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-Before you became an award-winning actor,
I did some research on you and found out
that you were a taxi driver at one point?
-That's deep research. -Yes.
-Briefly, but, yes,
in my unemployed-actor days in the early '70s, yeah.
-Really? -I drove a taxi.
-You got a medallion and everything?
-Yeah. It didn't last long. -Why?
-You'll notice there aren't a lot of 6'4" taxi drivers.
They don't give you any leg room.
It's all for the people in back.
So I spent about a half a summer like this.
-Yeah, and you go, "Yeah, I'm not gonna do it."
-I was going limp from it.
That was the end of that. -Yeah. Well, did you have fun?
Did you like meeting the people?
Did you ever like -- You ever try characters or...?
-It was like being in the movie "Taxi Driver."
I mean -- -Really?
-You know, New York was a hard case back in those days.
-Oh, absolutely. Yeah.
-But, you know, it was a good thing to have.
-Did you develop any skills?
-Well, I figured out how to avoid red traffic lights.
-Yeah. -As a matter of fact, I came out
of Lincoln Tunnel driving my daughter home from school once,
and I said, "Okay, I'm gonna get all the way from here
to 86th Street without hitting a single red light."
And I just invoked all my taxi skills.
-You did that?
-It was like -- It was like, "Ford and Ferrari."
Right? She was like, "Dad, what are you doing?!"
-White-knuckling everything. -I said, "Look around.
The taxis aren't going any faster than I am."
Not one red light. -Wow. Look at you. Stud.
[ Cheers and applause ]
That's a real -- That's a talent.
-It's like riding a bicycle. You don't forget.
-Speaking of talent, last time, we were talking about
your greeting-card company you started as a child.
-Oh, yeah. -Yeah.
-Which is very -- And I brought you this year's Christmas card.
-Do you pay for all your -- -
-I no longer have a company, but we do our own Christmas cards.
So I brought this just for you, Jimmy.
[ Audience awws ]
Don't show it to anybody 'cause I only put in the mail today,
and my friends haven't seen it yet.
-Okay, yeah. I won't show anybody.
Just look over there for a second.
[ Laughter ]
[ Cheers and applause ]
-[ Laughs ]
-I want you to do me a favor, though, yeah.
That's very good. Very good. I love you, buddy.
That's awesome. -Well, you know.
-I'm gonna hang this on the wall next to your painting.
-Eventually, you -- That's right.
-You painted a beautiful painting of my dog, Gary.
-It's show-and-tell with John Lithgow.
-Yeah, exactly. You're all -- -Yeah.
-I do. I love -- I love showing everyone
that you did that for me. It was so nice.
I watched "Bombshell" the other night,
and I was just blown away.
Everybody, the whole cast was fantastic.
Charlize Theron.
And you -- Again, I don't know how you do this.
You transform into a whole new human.
It d-- I'm like, "That's John?"
I can't believe you're crushing it.
I mean, you play Roger Ailes in the movie.
Can we set up what "Bombshell" is?
-Well, it is the story
of Roger Ailes' fall at Fox News,
which all happened very fast over the course of about
16 days at the end of his career at Fox.
But the film is mainly about the women who came forward
and bit by bit made that courageous move.
And they are played by Charlize and Nicole Kidman.
-Nicole Kidman. -Margot Robbie.
-Oh -- Everyone's --
Megyn Kelly was across the hall from us for a year.
-Yeah. -We used to see her every day.
-Yeah. -Charlize does an amazing job.
-It's an extraordinary film. We're so proud of it.
-Everybody is fanta-- You --
Can I just show a picture of you as Roger Ailes?
Look at this. This is John Lithgow.
[ Audience oohs ] Isn't that unbelievable?
I mean, how did you do -- Who did the makeup on it?
-This amazing, man, Kazuhiro, did the makeup.
Colleen Atwood changed both my body
and my taste in clothing.
[ Laughter ]
And -- No, those were my -- my co-conspirators.
-And I got to say.
I mean, from knowing you throughout the years,
you're one of the nicest people I've ever met in my entire life.
And for you to play such a creep...
[ Laughter ]
...is honestly -- It's shocking to see.
-I know. -I mean, is it --
Does this help you get into character to become this human?
-Well, it was --
You know, the only hard acting is bad writing.
And this is a marvelous script by Charles Randolph,
the Oscar winner for "The Big Short."
-Oh, that's right. -He told the story of
Roger's fall the way he told the story
of the financial crisis in "The Big Short."
And I don't know. -It moves so fast.
I wanna -- I wish -- I almost want the movie to be longer.
It was just like, "Oof."
You just feel so bad for these women,
and you go, "Oh, my gosh.
I hope the guy gets what's coming to him."
-And he does. -And he does, absolutely does.
I think you're now --
You've actually cornered the market on, like, fake jowls.
-'Cause this is you in "The Crown," as well.
-Yeah. -And I go -- This --
[ Cheers and applause ] -That's -- It's interesting.
-I mean, you don't --
-I don't know. They just want me for fat, old, bald men.
-[ Laughs ] You're the best!
Corner the market! -Go figure.
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John Lithgow on His Bombshell Transformation into Roger Ailes

2 Folder Collection
林宜悉 published on July 3, 2020
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