In This Episode
Ira and Louis discuss their 20233 Oscar ballots, their favorite Oscar winning acting performances, Chris Rock’s Netflix special, and Sam Levinson’s The Idol. Ira explains the entire Vanderpump Rules cheating scandal (or The Scandoval) to Louis. Plus, Kerry Washington joins to discuss her new Hulu series Unprisoned, her relationship with social media, auditioning for Gwyneth Paltrow, and more.
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Ira Madison III And we are back with an all new episode of Keep It. I’m Ira Madison, the third.
Louis Virtel I’m Louis Virtel. And I have a crazy question for you. What is Vanderpump Rules? Is it television? Who are these people? I can’t go on Twitter without hearing people scream the words crazy and I can’t believe it. And is it all staged? And lots of conspiracy theories. As I understand it, this Lisa woman runs a restaurant in West Hollywood that is near bars like Trunks. So she has to be an entrepreneur who needs some help.
Ira Madison III You’ve definitely been to Pump before, right?
Louis Virtel I have been inside it to pee once because when I’m out on the town, people really aren’t at Pump, you know? So it’s sort of like, stop inside. But I’ve never eaten there actually.
Ira Madison III There was. I think there was the brief period where, not even just Vanderpump Rules fans, but mostly like Bravo fans, where we used to go to Pump. I feel like it was in the first year when it opened. People would go there.
Louis Virtel Okay.
Ira Madison III And now no one really does. Although the the like, they have this cucumber like lemonade, sort of vodka drink, which was very good and very deadly. But they have the same drink at Le Bain at The Standard in New York. So I feel like I’m home.
Louis Virtel Oh okay. Well thankful. Thankful.
Ira Madison III Yes.
Louis Virtel And also that drink just in general sounds like something you would get spiked at Tender Greens or something. Are we sure it’s special.
Ira Madison III Or or you’d have it served to you on Big Daddy’s, on Big Daddy’s porch.
Louis Virtel Oh, see, now this is reality, quote unquote, reality I can get into, some Tennessee Williams.
Ira Madison III All right. So to explain this and it’s so weird because I feel like it early episodes of Keep It, we talked about Vanderpump Rules because that was years ago. And that’s when there was a period when people were discovering the show. But it was like smart people were discovering the show. Like, I remember Naomi Frye wrote a piece about it. I think for the Times, Roxane Gay wrote about it and was always talking about it during her Twitter era. I feel like she’s she vanished in The Avengers snap because, you know, every.
Louis Virtel Pops up every every so often. Yeah.
Ira Madison III You never see her tweeting about, you know, like her iPhone not being delivered anymore, you know.
Louis Virtel When Twitter was great. It’s so it’s always so amazing when people talk about like the halcyon days of Twitter. I’m like people complaining about other things? Go on.
Ira Madison III But Vanderpump Rules, you know, for people who’ve never heard of it, is a show that is a spinoff of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
Louis Virtel Yes.
Ira Madison III And so this was about the servers at a restaurant named Sur, so we could call them Sur-vers.
Louis Virtel Okay.
Ira Madison III Get it?
Louis Virtel That’s for you.
Ira Madison III Sur. S-U-R stands for Sexy, Unique Restaurant.
Louis Virtel I did not know that. I have to say. A gulp jumped up in my throat and then dropped to my abdomen.
Ira Madison III So, Sur restaurant means Sexy, Unique Restaurant restaurant.
Louis Virtel It’s like ATM machine. Right? Okay.
Ira Madison III And it’s right next to, like, the towards the former Tortilla Republic.
Louis Virtel All right. Which, as you know, is a real country.
Ira Madison III Yeah. So the show was about them working there and then it eventually became just about their lives. And we liked it when they were trashy and, you know, like had bad furniture in their apartments and, you know, like bad art. They were like drinking wine out of mugs. Like, they seemed like real, like 20 year olds who are living in L.A. trying to make it.
Louis Virtel Yeah. This is not sustainable for reality show, though. Obviously, the upgrades occur.
Ira Madison III And then it became famous. They were getting married, they were having kids. Most of them moved to Valley Village.
Louis Virtel Oh, to be near people like Hilary Duff.
Ira Madison III Yeah. And the show got awful for like two years. And so the show’s been a little fun this season. But there was a scandal because two of the people in the show, Katie Maloney and Tom Schwartz. Now there are two terms that Tom Schwartz and Tom Sandoval, two of the Tom’s on, and I use the term own loosely because they own about 0.0005% of the restaurant. TomTom okay. Which Lisa Vanderpump shrewed, you know, Alexis Carrington, that she is also a British evil woman.
Louis Virtel Right.
Ira Madison III She named a restaurant after them to, you know, cash in on the name brand, but then anything. Got it. Tom and Katie got a divorce before this current season. So that was the drama this season. And there was drama that Tom was making out with this girl, Raquel, who had been on the show, someone’s ex, etc.. As it turns out, the other Tom, Tom Sandoval, the one that everyone likes, he is friends with Ariana Madix and maybe you’ve seen her like on Twitter before, being like, she’s a blond one. She’s like the sane one. Got it. So, you know, she does like comedy shows and stuff. But they have had a lovely relationship for like nine years. We found out this weekend that Sandoval, who was supposedly the good one, has been having an affair with Raquel Levis, another cast member for months.
Louis Virtel Got it. First of all, can I just say Raquel is the ultimate other woman name?
Ira Madison III The other scandal is someone who went to high school with her, showed her yearbook, and her real name was Rachel Love.
Louis Virtel That’s like simmering psycho vibes. Hilaria Baldwin, etc..
Ira Madison III Exactly. So they’ve been having an affair. And this was shocking to the Vanderpump Rules community, to the Bravo community, just because for nine years they were like a pretty normal couple. Ariana Actually, I adore her. I’m actually friends with Ariana. I adore her, but too nice to be too normal. To be on reality TV is always my problem, you know, never really serving crazy. But Tom always had this sort of smug self-righteousness. And now it turns out he’s evil and they’re both evolved. Well, that’s.
Louis Virtel A nice turn. I mean, like, how long can you like just a sane person on a reality show? And I think you guys were due for this.
Ira Madison III Yeah. So now Ariana has been cheated on, and that sucks for her. But Tom and Raquel are apparently in love with each other and have been having an affair for months. And there’s a bar scandal in that. You know, like I said before, they thought that this one person was the divorcee, Tom, was having a relationship with Raquel after having made out with her at Coachella. Turns out, apparently, that it was the other Tom and his best friend, Tom, was pretending to have had an affair with Raquel.
Louis Virtel Wait. What in Three’s Company hell was that? What? People pointing fingers at each other going out the wrong doors? What’s happening?
Ira Madison III So now the show is the 10th season is currently airing. They had stopped coming.
Louis Virtel I can’t believe it’s been 10 seasons.
Ira Madison III But now that. I know. But now they are filming again to catch the fallout from the affair.
Louis Virtel Wow. Here’s my contribution about Lisa Vanderpump. Did you know that Lisa Vanderpump was in a movie costarring somebody who won an Oscar?
Ira Madison III Was she?
Louis Virtel Yes. It is a crazy movie. I’ll give you one guess because you’re not going to get it.
Ira Madison III Okay.
Louis Virtel It is 1973’s A Touch of Class, Glenda Jackson’s second Oscar, who is, as you know, a mean British actress who went into parliament for a number of years. When we had Alison Pill on the show, we talked to.
Ira Madison III Yes. You asked her about Glenda.
Louis Virtel Yes, because they were in three tall women together on Broadway. Glenda Jackson won best Actress. And Lisa Vanderpump is her daughter in it in the very or very early seventies. It is fucking crazy. I was just walking down the cast list and it felt like I was being pranked or you did it or something knowing I would be looking it up anyway.
Ira Madison III I got to start putting, replacing best actress wins on Wikipedia with like random reality stars.
Louis Virtel Hidden Figures starring Siri from the Traitors.
Ira Madison III Yeah, Lisa Rinna won for Sensible Woman. I could see her doing the hoo-ah.
Louis Virtel Yeah. She is kind of a living hoo-ah. Yeah. Actually, Harry Hamlin is sort of that energy, too.
Ira Madison III Anyway, that’s the scandal. Tom and Raquel suck. But unfortunately, it’s going to be really good for TV. And it feels bad saying it, too, because like you, it’s like, when your happy someone’s making a breakup album.
Louis Virtel Yeah. Right.
Ira Madison III You know, like, you’re you’re benefiting off the misfortune of someone else. Especially somebody else who I actually do care about. But, man, what a hell of a TV season it’s going to be.
Louis Virtel Right. By the way, the breakup albums don’t always pay off. You know.
Ira Madison III Kacey Musgraves.
Louis Virtel Just read my mind. Yeah. Two good songs. Always a little sleepy, because you kind of want to sleep through a breakup. It actually does make sense spiritually.
Ira Madison III But yeah. So anyway, that’s what you missed on Glee. Don’t go to Schwartz and Sandy’s restaurant, by the way, they have another restaurant. The wildest part about it, too, is like tops out of all issue, like an Instagram statement that was like, please don’t send hate towards the employees of my restaurant. They’re just trying to get by as people are like, Can you apologize to your girlfriend? Yeah.
Louis Virtel Yeah. Weird, though. I’m sure people would send that kind of thing like, Yeah, I’m on the fence about, Oh, of course.
Ira Madison III I mean, people were being out Yelp and stuff and being like, Fuck this restaurant, fuck them. And, you know, I get it, but also, like, get another job.
Louis Virtel Yeah, right, right, right.
Ira Madison III You’re a waiter in L.A..
Louis Virtel Oh, right. You’re right. They’ve been at the same thing for years and years and years.
Ira Madison III Yeah. So, you know, if you’re working at that restaurant, like, find a new restaurant to work out, maybe. All right. I don’t know. I think that’s. I think that’s everything.
Louis Virtel Yeah. So appreciated. Somebody cheated on somebody and we screaming. That was the story. All right.
Ira Madison III Yeah, Yeah. It’s. It’s also just so. It’s just so cinematically fun because.
Louis Virtel It’s who you wouldn’t expect. Hm mm.
Ira Madison III The affair was discovered. The affair discovered because, like, a sexually explicit video was sent to Tom while his also two very shitty bands. While Ricardo was at his band’s show on Wednesday night of last week. So it popped up on his phone while she was in the audience watching his show.
Louis Virtel Wow. Oh my God.
Ira Madison III That’s how she found out.
Louis Virtel What! It’s giving that Dixie Chicks song where they’re backstage at the bowl and she meets the other woman or something. Yeah, Another bad breakup album.
Ira Madison III I know, But listen, I would love it if Ariana and some of the girls on this cast, you know, enacted that Dixie Chicks song about murdering, so.
Louis Virtel Oh, Good Bye, Earl. Yes.
Ira Madison III Yeah, Yeah. Good bye, Tom.
Louis Virtel He will also be played by Dennis Franz in the video. NYPD Blue, you don’t hear about that so much anymore.
Ira Madison III Oh, it did. Was it great?
Louis Virtel Who’s to say? You know, when it does come up, when people need a reason to like Ricky Schroder will appear and do something crazy, it will be like former NYPD blue actor Ricky Schroder. That’s like the only context that comes up anymore.
Ira Madison III I will say that it is a shame that we as a culture have seen Dennis Franz’s ass more than we’ve seen Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s.
Louis Virtel No, I’m alive one time. How can that be the truth? You know what I mean? It’s upsetting.
Ira Madison III But Gen Z doesn’t want to see sex on TV like Charlotte Sharp, NYPD Blue.
Louis Virtel Right. No. Sharon Lawrence was on a couch every week on that show.
Ira Madison III We have a packed episode of Keep It.
Louis Virtel Once again.
Ira Madison III This week. Yeah. First of all, Oscar season is coming to an end next week. Next week is the Oscars, which means this week, as our Pre-oscars episode, we’re going to share our ballots with you all. It’s who we think is going to win Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting, Best Director, Best Film, who we think is going to get slapped. And we have the iconic Kerry Washington joining us this week.
Louis Virtel Here’s a question about her. What hasn’t she been in? I was looking through the Wikipedia. I’m like, this is too many projects. Going back to Ray. Ray star, Kerry Washington, Django Unchained star Kerry Washington. Limited series Diva Kerry Washington.
Ira Madison III And her last 20 projects are just Reese Witherspoon’s Instagram lives.
Louis Virtel Which that that does count for the Guild. Yes.
Ira Madison III It does. It does. That’s what we’re actually negotiating. The WGA is negotiating Instagram lives from celebrities. And we’re going to dive into our favorite acting performance wins ever.
Louis Virtel A topic that on my mind, anyway. You know what sucks is normally I’d be like live tweeting the Oscars and I don’t get to do that since I’m, you know, writing for them this year. So I have to like, I just get to say a few jokes here on Keep It. So this is really me expressing my true artistic self for once and not, you know.
Ira Madison III You could tweet something like, Ha, that joke I wrote was great.
Louis Virtel Just about anything, whether or not it’s true. Yeah.
Ira Madison III If you like. I wrote Michelle Yeoh’s speech.
Louis Virtel All right. That’s an angle I haven’t considered. Sure, I start taking credit? Yeah.
Ira Madison III I mean, people do write some of these speeches, obviously not those. I feel like if you win an Oscar, no one’s written your speech unless you’re one of the people who, like, pulls out like a I’ve written this beforehand. Maybe someone helped you with that. But most Oscar speeches are just people, you know, like breathlessly being like, I can’t believe this happened to me. Right.
Louis Virtel Right. Unless you’re Brad Pitt, who weirdly had like six or seven, like actual stand up jokes every time he gave a speech that one year.
Ira Madison III Yeah. He clearly had the barstool sports website. Right right. It four have outlets. I’ve written a couple of GLAAD award speeches.
Louis Virtel Oh have you?
Ira Madison III Yeah. So I’ve written some speeches for a few celebrities and that will all be in my tell all memoir.
Louis Virtel I’m going to say you’ll have to divulge when more off camera.
Ira Madison III Reds you wrote for you I.
Louis Virtel I hope it’s multiple members of like Pentatonix or something.
Ira Madison III And also when talking about scandals, last week, Rolling Stone published an article about the nightmare that is the set of the idle Sam Levinson’s new show that he created with the Weekend and Lily-Rose Depp. And we’re going to get into that.
Louis Virtel And the clip you posted. That was blasting Rolling Stone, too, which felt like an own on his part. Anyway, we’ll.
Ira Madison III Get into it. All right. We will be back with more. Keep It there. If there’s one thing you should know about, Keep It. It’s to keep our wives names out of your fucking mouth. Yeah.
Louis Virtel And by the way, if I’m ever married to a wife, know that I’m in crisis and probably can’t be saved anyway.
Ira Madison III And if there’s two things you should know is that we are going to have some Oscar predictions for you. Every year we bring it to you every ball.
Louis Virtel Arguably every week.
Ira Madison III We, of course, are doing a Keep It Oscars ballot again this year. We’ve got some predictions.
Louis Virtel And by the way, if you’re in town here in Los Angeles, I’ll be on Lovett or Leave It this Thursday, where I will be quizzed about the Oscars. Heckled about the Oscars. John Lovett will you know where Kevin James like baseball hat and snicker and look away or.
Ira Madison III Maybe a Tom Brown skirt you know.
Louis Virtel That’s right. You never know with him.
Ira Madison III He’s like the Laugh-In of podcast host, Never knows what’s going to come out that door.
Louis Virtel Sock it to him.
Ira Madison III Doesn’t it seem quaint now that were we start Keep It and there was like oh Louis, name best actresses 1964.
Louis Virtel Julie Andrews. Yeah. No. Then the entire audience was like, All right, we get it. He has a problem. All right.
Ira Madison III But let’s go ahead and predict. What’s going to happen.
Louis Virtel All right. Should we start with Supporting Actress?
Ira Madison III Yeah.
Louis Virtel Can I tell you something? This is strange because it felt like Angela Bassett had the momentum going up into this moment, but they’ve spread the joy around. Like Jamie Lee Curtis ended up winning the SAG, which, are actors stupid? I’m sorry. She’s not the best performance in that category. That’s so weird. I think ultimately this is my, like, kind of commandment when it comes to Oscar voting. I think people ultimately pick what they think is the best performance. And I’m not saying Angela Bassett wasn’t good. I’m just saying she gets killed off kind of early in that movie and she’s kind of reduced to one or two speeches. I feel like Kerry Condon is going to win it.
Ira Madison III Carrie Condon is my favorite performance and best supporting actress. However, I still think Angela is going to take it, even though there could be a, you know, like a a silent majority that hates the fact that she’s nominated for a Marvel film.
Louis Virtel Right.
Ira Madison III But.
Louis Virtel Oh, I’m speaking right now. Sorry. It’s not that silent.
Ira Madison III But people love Angela Bassett, and I think there’s a louder majority.
Louis Virtel Wow.
Ira Madison III That is still angry about her What’s Love Got To Do With It.
Louis Virtel Because who did she lose to?
Ira Madison III Has she lost to that? That hick.
Louis Virtel Backwoods Barbie? Holly Hunter.
Ira Madison III You know, I actually love Holly Hunter.
Louis Virtel Oh, please. Amazing.
Ira Madison III This. This is one of my favorite Keep It bits. A throwback where like, Drag Race. At this point, we’re just referencing all the episodes of Keep It Right.
Louis Virtel Can you believe how funny we were that one time? That’s what that’s the theme of every drag race episode now.
Ira Madison III But yeah, I think that Angela is still going to take it.
Louis Virtel My, I do have to say. Wouldn’t you feel a little dicey about her having an Oscar for that movie?
Ira Madison III Yeah.
Louis Virtel Oscar winning, Oscar winning acting movie. Black Panther. Wakanda Forever. Black Panther. Wakanda for losers. Wakanda for losers.
Ira Madison III Gary Altman has an Oscar for the Darkest Hour.
Louis Virtel Okay, true. Which is a movie that was just dark. Both hours of the film were dark.
Ira Madison III And also a lie because it’s much longer than an hour.
Louis Virtel That’s true. But if it was a 57 minute caper, I would have been all on board.
Ira Madison III It was actually several hours. And the whole point of the movie is you have to guess which of the hours was the darkest.
Louis Virtel I’m still on the fence. That’s art.
Ira Madison III Turns out it was the Oscars.
Louis Virtel Got it. Oh, brilliantly done.
Ira Madison III Supporting actor. Best Supporting Actor. I’m going to go with Ke Huy Quan.
Louis Virtel I think it has to be. I think what, you come away from that movie. But first of all, there’s like it’s a bombardment of images. So you come away with sort of like a scatterbrained feeling. But what sticks out ultimately are Michele’s performance and his performance. And man is he’s so winning in all of these speeches he’s given, this is the one category really this year where I can’t see it going any other way. Like, he’s he’s won everything. And also he’s just so overjoyed. Like, he clearly can’t believe it. You know, there are a couple of narratives that like that this year. You know, when Brendan Fraser wins for an occasion, he seems to be freaking out. Can’t believe he’s there, but he can, I think is the definitive and you know it’s it’s like Troy cats are last year it’s like you knew it was going to be Hammer.
Ira Madison III And Lizard Our generation’s Daniel Day-Lewis. Barry Keoghan.
Louis Virtel Oh, we do love him.
Ira Madison III This is his first mini said, right? Correct. Yeah, I think he’s in it for the long haul. Oh, I’m going to predict that.
Louis Virtel No, he just has that thing where he appears on screen and you’re like, Well, this is unsettling and it’s just him looking at you.
Ira Madison III Although you know what I would love from him? Like a real like calling you up like a Daniel Day-Lewis, like I like what he would switch it up too much. You wouldn’t see Daniel Day-Lewis starring, you know, in Ghosted, a Skydance film presented by Apple.
Louis Virtel I’m not over him in Killing of a Sacred Deer just they got the exact right actor for that role. One of those things where they couldn’t have possibly written it for him. But his energy is so casually gothic in a way that may be required.
Ira Madison III Yeah, but I mean, like, so like with Daniel, I would switch it up for, like, Age of Innocence or something. Yeah, right, Right. I’d like to see Barry in, like, a romantic drama.
Louis Virtel You want to see that? Barry Keoghan nine Which I still can’t believe Daniel Day-Lewis did. What was he thinking? Truly, what a crazy idea.
Ira Madison III But anyway, yeah, Best Supporting Actor is pretty much a lock.
Louis Virtel Yeah.
Ira Madison III I feel like.
Louis Virtel I do by the way, I love Brendan Gleeson in Banshees of Inersherin too. No way of he’s he’s going to win. But I like I feel like that movie only works because he’s so committed to the insanity of the conceit, you know, that would be so unbelievable most of the time, the entire idea of the movie. And he was so fab.
Ira Madison III One of my favorite things about this award season, too, has been people discovering that Donald Gleeson is his son.
Louis Virtel Oh, right. They put it together.
Ira Madison III I think there’s usually a lot of actors with the same name who aren’t related, and when you get into like the Irish actors, it’s like, don’t they all have that name, right?
Louis Virtel No. I only learned recently that Illeana Douglas is the granddaughter of Melvyn Douglas, two time Oscar winner from HUD and being there and, you know, but not related to, for example, Kirk Douglas and Michael Douglas. So sometimes you have to do the homework.
Ira Madison III And Melvin Douglas isn’t related to Melvin Van Peebles.
Louis Virtel You know what? That wasn’t on my mind.
Ira Madison III But All right, Best Actress.
Louis Virtel I mean, it’s one of the greatest contests in years, as we’ve discussed time and again on this podcast. And also it’s fascinating because obviously you think it comes down to Cate Blanchett, Michelle Yeoh, who are like, by the way, best friends at this point. I always love seeing them posed together on red carpets and stuff, but then you have the X factor of all time weirdo, Andrea Riseborough and Keep It legend. Who, you know, in To Leslie, a movie that I believe. I think just I saw. I think it was just it was made for Louis Virtel. I don’t know who else actually got to see that.
Ira Madison III Julie Newmar saw it.
Louis Virtel Yes. Correct. Correct. Yeah. But, the, it, you can’t really calculate how meaningful that performance is in this group because she’s not a contender in any other award show. So it still feels like there could be a pocket of like ammunition for this performance. Like, oh, it should be represented in some way. Because I still think what goes underrated about this award show discussion is how the people who see To Leslie, are obsessed with that performance. So I don’t know how that’s going to pair up metrically with Cate Blanchett giving a career best performance or Michelle Yeoh giving a gonzo, unexpected, very versatile performance.
Ira Madison III Right. Because I feel like the you know, the missing piece in all of this is the fact that Edge was nominated for the Oscar because she had the groundswell of support from people within the voting academy, correct?
Louis Virtel Yes.
Ira Madison III And so they weren’t voting for any of these other award shows that she would have been at. So they could if it would be shocking if they were so gung ho for getting her nominated and then also voted for someone else to win.
Louis Virtel Yeah. Now that they would be crazy, you know, like, oh, thank God, you got it. And I’m going for Ana de Armas now.
Ira Madison III You’re. You were great in Blonde. Anna, girl, you were great and Blonde. Which, by the way. Is maybe the underrated song in that line.
Louis Virtel But. Well, by the way, it’s not a false note, if you know what I’m saying. I can’t get over her saying Dali Dee. She just has a new kind of like Southern drawl when she gets that.
Ira Madison III I put Michelle Yeoh, but let me tell you. I love a crazy moment at an awards show, and honestly, I could see Andrea Riseborough winning.
Louis Virtel I know, me too.
Ira Madison III I can see Isabelle Riseborough, a witty girl of a stage event like everyone who voted for her, reveals themselves like Spartacus, and they’re all standing up and doing like a slow clap and staring at everyone else.
Louis Virtel It’s like militant, too. And you’re like, Whoa, I didn’t even know whatever. Amy Madigan was here. Yeah.
Ira Madison III All right. Best Actor.
Louis Virtel Another interesting category. I thought this was Colin Farrell’s to take for the longest time. But now. Now I think I’m going to go. Brendan Fraser. I feel like the character arc in that movie is the most Oscar like, which is to say he goes through it and then it ends climactic, where I can’t really say that about, for example, Paul Mescal. Bill Nye,lovely, dignified performance, but you know, placid compared to these other ones. Austin Butler, I guess, would be the main competition, but I feel like I don’t and it is a biopic that’s the main competition for me. But I think ultimately it’s going to be Brendan.
Ira Madison III I could see Austin Butler winning in my mind for I, I’d assume that maybe like Austin Butler was almost a lock and then the Brendan Fraser support, that two of those would cancel each other out and Colin Farrell would win.
Louis Virtel I mean, again, this is there are three acting categories this year where it’s actually up in the air that just never happens. Remember that year it was just like. Laura Dern, straight through. Joaquin Phenix straight through. I mean, the point of an award show is not that it’s, you know, extremely surprising what occurs, but God as it’s so nice when it actually does happen.
Ira Madison III I mean, I what a wacky fucking awards show. How do you top the slot? I can’t wait. It’s a crazy ass wins. Just like even I feel like the look on everyone’s faces if Paul Mescal won.
Louis Virtel No.
Ira Madison III People would be like, Yeah, they like him. No, you know, but everyone loves him.
Louis Virtel What if everyone just starts fanning themselves like it turns out there, everybody in the audience is hot for Paul Mescal, even like, you know, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson.
Ira Madison III And plus, they’re all white.
Louis Virtel They sure are.
Ira Madison III So there’s not even going to be anything get like anger over like someone who could have had like a historic win or something win it, you know?
Louis Virtel Right. Yes. Which we, of course, cannot say for Best Actress where there could be a historic win. Not the case. Not that Cate Blanchett’s third win wouldn’t be historic also, but not in the same regard.
Ira Madison III Yeah. How many How many actresses have three?
Louis Virtel You got your Ingrid Bergman, You got Frances McDormand, Meryl Streep, and of course, Katharine Hepburn, who was four.
Ira Madison III Ingrid Bergman. Mama.
Louis Virtel Oh, that’s a throwback to Isabella Rossellini being.On our show.
Ira Madison III I mean, that’s a good collection of women. How many men have three acting wins?
Louis Virtel It’s Daniel Day-Lewis, Jack Nicholson. And then you got Walter Brennan, who won the first Supporting Actor win, and then he won 38 and 40.
Ira Madison III I read.
Louis Virtel You ever watched the Western recently?
Ira Madison III I read about that wild shit. He won through, like he won because of the fact that the the extras union was able to vote for Oscars back that right?
Louis Virtel Yes, that’s correct. Oh, yes. Are you quoting Michael Schulman right now?
Ira Madison III Yes. Yes. From his book, Oscar Wars.
Louis Virtel Yes.
Ira Madison III That is so wild to me that everyone was like, you know what? I’m none of your none of your voting anymore. But I think that is so funny because imagine extras could still vote.
Louis Virtel Right. I wonder what like petty resentments they have towards certain actors. You know, you learn a lot really quickly. My official vote is for Cate Blanchett. She is tar. Tar has now this own like imaginary universe that we all live in. What we were talking about, what Tara would do, what she wouldn’t do, what the meaning of the movie is. I feel like something about that movie really lingers and people want it to win something. And necessarily you would make Cate Blanchett the winner in that case.
Ira Madison III The way Tar has become like a part of pop culture is so wild to me. It’s like, really, maybe the only it’s been so long since a role in a film has truly sort of become, like, ubiquitous.
Louis Virtel Yeah, right. I said, you just you just like thinking about it. And in fact, what’s weird is people talk about how that movie is kind of about, quote unquote cancel culture. But I feel like people don’t bring up the statement in the movie that I think actually conveys what the movie thinks about cancel culture, which is at the end when she’s banished to the other side of the world to do this weird video game concert. She’s on this riverboat tour and she goes, Can we swim here? And then the guy goes, Knows, No, there’s crocodiles. And he goes, They escape from a marlon Brando movie. And she goes, Well, that was a long time ago. And he goes, They survived. And I feel like that’s the quote. I cancel culture. Like even the crocodiles, the monsters find a way to survive ultimately. And Tar will, you know, land on her feet or land in the Everglades or whatever the crocodiles go.
Ira Madison III Louis. I love that.
Louis Virtel I know. It’s an awesome scene. Underrated scene.
Ira Madison III Yeah. No, I really think that. Obviously, I’ve always thought that, like, if all you take away from Tar is cancel culture, like where have all of the English majors gone?
Louis Virtel My favorite folk song.
Ira Madison III Yeah. Let’s. Let’s. Let’s read between the text. I think for best song and best foreign picture, you and I have the exact same pitch.
Louis Virtel Oh, definitely. You’ve got the our song. Not two, Not two. And then all Quiet on the Western Front. Yeah, it would have to be. God love that movie Close, which I talked about one week, but I think all quiet on the Western Front is just too epic to ignore.
Ira Madison III It’s the only thing people are talking about. Yeah, to be honest and sorry again. Diane Warren.
Louis Virtel The streak remains unprecedented. This woman keeps getting nominated. It’s like it’s she keeps sticking. I mean, I don’t know. She’s a delightful person. That’s part of it.
Ira Madison III We need somewhere to play Diane Warren in a Diane Warren biopic, and for her to write a new song for that biopic and that Alwyn.
Louis Virtel Oh, that would be nice. You have to wonder how many votes she’s actually getting every year. People like her. That’s that is the category I’m most interested in seeing the vote totals for. Like, how close has she honestly come?
Ira Madison III No. Okay. Best Director.
Louis Virtel Oh, I think it’s going to be Daniels. I think people have loved their speeches this year. I think it’s the you know, it’s the craziest directorial effort. I personally would vote Todd Field surprise, surprise. But I think it’s those two guys.
Ira Madison III I put Todd Field because.
Louis Virtel Ambitious. You’re like Tar.
Ira Madison III I put Todd Field because for best picture, I have everything everywhere all at once. And what the Oscars loves to do is have the best director not win best picture.
Louis Virtel They loved splitting that up recently. That is a much more recent development. I think it has a lot to do with the way people vote for best picture. You know, it’s not you don’t just pick like a director and a picture. You rank all the best picture nominees in the way they eliminate certain ones and then add points to others. It’s just likely that those two categories will split.
Ira Madison III But like I said, I have everything everywhere, all at once at best picture. But what do you have?
Louis Virtel I think I have to go with that ultimately, too. At one point I would have said like All Quiet on the Western Front had the momentum. At another point I would have said Banshees. But that’s really and I feel like Everything Everywhere, All at Once, really hits the joy button for people. Like when you vote for that, it’s like, all right, this is an exciting, different kind of movie. Great performances therein probably won’t be replicated any time soon. So it really stands for this particular moment in time, which I think is something that’s exciting to people voting for the Oscars.
Ira Madison III Mm hmm. But I would not be mad at Top Gun Maverick winning.
Louis Virtel Okay. It’s the worst movie in the category. You’re crazy. I call that movie. Jennifer Connelly runs a nice bar.
Ira Madison III A Tinder bar, if you will.
Louis Virtel Remember that? God, do it. There’s another podcast that’s entirely about Oscar movies that don’t make the final countdown. But Tender Bar is one of my favorite movies where it’s just we were supposed to care for a second. We’re like, All right, good for Ben Affleck. And then nothing.
Ira Madison III But just like the crocodiles that escape from the Marlon Brando film, he survived that. He’s back with J-Lo. That’s right.
Louis Virtel That’s right, Leo representation or whatever. The Internet.
Ira Madison III Thanks. Yes, the Internet and me.
Louis Virtel That’s right. I’ve been brainwashed into believing it, too. Yes.
Ira Madison III An all Leo podcast We wish it market that more. Yeah.
Louis Virtel I’m surprised. Yeah. I can’t believe that hasn’t come up before. All right, I’ll run around and scream at the marketing team and John Lovett after this.
Ira Madison III All right. A little later, Lewis and I will get into our top five acting wins ever. But before that, Kerry Washington joins us.
Louis Virtel <AD>.
Ira Madison III Our guest today is an actress, a director, a producer. And if we took the time to give you all of her credits, we’d actually be here all day. But you know her from Little Fires Everywhere, The School for Good and Evil. And of course, as the intoxicatingly manipulative Olivia Pope on scandal. Welcome to Keep It. Star of the new series Unprisoned, which drops this week on Hulu. The incredible Emmy Award winner, Kerry Washington.
Kerry Washington Oh, my gosh. My inner crowd is going wild. What an intro. That was amazing. Intoxicatingly manipulative. That’s so good. I’ve never heard that description of her.
Ira Madison III I mean, it is intoxicating because let me tell you something like, I don’t know if you’ve noticed. Well, you probably have. You know, like, I feel like Scandal was so big when it was on and now people are still talking about scandal and rewatching it. And it she is just like a character on TV that you constantly want to revisit.
Kerry Washington Oh, that’s so funny. Somebody asked me at an an event two nights ago, I think, like, do you miss the white hat? And I was like, No, I don’t. It was really a lot of work. But she’s so special. I’m so grateful to her. I’m so grateful to Shonda and the team of writers there for writing her, for letting her live in the world and that I got to play her, she says. I know it was life changing for me, you know, on a lot of levels.
Louis Virtel This week we’re talking about our Oscars predictions and stuff. And it occurs to me if normally, if I turn on an award show, I can count on Kerry Washington being there and, you know, presenting or something. And I was wondering, you have just a favorite awards show moment since you are now a veteran of them.
Kerry Washington Oh my goodness. My OC One of my favorites was at the time it wasn’t my favorite because it was so stressful, but it was early on in my career, in the early 2000s, when Ray came out, he was like 2005ish, and Jamie Fox and I were presenting together at the SAG Awards and we were the first award up for the night. And I had this gorgeous polka dot gown that I was obsessed with. It had like a pink bow, and I loved it so much. And we I wanted to take it in in, in at the waist. I wanted that like Audrey Hepburn cinched. And they did a little too much of the singe. And we zipped it up and the zipper broke and we were the first award of the night. And so I’m like standing in my apartment in West Hollywood with a broken dress. And I was like, What are we going to do? And I had to rush to a tailor because there were no tailors available. I had to go to my local cleaners and they sold me into the dress at my local cleaners in West Hollywood. And then I, I literally got the SAG Awards and was running down the red carpet. Didn’t get a single picture on the carpet, running down the carpet, running backstage, like, all the way. And was there just in time to present with Jamie. It was so fun. I don’t know. It just was like so exciting, was such an exciting time.
Louis Virtel And he cleaned up that award season, too. So I believe that momentum helped him.
Kerry Washington And yes, yes. I mean, if there’s if you’re ever going to be in a situation that requires like moment to moment improv and being able to pivot and be on your toes, you want to be with Jamie because he’s like the most talented human being on the planet and he is always thinking on his feet.
Ira Madison III Mm hmm. I would say, what are the benefits to of you having been, you know, in almost everything it feels like as you’ve gotten to work with so many great people like Jamie and now you’re working with Delroy Lindo on on prison, you know, like, do you have some favorite, like, actors who you would consider, like titans, You know, people you’ve been like, I’ve been on set with them and I’ve been like, I just want to take in, like, knowledge for them, like something that you took away from a set or a conversation.
Kerry Washington I was doing this terrible movie. Terrible movie. God rest his soul. Joel Schumacher directed this awful film called Bad Company, starring Chris Rock and Anthony Hopkins. And and I mean, we kept having to reshoot the ending because the movie was that bad to the point where, like, at one point we were shooting this big wedding scene at the end of the movie and we had to cut because a bus went by with a poster for the movie that we were shooting, like it was that it was coming out. I was like, We got to get this. And but I when I was doing that movie, we were shooting a scene, and I must have been like watching Anthony Hopkins and drooling. Like, I just was so in awe of him. He’s he’s one of the only people that I’ve ever been starstruck around. But he came up to me after his take and he was like, You have got to calm down. And I was like, I have. He was like, I have been acting longer than you’ve been alive. Relax. You will get there. You will get there. And I was like, okay, if you promise. Because he’s a titan, for sure. But I have to say Delroy truly is one of my acting heroes. Like, I remember I was in high school and we were reading The Autobiography of Malcolm X, and we we heard that they were filming in Central Park, and my English class ran to Central Park to go meet Spike Lee and and watch them film a little bit. And I walked up to Spike and I was like, We’re going to work together one day. And he was like, Uh huh.
Ira Madison III And then you just hate me.
Kerry Washington I did. I did. I was like, Do you remember when I came to you in Central Park? He was like, No. I was like, Oh cool. Life changing for me, no problem. But when the movie came out, that same English class, we went to go see it. And Delroy Lindo plays this character, West Indian Archie, and he is like at the beginning of the film. To me, Malcolm X is like four movies in one. It has these acts and the first act is like this, you know, Zoot suit, drug crime, sexy gangster, part of the movie. And Delroy is like, so hot, so sexy, so powerful, so dangerous. And then the end of the film, he’s in this much more naturalistic arc of the film, act of the film, and he plays somebody who’s really hit hard times. And that arc like to see him be that character on both ends of their lives and to for him to be believably the same human being at opposite ends of a life experience was just so influential for me. I was so impressed and so inspired, and I just was like, I want to do that. I want to be able to do what Delroy does in that movie. So when I read the script and I came on as a producer and we were developing the project and talking about casting, I was like, You guys, there is one person that I see in the role as my father. And I really I didn’t know if we had a show if he said no. And so when we we met with him, myself and the creator, Tracy McMullen, and we tried to play it cool. But inside I was like, he has to say yes. And when he did, I was blown away. I mean, it is such a privilege to get to work with him. I feel like every day I went to set with him, I became a better actor. And, you know, they say, don’t meet your heroes. But to me, he’s one of the people that proves that statement wrong. Like, he really he’s a hero who remains my hero and who I’m just so grateful to because I know this show is as special as it is because of him.
Louis Virtel Also, I guess I would not intuitively put Delroy Lindo in this role at first. It’s like watching him into five Bloods. I mean, this is somebody who, like, runs the screen. I mean, like he’s just so commanding in that movie. What made you think of him immediately for this role?
Kerry Washington I think it’s because he’s so charismatic. You know, this show is about this man who is a returning citizen. He’s a formerly convicted he’s a formerly incarcerated person who’s being released and trying to reenter society. And it’s sort of about the challenges of being a formerly incarcerated person and the challenges of loving a formerly incarcerated person And the adjustment that it takes for everybody when somebody is is a returning citizen. So. Tracey McMillan The show is inspired by her life. She had a dad who was in and out of prison her whole life, and she always says that when people met her dad, they would say to her like, Oh, I would have never thought he was formerly incarcerated. He’s so charming and so nice and so kind and so warm and so polite. And part of why she wanted to make the show was to challenge people’s assumptions about who goes into these systems, who gets caught up in these systems and why and how, and to kind of flip our assumptions and stereotypes. So I really thought about Malcolm X, you know, I thought about the fact that Delroy is somebody who can play a career criminal, but also but also has that charm and elegance that you love him and you believe that he could win over any room. You know, he was the character. The actor had to have a certain level of sex appeal, a certain level of grace, a strength, but also a willingness to be vulnerable. You know, you see that in the five bloods, this ability to be like to command the screen, as you said, but also to let his heart shine through. I mean, it’s all these are really complex ideas as an actor to embody, but I feel like he does it flawlessly.
Ira Madison III Mm hmm. What I would also really say, too, is I think it just about him playing your father and this, you know, thinking about, you know, like Joe Morton as your father. I’m scared now. And you’ve been a part of so many shows, too, that have just sort of challenged, like how we represent black people on television and in film. And it’s so interesting because even your description of Delroy, what does character in this. It’s like whenever there’s a sort of like a white father who I feel like has gone to prison. We have so many of those stories, you know, they’re always static. You know, it’s like.
Kerry Washington Yes.
Ira Madison III Like a paper moon or something. It’s always like, well, there are, you know, like there are swindlers.
Louis Virtel Yeah, The Sting or whatever yeah.
Ira Madison III You know, it’s nice to see this light hearted as opposed to, you know, depressing.
Kerry Washington Yes. Yeah. Well, I think also, like, it’s funny because neither Delroy or I is known as a comedic actor think we’re both pretty dramatic actors, but the tone of the show is real dramedy like, it’s very there’s a lot of laughs and it’s very like warm hearted. And I think that’s because Tracey and her dad are so funny. They’re just like really charming, beautiful people. And so I, I mean, I do love doing comedy one of the most the most fun weeks I’ve ever had in my life was hosting SNL. It was like that. And my honeymoon are the best weeks of my life. But but I, I think, you know, when you’re seeking truth in a character, it’s such a blessing when part of that character’s truth is their humor in real life. So we’re doing I think Delroy and I are both doing what we normally do, like looking for the authenticity and the humanity of the characters and trying to get to some sort of artistic truth. But there is a lot of joy in the relationship between these two, and that reminded me of my relationship with my dad, you know, who is the star of my Instagram. Like, we have a complicated relationship, as most people do with their parents. But fundamentally, there’s so much joy and love and laughter when we can get through the stuff. And I feel like that’s true for Page and Eddie on the show. Also.
Louis Virtel Speaking of your Instagram, I just saw that you did Gwyneth Paltrow podcast and you both went to the same private school. At one point.
Kerry Washington We did.
Louis Virtel A couple of years apart. It was, yeah.
Kerry Washington She was a senior when I was in middle school, but we did do one production together because the middle schoolers were allowed to audition for the fairies in Midsummer Night’s Dream, and she was Queen Titania, of course.
Louis Virtel You don’t say.
Kerry Washington And. And so we were in one production together. It’s the only time we’ve ever acted on stage or screen together was in Midsummer. But yeah, but we did. We were at the same school. I also had to audition for her because she was the head of the acapella group her senior year and I had to audition like in eighth grade to go in on freshman year. So she was like part of the committee of deciding who got to be in triple trio because it was nine girls the following year. So I had to audition for Gwyneth very early.
Louis Virtel Tell me you got in.
Kerry Washington I did.
Louis Virtel Okay. Thank God. All right. I was hoping that would not be a tragedy. Yes.
Kerry Washington Otherwise I would not be on her podcast.
Ira Madison III To confront her.
Kerry Washington Sing off on.
Ira Madison III Yeah, I feel like you are so good at social media because for one, I feel like you were part of like the first wave of celebrities who I guess who had to tweet about theie own show. Actors who had to constantly watch themselves every night and tweet out what was happening at Scandal. And I have a question about that in that where you actually always just sort of like watching it live as it was happening, where some of these tweets pre-planned. And what was it like having to I guess, like it’s commonplace now for actors to do this? But it’s.
Kerry Washington So funny. It’s so funny because we didn’t have to do it. It’s our fault that other people have to do it because we did it organically like we loved. We loved our show so much. And so speaking of Spence, girls in addition to me and Gwyneth, there’s a brilliant woman, Alison Peters, who I was at Spence with. We were the same year, were really good friends, and she convinced me to go on social. She was working, She had been working in social media. She was at the cutting edge of new media and we were girlfriends and she was like, You have to get on, You have to get. And I was like, If you help me, I’ll get on. So Alison Peters really was part of the mind trust that said, like you should get on. And, and when we had our first season, we had this goal of having Scandal be one of the most talked about shows because we were we were thought of as a risk. I’m saying that with air quotes, everybody listening because there hadn’t been a black woman as the lead on a network show in almost 40 years. I wasn’t even 40 at the time, so in my lifetime I hadn’t seen it and we were considered a risk. The network gave us a very small amount of episodes. In the beginning, we had to prove ourselves to get more, and so Allison said it would be best if the whole cast was on Twitter, and I knew Shonda might be open to that idea because they had done some new media stuff around Gray’s. And so I actually very Olivia Pope, like reached out to Shonda and said, I don’t want to be the bossy number one on the call sheet. You should tell everybody to get on social media and you should tell everybody that we should be tweeting about the show. And she was like, Great. So Shonda told everybody to get on Twitter and we started tweeting about the show genuinely, because we loved our show. We were so proud of it and we were scared that people weren’t going to watch. We were a midseason replacement with a black woman as a lead. We were like, Is anybody, anybody even watch the show? And so we were tweeting at each other, tweeting at the show, tweeting. And our audiences in that very first episode started calling themselves Gladiators. And we adopted it, and we just ran with that. Thank God that Alison Peters had that incredible idea that that ABC was able to build a social team really quickly and support that. And we went from being, you know, this on the bubble tiny risk of a show to being literally a show that when Oprah came to interview me, she was like, well, I started watching the show because it’s all people talk about on Twitter on Thursday nights. So, you know, it really was sort of what we did on Scandal that was so groundbreaking that forced all these other cast to be miserable and to, like, keep their shows.
Ira Madison III I would say same though, because, like I truly remember Louis and I have a mutual friend, our friend Riri, she was the one who, between season one and two, truly was like, everybody’s watching this show Scandal. You got to start watching. And I was catching up just because people were constantly talking about it.
Kerry Washington Yes.
Ira Madison III Thursday nights. And that was the days when Twitter was, you know, not completely evil. So it was fun to get involved in the conversation.
Kerry Washington Exactly. Exactly. And it taught me how to watch myself. I was always an actor who, like, could never sit in a theater at a premiere because I hated to look at myself on screen, but I had no choice on Scandal. It was like you had to watch the show to be able to talk to people. We used to have Twitter parties where we’d all get together at one of our homes and like eat and hang out and tweet together. Or sometimes we’d be on set tweeting like in, but literally they’d be like, cut. We’d all pick up our phones and tweet for an hour and then go back to the scene like we were so committed. And Alison and I used to share responses. There were some because I knew people were going to be asking about fashion. Lynn Paolo and I worked so hard on those costumes. And so Alison, she would get lookbooks of every outfit on the show and every single designer. And I was like, You do fashion. You respond to all the fashion and beauty questions and I’ll respond to like the real time plot stuff. And we would just tag team and get in there.
Ira Madison III Having tweeted, you know, throughout the run of the show, now I know your cast mates, Guillermo has a.
Kerry Washington Yes. And Katie.
Ira Madison III And Katie the they have the Scandal rewatch podcast. Is there one episode or that you’re like really sort of like you love that one and you’re like, I would come back and talk about that episode because that’s my favorite.
Kerry Washington Well I am, I am in this season. I think I maybe the last episode of The Penultimate, I don’t know, but I did. And honestly, I could have talked to Katie and Guillermo for 20 hours. I just I we are all still so close. I love that cast. So, so, so, so much. But I there are there are episodes that hold a special place in my heart, but I love them all. They’re like my children. I love them all. I think the fantasy episode when Fitz and Olivia get married is really special because it’s just like otherworldly and, you know, it’s a fantasy. And so I think it was fun to give that to the fans, knowing that Shonda was never going to end the series and that like the bow, it was sweet to to give them that moment. And I love the lawn chair episode. Courtney B. Vance So brilliant. And that was sort of one of the very first episodes where Olivia was politicized, you know, where she really stood in her blackness, which I thought was so important and wonderful. There’s so many, and I love those episodes. When we came back and Jake and Olivia were on the island, you know, we had to we flew secretly on a charter flight to the Bahamas tissue those episodes, because there was so much crazy like pop culture phenomenon around, like, where is Olivia Pope? Where did she go? And so any time we tried to book a commercial flight, it like leaked to the press. It was like a crazy thing. So we had to get a charter, fly to the Bahamas, made my now eight year old daughter was like months old, so tiny. And we flew there and shot those episodes on a private secluded island in the middle of nowhere in the Bahamas. It was crazy and so fun.
Ira Madison III Gilligan’s Island.
Kerry Washington Yeah, basically, call me Ginger.
Louis Virtel My last question is, I think of you now as one of these, like super producer people like, of course, Reese Witherspoon. And I’m wondering when you’re one of these people, like, does that increase your appetite to watch every TV show in every movie? And what do you actually care about watching? I assume you watch a lot of stuff and you’re like, Oh, that’s not for me. And then a couple of like landmark TV shows or movies stand out in your mind as like, Wow, that’s important to me and I’m glad I’m seeing that.
Kerry Washington Yeah, it’s funny the irony right now that I’m like doing all this insane multi-hyphenate stuff is, is that you want to, I’m speaking for myself, I want to watch everything. But I have less time. But I do. I try to stay abreast and aware of what’s out there in the world because I want to be creating content that I love. And I find also for me that I have to be exploring different kinds of material because I’m a really curious kind of actor. Like, I don’t like to do the same thing over and over again. I really like to change it up when it comes to tone and subject matter and all of that. So. So yeah, I do. I watch a lot of children’s programing, though, to be honest, because I’m a mom, so I watch a lot of kids shows. So I think one of the things I’m most proud of right now is being a new regular on The Simpsons. That’s like the one thing my kids think is cool. But let’s see, what am I really loving? I am. I’m very much into documentary series and I’m blown away by the 1619 series that him and Nicole did. And I was like, to be honest, I was like, I read the book, I listen to the podcast. Like, What else are you giving me with this? Like what? What’s what’s it really going to be? But I started watching and I’m blown away. I really, really, really, really love it.
Ira Madison III If you like docs.
Kerry Washington Yes.
Ira Madison III Watch Stolen Youth.
Kerry Washington Stolen youth. Oh, is that the?
Ira Madison III The cult that Sarah Lawrence.
Kerry Washington Yes. I have to watch that. How many how many episodes is that?
Ira Madison III Three.
Kerry Washington Oh, that’s so doable.
Ira Madison III Yeah.
Kerry Washington Yeah, that’s a great piece of cardio. That’s perfect.
Ira Madison III Ah, you were saying Hacks. Yes, of course. We love Hacks.
Kerry Washington Yeah. Yes, we love Hacks. We love Hacks. I really love some of their stuff. I really love I mean, movies. I love Everything Everywhere, that just Michelle Yeoh is a goddess. Just a goddess. Love her. I’m excited about this new Amazon. What is this new Amazon series? I have to look it up.
Ira Madison III Swarm.
Kerry Washington Yes.
Ira Madison III Yeah. Yeah.
Kerry Washington Have you guys seen it?
Ira Madison III I haven’t watched it yet. I’ve, I’ve, I, I’ve been hearing about it because I have a friend who works at Amazon, but it’s. Yeah, it’s like inspired by the beehive.
Kerry Washington So this Swarm looks really intense and that Dominique, she’s fantastic.
Ira Madison III Oh, Dominique FIshback. Oh, yes. I love, love.
Kerry Washington Love her. She’s been on your show.
Ira Madison III She has. She has. We love her.
Kerry Washington Yeah, I love her. Love her.
Ira Madison III Yeah, uh, I also want to lastly say that not just film and TV, like I saw you in Race on Broadway and you.
Kerry Washington That’s where I met my husband.
Ira Madison III Is it? I love that.
Kerry Washington Yeah. Yeah.
Ira Madison III So come back to the city. I’m in New York, so come back to the stage.
Kerry Washington So, you know, I think I have an idea. I have. I have an idea. I’m percolating about a return to the stage. I’m really excited about it, so I’m hoping. Fingers crossed I want to do the Denzel, you know, like every four or five years, come back and hone the instrument and there’s there’s no better acting training than being on stage. There’s nothing to hide behind. You know, you don’t get to fix it in post with a score and an editor like you just have to bring it.
Louis Virtel Without giving it away. Without giving it away. Is this a play revival? Could it? Could we maybe guess the playwright?
Kerry Washington You cannot. I will tell you, it is a revival, but I won’t say anything.
Louis Virtel Oh, I feel like Ira and I could still deduce it. I feel like.
Ira Madison III But I will also say, speaking of Denzel. You know, like, because he’s got that whole August play cycle, you know, I like I would love you in an August Wilson
Kerry Washington How great would that be?
Ira Madison III They’re like two roles. You could play a Joe Turner’s Come and Gone.
Kerry Washington Oh, my gosh. I mean, it would be the honor of a lifetime. He’s our Shakespeare. You know, I mean, like, he’s our voice.
Ira Madison III Yeah.
Kerry Washington He’s our voice. And I’ve never been able to work with Denzel. Ever. So that would be a joy. That would be such a joy. And also it would be very cheap. Like in the credits. You wouldn’t even have to change the last name. You could just flash Denzel. You flash Kerry. You save money in the you know, in the credits sequences.
Louis Virtel That’s how credits work. They cost $1,000,000 per letter. That’s right.
Kerry Washington Always thinking like a producer. Always thinking like a producer.
Ira Madison III We were literally joking earlier in the episode about actors with, like, the same last name. And wondering if people always think that they’re related. Have you ever had people be like, Are you?
Kerry Washington All the time? All the time? Are you cousins? Is your uncle? In the beginning of my career, is your father. I’m like, No, no, and no. It’s just that, you know, so many black people got free and they were like, What’s a good name? What’s a name? People like everybody likes George Washington. It’s just a name Black people chose.
Ira Madison III Well, thank you so much for being here, Kerry. It was really a delight.
Kerry Washington Thank you. It’s such a joy. I’m such a fan. So thank you for having me. And especially thank you for allowing me some space and time to talk about Unprisoned because I think it’s such a special show and I really hope people tune in.
Louis Virtel You are rad as hell. Come back whenever you want.
Kerry Washington Okay
Ira Madison III I’m tuning in. I’ve had other family members in and out of prison, so I’m going to watch it.
Kerry Washington Listen, there’s 80 million Americans walking around with criminal records. So this is a story that’s about a lot of us to be one of those people or to love one of those people. That’s a lot of Americans. So come see yourself.
Ira Madison III They are also my favorite family members because they’re kind of the funniest and like most tends to be around. Yes.
Kerry Washington Yes. Always. We all have that uncle. We all have that uncle.
Ira Madison III Yes.
Kerry Washington We do. Yeah. All right. Thank s guys.
Louis Virtel Thank you so much, Kerry. Such a pleasure.
Kerry Washington Bye.
Ira Madison III Okay, So, Louis, I was watching an Instagram story of yours the other week.
Louis Virtel Oh, you know my work. Go ahead.
Ira Madison III I’m such a fan. Baby, you and Azaelia Banks, long Instagram stories.
Louis Virtel My peer. Azaelia
Ira Madison III When you see that dotted line, it’s only a spec. Louis is talking about movies. He’s answering questions.
Louis Virtel That’s right. From God knows who, by the way. Nice people. I’m sure.
Ira Madison III You were recently talking about how somebody compiled a list of favorite Oscar winning performances.
Louis Virtel Yeah. Or actually how there wasn’t a list I could find that was easily searchable. Yeah, it was really bothers me.
Ira Madison III Yeah. And so I was like, Why don’t we make our own?
Louis Virtel Yeah, that does seem helpful. We’re always helping the culture, you know what I mean? With this podcast. Yeah. So we picked our five favorite Oscar winning performances. And actually on my Instagram story, I was talking about how I think if you’re being fair, generally speaking, if you’re listing the best of all time, you have to stack your list with female performances because the demands on an actress in a movie that is naturally that is centered on her. They have to be way more emotional. Like there just aren’t that many emotional actor wins. Like, for example, Casey Affleck in Manchester by the Sea. He, you know, is like a sort of stony person at the end. He has a kind of vulnerable moment. But that’s not really the kind of performance that we normally you know, it’s usually like iconic and, you know, aloof and dangerous men who get these, you know, Oscars. Maybe sometimes they’re real life people, but you just don’t get the kind of emotional, you know, Nicole Kidman weeping performances that in best actor category.
Ira Madison III So and I love him in that movie. You know, I told you before we start recording this going to be a problematic episode, talking about some of these wins here.
Louis Virtel We’re due for one.
Ira Madison III He is he’s not on my list of top five ever, but I love that performance from him just just because it is different for a man.
Louis Virtel Right.
Ira Madison III You know you don’t get a performance like that and the scene with him and Michelle Williams, it was a fucking heartbreaker.
Louis Virtel No, I’ve said before, Michelle Williams, one of the great scene partners ever. You know, if you if you if your character does something to wrong her, woof, she is going to erupt volcanically into like Tears Mountain.
Ira Madison III So I speaking of Michelle Williams, I was so upset that I saw Sweeney Todd on Broadway the day after her.
Louis Virtel Oh, you missed her.
Ira Madison III Yeah. Missed her. Which, by the way, amazing production. Josh Groban is fantastic. And I was not expecting this from him.
Louis Virtel Oh, no. He was so good in that. Natasha. Pierre, whatever that thing was. Yeah.
Ira Madison III I Come From, Come From Away, Home From Away. Go away, boys. I don’t know. Just go away.
Louis Virtel That’s right. That’s right. So, Ira, what is your most go through your list first, What are your five favorite Oscar winning performances?
Ira Madison III My first one is my girl. You can probably guess who this is.
Louis Virtel Whoopi Goldberg.
Ira Madison III No, my girl, Angie.
Louis Virtel Oh, in Girl Interrupted.
Ira Madison III Girl Interrupted. Angelina Jolie. Girl Interrupted.
Louis Virtel This is a movie I think a lot about because one of my favorite albums in the past couple of years, Aimee Mann’s Queens of the Summer Hotel, is based on Girl Interrupted, the memoir. In the movie, Angelina Jolie plays a kind of character she like almost has not played one time since, like the brutally, like, caustically sarcastic scene at all girl who’s also a fucking mess. I just miss that side of her, you know, that like, real side, eye oriented Angelina Jolie.
Ira Madison III Yeah, I will say, like, obviously she’s a megastar now, but I will say the one thing that happened post Brad Pitt was I feel like she lost her edge.
Louis Virtel Yeah. Even like the humor in a way, like, give me Angelina, like lacerating me with a one liner. She it’s just like dicing those girls up in that movie.
Ira Madison III And even on a red carpet. You know, she was a celebrity who had an air of danger to her total at it in a real way that didn’t feel manufactured the way that like Megan Fox and like Machine Gun Kelly feels right, you know.
Louis Virtel And now we know that danger is largely due to her father, John Voight. And we’re glad she she escaped from his grasp. Okay. What’s your fourth favorite performance?
Ira Madison III Oh, that was number one.
Louis Virtel Oh, very good. Oh, your favorite. All right. Awesome answer.
Ira Madison III That’s my favorite. My second is. A man.
Louis Virtel Oh, this is too bad. Should I leave?
Ira Madison III Yeah. Well, actually, um. Kerry Washington and I have this in common and that we love this man. But my second is Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs.
Louis Virtel Oh, it’s so interesting. Like, if you’re compiling a list of the best, best actor performances, I don’t think you can get around including that one. It’s obviously a really memorable character. But two, it surprises me because he’s just not in the movie that much. You know, I think it’s something like 20 minutes altogether. He’s in Silence of the Lambs, but the way that character is played, the like, he’s clearly first of all, he plays the genius component of him so well. But that’s just the way he is. Clearly, getting under Clarice’s skin is so well done. He really Anthony Hopkins is like from a better planet. I mean, he just has a refined quality, but then also just a piercing straightforwardness like and a vulnerability to I can’t even explain him. And by the way, if you had said the father, that would easily fit in my top five all time best actor winning performances, too.
Ira Madison III And I was thinking about him too, because there was a tweet where someone said, Name a, name a great performance from an actor where he isn’t screaming.
Louis Virtel And that is definitely that. Oh, yeah. You know, you can kind of compare that to Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada, where one way to play it is to be extreme, you know, like a cruel harridan type. But she played it so subdued that it was, first of all, way more devastating and two way funnier. Obviously, she didn’t win for that performance. But yes.
Ira Madison III My third is a throwback.
Louis Virtel How far back are we going?
Ira Madison III We’re talking fifties.
Louis Virtel Hold on. I should be able to get it. Is it a woman?
Ira Madison III Yeah.
Louis Virtel Vivien Leigh.
Ira Madison III Streetcar.
Louis Virtel Yes.
Ira Madison III Yes.
Louis Virtel Great answer.
Ira Madison III Absolutely. She is so fucking good in that movie that it’s like, What do you think about, like, iconic characters? Like we’re talking about Lydia Tarr, like, So we’re like that. It’s just like, bless you both from the moment, but Vivian steps on the screen. It’s just like she has you to choke hold.
Louis Virtel Now she’s like a she has a vulnerability about her, but there’s also like a scary component to her. Just who is this person? Like, what is her purpose in life? She’s like this this void, this black hole, and her interactions with the other actors who are spectacular, namely Marlon Brando and Kim Hunter, who also won. It’s like the the pairing of his acting style and her acting style is just. The unexpected peanut butter and jelly of the ages. Just you would never think those two would work so well together. But that conflict there really makes that place sing and also makes that place seem unquestionably like the best thing Tennessee Williams has ever done.
Ira Madison III Absolutely. And I rewatched that on a Delta flight recently, and it was. It’s still such a hot movie, too.
Louis Virtel Yeah. Potent movie. Yeah. What’s your fourth favorite?
Ira Madison III Okay, so this one’s a bit of a cheat because it is a tie. Okay. But they’re both from Woody Allen films. So I feel like I really love them together.
Louis Virtel I think that’s also fair because those performances are similar. Like, they’re going for the same thing. They play the same function in these movies.
Ira Madison III So can you think of? They’re both women.
Louis Virtel Yeah.
Ira Madison III Can you think of which?
Louis Virtel I think I have it. I think I’ve got it. Yeah. Both of them. Are you ready for this?
Ira Madison III Yeah.
Louis Virtel Dianne Wiest in Bullets Over Broadway and Penelope Cruz and Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
Ira Madison III You have the second one right.
Louis Virtel Oh, damn. Dianne Wiest was Dianne Wiest in Hannah and Her Sisters?
Ira Madison III That was Cate for Blue Jasmine.
Louis Virtel Oh, of course. Of course. Oh, my God. I mean, it’s like Streetcar to Blue Jasmine.
Ira Madison III That is my favorite of Cate’s wins.
Louis Virtel Yeah. Oh, I see if you’re comparing it to The Aviator, but that’s just not a win. I like in general, let alone in her catalog.
Ira Madison III She’s. Yeah, Having it right after Streetcar is just sort of like they’re. They’re sort of like companions to each other, obviously. Blue Jasmine is A Streetcar Named Desire. It’s just Kate is so mesmerizing in that film. And then Penelope Cruz, I mean, should have won for Paul there. But this is she’s so good, this movie. And it really just ratchets that movie up to a dramatic sort of like cinematic level when before it was just sort of like a cute romcom.
Louis Virtel Yeah. And yeah, scenic, etc.. But yeah, there’s something about that performance where she really ratchets up the tension. Like for a Rebecca Hall for Scarlett Johansson, like, really brings something out of those actors in addition to being just hilarious.
Ira Madison III Yeah. And so my fifth one. This is a man. Some agree and I know right there are I’m going to be controversial because I did what I did want, like more actors of color on my list anyway. And I do love this performance and I’m going to say I’m going to go against the grain of everyone always saying that Denzel was just handed this Oscar win.
Louis Virtel Okay.
Ira Madison III But I’m puttin in Training Day.
Louis Virtel Interesting, because Glory kind of felt I mean, it speaks to me more just as a crowning. Like I say, oh, here comes the next great act. You know, it’s like equivalent of like My Left Foot for Daniel Day-Lewis or something.
Ira Madison III Mm hmm. Yeah. Glory is one of those kinds of movies. And I thought about My Left Foot for that, too. But let me tell you, I just think that he is we talk about like a different kind of performance that a man gives that has won. I think there’s a lot more going on at that Training Day performance than like people want to give credit to. Yeah. You know, just because they think you should have won for Malcolm X and he should’ve. But I love that performance. It’s in the category of I mean, the Malcolm X one is in the category of like I would have loved to have Daniel Day-Lewis on this list in my top five if he’d won for Phantom Thread. Oh, God.
Louis Virtel If easily my favorite Paul Thomas Anderson movie.
Ira Madison III If Philip Seymour Hoffman had won for The Master.
Louis Virtel Yes.
Ira Madison III My other favorite, Paul Thomas Anderson. Like he is a person who has given us amazing roles for actors and rarely been, you know, rewarded for it.
Louis Virtel I think you also can point to something that is interesting to me about acting wins, which is I feel like actresses are likelier to win for the correct thing. I think we give men a lot of the time the finally win, you know, the the. Paul Newman in the Color of Money or Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman. I feel like for some reason, like they don’t just like like Robert De Niro and Godfather part two, that is the rare case of someone who is like a master getting it early enough and at the correct time, you know, it’s.
Ira Madison III The only other one other person that I would say is like that who almost took the Denzel spot on the list is number five. Is Sean Penn for Milk.
Louis Virtel No, I remember seeing that movie and just not knowing he had that in him, even though he had been heralded as this, you know, one of the great actor, you know, one of these people alongside River Phenix and, you know, these towering people who early nineties were in all these movies. But that was Harvey Milk. Give me a break. I mean, like you watched footage of Harvey Milk and it’s like he’s utterly recreated. When Mickey Rourke lost that year, you know, he had this sort of underdog flair. People were excited for him coming back. He was a big name Around the time Sean Penn came out to you could not help but still root for Sean Penn. It’s just an amazing biopic performance. I know there’s a real push back against biopics and how they seem like baits and how we always give them the best, you know.
Ira Madison III Sensitive performance. Yes, heartwarming. It’s a direct contrast to him doing it like, I Am,Sam.
Louis Virtel Right. Also, I’m sorry. That was a fagot. I’m sorry. Every once in a while straight people figure it out. I don’t know.
Ira Madison III But that is I mean, we talked about Malcolm X. To talk about like that is how you do biopics.
Louis Virtel Yes. My list we’ll we’ll go through it quickly because they actually are grouped together pretty well. My fifth and fourth favorite are Sandy Dennis and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf and Elizabeth Taylor and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? First of all, something I love just about that movie is that it’s so ripe for Oscars contention because everything fits exactly where it belongs. The supporting actress is a supporting actress. The lead actress is a lead actress. And there’s four actors. They belong exactly where they belong. They’re all nominated. It’s just a movie. I just love movies that, first of all, take place in one location. I like that feeling of like, you know, theater. You know, we’re stuck someplace. What’s going to happen? There’s no bombast. There’s no you know, there’s no literal explosions going on.
Ira Madison III Well, in that play and film are supposed to feel claustrophobic anyway. So it makes sense that you’re in the house the entire time.
Louis Virtel Yes. And the way Mike Nichols films at the confrontational camera shots, how you’re always so close up on just a bleary eyed, exasperated, complete asshole Elizabeth Taylor or a completely drunk bats in her belfry weirdo that Sandy Dennis is. There are just some people who when they get on screen, a part of what you’re doing is studying their legitimate weirdness that they cannot help and a lot and they somehow find a way to channel it wonderfully into characters. Somebody I would say this is true about is Mia Goth. You know, she’s on screen are like, what is wrong with her or what is right about her? Like she has this like weird genius quality and also this unsettling quality. And Sandy Dennis, to me is one of the original actors who. It was kind of a phenomenon at the time. She had won two Tonys prior to the being in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, and she was on the cover of Time magazine and with the caption The Girl in the $6 dress. I believe there was just this like mystique about who this person was, this theater actress. She’s in so many other great movies I love Up the Down Staircase, the Four Seasons. But that to me is the definitive supporting actress when it was both, Taylor’s among I mean, after winning in Butterfield Eight, where it was largely considered a gimme win because she was ill and we didn’t know how much Elizabeth Taylor we would have she would survive another 40 years, by the way. Then we got this performance, which is like, Fuck you, I am one of the greats of all time. I’m not just a star. I’m an actress. My third.
Ira Madison III Girl in a $7 dress.
Louis Virtel $7 dress.
Ira Madison III And I’m looking at this Time magazine and it is it’s one of those like it’s one of those sketches of her. She look, she looks like a she looks like an aged Gerber baby.
Louis Virtel But by the way, that’s what she is anyway. Just like there’s something like weird and kind of insect like about her appearance, you know? That’s like, also very pretty. So that kind of beguiling thing is just a part and parcel with the thrill of Sandy Dennis, who normally when I film this at home and not in the studio that I’m now there’s a picture of Sandy Dennis over my shoulder that you can see. Look it up on YouTube. My third favorite performance is Maggie Smith in the prime of Miss Jean Brodie. Bring this performance up all the time. Stop me if I’ve told you this. There’s a young actress in that movie named Pamela Franklin, who is the assassin of Miss Jean Brodie. She’s one of her students and then decides that Miss Jean Brodie is an egotistical asshole and calls her out and basically ends. Jean Brodie. I like this actress up. Her family runs a bookshop in West Hollywood, right next to, like, the Sweetgreen I usually go to. I was like, What if I just walked in there one day? I was like, Is this real? They’re still around. Walk in there, met her whole family. They were just there. Pamela Franklin’s family were there. Just hanging out in West Hollywood. But anyway, Maggie Smith on this movie.
Ira Madison III How long until they asked you to leave?
Louis Virtel Yes, sir, You’re frightening. Maggie Smith is somebody that everybody loves and has a familiar style and, you know, way with a one liner, if you know her from anything, from Harry Potter to Downton Abbey. Just a thrilling and classically just a Viper ish actress. Just there’s something about her where like the delicious that delicious quality we’re talking about with Angelina, the way like words roll off her tongue is just, like, inevitable and correct. In this movie, she plays a teacher who is obsessed with having her students worship her. And as the movie rolls along, kind of like Tar, you realize all the problems in the situation. Oh, she’s a fascist. Oh, she can’t be challenged. And then eventually there’s her undoing. Actually, among best actress wins. This is the most like Tar of any other movie in Oscars history. So Misty Brody and the first two best performances are Vivien Leigh in Gone With the Wind at number two and Vivien Leigh in A Streetcar Named Desire at number one. Guys, look, she was stunning. She could do anything. And then she up and cracked in half in the sixties. I mean, it just killed her. It killed her to be that talented. That is what happened to her.
Ira Madison III We had one that matched up with each other.
Louis Virtel And I just can’t imagine fighting it. It’s just it’s a bewitching performance. You’re not just watching a you know, a woman sort of go through it and fall apart. You’re watching. A really cerebral, intense, fearful woman having to contend with the monstrous ness of Marlon Brando, the surprisingly libidinous Kim Hunter. Just the forces that are around her at any given moment and the forces she bring. It’s such an awesome mix. So watch A Streetcar Named Desire this weekend before the Oscars.
Ira Madison III All right. Well, we’ll be right back with Keep It. And we are back with our favorite segment of the episode. It’s Keep It. Louis.
Louis Virtel Yes, Ira.
Ira Madison III What’s going on?
Louis Virtel All right. Well, I deigned to watch the new Chris Rock Netflix special. Now, let me tell you something before I tear into what I’m saying. Keep It to. I want to say I did laugh when he made fun of a particular subject that I think more comedians need to get back to making fun of, which is pop culture. When he gets to a segment where he says, When did Snoop Dogg become the new Morgan Freeman and talks about how he’s in every commercial? I’m like, Yes, we all have this in common. We all are absorbing these actors. We these celebrities. Like it’s it’s I don’t think it’s vapid to talk about celebrities. It’s literally what we have in common. You know, these other people. So I really support that. My Keep It is to the first 10 minutes of this special where he literally rails against Wokeness and then tries to tell you he’s not against Wokeness and then says people are addicted to not opioids but attention. Again, I brought this name up before. Can’t you hear when you sound like Bill Maher? Can’t you hear it? Because I can. And also, it’s like, just do the math on yourself. Like you’re in your late fifties. And there’s a particular okay boomer thing that is conjured when people talk about cancel culture in a certain way, and that’s what you sound like. It was like down the line, the cliché of someone having a problem with other people having opinions and trying to pretend that those random people, whoever they are, that he never really identifies, are obsessed with bringing, I guess people like him down. And it’s just like, it’s just lame. I’m sorry. I know that’s not a word we use anymore, but it’s just. Can’t you hear yourself? Can’t you hear yourself?
Ira Madison III He sounded like the old man at the barbershop who is just going on at him. Like, it’s also so uncomfortable to watch in the beginning because he keeps telling you that people get triggered by jokes and that, like, he doesn’t want to do any of that. But you’re just waiting for him to say, you know, like something about trans people right now, like, like what is happening here? OB I was upset for a lot of different reasons, mostly because of that. I’m upset with how one, he’s just like a lot of it just seemed to be like attacking black women for no reason. But that’s sort of been a part of his career, you know, bad hair. Sorry. Sorry. Good Hair. Bad Hair. Is the the movie about Medusa.
Louis Virtel Right.
Ira Madison III Yeah. You know, it’s just seemed to really be sort of punching because it’s that punching down. But it’s like the Meghan Markle segment was so fucking weird. It’s like, yes, we’re talking about pop culture, but some of the observations were funny. I’d be like, obviously, like Meghan being like, I didn’t know the royal family was racist is funny to me. Yeah, but the way he went about it just felt icky to me. And also, I hated that it basically seemed like a stand up set primed for Fox News at a conservative crowd.
Louis Virtel Yes.
Ira Madison III Because.
Louis Virtel Yes.
Ira Madison III The Daily Mail is using that to be like, See, we were right about Meghan Markle, which meanwhile, the Daily Mail’s article includes all the digs at Meghan Markle, but none of the digs that Chris Rock makes about the royal family being racist and investing in slavery.
Louis Virtel Yeah.
Ira Madison III Like investing in slavery like they wrote Shark Tank, which was another thing I laughed at.
Louis Virtel Again, by the way, a pop culture joke. He had a whole thing on the Kardashians that was pretty good, and I never thought I needed to hear another word, comedy wise, about the Kardashians. But also, even like so in the segment we were talking about, where he’s like railing against Wokeness and how being a victim is a way to get attention. I mean, down the line, annoying. But in that segment, I also felt like he was using his old literal voice, like trying to do the bring the pain screaming at the audience thing while also being on this annoying tear. And in a way, to me it felt like he was imitating himself as opposed to actually using like expressing something authentically, you know, like the way he would use his voice to say the words Marion Barry, You know, like trying like, trying to do that again, but with like far less interesting material.
Ira Madison III Now, if I want to talk about someone miming pop culture to a really hilarious effect and also impersonating Chris Rock, everyone should watch Marlon Wayans new comedy special.
Louis Virtel Really?
Ira Madison III God Loves Me on HBO Max. It is told in three parts and it is about the slap.
Louis Virtel Oh, get out.
Ira Madison III But it describes how all three of those people involved have wronged him in some way, and that the convergence of the slap happening to all three of them is a sign that God loves him. He talks about when he was first in, like, I’m going to get you sucka. And then like he was going to be playing the rip man who Chris Rock plays. But Chris Rock was an up and coming comedian, and his brother gave that role to Chris Rock and then made Marlon like bystander number two and talks about how, like Chris Rock used to heckle him, make fun of him, like stole a girl from him, like on a red carpet, which is like basically like basketball attire. And so when he saw him get slapped, it was great. He talks about how he knew Jada Pinkett when they were both younger, but he was almost sort of like her gay best friend because she never saw him as a potential like boyfriend.
Louis Virtel Got it. Got it. And by the way, this dovetails nicely with my theory. Talk about pop culture we have in common, like how fascinating this is that we already have opinions on the situation. And you can add this, you know.
Ira Madison III And making fun of Will Smith, talking about how, you know, like white people saw Will Smith as like a savior. He’s the only black person who saved the world in movies. And so, like, white people were more upset about, well, doing this than black people were. And it was it’s it’s just it’s about the slap. It’s about pop culture. Everyone already knows all of the arguments from this situation. And so the audience is cracking up because they’re getting commentary on it, but they’re also getting commentary from someone who has a personal relationship with all three people involved. And I think I think it’s really fucking funny. Also, Marlon Wayans is 50 and he is gorgeous.
Louis Virtel Oh, yeah. I interviewed him at a junket once for some terrible movie and I was I actually like kind of took my breath away. Like, you just think of the Wayans as, you know, a collective like, Yeah, they’re all really funny. Low and behold, he’s hot, too. Ira What is your Keep It this week?
Ira Madison III I Keep It goes to Sam Levinson.
Louis Virtel You don’t fucking say what a story.
Ira Madison III First of all, Keep It to Sam Levinson for whatever Ursula contract you have Zendaya locked up in stellar voice or something. I don’t know, but free her, even though I do still love Euphoria. So I will watch Season three. But fuck, Rolling Stone put out an article last week about The Idol.
Louis Virtel Which is his new TV show.
Ira Madison III His new TV show for HBO created with the weekend, also starring Lily-rose Depp. The whole the whole promo for it was always annoying because it was like it was being touted as from the sick and twisted minds of Sam Levinson and The Weeknd. And it turns out they are twisted.
Louis Virtel Yeah, normally that means like, Oh, you wear a kooky hat sometimes like Tim Burton.
Ira Madison III From the twisted mind of Eli Roth. Yeah, the movie sounds like an Eli Roth film at this point. It was supposed to be about Lily-rose Depp, who plays a pop superstar named Jocelyn as she navigates the secret seedy underbelly of the music industry and falls under the spell of Tedros, a mysterious owner of a popular L.A. nightclub who secretly runs like a cult sort of like Nexium and Scientology.
Louis Virtel Okay.
Ira Madison III So last April, the director, April Seimetz, who did The Girlfriend Experience, and she does Tomorrow, like suddenly exited it with 80% of the six episode series finished. Several of us have decided to toss out much of this like $75 million project and does reshoots, makes it seedier, adds in more nudity, ramps up the sexual content, like makes it a lot more depraved than about, you know, how like Hollywood preys on like, sex and depravity and it’s like, okay.
Louis Virtel Lurid as we used to say.
Ira Madison III Yes, we’ve seen this. It’s the End of Babylon.
Louis Virtel Which, by the way, is still playing. Yeah. The credits have been rolling for about six months.
Ira Madison III Yeah, that’s a tip out to do the podcast. But I’m going to go to Babylon right after this. It’s just like it’s everything that you sort of would expect from the person who’s created euphoria. Yeah, but now it’s that’s what happens. Euphoria was a success. And now what is able to hold HBO over a barrel to just do whatever the fuck he wants on this set and it sounds like a fucking nightmare. And then the weekend in response to Rolling Stones article releases a clip of him, Lily Rose and Dan Levy, who’s playing like their agent or something.
Louis Virtel What a weird third person to be in the scene. Yes.
Ira Madison III I’m sure you. I’m sure he saw that clip circulating. It was like, why am I in it? Yeah.
Louis Virtel I’m a nice gay guy who is mostly in Toronto. Yeah.
Ira Madison III Okay. He’s just. He’s hosting that brunch series. Yeah.
Louis Virtel You know, keeping a queue.
Ira Madison III Yeah. Anyway, the clip that the wicked shared, not from Dan, but from April and Lily Rose. Some of the worst thing I have ever seen in my life. And the scene is them. You know, Dan suggesting that I’m. Oh, do you want to do this Rolling Stone cover? And him being like, Oh, is it Rolling Stone over or something? So this was released as supposed to be, you know, this like.
Louis Virtel Gotcha. Yeah.
Ira Madison III Against Rolling Stone, like, we already think you’re irrelevant in our show. It’s like, okay, the whole conversation was about the relevance of Rolling Stone. It was whether or not Sam Levinson turns on the set of the idol into Epstein’s secret island.
Louis Virtel Right. Also, it’s like he just couldn’t resist. You know, you get the word that Rolling Stone did this article, and he’s like, Oh, we do happen to have this one scene where I say something rotten about Rolling Stone like that will work. But it’s it feels like it adds up. And it could be a legitimate response, but it just doesn’t matter. There’s nobody in the universe who’s sitting around being like, Rolling Stone is the most important news magazine that’s ever existed.
Ira Madison III I mean, literally Chaka Khan just went on a tirade smashing Rolling Stone.
Louis Virtel Oh, my God. We could do a whole episode on that Chaka Khan episode. She was fucking fabulous.
Ira Madison III I hate that.
Louis Virtel She when she came for Joan Baez. Oh, my God.
Ira Madison III I hate that she tweeted an apology. Because you know what? I love Mary J. Blige, but she was right about that sweet thing cover. Yeah.
Louis Virtel She would introduce it at shows be like, here’s the song that Mary J. Blige fucked up. Amazing.
Ira Madison III It’s it was just such a bad misfire. Tweeted that clip out because it felt like. One person at a party who seemed like one movie and is trying to use that reference to like, you know, to like, make conversation with other people. It’s like we’re not even talking about.
Louis Virtel That, Right? No. Also, fortunately, I have to say about Sam Levinson, once upon a time I was fooled into thinking he was rad because he dated Ellen Barkin, an actress who was in a movie he did years and years ago, called Another Happy Day. And then, of course, his father directed Ellen Barkin in her debut in Diner. And I was just sort of enthralled with that whole situation. Anyway, free Ellen Barkin in case she isn’t freed.
Ira Madison III Well, but wasn’t that more like a Sam Taylor-Johnson Aaron Taylor-Johnson relationship.
Louis Virtel Could be.
Ira Madison III I feel like he was in college where they dated.
Louis Virtel Yeah, he was younger. She’s like our age. So yeah, he must have been, Yeah. Like in his twenties when that was going on. Yeah.
Ira Madison III So listen, I’ve known Sam Levinson was a terrorist since the Euphoria premiere, which I was at, because obviously the series is inspired by his own recovery.
Louis Virtel Yes.
Ira Madison III From drugs and alcohol. But you know how, like, someone will come and introduce something at a premiere and talk for a bit?
Louis Virtel Right.
Ira Madison III He talked for more than a bit.
Louis Virtel No.
Ira Madison III He talked for a long ass time at this premiere. My friend Sam and I, looked over each other, we’re like, still still going on.
Louis Virtel And by the way, so you hadn’t seen the episode yet?
Ira Madison III We hadn’t even seen it yet. We hadn’t even seen the premiere. He’s talking about his recovery and talking about like, you know, his dad’s trusted had been like, okay, yeah. Barry Levinson. I will always love him for doing the Pushing Daisies pilot.
Louis Virtel No, that’s. It’s like when I went and saw Gene Dealman finally, and the DP came up and talked for like a half hour beforehand. I’m like, You You do know that I’m about to sit here for three and a half hours, right?
Ira Madison III Anyway. Sam Levinson. Terrorist.
Louis Virtel Tough. Tough.
Ira Madison III But I’m still going to watch The Idol.
Louis Virtel I am intrigued. Not by the acting, but I’m intrigued.
Ira Madison III No, I mean, well, I’m also interested in the music because, as you know, I do love The Weeknd, although I will say his latest live album recorded at the Sofi Stadium in L.A.. I was sad that I missed the show, but not so much after hearing this.
Louis Virtel Oh, really?
Ira Madison III Like when when he released that clip, I tweeted out, Baby, keep singing. And I’m like, Baby, keep producing. It’s very much.
Louis Virtel People would put out a live album that’s not good because they have I’m sure they record so many dates, like, Why is it bad?
Ira Madison III Baby I want to take out anything I said about Ariana Debose huffing and puffing at the BAFTAs. Becausehe he was blowing all the Little Pigs houses down on the stage and.
Louis Virtel The brick peddler. Yeah.
Ira Madison III The sound too. Like it sounds like it was script recorded off an Instagram story. Wow. If the mixing is bad, I’m sorry. This ain’t homecoming.
Louis Virtel Why don’t you write for spin anymore? How about that? Don’t you get your ass in a seat and write for Blender?
Ira Madison III Watch out Chuck Klosterman. All right, Well, that’s our show for next week. We’ve got the Oscars.
Louis Virtel And then we’ll stop talking about the Oscars for a little while. But as you know, I have a syndrome and we’ll bring them up again soon.
Ira Madison III Yeah, I’m excited for the movies that drop after the Oscars happen.
Louis Virtel Oh, yeah.
Ira Madison III Because there’s always like a couple movies where someone like. There’s always a couple of movies that maybe people will start talking about, Oh, this has Oscar buzz. Like this could be a contender and then we forget about it by October.
Louis Virtel Right. No, we just need something to talk about in that movie happens to exist. Like, you know, Scream VI, that’s all you, baby. Yeah.
Ira Madison III I cannot wait to see Scream VI and I cannot wait to talk about it. But we’ll obviously wait a while to talk about it because we don’t want to spoil it for people.
Louis Virtel That’s correct. That’s correct.
Ira Madison III Well, thank you to Kerry Washington for joining us. Shout out to whoever is giving you the edited versions of Keep It, where we are nice people. So she watches the Snapchat channels.
Louis Virtel Angels. So yeah, it must be the snapshot.
Ira Madison III Yup. All right. We’ll see you next week. Don’t forget to follow us at Crooked Media on Instagram and Twitter and subscribe to Keep It on YouTube for access to full episodes and other exclusive content. Plus, if you’re opinionated as we are, consider dropping us a five star review on your podcast platform of choice. Keep It is a Crooked Media production. Our senior producer is Kendra James. Our producer is Chris Lord, and our associate producer is Malcolm Whitfield. Our executive producers are Ira Madison, the third, that’s me, and Louis Virtel. This episode was recorded and mixed by Evan Sutton. Thank you to our digital team, Matt DeGroot, Nar Melkonian and Delon Villanueva for production support every week. And as always, Keep It is filmed in front of a live studio audience.