In This Episode
Ira and Louis discuss their favorite films, Ira’s Coachella itinerary, Spirit Halloween, and David Mamet’s turn as a Fox News commentator. Plus, icon Michelle Yeoh to discuss Everything Everywhere All At Once, her roots in Hong Kong action films, and more!
Ira Madison III: And we’re back for an all new episode of Keep It. I’m Ira Madison III.
Louis Virtel: I’m Louis Virtel, I assume you’re going to Coachella this weekend?
Ira Madison III: Me? Coachella.
Louis Virtel: I feel like you’d fit in.
Ira Madison III: Yeah, I’m going to Coachella.
Louis Virtel: I don’t know if we’ve talked much about it this year. Who are you? Who are your top ranked phenomena that you’re excited to see?
Ira Madison III: Well, so first of all, I’m very excited to see the opener headliner Harry Styles because I I feel like I like Harry Styles more that I like his music. But.
Louis Virtel: Sure.
Ira Madison III: I really like the new song as it was like, I feel like it’s fine. I feel like his personality is the music is finally catching up with his personality.
Louis Virtel: I hear that I will say about that song, and I do think the chorus is great and catchy and has that nostalgic 80s flavor that is popping up here and there in music. I do feel like stylistically it’s a little contrived from him. He had that song sign of the times before, and even then I was like, Is this who Harry Styles really is? But this song is good, so I accept him as he is.
Ira Madison III: Yeah, you know, he he’s living his queer fagot life.
Louis Virtel: Just like us. Oh, my God.
Ira Madison III: I mean, I do remember the annoying era where it was like, Harry Styles is in a dress. And it’s like, Oh, is Harry Styles bisexual? And now I feel like Harry Styles has, you know, now that we’re dating Miss Wilde, has just sort of settled into a nice, I’m just a rock star base, you know? And like, I like painting my nails and like, I like eccentric outfits. I feel like the styling is better now, too, and now it feels more in time with just sort of like previous rock icons we’ve had from, like the sixties and seventies. I feel like, you know, it doesn’t feel like I felt like he was trying to figure out who he was.
Louis Virtel: One of the few times on Twitter, where somebody made a joke that completely shut down a conversation as in, there’s no way the joke could have been topped. You know Danielle Perez? She’s a comic here in L.A.. There was that. I forget what magazine, but Harry Styles was wearing this sleek Kelly green dress, and he had his leg pointed outward. And Danielle Perez’s joke was how the Grinch got everything in the divorce, and it was so funny you just couldn’t beat it. And it’s like, in a way, you don’t want jokes to be that good. It’s like, well, now we can’t have fun anymore. You beat us all.
Ira Madison III: Umm, I’m also looking forward to finally seeing Doja Cat live.
Louis Virtel: Oh, sure.
Ira Madison III: Yeah. Megan Thee Stallion is there. Carly Rae Jepsen is back. Going to give the gays everything they want with her new.
Louis Virtel: OK. That her new album is called Western Wind. And you know, we all got Lady Gaga Joanne vibes from that. But I was told recently it’s not a Western themed album. The first single is fantastic and I am, as I’ve established many times in the show, hard. C. R. J. cult.
Ira Madison III: Well, I mean,.
Louis Virtel: Her kind of like rug ratsy effervescence. Love it.
Ira Madison III: Rostam produced her first track, so I’m sure it’ll be great.
Louis Virtel: Oh I did not know that. Ok great
Ira Madison III: Yeah, and um he famously did Warm Blood for her, so I feel like it’ll probably be in that vein, not Joannie, but more, you know, like vibes.
Louis Virtel: Yeah, moody. Yeah, I was just thinking, I think climate change has, you know, there are obviously physical effects of climate change. It has also eroded everybody’s vocabulary, including mine, to be just the word vibe. It just is the only thing we say now. It’s like Sims.
Ira Madison III: Well, Paula Abdul.
Louis Virtel: Vibe. vibe. vibe.
Ira Madison III: Paula Abdul is OK with that.
Louis Virtel: Wow. She did define it. Once upon a time. She’s the professor of vibe-ology.
Ira Madison III: Also like the City Girls are performing, so that’ll be interesting seeing them turn it out. I’m just really just looking forward to being at a music festival again. You know, I’m glad that the acts aren’t completely awful and boring. I actually like this line up more than the line up that I think was supposed to be like the one before COVID happened. I think it was like Rage against the Machine and Frank Ocean, and there was no way Frank Ocean was actually going to show up. So this is probably for the best.
Louis Virtel: And you don’t get Kanye, which I’m sure you’re simply torn up about.
Ira Madison III: You know, we don’t have to talk about that.
Louis Virtel: Oh, you are torn up about it.
Ira Madison III: I’m not torn up about it, but I would have been there. I would have watched it. I would have watched it. Speaking of Kanye, his ex-wife is stalking me.
Louis Virtel: Meaning what?
Ira Madison III: I mean, I was at I was at Jon and Vinny’s for lunch, and then hours later she was.
Louis Virtel: Thats a restaurant over here, by the way.
Ira Madison III: Yeah, she was in the booth with Pete Davidson hours later after the Kardashians premiere, which.
Louis Virtel: Oh.
Ira Madison III: Being back in L.A. for Coachella and driving around and seeing the damn billboards for the Kardashians, its like new network, next level, I’m like, This is the same fucking show.
Louis Virtel: Tell me about the levels they bring.
Ira Madison III: It is the exact same fucking show.
Louis Virtel: They’re still mumbling about some old fight that they about some old fight that they fabricated to have on camera
Ira Madison III: and still the thing where it’s drama we’ve already experienced, which I know has to happen for reality shows. But, you know, like on Real Housewives, when there’s a fight and some scandals going on, you don’t really know what it’s about until it airs. Every piece of drama that happens on the Kardashians, like has been milked to death in the media already.
Louis Virtel: Dan D’Addario from Variety wrote a piece about the new Kardashian show, specifically how it’s like you can watch Kim Kardashian outgrowing the genre she’s in because it is pretty obviously like reality TV star is like maybe the first descriptor you’d see in their Wikipedia bio, but it’s also not really what they do anymore, so it feels almost redundant that they would have a show. Obviously, they have enough coverage outside, you know, streaming.
Ira Madison III: Yeah, I want her to. I want to try something different. You know, she’s done her mogul thing, you know? Can we get back to her acting era? That was fun.
Louis Virtel: Yeah, I’ll even take a pop song. Whatever
Ira Madison III: Temptation? Confessions of a Marriage Counselor? Like that was a vibe.
Louis Virtel: Professional podcaster reduced to that was a vibe. OK
Ira Madison III: I’m just trying to keep it on track with the theme.
Louis Virtel: Ok.
Ira Madison III: This this week’s episode is about vibes, OK? And if there is any movie out right now that more encapsulates vibes than anything, it is Everything Everywhere, All At Once.
Louis Virtel: Yes, and we are very lucky to have the legendary and to say delightful is a complete understatement. I was sitting in this interview just overjoyed with her, Michelle Yeoh is with us
Ira Madison III: Thee Bond girl.
Louis Virtel: I was going to say, you know what?
Ira Madison III: Bond woman.
Louis Virtel: I feel like she rarely comes up in, like a list of like the best Bond girls ever. And it’s like, I mean, who is more formidable than Michelle Yeoh?
Ira Madison III: I know I feel like because she was part of that era that took the Bond Girl to like Bond Woman. You know, that was when we started to have the conversation should we be calling them bond girls?
Louis Virtel: As long as you call them? That’s my RuPaul, anyway. Cut that.
Ira Madison III: We’re not cutting that joke, Louis. I want people to hear it. I want Danielle Perez to hear it and say,.
Louis Virtel: OK, good.
Ira Madison III: You know what? He’s not as good as me,
Louis Virtel: but Michelle Yeoh is clearly better than, like, what other? Like Maude Adams? Barbara Bach? Come on. Michelle Yeoh is top tier. Anyway.
Ira Madison III: Yeah, I mean, Michelle Yeoh, Halle Berry, ugh I always.
Louis Virtel: Eva Green.
Ira Madison III: Yeah, I always forget that Grace Jones, I guess, wasn’t a bond girl. She was like a villain.
Louis Virtel: Correct? Yes. And and she got to stare angrily and have trapezoidal facial features all over that movie.
Ira Madison III: Yeah. But getting back to Everything, Everywhere, All At Once, which, by the way, I fucking loved. And it’s wild that it’s from two directors who they’re collectively known as the Daniels, Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, who got their start directing music videos as I feel most genre bending um movies that feel like a cult movie from the moment you watch it. I feel like those directors always come from like music videos like a Spike Jonze, you know,.
Louis Virtel: David Fincher.
Ira Madison III: Yeah, they did DJ Snake’s turn down for what?
Louis Virtel: Which if you’ve ever heard that song even once, it’s still resonating in your skull. So
Ira Madison III: Um and a couple foster the people songs that aren’t pumped up kicks, so you probably never heard them before.
Louis Virtel: I was going to say they are not ringing a bell so,
Ira Madison III: but you know, their last film was their debut Swiss Army Man, which I still have not seen.
Louis Virtel: I have friends who are stans. It doesn’t seem like my sort of thing, but that doesn’t mean it’s not good.
Ira Madison III: I just remember hearing farting corpse and I was like, You know what? It’s not for me.
Louis Virtel: Right. Some things just aren’t for us,.
Ira Madison III: Also weirdly not a Daniel Radcliffe stan to the point where I need to see everything that he’s in, even though I do appreciate him, you know, as a elder statesman.
Louis Virtel: Oh, yeah. No, I would even just say a grown up,.
Ira Madison III: Yeah.
Louis Virtel: Like when you ask him for a quote and he’s like, Here comes someone with a head on their shoulders. Appreciate it enough. If you just provide that, we love it.
Ira Madison III: Do you want to talk about what happened at the Oscars, Daniel Radcliffe? Absolutely not.
Louis Virtel: He’s like, I’m five two and I got to get outta here.
Ira Madison III: No, but the thing about this film is that it’s one of those films that I feel like. You’re like the matrix, you know, like when it comes out, like everyone is talking about it and everyone is sort of telling you to go and see it. I truly have not had a film, at least within the past few years, maybe thanks to the pandemic. But even right before the pandemic, where people are texting me asking if I’ve seen it or friends are like, Hey, do you want to go see this movie? You know, it feels like everyone has it on their radar.
Louis Virtel: Yeah, well, I would actually compare it to, this does not seem intuitive, Hereditary in that it is putting together genres that seemingly don’t belong together. Namely, like in Hereditary’s case, you get like very visceral horror and then you get a family drama like rabbit hole or something. Whereas in this movie, you get a very sensitive, observed family situation, a queer story and that’s looped together with this sort of comic book thing. This, I don’t think I’m giving much away by saying a multiverse thing. And so there’s it’s one of those something for everyone type movies.
Ira Madison III: Yeah, I mean, A24 sort of does that well, you know, in addition, in addition to,.
Louis Virtel: Yeah. I guess, that’s what they do.
Ira Madison III: Yeah. In addition to being an Urban Outfitters, they are also very good at sort of genre films that are multiple genres. I mean, I don’t know if you’ve seen X yet?
Louis Virtel: No, though, again, like Gothica, everybody just went and agreed to see X. Everybody I know won’t stop coming up to me and telling me about this damn movie.
Ira Madison III: I’m such a big Ti West fan. So I was really excited to see X anyway. And plus, you know, I love like a throwback slasher movie. When I saw the House of the Devil from him, I was just sort of like it felt like it sort of reinvigorated that sort of like 80s splatter movie. But in a really smart way, although I will say that. His movies do have that effect where ain’t nothing happening until a bloodbath in the last half hour, it’s it’s vibes, its atmosphere, you know, and you sort of have to be along for the ride for that. But I will say that X is because it’s more of like a fun ensemble piece and it’s certain like, you know, like the 70s porn era. It is a bit funnier and has a bit more going on while you’re waiting for the bloodbath to happen. So I would actually say, like, maybe it’s best film for me.
Louis Virtel: By the way, skip me on any slasher movie that doesn’t have comedy in it. It’s got to. Like You’re Next. It had. I love that level. I love the social satire mixed in with, you know, the traditional horrifying imagery.
Ira Madison III: Yeah. And you know, Fright Train is funny because you’re like, why is this being made?
Louis Virtel: It’s a fleetingly funny thought while you’re sitting there angry
Ira Madison III: But anyway, because Everything Everywhere, All At Once is quickly jumping to the top of everyone’s like favorite films lists, people are seeing it multiple times. It’s Rotten Tomatoes score is sort of like through the roof. I figured we should use this week to talk about our favorite films like finally, our favorite films, but also
Louis Virtel: weird that we haven’t done that.
Ira Madison III: Yeah.
Louis Virtel: But I’m excited for it because I am my the mind boggles in what the actual criteria is for this sort of thing? And if it, anyway, we’ll get into it.
Ira Madison III: Yeah, we want to figure out what the actual criteria for a favorite film is as well. So we’ll be right back with Louis and I’s favorite movies.
Louis Virtel: [AD].
Ira Madison III: So after seeing Everything Everywhere, All At Once, a lot of people are saying that it immediately became one of their favorite films, and in honor of that, I thought that Lowis and I should, one, finally talk about what our favorite films are. But also, we should figure out what criteria goes into deciding something is your favorite film because I feel like you agree with me that favorite film means favorite film. You know, we’re not sitting here saying these are the best films ever made. You know, they’re not. It doesn’t mean that the best written doesn’t mean they, like, are technically the best. Have like, maybe our favorite performances also might be in movies that aren’t in our favorite films. You know, I feel like when people try and talk about their favorite films, they get stuck in sort of like, well, I should say something that I feel like is going to make me look smart.
Louis Virtel: Sure, there’s some of that. I mean, it is this conflict to me because there are movies I’ve seen seven thousand times. And then there are movies that I think are amazing that I’ve seen literally one time and probably wouldn’t even watch again. But I think those movies deserve credit, too. So to calibrate where these belong in the ranking system of favorite movies is actually quite vexing to me. Also, I just want to say in general, I don’t know if this is like particularly a male or I feel like women are likelier to reject ranking. I feel like, at least on Twitter, I’ll see people being like, I’m sick of having to pick my top 10 from women critics, especially. So what we’re do, what we’re doing right now might be one, male oriented or two, gay-male oriented. Nobody likes ranking shit more than gay men.Nobody But here’s the thing, and this is another thing I’m weighing. I have long had a list of favorite movies like If you asked me right off the back, it’s always going to be Rear Window. It’s always going to be Clue. It’s always going to be Airplane. But that’s what I would have said in high school, too. And I wonder if keeping those as my favorite is more honoring a past version of myself than it is true to the current moment, even though I’ve seen Clue 500000 times, so how could it not be one of my favorite movies? Anyway, I’m sorry to write a poem about this. We could just get into the movies, but
Ira Madison III: Well so, starting with Clue for you. That’s the movie you’ve seen the most and.
Louis Virtel: I have I have maybe seen Clue more than I have seen, like a picture of Bugs Bunny. I think it is the piece of media I have seen most times,
Ira Madison III: whereas I think everyone who listens to this podcast knows that Bring It On is the movie that I’ve seen the most.
Louis Virtel: Oh, correct, yes.
Ira Madison III: You know.
Louis Virtel: It would be it would be weird if you if you told me Bring It On was not in your top three,.
Ira Madison III: Yeah.
Louis Virtel: It’d be weird.
Ira Madison III: It’s a movie that I feel like I immediately took to. It came out in August 2000. That is the summer right before I started high school. So it was sort of one of the last films I saw with middle school friends before I went to like an all boys school. And so I wouldn’t see like any of my girlfriends from like middle school anymore. And it just sort of like invigorated me. Like I was just sort of I was just sort of like really jazzed on this movie, and I feel like I saw it every weekend for like the next two months.
Louis Virtel: Also, that movie, not only is it super funny, it is very attitudinal. You know, it’s like it’s a movie that all the characters are kind of just aligned in the level of sauciness they bring, really. And I feel like Clueless is similar in that regard. And to me, this has always been where Mean Girls lacks a little bit like certain characters, you know, bring a lot of personality and other ones like fall under or are sort of typical high school characters. So to me, Clueless and Bring It On are kind of in a league of their own.
Ira Madison III: Erin Samuels is kind of lame.
Louis Virtel: Right, right, not a dynamic character. Could have been anyone.
Ira Madison III: Yeah. And I would also say that Bring It On is from that specific era that we grew up with, where most of the stars of the teen TV shows we were watching were in movies. So like, I’m
Louis Virtel: Right, you could expect that
Ira Madison III: Loving Eliza Dushku in this because like I watched her on Buffy, you know, and I feel like maybe like 80s and sort of like early 90’s teen movies like the people were like finding actors, you know, to become movie stars. And we like, late 90s to specifically like 2000’s teen movies were who’s on a popular teen show already? We’ll just put them in a movie.
Louis Virtel: Well, I think that also pertains to a movie that would be on both of our lists, yours would likely be the sequel a mine’s the original, Scream.
Ira Madison III: Yes.
Louis Virtel: Which is let’s take Neve Campbell and Courteney Cox, two people we think we know. Throw them in this circumstance and their humor is even more biting now. Their angst is even more palpable. And you know, we get one of the funniest I mean raddest movies of that decade.
Ira Madison III: Yeah, I always go back and forth with Scream versus Scream two, because that is what I meant when I started out saying that like favorite film versus best film, righ? I can find reasons that Scream is a better made film than the sequel, but they’re sort of on par with me in quality.
Louis Virtel: Right. Well, also, I do think if you like the first one, it would be rare you didn’t like the second. And so yeah, it’s it’s not it’s not so much that one is good and one is in. It’s just like, you’re right. They’re pretty level pegging like, so it’s either it’s almost random, which one you would like more.
Ira Madison III: And I would also say that Scream 2 has quite a few sequences that I feel are the scariest moments in the series in general. That’s sort of top like like no one has that, you know, obviously the iconic Drew Barrymore opening. But you know, like Scream 2 has a bunch of like, really thrilling chase scenes, which I feel like Scream 5 was missing. There were no chase scenes.
Louis Virtel: I didn’t feel like they sustained. They didn’t sustain many scares in Scream 5, unfortunately. And also, it’s like that movie had the same problem as Halloween Kills, where it’s like wait Ghostface is just killing people like outside? Like this. He would never be.
Ira Madison III: In the middle of the day.
Louis Virtel: I know. Yeah, it just doesn’t work. But OK, so Scream we can both agree on. Another thing I have trouble. I brought up Rear Window earlier. Now that’s talk about suspense, obviously by the master of suspense Hitchcock. But I think for me, the reason Rear Window will always be in my top three is, one, it’s one of the first movies I came to when getting into older movies, so it feels just important to me personally, but two, I really think Rear Window is the number one, like guaranteed gateway drug into classic cinema if you’re looking to get into it. And by that, I mean. For one thing, you watch it. It could only be an old movie, you’re sitting there watching Jimmy Stewart look out his window at this clear set. This apartment complex is obviously a set. They have just a couple of other characters in the movie Grace Kelly and Thelma Ritter, and their relationships are so real. And the suspense is something everybody can relate to because everybody has been curious about the existence of a stranger before. And, you know, nowadays we obviously have lots of ways to keep tabs on strangers without them knowing. But this is sort of the beginning of what does it mean to be a voyeur, whatever. And it is successfully scary, too. So but because of the quaint nature of it, because of the old fashioned nature of it, you as a viewer are like, I’ve got to watch more movies like this. So you end up watching all these Hitchcock movies, you end up watching, you know, the non Hitchcock movies that feel like Hitchcock movies and I mean, like Gaslight and movies like that.
Ira Madison III: So you still hate Vertigo, right?
Louis Virtel: Well, I’ll say this, I think it’s slow at times, but that role could only be Jimmy Stewart. Because I think it would almost not be, I hate using this word, likable, but he has that palpable humanity and just consideration in everything he does that it makes. It makes him seem less like us erotic thriller anger overrun dude.
Ira Madison III: I didn’t have a Hitchcock on my list when we, you know, came up with our list for this episode. But obviously Hitchcock’s one of my favorite directors and I feel like Rear Window is a film that I love if I’m sitting down to watch a Hitchcock film. It might be Vertigo before that. Psycho. Definitely, Rope. But I feel like I really fucking love Strangers On A Train.
Louis Virtel: Oh yeah. Well, also Strangers On A Train, which I, was referenced very cleverly in an episode of Modern Family once. That just sprang to mind. Also, the thing with Strangers On A Train is, why couldn’t that happen? You know, you could almost just see two guys being like, Let’s exchange dirty business and see how it works out. Have you ever seen Throw Mama From Train, which is based on it?
Ira Madison III: Of course, Yes.
Louis Virtel: One of the great supporting actress nominations Anne Ramsey is just a shocking comedy performance.
Ira Madison III: But if we’re talking old movies that you know, sort of like, get you into other classic films, my list includes Double Indemnity, which is just crackles from the beginning.
Louis Virtel: Yeah.
Ira Madison III: You know, it’s one of those films like it’s sort of it sort of sets the pace for what the noir genre should be, but it also starts out with so many elements that become movie tropes and cliches. But like, it’s done excellently here, like even starting with the voiceover, you know. Oh, and like showing you like what’s going to happen at the end before you flash back? And honestly, Fred MacMurray is an amazing actor, and I love him and Barbara Stanwyck in this film, and I like I doubt that many keep listeners have seen his absent minded Professor Phelps, but it’s just funny seeing him, you know and like. Shit like that and then watching. Double indemnity and I have to feel like that’s what audiences were getting when they first went to see this movie, like they were both playing against type in this film.
Louis Virtel: Speaking of movies from sort of around that time, All About Eve, definitely one of my favorite movies. And I have to say, here’s the reason why. It’s actually rare you get a movie that is from beginning to end witty.
Ira Madison III: It’s a perfect, yes, it’s a perfect script, and it’s also so fucking funny. Like
Louis Virtel: Oh my god, oh my god, please. Betty Davis is like laying people out, left and right. And also the one liners she’s throwing away. It’s not just somebody who is, you know, it’s not like insult comedy the entire time. It’s the the the jaded ness with which she dispenses these jokes. And of course, Addison DeWitt, one of the great best supporting actor winners. George Sanders is fabulous, as a drama critic. And by the way, how many times do we get even a believable critic in a movie? It’s just that’s not something you really see.
Ira Madison III: Well, you know, they don’t build statues of them, so.
Louis Virtel: Right. Right? Right. Nice work.
Ira Madison III: Another movie from that era is Written On The Wind, which is my favorite circ film and also my favorite melodrama. We’ve talked about this on the podcast before. I mean, a film that has a man being danced to death,
Louis Virtel: right by Dorothy Malone. That’s the best supporting actress winner in fifty six. And also, people forget that Robert Stack, who I think most people now know as the host of Unsolved Mysteries, the original run which used to be a dramatic actor. And then this movie, he’s playing around with Rock Hudson.
Ira Madison III: Yeah, and I love the Rock Hudson era of him in dramatic roles, too before, you know, he was an Pillow Talk and all that.
Louis Virtel: Which let me say something about Pillow Talk, which is not one of my favorite movies. It does have Thelma Ritter from All About Eve giving a great drunk performance. There is a joke in that movie at the expense of some woman, and it’s about her looks that is so fucking mean it ruins the entire movie for me. As in I’m surprised more people don’t talk about it and that Doris Day would be in that movie living her. Saint Doris Day. You know, what’s a good movie with her? Teacher’s Pet from the year before. It’s her, one of Clark Gable’s last movies and Gig Young who would later win an Oscar for They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? Which is in my top five favorite movies, which God, I’m sure brought up this movie 10000 times. You brought it up to Jane Fonda herself. But it’s Jane Fonda’s best movie and performance, I think. Because I think maybe no one in the history of movies has done anger better than Jane Fonda like to perform cynicism in a role. It was this hardened bitch character. The whole movie is about dance dance marathons during the depression, where people would dance for days on end and the one who survived at the end of it. This is like something they would do on a YouTube channel now would get like a cash prize, and everybody else would simply perish and wear nothing. But it is a harrowing movie does not get bleaker than that movie. Talk about a movie you can barely watch two times, but it looks fabulous, and it’s also a Sydney Pollack movie. And let me tell you something obviously, I love Josie, but he’s made some movies I don’t make like out of Africa, so it’s crazy that he brought the level of power he did in this movie. But speaking of Meryl Streep and out of Africa, I just rewatched a movie I have long considered one of my favorites over the weekend. Sophie’s Choice. Mm-Hmm. Allow me to confirm that it fucking rules. I have heard people before say it’s too long. It’s ponderous. I totally disagree. It’s like rear window. It’s about really three people and their friendship. And even though it has a reputation for being a superpower, and obviously it is where it goes into a very trauma based play is talking about the Holocaust. If you don’t know what Sophie’s choice is. Oh my god. How are you listening to this podcast? But anyway, what it really is is a hangout movie. It’s Meryl Streep, Peter McNicoll, who is fabulous, Kevin Kline, who is scary and astounding, building a friendship. And it’s one of those movies like I would compare it to maybe like an education or The Great Gatsby, where somebody is getting their life through a new and unexpected relationship or unexpected relationships. It’s about like friendship as adventure, etc.. So God, I really recommend it for that reason. Merrill’s performance, I’m I’m glad it has the stature it has. It is one of the best performances ever. Did I forget any other favorite movies of mine? Also, Airplane is one of my favorite movies. I love how how deadpan the humor has played throughout that movie. I obviously love the quantity of jokes in that movie and what is shocking about Airplane and that people, I think, forget to talk about as much of the plot characters and dialog is directly lifted from a 1957 movie called Zero Hour. And then comedy is inserted around it, which is it’s because like the studio had access to own that movie so they could use the material from it. And what a what a mysterious way to approach a comedy. Just take like a straight up serious movie and be like, actually, if we add a few moments here and there, it turns into this first thing.
Ira Madison III: Yeah, I mean, I’ve already had Wes Craven on my list from Scream. But you know, like if we’re talking about like early career films that are just like fucking magnificent, the original Nightmare on Elm Street is one of my favorites. I love watching that film. It’s great, too, because it’s a horror film and it’s that, you know? Feels scary still, because it’s made on such like a shoestring budget.
Louis Virtel: Right. I love the scrappiness of it. Yeah, yeah. And just Heather Lang a campus performance. This is just a dream. It isn’t real. Like the screaming is so scary.
Ira Madison III: And also speaking of like horror-esque films, I don’t really know if this is a horror film so much as like a action film, but Jurassic Park. The way that Jurassic Park had like this grip on me and a fucking chokehold on me as a kid, I was obsessed with Jurassic Park. I actually think it’s probably the film that I’ve seen the second amount of times after bring it on, because when Jurassic Park came out the way that my parents would just drop me off at the movies by myself because I had to see this movie again and again and again, billboards like Spielberg Magic has never been more evident in a movie than this one for me. I wasn’t like an E.T. person as a kid, but we were like 86. So I feel like people mourn slightly earlier than us. Like, really love E.T., but it never really did it for me. Jurassic Park fucking does it for me, and the way that everything in this movie looks so fucking realistic in 2022.
Louis Virtel: Right. Oh, totally. Also, I want to say I will say about E.T. quickly, that movie does nail the feeling of the suburbs better than most movies ever do. I will give it that. But about Jurassic Park, I mean, that’s a movie to me. That’s like The Devil Wears Prada or something where once it comes on what he’s supposed to do, look away, you know, like you have to simply be there and experience the whole thing. Also, that movie, I guess, created like a space in like the Fontenells on baby brains, where now they just are obsessed with dinosaurs like that didn’t exist before that.
Yes! I was obsessed with dinosaurs. The way that the way that my bedroom as a kid was like dinosaurs and Ghostbusters shit.
Louis Virtel: Yeah, I actually did have a lot of Ghostbusters toys. I had all the action figures, even an Annie Potts action figure. Which, mom and dad do you regret it now? Because look what happened.
Ira Madison III: What my thing is it like I enjoy Ghostbusters and I won’t. That’s a movie that I will always watch when it’s on TV. Ghostbusters 2, which I feel like I enjoy slightly more just because when I was a kid, the slime, the Viegas slime shit was funny to me. I mean, every Nickelodeon. But like Ghostbusters, Furby feels like one of those films that I wouldn’t even put it in my like top 30 of favorite films ever, either of them. But I was obsessed with Ghostbusters shit as a kid, and I feel like that was the power of 80s advertising and consumerism.
Louis Virtel: Oh, absolutely. No, I would I don’t think I knew anybody who didn’t have Ghostbusters toys and I wanna say about
Ira Madison III: Or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle toys.
Louis Virtel: Oh, I had fucking all of them. Every time I go to like a gay warehouse party that’s in some like laser lit underground zone, I feel like.
Ira Madison III: Secret of the Ooze.
Louis Virtel: I’m in a skate park from teenage mutant to turtles. Like in the first one.
Ira Madison III: Oh the first one?
Louis Virtel: Where like where, like Danny hangs out and smokes with all his cool friends. I was like, Oh shit, this is what being cool is. And now I live that and paid 20 dollars to go meet other men in men shirts.
Ira Madison III: Honestly, you talked about films that were your favorites that were on your list when you were a kid and you felt like you still had to honor them. If I were honoring films like that, Secret Of The Ooze would be on that list. But I have revisited it as an adult and it should be on no one’s favorite film list.
Louis Virtel: Oh yeah, no. I remember having the humbling experience of watching the movie Superstar again, the Molly Shannon movie based on Mary Katherine Gallagher from SNL in college. I watched it with other people. Grim experience. I remember being like, Oh, you won’t believe this line and this line. Those lines still existed and nothing else. Elaine Hendrix, I honor you though. Yeah
Ira Madison III: I feel like one of my big things with like my favorite films are sort of like I tap into directors that I feel like everyone loves. But, you know, like my favorite film ends up being like one of the like weirder films in their filmography. Like, I love the Coen Brothers, though I think, you know, Burn after Reading is my favorite Coen Brothers film I. I just think.
Louis Virtel: I think that’s a sophisticated choice, yeah
Ira Madison III: I just think the casting is is such an interesting cast for them. I think the addition of like Brad Pitt or Elizabeth Marvel like Tilda Swinton in this cast with their use roles like Frances McDormand and George Clooney, like, I feel like that cast is just really fucking good, and I wish that we would see more of. And we should see more inventive casts like that in films. You know?
Louis Virtel: I think dynamite casting is a key to keeping a favorite film because you want to be reunited with that exact group of people when you’re going to sit down with it. And I think the Addams Family Values, this comes up on Twitter all the time perfectly cast, but also maybe the most perfectly cast movie of the past 25 years. Come on now. Talented Mr. Ripley.
Ira Madison III: Oh, I mean that I forgot to put that on my list. I think you did, too.
Louis Virtel: Yeah, that’s gotta be a you movie
Ira Madison III: I love Talented fucking Mr. Ripley. So much that I added a fucking in there.
Louis Virtel: I think I would put.
Ira Madison III: The Talented Fucking Mr. Ripley. I love the. I mean, talk about vibes, though.
Louis Virtel: Yeah. Oh no. Right, sinister. We’re all rich, but we’re all full of intrigue and pretension, but also depth of character. So artificiality plus depth. I love that mix.
Ira Madison III: Yeah. But in that vein of like the Coens, in that one, I put like I was trying to think of a Scorsese, a film that is like my fave, and I really think it’s the age of innocence.
Louis Virtel: Winona wowed me in that one, I have to say I’m a bit of a doubter when it comes to Winona Ryder and that performance is airtight.
Ira Madison III: I’m a Michelle girl.
Louis Virtel: Michelle is absolutely serving. Yes.
Ira Madison III: Yeah, yeah, I’m a Michelle girl. And Daniel Day Lewis is like sexy in this film.
Louis Virtel: Sexy. Not my favorite performance of his. It’s always weird when you watch a movie of his and realize he actually doesn’t nail it 100 percent of the time. If you’ve watched The Crucible recently overdone.
Ira Madison III: Why would I watch The Crucible?
Louis Virtel: I know. Don’t do that. Yeah
Ira Madison III: To wrap this up, I think we’ve both talked about how Jackie Brown is sort of like Tarantino’s underrated classic, but I feel like people online have started to figure that out.
Louis Virtel: Oh, sure. And also the only scene where somebody is just they scream the name Louis several times, so I have to honor that.
Ira Madison III: I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Batman Returns, you know, superhero films that is sort of like the nadir for me. And I think that we could get something weird like that again from my favorite director, Almodovar. Also All About My Mother is on this list because it’s iconic and soapy and just sort of like one of his most beautiful films ever. He was one of those directors that people ask, like, what do you think of superhero films? And he wasn’t a director who was like, I hate them. He was like, I don’t think they’re sexy enough, you know? And there’s too much like studio interference. And he said that he would love to do like something with Batgirl. And then Penelope Cruz was asked what she thought about him saying that, and she was like, if Almodovar does Batgirl, I need to be the lead, I need to be in it. And honestly, a weird, wacky superhero movie like The Way Batman Returns is with Michelle Pfeiffer and Danny DeVito and like the twistedness of that. Imagine Almodovar doing like Batgirl with Penelope Cruz.
Louis Virtel: That does sound heavenly. I also just want to give my respect to the fact that he didn’t just criticize superhero movies, offer to solve.
Ira Madison III: Yes.
Louis Virtel: He’s like what if? What if? What if it had this? Because, by the way, that is not the instinct I have. If you catch me on the wrong day. I’m like, here are the 50 things I don’t like about you. You know? So
Ira Madison III: I think we exhausted all our favorite films. I mean, obviously there’s a ton more. But
Louis Virtel: Right? I just want to say quickly about Clue. I did end up rewatching it recently, and I am shocked to say I was laughing at newer and different things like the way Mr. Green picked, that’d be michael McKean, is telling the cops who showed up to investigate, you know, this mansion of murders. His line readings as this closeted agent? Very funny. So check out Michael McKean.
Ira Madison III: Oh, I’m sorry, I can’t. I can’t believe. I also just glossed over Heathers, which is at the top of my list, and Clue reminded me.
Louis Virtel: I find Heathers a a little, oh yeah.
Ira Madison III: Clue reminded me of that. Um. Listen, I’ve rewatched it and it. It is slow.
Louis Virtel: I think it’s slow. I also think it’s like jokes that are repeated which get sluggish.
Ira Madison III: But the jokes in that movie that hit are some of the not just funniest, but some of the like harshest jokes. Yeah, that I think have ever been in a film. Like there are lines in Heathers that would not fly anywhere today in a film.
Louis Virtel: Oh, yeah, no, it’s a movie about cruelty. Yeah
Ira Madison III: Yeah. The cruelty, but also just the jokes about like the jokes about like weight in it the jokes about suicide is it’s just you can’t sort of you can’t satirize things like that today in the way that you were in a film like that, just because of censors and the way that people are sensitive to jokes. You can’t you can’t do comedy anymore, Louis. People are too sensitive.
Louis Virtel: What was that, Bill Maher? Yeah.
Ira Madison III: All right. When we are back, we sit down with the icon Michelle Yeoh to discuss Everything Everywhere, All At Once and all of her other classic films. I mean, she’s been in so many.
Ira Madison III: I think our guest today truly needs no introduction. She is a legend, the star of the action packed hilarious. So much going on film that I can’t wait to talk with her about, Everything, Everywhere, All At Once. The Michelle Yeoh. Thank you so much for joining us today.
Michelle Yeoh: Very happy to be here, Ira and Louis,
Ira Madison III: I first want to say this movie is amazing and you are amazing in it, and it is so exciting to see you in a role like this. And I want to ask you before this interview, I revisited Yes, Madam.
Michelle Yeoh: Oh wow.
Ira Madison III: And what’s so interesting about that is that you immediately have this amazing screen presence. You are so funny in that film and you were just sort of like, really command the screen with your skill at like martial arts and you just sort of like really commandeer that film. And I want to know. Were you always a funny person like I know you started out in pageants, but like you’re you’re so you’re so funny and yes, you’re so great at martial arts. It’s like, where did this all come from?
Michelle Yeoh: Oh my god, definitely not from a pageant, right? They don’t teach me that. Not doing the wah wah wah.
Ira Madison III: You’re the original Miss Congeniality? OK? You were
Michelle Yeoh: Miss Personality probably, right? The one that goes like good friend. OK. Bye bye. No, when I first started, there was nothing funny. I never saw myself. My producers never really saw me as funny. They were very focused on. It’s true. The movie that I was in, Yes Madam, was one of my first action films. In fact, the first movie I was in is a action comedy movie, but the comedy and the action were all done by Sammo Hung and the legendary Sammo Hung and George Lamb, the amazing singer actor. And when I was watching them, I was thinking like, I can do this, you know, because this very much is all choreography. It’s all about precision and timing. It’s like dance, just like the world of ballet and dancethat I’ve been involved in for the last blah blah blah of my life. So when I was so grateful when the producers are, well, okay, you know, she’s a little bit crazy, she must be crazy. And she wants to even try because that world of martial arts and its physical. I mean, if you ask the Jackie Chans and Jet Li and the master Yuen Woo-ping and the Sammo Hung, there was nothing funny. It looked funny. That was physical comedy. But the stunts and the action that they did was very physical and dangerous because at that time, remember in the heydays of the amazing times of Hong Kong cinema where that was where I started. We didn’t have CGI, we didn’t have the budget to have cables. We have these like scrawny little thin wires that held the whole body weight, and you will be like whizzing around in the air. And when it snapped you literally the stunt guys just fall from wherever they are. So at that point when I actually turn around and say I would like to try this. They looked at me like I was insane. But then, you know, she studied abroad. Maybe that screwed with her head. But if you want to try it, OK? So they Yes, Madam. I was surrounded by comedians like the John Shum, the Cherry Hawk. They were like the high powered comedy actors. I mean, they walked onto the set and people laughed. So I was tasked with, OK, now I have to convince the audience that I belong here. I deserve to have a place next to the guys doing this martial arts. So I train very hard. And it was it was not not a easy task because they have been they paid their dues to be where they are. They didn’t come on a silver platter for them. So to join the boys club, which it was a boys club, you know, they will tell you because they did it in that way in the in the mindset we protect our women, we don’t let them get hurt. And they, you know, Jackie says that I was like, No, bro, don’t go there. And, you know, because we have to learn to protect ourselves. And if you keep doing that, then we will never grow to be who we are, right, which is which is prevalent all the time. So that was the beginning of my days, my sort of doing martial arts. I was well protected. I was well-loved. I was well taught and well protected in the sense that when you do a stunt, when you do the action sequences, you must learn to respect each other. Know you have to have the stamina. You have to have the precision. If I say I punched you in here, I’m not going to punch you. Sure, right? And the only way to do that is if you are in training and that you are, you have the capabilities and not just say like, Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, no. There is discipline, there is hard work and there is like you, you sweat blood. That’s how it is. So but I loved it. I loved the physical aspect of it. I loved the challenge of it. I love to be part of the boys gang and go, like, Yeah, let’s go out and have fun, man. You know, you get to do things that you would never get. I would never do in real life. I don’t mean violence.
Louis Virtel: I was so pleased to see this clip of you that’s going around viral. I believe you’re talking to GQ and you talk about how.
Michelle Yeoh: Oh my God.
Ira Madison III: That is such a beautiful interview.
Louis Virtel: Yeah, right after you say you love hanging with the boys, I bring up a moment in which you cried. This is not to be cruel.
Michelle Yeoh: Oh my god, I’m never going to live this down.
Louis Virtel: But something I loved about that clip was you talk about how even just reading the script, all of these kind of genres are apparent. Like, there’s comedy in it, there’s tragedy, there’s martial arts, et cetera. What’s crazy to me is I cannot picture this as a script. So much is going on on screen that I can’t picture that translated to the page. So how much of what you see in this movie are you surprised to see? Because I can’t picture it all just existing in the script?
Michelle Yeoh: I’m not sure it’s all in the script.
Louis Virtel: Wow.
Michelle Yeoh: If you see a picture of my script because how I work is like, I tag every scene that I’m in. And on the side, normally, you know, when you have a script, I would tag it on the side. So I look at the script and I know, OK, I am in like 30 of the whatever pages or whatever. I’m in 50 or something like this. So that’s my process. And it was an action movie. It has like, OK, this is a dramatic scene. It will be tagged in yellow. It is an action scene, it will be tagged and red. By the time I finished tagging my script. I first started off with, you know, the big stickers and I thought, OK, I’m not going to have enough space for this because in one page there are 10 multi universe verses going on. So I went onto the really itty bitty skinny ones. And by the time I finished one day, I’m going to post that on my Instagram and you guys will see what I mean. My script was tagged all the way around with all the colors of the rainbow because it’s each universe get their own color. And by the end of it we like, What the hell am I dealing with? It was, I am in every single scene, every single scene. That was just like, just no like, OK, I can take the next few days off and wander around and see what was going to happen. It was like, No, but it was written like that. The Daniels did not stray. They had. This was like their Bible. And remember, we are an independent film. We’re like, yes we’re an independent film on steroids and probably a lot of I don’t know what they were feeding us. But the fact was we had eight weeks, but thirty seven shooting days. And you cannot go and do this with all the crazy things happening. You know, I say, well, let’s see what happens today. No, no, no, no. They had the A-Team blocking our. You know, the stunt coordinator, Tim, you know, with the set designer, the Jason, everyone. They all they went together. They worked together. And Paul, our editor. I mean, I met his wife and he says, You’ve been living with us for two years and you don’t know what to say to that, but we know each other so well. So they know their editing as they like the martial arts sequences. It’s not by accident. They know how to pull back when they want you to see and then give you the most intense close ups. Right, right. This is not by accident. This is understanding their craft, understanding the different techniques that they can put into this. When we don’t have the money to do special effects, to do the confetti, blah blah blah, they have confetti coming out of the guy. So it is done with precision. It is done with like great salt. And so and I was so surprised to see some things. You know what? Because there were so many multiverses going on you when you see it, you go, Oh, all the link. You know, like the opera singer, I was like, OK, why am I suddenly an opera singer? You know, she was blinded as a kid when you only see because when you read it, it is at different times of the shot. So you don’t see it as a scene and only comes together right at the end when she needs that skill. And you see why she became blind because she fell on that and she blinded herself as a kid. So but then the father taught her another skill, another gift that she had, which was her voice. And then I’m like, What is an opera singer got to do with a skill, all because she can hold a breath? So then, you know, all these like imagery that you shoot ties in and gives you that? Yes, you are not surprised, but the realization of how it is tied together. That’s just the beauty of that journey.
Ira Madison III: Mm hmm. I mean, well, speaking of even that moment that Louis brought up too, you know, I love how you talk about how, you know, this was sort of like a script, like a role that you’d been waiting for and you were it was almost like a gift to you and you’ve had such a long career with so many different roles. What what would you say? You felt like you have been missing in your roles before this film came along and sort of like, what do you still feel like you want to do on screen that people maybe haven’t given you the opportunity to because you, you know you, you’re Michelle Yeoh. Like, you beat people up, you could fly through the sky, you know?
Michelle Yeoh: No, I think in this particular one, I think where I I know that GQ interview you are talking about, it was suddenly that moment, you know, when you feel that the Daniels they saw me, people, you know, you want people to see you and give you the opportunity to show you what I am capable of. And that’s what they gave me. It was a very precious gift. And then not just them, they had the guts to write it. And then we had A24, who believed that the gods who are right and Michelle Yeoh is crazy enough to want to do this and then to hold out for a cinema release. In these times, you know, we’ve been we’ve had a real. It’s been hot the last two years, and I think on many different levels on each person for families, that disconnection and finally to be able to. It was such a moment of everything, everything just coming together like the stars aligned and you. You can even begin to to know who to think. But somebody is like in the universe is looking after this little movie that we put so much love into.
Ira Madison III: The theater was packed. I want to tell you, you know, like people are going out to see this
Michelle Yeoh: But that’s how you have to watch the movie, right?
Ira Madison III: Yeah.
Michelle Yeoh: You’re having a shared experience. Its like going back to our old primal days when our ancestors were under the stars and there was storytelling around the campfire and things like this. And for us, this is our safe place. You know, in the cinema where we we are with strangers, we are with people that we don’t know all well with our family and people that we love. But the experience, the shared experience of joy, of pain, of laughter is so real that we, we feel it with each other. And I think this was what this movie has come out at an opportune time that we can have that what that. Let’s just go and sit and have a great time, and you’re right, you have to see it in the cinemas. And not just once I because I find that with the first time when you watch it, the intellect kicks in, the cerebral part kicks and you go to, OK, I’m going to know who and what. And then after, like 15 minutes, that’s become that’s when you become like Evelyn Wong. And that’s only the second time when you watch it, you’re not so like, OK, I am prepared to put on the safety belts, be in for this roller coaster ride and just go because now you have an inkling, Oh, they have to do crazy things or ridiculous things before they can multiverse jump, right? That’s all you need to know. And then when they go to that universe, everything Wong is going to learn a skill that she has never thought that she would possess, and she’ll come back here and do all these like crazy things to fight for humanity and fight for the people that she knows best. And the core story is that it is the familial connections that we all find so relatable with.
Louis Virtel: Speaking of skills, you mentioned something in your interview magazine, future with Paul Giamatti, where you talk about who, I mean, that’s so rude that you talked to him for that. But you mentioned how you mastered a calm, serene look for when you do martial arts. And in this movie, you have to merge the martial arts with comedy, with, you know, confusion, since this character is perpetually confused for the movie. And to me, that sounds almost like the hardest part, like having to mesh like a comic sensibility with like how hard the martial arts is. And I was wondering, like, how did that take 500 takes to get right to get all of that lined up because you just said you had no time to make this movie either.
Michelle Yeoh: You remember, this is you don’t have the luxury of so many takes.You know, you have to get it right. And I think because we and all it takes is the Daniels, and this is what I say to them every day at the beginning is I’m going to be confused because you going to be like multi jumping me. I know the gist of it, but you have you’re like my my, my anchors, right? You two are going to hold my hand and you’re going to bring me back to when I need to come back. And you were. This is what you do. You are the. Remember that you are very simply the directors don’t mess with my head is going messed up enough. So when that happens, you know, when you jump into the universe, when I fight, I automatically. It’s very because that’s what we’ve been trained to do all this time. It’s like when you fight, you maintain because you are the mentor, you are the teacher, you are the number one martial artist. So you don’t like you don’t you don’t flinch when a punch comes at you. You, you learn to do it with a zen like quality, right? So I’m fighting with Jamie and she’s the best. She’s fun and she’s just like gung ho. She’s like willing to to do this. And then. The Daniels come up to me, and she’s like, but Evelyn Wong doesn’t know how to fight. So, you know, when she gets the skill, her face is registering the confusion of Why the hell are my hands doing this? Like incredible things? And I have no control. You know, it’s like the whole story when she’s talking about Racacooney and all those kind of things. So when you get into your head and then they make you do all these things and you don’t realize what you’re doing and everybody’s like, what the hell are you talking about? So I have to register the what the frig is going on here and then she’ll, Wow, I could do all this, you know, from the change of expression, you are suddenly Evelyn Long who have got this new skills and then able to do all these physical things. Yes, you learn to fracture your mind. You learn to, like, split it. And it’s like, Body does this page does this. And that is going to how it is. So that was the great challenge. But that’s why I signed up for the movie was the challenge of doing things that I had not done before.
Ira Madison III: I want to talk a bit about the run, the gamut of people you’ve worked with, you know, like you started out, you know, you said working with like, you know, like Sammo Hung, you know, like as like a director and also like doing stunts early on. And then you I feel like you got to work with so many icons. And like the Hong Kong cinema world when you did Crouching Tiger, what was that experience like, you know, working with Ang Lee and also, you know, just having him bring together so many people who done films, you know, Hong Kong cinema for four years now, all sort of in one movie being able to work together.
Michelle Yeoh: Working with Ang Lee is like poetry in motion. You know, he is he the way he loves cinema, the way he loves the humanity and the storytelling. And you look at it, it’s a very intimate movie. It’s about literally three people while Jade Fox being the antagonist, right? It’s about Lee Mubi. You shoot me in that I play and Jung Chi and her young lover. So it’s about what is important and the martial arts world. And that was what Ang Lee was trying to do. He was trying to present to the world something that she knew as a child. The martial arts world is not something that the West would know. But when I first spoke with him, he said to me, I want you to do sense and sensibility with martial arts. And that was when I was I was doing the press for Tomorrow Never Dies. One of the most incredible movie that any actress would want to be part of. And I waited two years. I didn’t do another movie after that, waiting for me because we all believed in him. We all believed in his vision and we all wanted to make it happen. In fact, my soul beat up how real kong we all came together to say we want the rest of the world to embrace our culture in that way. It was one of the best, one of the most poignant, one of the most beautiful, but one of the most painful experiences because I tore my ACL after the first action sequence when I was, you know, around the wall and I ran up the wall and down the wall. And I think when you’re on the wire, off the wire, on the wire, off the wire, your body gets so confused your mind is like, where the hell is it going? One time I jump and I’m soaring in the sky. Next time I jump a lad. But then, like, what happened to me? How come I can’t fly? And it was on the last day of the shoot my it felt like someone clubbed my knee. I fell to the ground and I was fighting with the stunt double, and I was like, Why did you kick me? And the poor guy was so horrified. He was like, I didn’t touch you wounded and I thought, No, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. You did. There was no way because we were both doing it at a distance. But upon master, your pain was. I was stunned choreographies coordinator at the time and Andrew, who was the editor. They went frame by frame to understand how was that possible that, you know, a simple thing then, but that’s always the case. The simplest motions are the ones that you get into trouble with. And in one of the shots, they saw that my leg when I was doing the front, jumpkick had just touched his leg, which probably that split second, which I really didn’t even know or noticed. And when I landed, it just wiped me out. And it was most also painful but beautiful, because Ang could have changed me because I had only done that action sequence and action sequences with the artistry of master Yuen Woo-ping he could double it. You know, they could take all the shots and then make another person look like it was them who was fighting. And they could have done that easily. But I will never forget when I was in a room in Johns Hopkins with the specialists who said, I can wrap your leg up your knee up because your your your ACL is gone. It’s not just like torn, it’s like you, you you basically you can run, you can jump, you can do sudden stops, you can walk gently and that’s about it. And you’re like, I’m doing a martial arts movie. That’s not possible, right? So Ang and Bill Kong, our producer at that time, just turned around say, do what you need to do, get them to fix you up and we will wait for you.
Louis Virtel: Mm hmm. Thank God they did. My God. Oh my God.
Ira Madison III: What a movie.
Louis Virtel: Yeah, incredible. No. As far as I’m concerned, there’s also no second one of that movie. I just remember that was a movie that you came out and everybody I know had to see it, and it was like, Wait, now I have to research every movie that’s ever been like this in history. It was such an education for everybody. So you really ushered in something for a lot of film viewers they said, I’m looking through your filmography. Truly, most of the things you have done over your career seemed like the most time consuming and bodily harmful things ever. Like, there are a couple of movies here, like you were in last Christmas a couple of years ago or whatever. OK, maybe that was only a couple of weeks, but I just want to remind you, movies don’t have to be like the most stressful situation of your life. I just want to say that and I was, What are you craving? Just kind of like, I don’t know, a rom com something that, like, you know, is just an an earthly normal realm ever?
Michelle Yeoh: Absolutely. I love to do that. You know, I yes, A resounding yes. But does it mean that I have to choose one over the other? I hope not.
Louis Virtel: Good.
Michelle Yeoh: Right? Because, you know, I love the challenges of being from doing things, and it’s nice. I would love to do a romcom and a musical or something like that. It would be so fun. And you’re right, it doesn’t always have to be physical. And you know, that’s maybe a threat of being injured or things like that. And it would be so nice just to do something that’s like intimate and fun and loving. Yes.
Louis Virtel: And I’m glad. I’m glad to hear that because even looking at Crazy Rich Asians, I’m like, That’s like the most gigantic production ever. Like even that movie, which could be, you know, just a quote unquote fun movie seems incredibly demanding based on how much time it must have taken to put together
Ira Madison III: I mean the the mahjong scene alone, you know.
Louis Virtel: Oh please.
Ira Madison III: Like the. The choreography that I feel like have to go into that.
Michelle Yeoh: No, you know, it’s the thought that goes behind is the respect that you give that culture. What is important to that culture? Mahjong is very important to the Chinese culture, and it’s not just a game. There’s much that goes on behind that game its like bridge, you know, it’s like backgammon. It’s like all these kind of things chess. Why do you play? That is a battle of wits. And it’s, you know, it’s very reminiscent a bit of memoirs of a geisha. When I was negotiating with the mama son about slavery and, you know, bringing her in and we were just like tossing the the teacups around, you know, I pushing to you and coming back to me. And it is a battle where there is no physical fighting. But the the the battle is there in how you handle the cards and things like that. And what are the innuendos of the dialog? No. So in that, you know, it’s interesting because in this movie, I get to be funny. I get to do physical comedy and everything everywhere all at once. Like in Crazy Rich Asians, everybody is having a wild time. And I get to play the most serious like, you know, the scary part. Then to the beach party man. Come on.
Ira Madison III: I would be interested to know, like what kind of like films do you consume? You know you’re you’re known for, you know, you know, martial arts films that are, you know, very involved in tact Big Lie. But like where Michelle Yeoh is at home? Like, what are you watching? Like what interests you?
Michelle Yeoh: Ha ha ha. Actually, I watch everything. I’m such a movie buff. I mean, I would go to the cinemas by myself, and I constantly do. Maybe one thing that would surprise you is I love horror films. Mm hmm. But I would go and watch a hologram by myself wondering, is it close to the door? Is it right at the back when there’s no one? I love drama. I love mysteries. I love thrillers. I just basically love the thrill of being in the cinema. I just love that experience because it’s a way of escapism. I, you know the magic of not having to just enjoying something a story. I love musicals. I love everything. So I watch anything now. I’m even watching, you know, baking shows just like, what the hell happened to me
Ira Madison III: Well I mean like, this is an A24 film and you’ve just now said you love horror films, so I feel like in two years, we will see you in some A24 horror film where you’re torturing your family or something.
Michelle Yeoh: I don’t know. I don’t know. I am. I am a little bit. I don’t want to dwell in the realm of others, you know, I mean, I love to watch them, but I don’t want to be invited into their world.
Ira Madison III: We’ll keep it on the screen.
Louis Virtel: Well, I just I just want to say your enthusiasm for all these different types of movies totally comes across in this movie and like I think only somebody who has that, that fervor and that zeal for movies could give a performance like that. So I thank you so much for that.
Michelle Yeoh: Oh, thank you. Thank you.
Ira Madison III: Yeah, I mean, I just
Michelle Yeoh: But its true. I think with this movie, we all just literally looked at each other. Yes, like with Ki, with Jamie, with Stephanie and James Hong and we look and and Harry Shum as well. Right? We just looked at each other and go like, Yes, we are unapologetic with the silliness, the wrongness or whatever it is. And let’s just have a great time. Let’s believe in this. And we literally held hands and say, that’s the way to go. Let’s jump in. And we all grabbed Daniels by the Josie, like, which was the only way you could do it. It’s like to be fearless, right? And in that way, we empower each other. We just go for it. And we did we went for it.
Louis Virtel: Absolutely.
Ira Madison III: I just lastly, I just feel like, you know, you’ve done so much. Are there are there things that like, are there films that you’re known so much for, you know, like Crouching Tiger you know and like now this film, like, you know, it’s like genre bending films that are, you know, like introducing people to like a whole new way of seeing the cinema. Is there like a film that you’ve done in your career that you feel like, you know, sort of like you wish more it it gotten more attention or something that you really look fondly back on and you’re like, I had, you know, I had a really great time making this film?
Michelle Yeoh: Right. Yes. Yes. You know that when we set out to do a film, obviously you want the best for it to happen, and the best for a movie is to get the best box office, right? I mean, it is show business. I mean, that’s the reality of it. It’s like we we do it because we want people to be able to embrace it and say, Yes, this is. And sometimes you do movies where maybe it’s a little bit ahead of their time and people are like, Oh, I watch, you know, maybe like the heroic trio. I had the best time making that one particular favorite of mine is Reign of Assassins that I did with John Woo Sung and John John Woo and who was the director. And I felt that there was so much. Part in that film, and I really wish more people saw it. And another one is the lady that was directed by Luc Besson.
Ira Madison III: Yeah, that’s such a that’s such a it’s I feel like it’s such an outlier. It’s like a Luc Besson film.
Michelle Yeoh: I know!
Ira Madison III: Because it’s so intimate,
Michelle Yeoh: because if you think about it as artists, you have to explore, you have to do things out of your comfort zone. You can’t just do Taxi Driver the whole time. I mean 5th Element the whole time. Yes, you could. And he’s great at it. But then, you know, sometimes you have to do something that’s so. But he did that with love and heart. That was a story that he really, really wanted to tell, and so did I. And that’s how we came together to do the lady, which was about the Burmese dissident, Aung San Suu Kyi. Mm-Hmm.
Louis Virtel: Yeah. Fabulous performance, by the way.
Ira Madison III: Yeah, it’s it’s a it’s a gorgeous film. I mean, we could say that about so many things you’ve done. I mean, I just want to reiterate that like, this movie is mind blowing. I am definitely going to have to see it again. And I, you know, I’ve just been everyone. It’s it is been a while since a film was like been released that I feel like I am constantly getting texts from friends being like, Do you want to go see this movie or have you seen this movie? Or they’re like, If you haven’t seen it, I’ll see it again. It’s I think it’s just a really, really beautiful film.
Michelle Yeoh: That is amazing, because that is what we we see, you know, what we need now is more conversations between people, you know, like good, wonderful shared ideas and, you know, like go, how did you see that part when you realized certain, you know, and not to be left out? What do you you didn’t see you better go watch it before you can join. And that’s so great. And that’s what I love about, you know, yes, there’s so many different reasons the internet, the word of mouth. And it’s so important because we have real conversations with each other, with family, with friends and sometimes even with strangers because we are having a shared experience. So this is fantastic. I’m so glad to hear it.
Ira Madison III: Yeah. Oh, well, thank you so much for being here with us. I mean, it’s truly an honor to talk to you today.
Michelle Yeoh: Nice talking to you guys.
Ira Madison III: Yes, thank you. Thank you. Everything, Everywhere, All At Once is in theaters now. We will be right back with Keep it.
Ira Madison III: And we’re back with our favorite segment of the episode. It is keep it, Louis, what’s good?
Louis Virtel: Sometimes I don’t really have a Keep It. And so I scrounge Twitter. I was like, OK, someone’s got to be mad about something, and something just fell right into the slot. And here it is not upsetting me. Just, you know, tiring me a little bit. There’s going to be a movie based on Spirit Halloween stores. Let me explain this. This is what the plot description says when a new spirit Halloween store appears in a deserted strip mall, three middle-school friends who think they have outgrown trick or treating make a dare to spend the night locked inside the store a Halloween night. But they soon find out that the store is haunted by an angry evil spirit who has possessed the creepy animatronic characters.
Ira Madison III: Is this a night at the museum?
Louis Virtel: I say we already spent that night at the museum, so I’m a member. I don’t need. I don’t need to go back. And then secondly, the stars of the movie are speaking of clue. Christopher Lloyd, which God bless the man for still working. I assume he’s like 84 years old, literally starved back to the future and plenty of other classes. He was in taxi funding of classics and Rachel Leigh Cook, who was very upset about drug use in America once upon a time. That is her right?
Ira Madison III: Yeah, she was. She was slamming a skillet around her kitchen and telling us what our brain looked like on drugs.
Louis Virtel: This is your friends? Yeah.
Louis Virtel: The way she made friends two-syllable is very important. Yeah. OK. A night spent in a spirit Halloween store. I mean, it’s just not that thrilling. I bet would be a Halloween for me to forget when I go to a spirit Halloween store, I have ended up there accidentally because I have not prepared a costume. And so now I’m stuck in the final week before Halloween, and because it’s the only thing left, I have to be a police officer and that is not cool right now. So
Ira Madison III: You know what? I would watch this film if they were staying inside, like a Abercrombie and Fitch.
Louis Virtel: Oh, absolutely. Give me a haunted mall store. It’s like, Yeah, what did we do with all those? What was that store called the rule? What did we do with all those like gothic cathedrals we were putting up everywhere?
Ira Madison III: Yeah. Give me a chopping mall. But like in an Abercrombie, I’d love it. Ok.
Louis Virtel: Yeah.
Ira Madison III: You’re just like hot hot models in like 2004 and puka shell necklaces being killed.
Louis Virtel: Right. No I love themed murders in mall stores like for someone to be, you know, you know, scalped or decapitated in a Lids. That’s fun, right? that’s kind of final destination like,
Ira Madison III: Oh, all right my Keep It. This week is to a terrorist.
Louis Virtel: Oh.
Ira Madison III: A terrorist, a terrorist of the theater.
Louis Virtel: Oh.
Ira Madison III: A terrorist, a film and now a political terrorist? David Mamet.
Louis Virtel: Oh God, don’t you love it when he opens his big speed talking mouth?
Ira Madison III: Here’s the thing about David Mamet. As a playwright, I feel like he gets a lot of credit because Glengarry Glen Ross was turned into a film. And then Alec Baldwin gave a very good monologue in that film, and that’s why we still talk about that play because it’s kind of boring.
Louis Virtel: Sure. I mean, it’s just like, look at these nine pricks.
Ira Madison III: Yeah. And that’s sort of what he did professionally, like he wrote about pricks and sort of like toxic masculinity. And I guess the idea was that he was commenting on it. As it turns out, I was just writing from experience because he’s a prick.
Louis Virtel: Oh, weird.
Ira Madison III: Yeah. He is revealed himself to be one. A MAGA fanatic who believes that the election was stolen.
Louis Virtel: We love that original thought that really you didn’t take from Donald fucking Trump. It’s so, it’s so interesting that this brand of person thinks they are free thinking. It’s like you literally only think this because one person, one person is telling you it.
Ira Madison III: He also popped up on Fox News recently. You know the home of Caitlyn Jenner, right?
Louis Virtel: The country home of Caitlyn Jenner?
Ira Madison III: Yeah. Caitlyn Jenner’s own Fox News to talk about the don’t say, gay bill in Florida. And I certainly know that if I’m a reputable news organization and I want to get someone to chime in on a bill in Florida, you know, don’t say gay bill in Florida, I’m definitely going to look to David Mamet.
Louis Virtel: Surely he will put this into perspective. Yeah, whatever you do, don’t talk to a fucking LGBT person. I guess Fox News, you can just call up and be like, I’m on your side, can I be on the air? And if you have like a Pulitzer nomination, they’re like, Well, I guess, you know.
Ira Madison III: So he went on to talk about how many male teachers are, quote unquote inclined to be pedophiles.
Louis Virtel: Sound scientific. I love that poll he took.
Ira Madison III: Are they abusing the kids physically, no. But they’re abusing them mentally and using sex to do so? This has always been the problem with education. Teachers are inclined, typically men, because men are predators to pedophilia. What the fuck are you talking about?
Louis Virtel: Also, that sounds like a little bit of projection on my part, where it sounds like the only quote unquote research you’ve done is.
Ira Madison III: Writing Oleanna.
Louis Virtel: Yeah, right? Oh my god.
Ira Madison III: About a literal predator who’s a teacher.
Louis Virtel: Right? And and Julia Stiles still has that on her record, like a scarlet letter.
Ira Madison III: How many calls do you think Laurence Fishburne, Sam Rockwell and Darren Criss have made to their agents following this Fox News spot to get them out of American Buffalo, which is opening on Broadway right now?
Louis Virtel: Oh my, I didn’t even know that oof, Larry god help ya.
Ira Madison III: First of all, the fact that I was even contemplating seeing this play in the first place before all of this happened is the power of Sam Rockwell.
Louis Virtel: Right? Whom we do. He was so good in Fosse Verdon.
Ira Madison III: Yeah, I mean, I love Sam Rockwell. He’s one of my favorite living actors right now. And obviously, I love Laurence Fishburne. And you know, Darren Criss is cute.
Louis Virtel: You know, he served it in that Versace show.
Ira Madison III: That’s that’s true. And Laurence Fishburne and Darren Criss, I adore too, but I just can’t one, imagine American Buffalo being relevant.
Louis Virtel: Yeah.
Ira Madison III: For Broadway right now, anyway. A David Mamet play being relevant and even more so now that he has revealed himself to be a complete piece of shit.
Louis Virtel: He just is the epitome of that person who was very representative of a kind of voice and theater that felt like the it moment at the time. And then unfortunately, that person has to keep living, so they are their brain festers and they are obsessed with the feeling of of of being this prism of truth telling. And instead of, you know, keeping up with the people, they are just keeping up with their own egotism and their own. And what originally was fresh about them becomes ignorant quickly.
Ira Madison III: It’s just everything he says in the clip, too, like veers from what are you talking about to literal insanity. He goes on to say, like, people have gone nuts. People are frightened because there’s huge changes in societies that are brought about by people in power. The people in power, as always, are to a large extent parasites who are feeding off of the decaying of flesh.
Louis Virtel: I mean, it sounds like at least Mel Mel Gibson was like drunk when he made a lot of his rants. You know what I mean? But you’re sober, you’re on television
Ira Madison III: Anyway, but shut the fuck up.
Louis Virtel: I would love that. Love that.
Ira Madison III: And I hope American Buffalo closes.
Louis Virtel: We love that too. Yes.
Ira Madison III: Yeah. But honestly, you know what’s actually probably going to happen? It will probably be flooded with like MAGA types going to support his play.
Louis Virtel: I mean, if that’s what gets them back to the theater, I mean, I don’t know the last time. Money is money, so I don’t know.
Ira Madison III: All right. That’s our show this week. Thank you to Michelle Yeoh for being fabulous.
Louis Virtel: Transcendent.
Ira Madison III: And we will see you next week.
Louis Virtel: And feel free to send me your definition of favorite movie and what you rank above other things because it’s still vexing me so.
Ira Madison III: yeah, send us your favorite films on Twitter and Instagram. Argue with us about our favorite film choices. You know we love debates.
Louis Virtel: Yeah. Tell me. Yeah, tell me, why my, the movies I picked out bad. That’s an argument I’d like to get into.
Ira Madison III: All right. We’ll see you next week with more Keep It.
Ira Madison III: Keep it as a Crooked Media production. Our senior producer is Kendra James. Our producer is Chris Lorde, our executive producers are Ira Madison III
Louis Virtel: and Louis Virtel
Ira Madison III: our editor is Charlotte Landes and Kyle Seglin is our sound engineer.
Louis Virtel: Thank you to our digital team Matt DeGroot, Nar Melkonian and Delon Villanueva for production support every week.