picture of myself in my trailer, in character, and then i printed
zen buddhism and i slipped it under his trailer door with a little note that said, like, "happy shooting" or something. [ laughter ] and then i just like waited. and i didn't hear anything about it for a week. and i was terrified that i had made a mistake and that maybe i was going to get fired and maybe he wouldn't like that. because i don't know him. >> seth: right. >> and then, like, he kind of just casually came over to me, like, a week later and he was like, "i got your book." [ laughter ] and he was like -- i put the picture on page 4, and he was like, "i only got to page 4." [ laughter ] it was very good. and then he walked away. and i was like, "got him!" [ laughter ] >> seth: and then you did have to shoot a very funny sex scene with robert de niro. >> yeah. >> seth: is that -- was that day even more intimidating than the others? >> yeah, that day was -- yeah, it was scary. it was an entire day of us, just, like, pretending to -- >> seth: yeah.
>> seth: i would not say that was a beautiful, you two making love scene. >> well, parts of it were. but yeah, it was crazy. it was really -- there was so many weird moments. but he was so cool about it and so, like, professional and everything. and i -- i felt bad for him, because the very first thing that happened before we even started doing anything was -- originally my bra was supposed to, like, pop off and it was going to be this gag and then they decided at the last minute that we're not going to do that. but they had rigged my bra anyway, so they were like, it won't pop off, it's fine. and the very first take, they were like, "action!" and he, like, went towards me, and it pops off, and i was like, "ah!" [ laughter ] and that's how we started the day. and i was like, "well, at least we broke the ice." [ laughter ] >> seth: well, you will always have this. that you have this incredible robert de niro experience. >> yeah, and so will he. >> seth: yeah, absolutely. [ laughter ] i'll tell you this, next time he's here, that's all we're talking about, is aubrey plaza. >> good. >> seth: thank you so much for coming back. it's always great to see you. >> thanks for having me. thanks for carrying me. >> seth: i hope you heal up
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[ cheers and applause ] >> seth: welcome back, everybody. our next guest is a best-selling author and an award-winning journalist who has a column in the "new york times" every sunday and wednesday. please welcome to the show, frank bruni! [ cheers and applause ] >> seth: how are you? >> i'm good. how are you? >> seth: i'm very good. we were talking backstage. you have to write two columns a week.
come up with material. right now with this election, i feel it's a little bit easier for both of us. >> it's a lot easier. >> seth: it's a lot easier. >> yeah. >> seth: and you have been writing a lot about the election so far to a point that some of the candidates have taken note of you. >> yes. >> seth: ted cruz in a debate actually brought, the moderator brought up one of your columns, and ted cruz was not, he made it very clear he was not a fan of you. >> no, so we have, so it's a mutual relationship. >> seth: yeah. >> you know, we feel the same about each other. >> seth: that's always nice. >> yes, yes. [ applause ] [ cheers and applause ] ago in 2000, i covered campaign. i remember having dinner in a group of campaign aides that included ted cruz. >> seth: oh, that's right. >> and there was no sense at that time that he would go on to become the ted cruz we see in this campaign. >> seth: right. and now you also, donald trump? another person you have written another person that took note and you wrote a column where you actually had to apologize to trump because you made a mistake. >> i did. i was choosing from a basket of people whom he called "losers." >> seth: yes. >> which is basically the entire universe, maybe including you,
>> seth: i have been called a loser by donald trump, yes. >> right so it's, yeah. so it's, well, we're together in this then. >> seth: thank you. [ light laughter ] >> so i was basically choosing from the entire universe minus five people. and one of the names on the list was howard stern. but it was the lawyer howard stern, not the radio show host. >> seth: right. >> so trump tweeted that i was a dope. >> seth: right. another one of his words. >> yeah, dope, dummy and loser. i became a dope. i don't know where that ranks in the taxonomy of trump insults. >> seth: yeah. >> but i did tweet back at him, and said this dope apologizes, you got me. >> seth: there you go. that's, that's nice journalism right there, to admit fault. >> i believe in, i believe in falling on your sword. >> seth: now you have a theory, because i was one of the people that when this whole thing started with trump, i thought it would be short-lived. i thought this would never have the kind of momentum it has now. what is your theory as to why this continues, why he still has this position in the polls? >> i think he does this amazing job of putting so much fodder out. feeding so much new stuff to the media every single day. that his sins of the past get erased, right? no one remembers after three
muslims, because he's given so much fresh chum in the water. >> seth: right. >> it's sort of like the eternal sunshine of the spotless candidate. [ light laughter ] the past keeps getting erased. >> seth: right. whereas if any other candidate had done just one of the things he had, it would ruin a campaign. >> we would talk about it incessantly, but he keeps turning the page. there is so much new information. he's attacking someone else. and he's done an incredible job of making every other candidate talk about what he wants them to talk about. ted cruz has spent the last several days talking about donald trump's attack on ted cruz. it's kind of brilliant. >> seth: he has been playing a wonderful chess game. you wrote something that i thought was fascinating, this idea, of every candidate you can imagine giving a concession speech ultimately not working out for them. donald trump can't lose. like, he's, or he's created a persona that losing, i don't know what would happen. >> right. loser is his word for people who are no good in life. >> seth: right. >> i think normally if someone loses iowa, they say i'm going to win new hampshire. i think if trump loses iowa, it's a destruction of the entire brand. >> seth: yeah, i think he's going to burn it down. >> right.
to the ground. [ light laughter ] >> other -- >> seth: you can't be allowed to continue saying these things! >> yeah, i think i would be scared if i were an iowan. wouldn't you? >> seth: yeah. >> so, he may win because they'll vote out of fear. >> seth: yeah, i think so. i think we all eventually will. cause you just can't picture him standing at a podium being like, well, we did our best. >> right, right, right. >> seth: that's not him. [ laughter ] >> no, no, i mean, as i think i said in the paper, he can't wear the nickname come back kid. >> seth: right. >> that's like a middle seat in coach for a guy who has many private planes. >> seth: exactly. exaclty. now, i want to also talk to you about this. because your career trajectory has been so interesting. you were the chief restaurant critic at the "new york times" for a long time. >> i was. >> seth: i've always been fascinated by this. when you have to eat meals like that where you then are going to analyze and write your opinion, is it still joyous to eat? >> yeah, i think eating is pretty joyous. >> seth: okay, so you never, it never got boring for you? >> that never got boring. what gets hard is describing food with new words. the vocabulary. >> seth: i see.
>> seth: right. >> and then you find yourself using succulent. >> seth: yeah. >> and i made myself a promise when i got to the twentieth succulent i would stop being a restaurant critic, and i think after 100 i finally gave up the gig. >> seth: gotcha. is it true that when you travel as a restaurant critic, you have to keep a low profile and be in disguise? is this -- >> not many of us disguise ourselves. but, you try really hard to make sure they have no idea you're on your way. so you use an ever-changing roster of fake names. >> seth: got it. >> and i was always not a good planner in advance, so i'd be on the phone making my reservation with a restaurant and i would look at my bookshelf. and so i dined out as mr. webster, mr. fodor, mr. grisham, mr. updike. never with the same person as -- >> seth: i can't believe no one figured that out. >> you know, someone probably did and was too kind -- >> seth: yeah. they're like, shakespeare is coming to dinner again. [ laughter ] i think it's probably, i think it's safe to say it's bruni. >> right. >> seth: and did you ever have a particularly awful experience? >> i had many particularly awful experiences.
feel awful knowing that you will have to like commit it to paper? >> you feel bad, because you know some people are working hard. but some restaurants are just so off their game, you're doing customers a big favor. if you didn't say, hey, don't go here. >> seth: right. >> you know, there is a great restaurant in downtown new york now, called locanda verde. >> seth: fantastic place. >> great italian place. it used to be a place called aggo. >> seth: okay. >> aggo was dreadful and i was the one who was in the job when it opened, i reviewed it. and i remembered one night i ordered rack of lamb. >> seth: mm-hmm. >> and this large chop that looked nothing like lamb came. and i said, what is this? and they said it's a veal chop and i said, "well i ordered the rack of lamb special." and they said oh, it's our rack of lamb veal chop. and so they literally created a hybrid beef, where none had ever existed. >> seth: and you couldn't appreciate that feat of science. >> well, i could write about it. >> seth: there you go. thank you so much for being here. >> thank you. >> seth: keep up the good work. it's wonderful reading you twice a week. [ cheers and applause ] frank bruni, everybody! be sure to read his column in the "new york times" on sundays and wednesdays. we'll be right back.