The following output was transcribed from our audio recording.
Although the transcription is largely accurate, it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
It is posted to aid in understanding the interview but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
Mindy Cohn 00:00
Hi everyone, welcome back to another episode of Monday's with Monday. Say hi to the people Christian.
Christian Brescia 00:06
Hi people Welcome back.
Mindy Cohn 00:10
This episode is sponsored by one of our favorite hotels ever pretty much top five I'm gonna say in the world would be the Woodstock way Hotel in Woodstock, New York shout out. Anyway, today's episode features a conversation with actor and writer and someone I'm a huge fan of, by the way. PJ Byrne, born and raised in New Jersey and a graduate of Boston College with a double major in finance in theater, and an MFA from a theater school at DePaul University. Oh, well educated bloke. Yeah, PJ gratefully followed his passion for acting instead of finance, although he probably leave with how well he's doing finance coming in handy. PJ is one of those rare actors character actors. They may not be a household name, but has a face that you don't forget and creates characters that are just as unforgettable. He started his career in small roles in such films as little films like Bruce Almighty Fun with Dick and Jane and bewitched, and on television series, such as er in the West Wing, Reno 911 before getting a reoccurring role on the game, wow. But in the last few years, PJ has gone on to more prominent roles in such films as dinner with schmucks extraordinary measures, an unforgettable role in Horrible Bosses, and the fifth installment of the phenomenally successful Final Destination franchise. In addition to his on screen roles, PJ also provides the voice of Bolin one of the lead roles in The Legend of Korra on Nickelodeon, he appeared in Martin Scorsese is The Wolf of Wall Street. Join Dwayne Johnson in the 2008 action film rampage, and most recently starred in CO starred I shouldn't say starred, the girls would be upset about that, but co starred in hbos. Big Little Lies. showtimes. I'm dying up here and Amazon's the boys Well, the man does not stop. I mean, I'm here for it. PJ. PJ is also adding writer to his resume having recently sold brothers of the bride to new line, a feature he will also star in that will be produced by Ben Stiller's company read our productions. Bravo. I really can't wait to talk to him about this nice. PJ lives in Los Angeles with his wife Jamie and their three children. Let's give it a whirl. Shall we?
Christian Brescia 02:33
You ready? I say let's bring him in. Ladies and gentlemen. Big round of applause for PJ Byrne.
PJ Byrne 02:40
Guys, I made it the world is gonna be okay. Now we're all together. That's ready. Fine. We're gonna be fine. For the present moment.
Mindy Cohn 02:47
I'm relieved. I can't even tell you.
PJ Byrne 02:49
Yeah, no, screw the vaccine. The fact that the three of us are together that is just saying a lot to the world. We're gonna be okay. This is the superpower. More than one.
Mindy Cohn 02:57
Yeah, for sure. Okay, so we're gonna jump right in. I always start
PJ Byrne 03:01
jump in, jump in. Oh, what do you started with? I'm excited.
Mindy Cohn 03:05
We kind of came up with some questions Exactly. Just a way to just start gabbing not that you and I need help with that. Usually,
PJ Byrne 03:11
veal piccata it's a you know, it's a baby calf. It's very weird and awkward right now, but being Sicilian. Like veal. piccata.
Mindy Cohn 03:19
Thank you. Okay, fantastic. PJ Who's your favorite relative and why?
PJ Byrne 03:24
Oh, Jesus Christ. Why you putting that on me?
I I'm Italian. That's like the person I pick will be happy and elated. Everyone else wants are getting the Italian. Oh,
Mindy Cohn 03:35
you will owe with them. Yes.
PJ Byrne 03:37
Who do I love? Yeah, I well. I have a faux cousin. Who was my who was my best man. Frankie dipaolo. He's the dentist of Hoboken, New Jersey. He's incredible dentist and you know, the Italians a lot of fake cousins. And he lived across the street from me growing up and their family became very, very close and the depaolo family actually the read the name of my child is because of his father Uncle Frank. So we so my dad just had a newborn baby. Yeah, Bear Bear burn, bear burn. Very excited. And the reason we named him bears because we used to go on trips with the palace. Like our whole lives are like smike brothers and sisters essentially. And back in the day though, we used to drive to like Hilton Head from New Jersey. And you there was no cell phone. So everyone had CB radios? Oh my god, I love it. And you had to have a handle right to like, doctors wouldn't get pissed at you. And so my Uncle Frank, who was also a dentist, he was this hysterical bald Dennis I swear to God the reason I think I've any element of being funny in my in my bones is because of him. So he was he was bald eagle. Right? Oh, God, all funny dad. And my dad, who is 642 22 I missed a gene. I'm very pissed. I'm gonna play basketball a lot longer. And he was big bear. Big Bear. So we named you know my my nuisance On in honor of my dad, bear burn and my dad is Paul. Ignatius burn very Catholic. So my son, Paul, burn. Ignatius was in the running. Wow. It was. It was Christian. Yeah. So his Christian Actually, yes. And Mindy was like a close second. Air. Burn.
Mindy Cohn 05:18
Yeah. Wow. Yeah. Oh, yeah.
PJ Byrne 05:21
There's an answer. And I think everyone's okay with that. Yeah.
Mindy Cohn 05:24
I love that answer. Yeah,
I'm gonna miss dinner in 2021. Again,
Mindy Cohn 05:30
yes, they'll be accepted. back into the fold. Speaking of dinner, if you could have dinner with any three people. Oh, who would they be?
I didn't know. This was like a, like a question contest. I love this. People.
Mindy Cohn 05:43
Yeah. And and answering it in the now like, no one's gonna hold you to it.
Are they alive? be whatever you want. It doesn't matter. So there's no wrong answer. No,
Christian Brescia 05:51
no. Just like who's the curious group you would assemble? Alright, these
are this is great. Well, um, let's get my grandfather back in there. My mom passed away because he would just have I would just have a nice time having dinner with him again. And then whenever we pick. Holy, now I gotta pick relatives I've never met now. That is the death now. You do. I never met my grandmother. Oh, yes. Never met my mother's mother and I never met my father's father. So So now I gotta have four people at the table. For for all the grandparents back together. Yeah.
Mindy Cohn 06:29
It's like your own Willy Wonka.
Yeah. Yeah, we can get like Barack Obama at the table be great and wonderful. The like, yeah, at the end of the day, it's not gonna sit with me as long as I was getting my deceased relatives who I've never met in my life. So there's four people coming in are screwed up the whole question, but you know.
Mindy Cohn 06:48
Honestly, it was reminiscent of just seeing like, Willy Wonka and all the grandparents in the big bed.
I like no, that's and that's how I grew up. I guess. Big. Golden Ticket.
Mindy Cohn 07:00
You're getting it now. Please. So not feeling sorry for you noting, especially the last few years you've had Jesus Christ. You
do that to me? Okay, well, not today. Um, who? By the way, Christian You're doing great. So thank you. You're doing really good. Exactly. doing all the work. I have no idea why you're here. Oh
my god. Talk
about on the
other side of the camera behind the curtain. Let
Mindy Cohn 07:32
me tell you that this man?
Christian Brescia 07:37
Mindy Cohn 07:38
That's no don't. Don't Shut up. Shut up. Um, besides me, of course, who's the most fascinating person you've met?
I have. I don't even know if I'm allowed to say what he does for a living. Maybe I can't say that person
Mindy Cohn 07:53
will say the person you don't have to say what he does for a living.
I have a buddy who's so brilliant that I grew up with and I think part of the reason I the hinta funny is him. He knew sarcasm at such an early age. And like Delta so so decisively, he was just great. And now and then he went I don't I'll say won't say this goes let's say he went to the best schools and best graduate schools. And now he does something I kind of don't understand. He's done crazy venture capital. Okay, incredible musician. But he also puts let's just say the most brilliant doctorates in little pods throughout America. And they trade on the millisecond from London, you know, to America so those little pennies they keep on the millisecond because it is a little faster and there's PhD doctorates sitting all across like Yes. What that's what he's like, yeah, I'm just gonna whip that up and Tahoe and a house is gonna fly private. Lot of cocaine. That's why the last part. I don't talk about anything with you. He's, he's so quick witted. And it's and you'll have some of the funnest, most interesting conversations. You're letting go.
Mindy Cohn 09:02
Okay, like that.
But baby Jesus,
Mindy Cohn 09:07
and you have a very personal relationship with him. What's your guilty pleasure?
Yo, plicata dude, yeah. I feel terrible about it. But circling back when you go to Sicily and you hang out with your relatives and you say like, you know, chicken parm they look at you? Yes, like they're gonna want to kill Yeah, no, it's like veal. Like, they don't know what the hell a chicken parm is like, it's like, we're gonna go get the baby calf. It's gonna be terrible moment. We're gonna eat it. And I every time I do it, I think about I have a horrible time. And then if an ant is making I'm like, this is the greatest thing ever ate. That's my guilty pleasure in Sicily sitting at the table. And since
Mindy Cohn 09:45
we're in Sicily,
I'm from a town called Santa Croce. Actually, we just became dual citizens last summer. So I'm an Italian married an American.
Mindy Cohn 09:53
Congratulations and Jamie. That's one reason and one more reason to be jealous. I'll be the I'll be the second wife.
Mindy Cohn 10:01
Yeah, I visited and I'm massively a fan of Messina.
Oh, ever. Yeah, anywhere you go. It's kind of like it's really heavenly. Like you have a hard time going wrong. We did another part of Italy this time. It's like when did we had a bad time in Italy? Again, I don't know why we don't live there. And I said, it's myself every time I'm there. Well, now you've got the dual citizenship when
Mindy Cohn 10:19
you except when you live there certain things. I don't know. You kind of have to be loosey goosey and easygoing, which I am not yet, hopefully by 70 I will be. Yeah,
I understand. I know that I want my Thai food in LA. I'm like me get lotta ASAP. If I have any more carbs, I'm going to know it's serious. After a while I live there for like a month or like, this is fun enough with the carbs. Okay. Oh my god or pizza pasta? Yeah, lose my.
Mindy Cohn 10:44
I know. Whatever. You craved a salad and your whole life? Yeah. Oh, Natalie.
That's exactly true. Next question. Sorry. Christian. Doing great. Thank you. Thank you.
Mindy Cohn 10:54
Thank you. Yeah, he's, he's awake. Um, what's the best advice you've been given? And who gave it? Easy?
I still say this all the time. Dwayne. Johnson DJ, I love them.
Mindy Cohn 11:05
Oh, my God. Oh, by the way, I'm obsessed with him. And we had a Twitter moment and it changed my life.
You should be he's the best human. He's so funny. He's just great and and everything he touches turns to gold. And it should because his heart is so pure. But he says this one line all the time. He goes, it's nice to be important. But it's more important to be nice. Very true.
Mindy Cohn 11:26
Honestly. It's essentially coming from a chest lift that if everyone would just take take that. Bravo him and by the way, I I do believe he's gonna run for president. I'm just putting it out there.
I mean, that would be I would
Mindy Cohn 11:40
think that happening. I think that's happening. I'm not kidding. Like that. Yeah. So one of the reasons Christian and I started this, I hope our listeners aren't too like, bored with me keep, you know, saying this, but you know, to people who haven't listened in yet. Where are you? And you should think that I was missing the most. I mean, was connecting to other creatives I missed in this time of COVID that I thought would be over sooner than later. But right it's it's just keeps giving? Um, no, I don't have it just.
There was a moment I was like, I'm not gonna play on that joke right now. Am I gonna do the joke? joke? I didn't do it. I didn't touch Yeah, yeah. Thank you, Mindy. Touch it. Sure.
Mindy Cohn 12:25
I touch everything.
Yeah. Oh, I
Mindy Cohn 12:27
know. It's the rumor. It's true.
I got your left hand right. Now, we just got to
Mindy Cohn 12:35
listen to this. So we talked, we just want to I wanted to connect with other creatives and just talk about that aspect of life. Nothing heavy. Nothing. Unless you want to go there.
Make it weird. Just make it weird.
Christian Brescia 12:54
On the surface, hands up, go.
Mindy Cohn 12:56
I can't help it. Let's get word. Um, talk to me about your creative process. Do you have one? Does it change from job to job? Do you? How do you define that? And obviously, it's different as an actor. And I know that you're a writer as well. So
I, I can just tell you very simply, before you like do you want to do what I do before every job or audition really, really job that I get before I show up? That's exactly what I do. So I went to grad school theater school to Paul University. I love it. I think we should be number one in America, we should be number one is pumping the school. So so whenever I get a script, right, I just go back to how your classically trained the fundamentals like what's your super objective? What's your operative? What are your verbs like hat for each little each line of the whole script. So I mean, it could take a long time to go through it. And then the next phase is sort of the PJ brain takes over and looks for opportunities to create, add some humor to the script, if you will, and never be trite. So never say something that someone's heard before. And I like for each line, I'll have like 10 jokes. Yeah. 10 things armed. I'm like, Wolf of Wall Street is a great example. And I got that then then I'll meet with friends and discuss it and play around and run jokes by them. And then I did some magical friends who are just so innately funny, like, what are the funniest lines they ever said in a movie, and it doesn't sound nice and classy. And I apologize. came from one of my really good buddies, Terry skinnygirl. And it's, and I was so armed for the scene the first time we see Margot Robbie's character, right? Where she comes in. Yes. So I think they used to have my lines and didn't cut to me about times because they said it's so many good knock on wood. Thank God, it's a funny stuff. But one of the funniest lines I ever said, so you gotta remember it's, you know, the 80s and 90s where aids was happening. This is terrible. And these guys were ruthless. So these are all they can say horrible things. The character, the character, right. So the first time I see Margot I say she's so hot. I'd let her give me a and that's but that's some of the things you're bringing with you to the horrible idea. Yeah,
Mindy Cohn 15:00
no, it isn't. It's so appropriate. But then By the way, I don't think that was said.
Yeah, it was said, I know it was said. So that's anyway. So there's that's why then I have all the lines. And then when I show up on set, so let's say midnight, we're doing a scene. I literally forget every day God tears, don't you, we're gonna do it now that I know. I'm in, let's do it half. So then we show up, and I'm on there with you. I forget everything. And I'm just like, present with you. And like all this stuff I did. I'm just because you're gonna bring a whole swipe stuff at me. And I want to be there and ready for it. And then when we're doing it, if the director wants to throw stuff, if you're throwing stuff, yeah, right. And then if we start improvising, I'm gonna wait for you. And then if it gets a little low, I favorite and when the lol is I'm like, I have all these things. Mixed, like, let's go. And when that scenario can happen, and you have a great director, I was
Mindy Cohn 15:52
just gonna ask you, have you ever been shut down or you've just like taking the temperature on that set and went, this is not one of those sets where I can where I, they want my contributions,
right? So here's a trick, because now I've been doing this a long time there. Nobody wants you to especially to be like, Don't say a word. We have some we have this much time to go. But I've just been doing this for so long when I get a little leeway. But here's a trick. So when you're gonna like try to throw a little boom, boom. I've also rehearsed this so much. I've run it by the funniest people if, let's say if it's a bit of a comedy or something, right? The first little improv I'm throwing is my number one joke. And that is like, oh, whoa, it's just a double four. Yes. So then they're like, Well, yeah, you can do a little bit a little. Okay, just a little if you got anything. Yeah. And then you're like, then we're off and running. And then you know, that's, that's, that's how you trick it or smart. Yeah, there's been times where I've been on set where directors like some are just, you know, very technically savvy, and they don't understand humor, and maybe they're on the spectrum. God bless them. But 100% know how to be human. I mean, in one movie, it was like, I were an actor put his arm. It's a we're at a funeral. One actor put his arm around his girlfriend. Uh huh. And the director comes running over. He's like, why would you put your arm around? He's like, well, we're at a I'm consoling her to funerals. I would never do that. Right? Like, oh, wow,
Christian Brescia 17:10
this is about alien dresses.
Anytime I would try to make a joke that wasn't and I mean, he would like lose his job. It was great. Yeah, it was. It was great hearing from producers like you gotta keep trying to get I'm like, Well, why don't you talk to him like we have. So now I'm in a scenario of a movie where I'm like, I'm gonna say as much as I can. And when this line comes up, it's gotta be tight and button enough that I can go data right before he calls cut and ruins the tape. So I'm like, that's how I was doing the movie and getting jokes. Like, hey, there you go. Yeah, yellow rabbit cut. I'm so sorry. I don't know. I just felt
Mindy Cohn 17:44
fantastic. It's your captain. And you have perfected it,
dude. So there's all the scenario. Sometimes it is like not ready for it. It was that but at least you got up. You got to play the game. Yeah, no, Mandy, and you Christian worse.
Mindy Cohn 17:59
Thank you. I appreciate it. And we'll take it and we'll send it right back to you over the net. So
yeah. Do you always prepare to that level for every character? Have you gotten lazy a couple times? I'm
like, I'm so good. Now. I could probably wing it and just see what happens. There was one sometimes that'll come so fast. They're like, we just want you to just come on, come for a day come play in your life. And it's still comforting to know that things will come right, right. Yes, yeah. But I will say this. And I don't know if I read somewhere in the creative process. Like when I'm like two months out from a movie. I'm like a God of creativity in my brain. This is like my own page. I'm like, Oh, my God. Richard is flowing. As you get closer, oh, sir. The anxiety slices that it's like I have no I'm not funny. I'm horrible. You're second guessing yourself.
Mindy Cohn 18:41
Yeah, you forget, like you actually got hired and they posture
syndrome. It's like, why am I even doing this? And yes, and then you need to get to set to get that first little take out. And you're like, Here it comes again. And then in those moments, new things are wrong. Yeah. Oh, my gosh. Oh, thank God. So but there has been moments where it's been quick to be cast. And I'm like, come just write and you're like, I'm so didn't do the work I want to do. But then once you get on the set, and you're loose, and this is what you're supposed to do with your life, because it's like, Yeah, well, it's also on the the longevity
Mindy Cohn 19:09
and the sex success at some point does kind of feel that like, Yes, I am capable, and I will be able to hit this out of the park. So
right. Yeah, calm. Yeah. And once you can trust that things happen. Yeah. 100%.
Mindy Cohn 19:21
So what or who inspires you not? And it could be in general, or it could be right now.
I'm just curious. I you know what, people that hustle people that hustle always inspired me. Like the rock inspires me to do like, you know, multiple things. Hard work. My mom and dad were like the hardest workers, like ever. I mean, they literally would get up at like, 536 in the morning and get home at 10 a night I remember I would hang out with friends at like 530 and they'd be like dinner, you got to go home like dinner and have dinner for like another five hours. But they would all sit around the table, you know? 1030 we're all we're all around the table as a family. You know, my mom was in politics. My dad was like business so he was like on a plane everywhere but we they always found a way to show up. Be there and people that Buster and work really hard and very smart inspire me like I have a buddy in in New York my really good buddies Sean Feeny horns lillia and and Missy ends, but he was a finance guy and and when he was still in doing finance he wanted to get into the restaurant world. So he would get up like 530 Morty trade, you know, go to at Goldman or right he was at that moment of head huge hedge one thing, and then go to the restaurant at six states like 11 sleep for like 11 minutes. Also three kids Mind you, and just seven repeat, step and repeat until he found a way that like this is a solid enough business time away. But he left a nice chunk of money on the table to really take a thing but like he hustles and he's part of roar right now. He's trying to help the whole restaurant industry like get through this time. Yeah, you'll see him talking to he was talking to Trump to get to PP he was talking to Cuomo to make sure we're getting the money. He's talking all the senators to make sure there is a proper package happening right now, which still is not happening right now for us right now. Um, but like guide people like who are hard workers who are classy, who are ethical, like those people inspire me. And then people you know, and then just people who work hard because ultimately we're all in so many professions are similar. You know, whether you're an addict or you're at work, it's all about getting into the zone, like when you guys are really into a great podcast. So you just say for us right now and it's like really like cooking and zooming. And everyone's playing. It's like we're all in the zone doing what we're good at. Like that's those those moments inspire me. Alright, well, we'll get there with your episode. We'll get
in the zone
knew that he was interested in
when we feel
Yeah, let's we can't come together. It's terrible. Damn it. I love you. I love you.
Mindy Cohn 21:43
Oh my god. Right that gotcha brother. Seriously. So what have you and Jamie you know, in your spare time we
made a no sorry. Yeah.
Mindy Cohn 21:51
Literally made a baby. Yes. What did you guys what have you or just you? What have you been bingeing on? Or have you?
Three I mean, he'll has a seven a three year old. I mean, we're like a now a newborn. You get into bed and you're just like, okay, so you wonder if a person like me, I don't want to watch acting. I don't want to watch my job. Like, I'm the guy when I watch TV or movies. I'm like, show me something that's worth $200 billion. That's like special effects. I'm not thinking about it or judging, right? I'm just like, enjoying, you know, yes. To see the Queen's Gavin I'm like this amazing. Like, I love you also get sometimes their shows are so good. Like, I don't think about the choices at all either. Right? I'm just so enraptured in what's going on.
Mindy Cohn 22:36
Right. But yeah, retelling, but,
but for what is the Mandalorian? Because the Mandalorian is like, Oh my god, Star Wars. I'm leaving the planet drooling in 19 minutes, because I'm exhausted. Right. So yeah,
Mindy Cohn 22:48
also the Mandalorian you know, the directors basically show you what you're gonna say, and they decide to maybe throw in a couple lines here and there. Not about the acting. It's just about right. Each director is sort of
like what do you want them?
Mindy Cohn 23:09
To feel insignificant as an actor? Just watch Mandalorian is not needed. But they're getting the greatest cast? Are you seeing who's in that? They're getting like massive gods to say as as you know, you are a voice of a very treasured animated character as I was the voice of Velma for a while. Yes, I love Yes. So I have to say that people who would want to do an episode of Scooby Doo because well, I think it's the same thing a Mandalorian who doesn't want to do an episode No. Getting and who doesn't want to go up to Skywalker Ranch?
I mean, Lord
Riley and actually a lot in a lot of the times they're just calling up a friend of mines who brown he just got a call. His agent goes, um, you know, he's like, Listen, we got to do this thing. It's a lot of prosthetics. He's like, No, I've done I told you I'm never doing that again. They're like, it's Star Wars. He's like, I'll be there and how long is it for 17 days to live like
Mindy Cohn 24:03
that? like myself? Yeah, I've
been 100% happy to do it.
Mindy Cohn 24:07
Yeah, what is what is a project like that for you? I mean, for me, it's any PBS series is basically like, just just you don't even have to ask just point me in the direction of what is your kind of dream project
if you have one? I still want to be no one's ever goddamn put me in like a woman just want to be like, get down everybody.
Mindy Cohn 24:30
Yeah. Or like yeah, like, I'll let me go over the hill. Like glory, like come on, like
Christian Brescia 24:38
war movie or more like Sylvester Stallone. horror movie.
Oh, no. Spielberg, Spielberg. Glory key like probably it could be. It could be civil war. It can be modern. Okay. It could be spaceforce I don't know put me in a war movie. Someone
Mindy Cohn 24:49
said war. I thought you said horror, which is why I said death scenes.
Christian Brescia 24:55
I've done a lot of those.
And I've done I've done a lot of crazy Yeah, sorry, sorry. Okay, I need Final Destination five. Okay, man, come on. I know. I know this for they came to us like I'm not doing it to get to five, then I'm not doing the first four I want I want
Mindy Cohn 25:12
to my on my bucket list is, uh, is being killed violently in a horror movie so
I can make that happen. Can I make a call for Monday?
I would love to see that. Yeah,
Mindy Cohn 25:25
shut it Christian. Yeah, okay. Gotcha. Okay, got it. Okay.
Well, come on. That's what kids think of when you're playing as a kid. You're like, Yeah, get out of here.
Mindy Cohn 25:39
you have worked with, you know, icons. I mean, right.
I did that for you. Mindy. I did that for you. Yes. Thanks.
Mindy Cohn 25:47
AUDIENCE MEMBER I really appreciated it. So thanks for that. How do you sidle up to that, in other words, to give me the first day on a set where you know, you're going to your scene partner is is someone you've either admired or freaked out about? I mean, how do you get in that? So
I have to for all Yes, I'll get into like the scripts. You tell me stories, like because
Mindy Cohn 26:09
I just want to hear stories.
So the have to bring it so the firt the reason for whatever reason, I don't know what maybe maybe because of my growing up and being around like big politicians or all that I'm sort of comfortable. I'm more comfortable with people that really made it. I don't know why there's like a standing. I don't know what happens with that. So that is one thing fascinating. But it's but when it translates to work and the nerves of that and how do you navigate that? I always have to tip my hat to Mike Nichols. And Ellen Lewis. Let me audition for Mike Nichols. It was for Charlie Wilson's war. And I'll never forget I was like recurring on a show called the game which I love. Yeah. And and that whole cast was so they knew I was going to call back with Mike. They were like so. So I remember as leaving CBS Radford, I was driving over to Paramount, and I was getting to park in the good spots. Like Nichols, this is crazy. Mike Nichols. Nichols, like your idol like your Mike Nichols
and Elaine Bay. And like this guy, I
can't even wrap my head around what's happening. I'm trying to be cool, but they're all bought. So I feel like I have this. This whole swath of people that are like, you're gonna be great. So I'll never forget, I walk into the room. And the first thing he says to me, it's not like, Hey, where I was ready to go, hi, you know, whatever the hell they say. He just he has my resume in his hand. And he just goes I'm like, you know, I walk in boom, first thing. Tell me about boogie boarding. Because I was so young. I had on my resumes like an extra talent, like I went to the Jersey Shore and I was like, I don't know what the Oh my God. That is I cannot believe that we brought so all of a sudden like, Thank God I was caught. I went into this whole spiel about how lame boogie boarding is compared to surfing people call spongers is the late and he's just cackling because he has no idea boogie boarding is that he's like, well, let's begin. And I was just like, oh, man, did it and I started riffing what, for whatever reason, and then he's cackling more. And I'm like, holy shit. And then I finished that. Oh, my God. Yeah. And he's like, you're in. I'm like, thanks so much. I didn't even he snuck in. You're in. Oh, my God. Well, thank you so much. So nice meeting Elena. I love it. I was like, out of the rooms like that. And I come I'm like, I don't know what I just said. I'm in I don't know what that means is like you're in the movie. You're in the film it Mike Nichols says you're in you're in. That's amazing. That was like, yeah, so that was it. So that like was a comic that just made no matter how big or gigantic or historical, you know, what have you. They just want to have a nice time and they want the person to come and dance with you. Yes. Yeah. And then from then on, he would always call. And if there was like a table read, I'd be sitting I'd be the only like an unknown. Like, there's Julia Roberts from Jon Hamm. And like, what the heck am I doing? The table read,
please do Oh, it's
great. And I never one time is like another thing. We're going to the Sony lot. And I parked in the great spot. He wanted to like a table read. And I remember that I walked in there was like literally Julia Roberts Jon Hamm. Like you just named the famous people sitting in this like really nice board room for a table read. And he looks over and he sees me and he goes, there's my boy. And I have to say I look behind me. I'm like,
I am the boy. I can't believe this is crazy. And then and then this man, you know, and then he passed away. It's heart wrenching.
Mindy Cohn 29:28
It's heart wrenching. Oh my gosh. That you and I yes. And what you and I I so just am clucking that is the one thing I sort of know what kind of production or what kind of value I have by my parking space. Isn't that it's so funny. I mean, you think about all these people's writers and I just want a parking space. A good parking space. I
get it. I get it. I get it. I get I get all of it. Yeah, no, don't do that. No, cuz it's just like, Am I supposed to really be here? On some level is anything
Mindy Cohn 30:03
any exactly yeah all right so tell me about I know in in this time I don't know if it's still green light if it's going when winter going but tell me about the film you wrote that you
know that yeah that's less
Mindy Cohn 30:18
oh yeah no listen well
yeah bride brothers of the bride yeah so it's like
Mindy Cohn 30:23
wrote it and you sold it so
yes no I love them I Love New no new line has been my family so to this day it's like new line and Warner Brothers for whatever reason they were the first real people like I did Horrible Bosses with and then they put me in ft five and then you know rampage or I mean they've always right and I know everyone up and down from like now it's the P also we've been in many we've been doing this a minute so your friends and producers are like you know, now the studios It's amazing. I'm like I love this. I know. They're great people seem to like these this this makes me think Hollywood is okay. Yeah. You know there's like Dave Neustadter and Brenner and like all there's some greatness there.
Mindy Cohn 31:02
I have been lucky that my first bosses were Norman Lear and Alan Horne. So, you know, tops, right, you just announced. So now talk to me. In other words, I have worked with such tremendous bosses and work for people that I love that love creatives that I I had those experiences so early on that I didn't get the memo that all studio executives are told, or whatever, I've had a very opposite experience. Yeah. And I find them to be just as creative as all other departments.
I agree with you, I think I think it's out of the norm to find you. It's such it's so hard to compete in this role. You better be a good person. And I always say this to everybody comes down, like, just be classy. If he doesn't pass the class, he tests whatever you're doing right. Don't do it. You'll sleep better at night. That's why I think I got along so well with DJ because it's like, it's nice to be not, you know, yeah, nice to be for. I think that's when we connected as well. And also, you just want it The world will spin better if you're just a good quality gassy human being and you work great hard, and you just work hard.
Mindy Cohn 32:04
Well, and people especially in what we do remember that it's what we do, not who we are, right. Yes. Yeah. And, and that. So things like that. I've been game changers for me in my career and in my life. Just Yeah,
Christian Brescia 32:18
the nice people. And they're always used to say be remembered by your manners.
That's what I love that great. Yes, yeah.
Mindy Cohn 32:25
But you know, did you get I mean, are you writing? Are you currently like, do you make it a part of your life to sit down and write? And are you is it born
again? Or look, like right now we're just developing? Look, I know what I'm good at and being funny and editing. So when it came to actually, when I don't know if you knew this about me, when I came to LA, I got very lucky and got a commercial agent. And back in the days where you're making like you did a commercial like I just made $50,000.
Mindy Cohn 32:53
Yes, you could live a nice life.
Yes. And I was I turned down a job, like on Wall Street to go to grad school for acting. But I would call my friends early on, and I'm like, Oh, my God, what you do today? They're like, why worked out? What do you do? And I was like, Did anybody read a book because I wasn't reading but I thought my brain was like, atrophy. So this was back when crystal Donald and if you remember, he was he was Robin and Batman. Great guy. So I owe him he actually went to Boston College to and his sister and my sister were like great friends and each other's weddings. So I go. So I met with Chris and his production company, cuz he had the big deal of Warner Brothers. Yes. Don't have to pay me. But can I just be a fly on the wall and intern and just learn the business side of Hollywood? And they're like, yeah, and they gave me a script to like do coverage and coverage just like reading a script to give you recommendations. And so I did that. And they're like, Oh, my God, this is amazing. Now you remember, like, I just went to grad school and read everything like Greeks the present day. And I was like, well, because so many people's like I was I was like, whatever. I was like the Godfather. So I want to be in film and like those people will get weeded out. But I was like, ready to like, Oh, my God can be our story editor.
I was like, well, I
really came here to act like, No, no, no, come and go as you please. So I was like, a story. Wonderful. And the Warner Brothers lot. So it's another reason I love the lot. Wow, and got to learn the inner workings of Hollywood. So I set up shows and every time I tried to quit they're like, you're a vice president. Now I'm like, I'm the Vice President. Instead of like our gave me this, right, I would like doing some like key of commercial, like, get me the writer for this bubble ball. You know, it's like I cried on the phone with this God. And I'm like, I'm like, I'll be there. One second. I'm like, and boom, Daddy, I love the kid. Pay me Yeah, but it was like I learned so much. And then writing that meaning great writer. So now I'll sort of collaborate with other writers to sort of pitch shows and stuff like that. And that's, and that's the phase I'm in. Right now. It's like faking I actually have a shows to like, try to go out and pitch and that's, that's where my creative writing ability and knowing that like, I'm a great editor because I learned how to be really good story editor, or just help friends come up with stuff but to be honest, what pays the bills Really yeah the day is acting that's that's that's that's I'm the president of coke and we're acting yes there might be some sprite or whatever What have you but acting you know and then these other things because I can't not not work as you know maybe write a movie for you or but really my heart and like as pure happiness is being on set you know the energy of being on a set and when the whole room knows and the grip knows and the guy behind the cameras giggling and saying to me that's the magic you know no we look at each other and we can nail that that's that's what I love. That's true. Yeah,
Mindy Cohn 35:33
same thing great to have you man in your mind your ego of setting things up or putting people together and making things happen is very fulfilling but there is it's like I'm the joke in my group of friends it's like all I really want to do is act you know, but wanted to read and write yes like Yeah, I just want to be in front of the camera.
Seriously that's yeah purely happy Yeah,
Mindy Cohn 35:55
And as I get older and I know what time and what I'm doing with those like I have so much time with my kids so many so many kids
so I don't you
Mindy Cohn 36:07
Yeah, you either party channel well you need to create something for me. Ideally something I
love that I
know that I know this it's such a good feeling to okay good
Mindy Cohn 36:15
um, ideally something for you and I to do together in some form or fashion
sounds with that? Oh my god we can play brother and sister no question Come on.
Christian Brescia 36:24
Let's go make it a horror film and kill two birds with one stone. I'm now
putting that on you. Because you have I'm gonna kill this every episode you die in a fun way. I
Mindy Cohn 36:34
have no other responsibilities at all right now. That's what I am. I am I adore you. Thank you. Thank you so much for coming on. This
is no thank you for having me. You guys are great. Christian. You work for Adam. I know. I mean. I mean I mean amazing. And the family tree behind you. I feel like I mean I feel like next time we like tune in I'm gonna see Mindy like it's the robot
already got the idea.
That's really good team.
Mindy Cohn 37:06
Thank you my friend. I can't wait to see you in person. Oh, I
love you have a great day. Be safe. This is amazing.
Oh my god. I'm
gonna hold you like longer. Just don't make it weird when I hold you a little long.
I want to be in the room.
Yeah. It should be fine. should be fine with it. No cameras everywhere. Because I want to remember that. Yeah, forever.
Christian Brescia 37:27
You guys, ladies and gentlemen. One more time. PJ burn. Heads up, heads up, heads up everything so No, they are Yeah.
Yeah, nothing's weird.
Christian Brescia 37:38
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