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  • MR. JEFF DANIELS ON THE SHOW

  • TONIGHT, HOW ARE YOU, JEFF?

  • SO HAPPY TO SEE YOU.

  • I'M WONDERING IF YOU ARE FEELING SLIGHTLY SMUG RIGHT NOW WHILST

  • LOTS OF PEOPLE ARE FLEEING THE CITIES IN WHICH THEY LIVE, YOU

  • WERE WAY AHEAD OF THE CURVE.

  • YOU'VE BEEN LIVING IN MICHIGAN FOR YEARS NOW.

  • HOW IS EVERYTHING THERE?

  • IS EVERYTHING GOOD?

  • >> I HAVE BEEN PREPARING FOR THIS PANDEMIC SINCE 1986.

  • WE MOVED BACK HERE, TO A SMALL TOWN IN MICHIGAN AND RAISED THE

  • KIDS HERE.

  • AND YOU ARE RIGHT, PEOPLE ARE, ARE GOING TO THE CITIES.

  • THEY'VE LEAVING THE CITIES, GOING TO THE SMALL TOWNS.

  • WE'RE ALREADY HERE.

  • IT'S BEEN GOOD.

  • IT'S BEEN GOOD.

  • IT'S A LITTLE, I MEAN WE'RE HEALTHY, START THERE.

  • BUT IT'S ALSO A LITTLE BIT LIKE A FORCED RETIREMENT.

  • EXCEPT FOR THE GOLD WATCH, THAT IS WHAT IT FEELS LIKE.

  • >> James: WHAT IS IT LIKE FOR YOU IN MICHIGAN WHEN YOU WALK

  • AROUND THE TOWN AND THINGS-- DO PEOPLE CARE ABOUT YOUR CAREER

  • THERE?

  • DO THEY CARE ABOUT YOUR CELEBRITY?

  • ARE THEY INTERESTED IN FAME?

  • >> IT DEPENDS.

  • THE PEOPLE AROUND ME, CLOSER TO ME, YOU KNOW, ARE KNOW THAT IT'S

  • A JOB AND THAT I HAVE BEEN DOING IT A LONG TIME.

  • IT'S THE PEOPLE THAT SEE ME THAT THEIR VOICES GET A LITTLE

  • LOUDER.

  • THEY TALK A LITTLE FASTER.

  • IT'S NOT TOO MANY OF THEM.

  • PEOPLE ARE REAL GOOD ABOUT KIND OF LEAVING ME ALONE AND LETTING

  • ME LIVE MY LIFE.

  • I DON'T, I CERTAINLY DON'T GO AROUND YOU KNOW SAYING, I DON'T

  • KNOW IF YOU SEE ME IN A RECENT THING BUT, YOU KNOW, I WOULD

  • LOVE TO TALK ABOUT IT WITH YOU.

  • WHAT IS YOUR NAME, I'M SORRY.

  • THERE IS NONE OF THAT.

  • I KIND OF, I'M PRETTY RECLUSIVE TO BE HONEST.

  • >> James: WEREN'T YOU ADDED TO THE MICHIGAN WALK OF FAME?

  • IS THAT RIGHT?

  • >> YES, APPARENTLY THAT WAS AN HONOR.

  • (LAUGHTER) UP AT THE CAPITOL LANCING, THIS

  • WAS EASILY 10, 15 YEARS AGO.

  • THE GOVERNOR DE SUEDED TO LET ME-- WANTED ME TO GET A STAR ON

  • THE MICHIGAN WALK OF FAME ALONG WITH GERALD FORD AND THOMAS

  • EDISON AND I BELIEVE STEVIE WONDER.

  • >> James: RIGHT.

  • >> THERE WERE ABOUT 30 PEOPLE THERE.

  • IT IS THE MIDWEST, THEY KIND OF DON'T KNOW WHAT TO MAKE OF IT.

  • SO YOU HAVE WHAT, SOMETHING ON A SIDEWALK?

  • >> YEAH, YEAH.

  • >> HUH.

  • IS THAT, DO I HAVE TO STEP OVER THAT OR WHAT IS THAT?

  • IS THERE A GATE.

  • >> IT'S JUST PEOPLE WALK OUT ON T OUT IN HOLLYWOOD THERE ARE

  • LOTS OF THEM.

  • REALLY, HOLLYWOOD, NOW DO WE HAVE ONE.

  • >> DO YOU HAVE ONE IN HOLLYWOOD.

  • >> NO, I DON'T, I DON'T, THESE ARE THE CONVERSATIONS I HAVE

  • WITH PEOPLE ABOUT FAME IN MICHIGAN, YES.

  • >> James: NOW THE LAST TIME I SAW YOU WE WERE AT THE TONY

  • AWARDS WHERE YOU WERE NOMINATED FOR TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD WHICH

  • WAS A HUGE SUCCESS.

  • AND A MASSIVE UNDERTAKING, TAKING ON THAT ROLE.

  • IF YOU REMEMBER THE LAST TIME YOU WERE HERE, AT THE STUDIO, WE

  • WERE CHATTING IN THE DRESSING REALLY AND YOU WERE SAYING THAT

  • YOU WOULD UP FOR A WHOLE YEAR AND IT IS EIGHT SHOWS A WEEK AND

  • HOW DIFFICULT THAT CAN BE.

  • AND I WAS AMAZED TO HEAR THAT YOU NEVER MISSED A SINGLE SHOW.

  • WHICH IS ASTONISHING IN A YEAR.

  • HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?

  • AND DID EVERYTHING GO SMOOTHLY DURING THE RUN?

  • >> I, WELL, YOU DID ONE MAN TWO GUVNORS, HOW LONG DID YOU DO

  • THAT?

  • >> WE DID IT FOR, ON AND OFF, REALLY, ABOUT 22 MONTHSK BUT I

  • MISSED FOUR SHOWS.

  • >> SEE, IT'S THE THING.

  • IT'S THE THING THAT, AND YOU WERE ALL-- I WENT TO SEE THAT.

  • I SAW YOU BACKSTAGE.

  • I LOVED WHATYOU DID.

  • AND IT WAS, LIKE BUT THE SHOW HAS TO HAVE YOU OUT THERE.

  • AND THAT IS HOW I TOOK MOCKINGBIRD.

  • ESPECIALLY AFTER WE GOT THE FIVE STAR REVIEWS.

  • PEOPLE WERE STARTING TO, YOU KNOW, BUY TICKETS FIVE MONTHS

  • AHEAD OF TIME.

  • SO I SAID YOU KNOW WHAT, I'M NOT TAKING TWO WEEKS OFF IN THE

  • MIDDLE OF JULY WHEN PEOPLE HAVE MADE ALL THAT MONEY FOR PLANES

  • AND HOTELS AND GOD KNOWS BROADWAY TICKETS.

  • SO I JUST SAID LET'S SEE IF I CAN DO IT.

  • BUT YOU KNOW, WHAT HAPPENS IS IT NEVER GOES PERFECTLY EVERY

  • SINGLE NIGHT.

  • IT IS ALWAYS SOMETHING, WHETHER ST AN ACTOR FORGETTING LINES.

  • ONE NIGHT WE HAD Z-- WE HAD A OF COME DOWN AND COME IN, SO THEY

  • NEEDED AIR PRESSURE, A COMPRESSOR, BIG THING IN THE

  • BACK OF THE STAGE.

  • AND ONE NIGHT A VAL OF BLEW ON-- VAL-OF-BLEW ON IT AND IT

  • JUST-- IT SOUNDED LIKE A SHUTTLE WAS TAKING OFF IT WAS JUST SO

  • LOUD.

  • AND I WAS ON STAGE WITH CALPERNUA AND THE STAGE MANAGER

  • CAME ON THE GOD MUK WE CALL T AND SAID ACTORS LEAVE THE STAGE,

  • ACTORS LEAVE THE STAGE.

  • AND YOU GOT 1400 PEOPLE SITTING OUT THR IN THE THEATER LISTENING

  • TO THIS PSSS THING GO FOR 30 SECONDS.

  • AND I COULDN'T LEAVE, I SAID THIS IS-- THERE'S JUST TOO GOOD

  • AN OPPORTUNITY HERE SO I WAITED FOR THE COMPRESSOR TO KIND OF

  • PETER OUT, AND ABOUT 30 SECONDS BEFORE IT RAN OUT OF PSS, AND

  • THEN I WALKED IN THE FRONT OF THE THEATER STAGE AND SAID

  • LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, CONGRATULATIONS, WERE YOU HERE

  • ON THE NIGHT THE SHU BETTER THEAT-- SCHUBERT THEATER FARTED,

  • AND THEN I WALKED OFF STAGE.

  • >> James: AND THEN DID YOU CARRY ON WITH THE PERFORMANCE.

  • >> WE CAME BACK LIKE TEN MINUTES LATER WHEN THEY SHUT THE

  • VAL-OF-AND THEN YOU JUST PICK UP, THE AUDIENCE IS GLAD THAT

  • YOU ARE COMING BACK.

  • >> James: WHEN YOU ARE DOING A SHOW LIKE THAT, WHEN YOU ARE ON

  • BROADWAY, ARE YOU SOMEONE, DO YOU LIKE TO BE VISITED BACKSTAGE

  • AFTERWARDS?

  • IF PEOPLE ARE IN, YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN, FRIENDS OR OTHER ACTORS,

  • DIRECTORS, DO YOU ENJOY IT WHEN PEOPLE COME BACKSTAGE?3

  • >> I DO.

  • I-- YOU KNOW, IT IS A CHANCE TO MEET PEOPLE THAT YOU NEVER WOULD

  • MEET OTHERWISE.

  • >> James: TOTALLY.

  • >> BUT THAT'S THE GREAT THING.

  • AND YOU KNOW, IF YOU ARE IN A HIT, THEN THEY'RE COMING BACK

  • BECAUSE THEY LUKED IT.

  • THAT IS A WHOLE DIFFERENT-- THIS' GREAT.

  • NO ONE HAS TO COME BACK AND LIE AND GO OH WONDERFUL WHEN IT

  • WASN'T.

  • SO WE HAD, MY GOD, WE HAD THE BIDENS, WE HAD MUSH EL OBAMA,

  • JUSTICE SOTO MEYER, WE-- SOTOMAYOR, PACINO, DE NIRO

  • CAME AND SAT IN MY DRESSING ROOM.

  • I MEAN ARE YOU JUST, ON AND ON AND ON, BETTE MIDLER CAME, I WAS

  • IN BETTE MIDLER'S DRESSING ROOM WHEN SHE WAS THERE FOR HELLO

  • DOLLY.

  • SO PEOPLE WOULD COME IN TO THE DRESSING ROOM AND I WOULD TELL

  • THEM BETTE MIDLER'S DRESSING ROOM.

  • REALLY, YEAH, THEN I WOULD OPEN THE BATHROOM, HER TOILET.

  • WHO CAME THAT REALLY-- OH, JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE CAME.

  • HE AND JESSICA CAME, AND I HAD NEVER MET EITHER ONE OF THEM.

  • AND HE, AND ATT ICU S FINCH WAS SO STILL AND PRIVATE AND

  • BUTTONED UP THAT USUALLY THE BROADWAY PERFORMANCE THAT YOU GO

  • TO THE BALCONY WITH, THAT WASN'T WHAT I COULD DO.

  • SO I WAS PULLING THEM IN AND THERE WAS A LOT OF STILTNESS.

  • AND JUSTIN CAME BACK.

  • AND IT WAS GREAT.

  • HE TALKED TO ME ABOUT THE POWER OF STILLNESS AND USING THAT.

  • AND HE SAID YOU DID IT.

  • AND HE TALKED ABOUT THE FIRST TIME HE SAW MICHAEL JACKSON,

  • WHEN JUSTIN WAS, YOU KNOW, I DON'T KNOW HIGH SCHOOL,

  • SOMETHING.

  • AND HE SAW HIM AND MICHAEL STOOD THERE IN THE FIRST TWO MINUTES

  • OF THE SHOW AND JUSTIN GOT UP IN MY DRESSING ROOM, AND IS FIVE

  • FEET FROM ME SHOWING US.

  • A GUY THAT CAN DANCE LIKE NOBODY, RIGHT.

  • AND HE IS STANDING THERE.

  • AND HE GOES MICHAEL JUST STOOD THERE AND I WATCHED HIM WITH

  • BACK LIGHT.

  • AND THEN FOR LUKE A MINUTE AND THEN HE JUST RAISED HIS HAND UP

  • ABOVE, AND THE PLACE WAS GOING, THAT'S ALL HE DID.

  • AND THEN BOOM, AND THEN HE WENT INTO THRILLER OR SOMETHING.

  • HE GOES THE POWER OF STILLNESS.

  • IT WAS LIKE A DEMONSTRATION OF IT BY JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE IN MY

  • DRESSING ROOM, STUFF LIKE THAT, YOU WILL NEVER-- YOU WILL NEVER

  • GET THAT.

  • >> James: YEAH, THIS NEVER, EVER HAPPENS UNLESS I HAVE JUST

  • BEEN ON STAGE.

  • I KNOW THAT THEAT CERTIFICATE A BIG PART OF YOUR LIFE.

  • YOU FOUNDED A THEATRE IN MICHIGAN, THE PURPLE ROSE.

  • OBVIOUSLY EVERY CORNER OF LIVENT TAINMENT IS SUFFERING RIGHT NOW.

  • WHAT CAN BE DONE?

  • WHAT CAN WE DO TO SAVE THE THEATER?

  • >> WHERE A MASK.

  • START THERE, WE ALL WORE A MASK.

  • (APPLAUSE) >> THIS WOULD BE OVER MORE

  • QUICKLY.

  • IT IS SO SIMPLE.

  • YET THAT'S NOT THE COUNTRY WE LUV IN RIGHT NOW.

  • I HOPE THEATERS COME BACK, SMALLER THEATERS.

  • LIVE MUSIC VENUES.

  • I HOPE THEY COME BACK.

  • WE'RE GOING TO NEED THEM-- WE'RE LOOKING AT A YEAR FROM NOW

  • BEFORE PEOPLE CAN SIT SHOULDER TO SHOULDER AND WE'RE HOPING

  • THEY CAN.

  • YOU KNOW, I THINK BROADWAY WILL COME BACK.

  • I THINK PEOPLE ARE GOING TO WANT THAT LIVE EXPERIENCE THAT IS

  • HAPPENING RIGHT THERE IN FRONT OF THEM, JUST FOR THEM, THAT

  • MIGHT.

  • I STILL THINK PEOPLE ARE GOING TO WANT THAT, GOD KNOWS IT SUR

  • PRIEF-- SURVIVED FOR HUNDREDS OF YEARS, IT SURVIVED THROUGH A LOT

  • OF THINGS WORSE THAN THIS, WORLD WARS, YOU KNOW, 9/11, I LIKE OUR

  • CHANCES FOR THEATER AND LIVE VENUES TO COME BACK.

  • IT'S JUST WHETHER THEY CAN FINANCIALLY HANG ON.

  • >> I HOPE THEY CAN.

  • SO MUCH.

  • NOW WE HAVE TO CONGRATULATE YOU ON YOUR BRILLIANT NEW MUNI

  • SERIES, THE COMEY RULE, YOU PLAY FORMER FBI DIRECTOR JAMES COMEY.

  • AS I WAS WATCHING IT I EXPERIENCED A LITTLE PTSD IF I'M

  • HONEST.

  • FOR ANYONE THAT DOESN'T KNOW, TELL THEM WHAT IT IS ABOUT.

  • >> IT IS JAMES COMEY'S STORY.

  • IT IS HIS SIDE.

  • STORY OF WHAT IT WAS LIKE WHEN TRUMP BECAME PRESIDENT AND TRUMP

  • SAT HIM DOWN AND SAID I NEED LOYALTY AND JIM DIDN'T DO THAT,

  • AND THEN JIM WAS HISTORY.

  • IT'S JIM'S SIDE OF THE STORY.

  • WE KNOW TRUMP'S SIDE OF THE STORY, WHICH IS COMEY IS A LIAR.

  • WELL, THIS IS JIM'S SIDE.

  • ARE YOU ALSO, AND I LEARNED THIS.

  • YOU ARE GOING TO FIND THAT THIS GUY WAS BETWEEN A ROCK AND A

  • HARD PLACE WITH THESE DECISIONS THAT WERE SO, FOR THE REST OF

  • US, LIVING ON SOCIAL MEDIA, WHAT IS HE THINKING.

  • WELL, THE MOVIE SHOWS YOU WHAT HE WAS THINKING.

  • AND WHAT HE WAS UP AGAINST AND HOW THESE WEREN'T EASY

  • DECISIONS.

  • IN HIS WHOLE NORTH STAR WAS SOMETHING BIGGER THAN HE WAS.

  • AND THAT WAS THE WAS THE RULE OF LAW, FOR INSTANCE.

  • AND HE HUNG ON TO THAT AND WAS GOING UP AGAINST SOMEONE WHO

  • BASICALLY IS TRASHING THE RULE OF LAW.

  • AND HE IS NOT ALONE, TRUMP.

  • AND I THINK THAT, WITH THE COMEY RULE WILL SHOW YOU IS THAT THAT

  • HAS TO STILL MATTER IN THIS COUNTRY.

  • THINGS LIKE THE RULE OF LAW.

  • THAT HAS TO BE RESPECTED BY EVERYONE.

  • CERTAINLY BARRY GOLD WATER RESPECTED IT ENOUGH THAT WHEN

  • NIXON WAS BREAKING THE LAW HE MARCHED THE REPUBLICANS UP TO

  • THE WHITE HOUSE AND SAID YOU NEED TO RESIGN.

  • WE DON'T HAVE THOSE REPUBLICANS RIGHT NOW.

  • >> James: NO.

  • >> AND SO THE COMEY RULE WILL DEMONSTRATE THAT THAT IS

  • IMPORTANT.

  • SO IS DECENCY, SO IS HONESTY, SO IS TELLING THE TRUTH.

  • THOSE ARE THINGS THAT MATTER.

  • AND IF IT MATTERS TO YOU, PERHAPS WE'LL ALL GO INTO THIS

  • ELECTION A LITTLE BIT MORE INFORMED THAN WE WERE IN OCTOBER

  • 2016.

  • >> James: I MEAN PRESIDENT TRUMP IS PLAYED BRILLIANTLY BY

  • BRENDAN GLEESON WHO I JUST SEEMS TO JUST SHOCK ME WITH EVERY

  • PERFORMANCE HE GIVES.

  • BUT IS ST TRUE THERE WAS A MOMENT ALL IT BE A SMALL ONE

  • THAT YOU CONSIDERED THE NOTION OF PLAYING BOTH COMEY AND TRUMP?

  • IS THAT TRUE?

  • >> YEAH WHAT WOULD THAT HAVE BEEN LIKE?

  • >> MADNESS.

  • I DON'T-- YOU'RE TOO YOUNG BUT THE PATTEE DUKE SHOW WAY BACK

  • WHEN SHE PLAYED TWO PEOPLE, IN THE '70S.

  • YOU KNOW, WHEN YOU ARE PLAYING TWINS.

  • I DID IT IN PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO WITH WOODY ALLEN WHERE I PLAYED

  • TWO PEOPLE TALKING TO EACH OTHER.

  • WE WERE HAVING TROUBLE GETTING SOMEBODY TO DO IT.

  • NO AMERICAN ACTOR WANTED TO TOUCH IT, BRENDAN HAD PASSED