"State of thee Union" w. Gabrielle Union | Crooked Media
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March 23, 2022
Keep It
"State of thee Union" w. Gabrielle Union
Keep It

In This Episode

Ira and Louis are joined by return guest Gabrielle Union to discuss her new film Cheaper by the Dozen and activism in Hollywood. Plus, Ira and Louis discuss their Gabrielle Union blindspots (The Honeymooners, Love & Basketball), their Oscar predictions, taking photos of celebrities, The Beach Boys, Doja Cat’s Hole cover, Kentaji Brown Jackson’s confirmation hearing, and more!




Ira Madison III: And we’re back with an all new episode of Keep It. I’m back up. I’m Ira Madison III.


Louis Virtel: Thank god. I was, I was lonely. I was with strangers. They took advantage of me. I’m Louis Virtel. Hi Ira, I have a question for you.


Ira Madison III: Yeah.


Louis Virtel: I was just out getting coffee and there was music on and it was a band and a song that I don’t believe has ever come up on this show. And I think pop culturally, people are divided about it, but I know what I think. What are your feelings on Kokomo by the Beach Boys?


Ira Madison III: Oh, I think we’ve talked about the Beach Boys before.


Louis Virtel: OK, well, great. But I don’t think we can discuss Kokomo in depth.


Ira Madison III: I don’t know how I feel about Kokomo by the Beach Boys. Um, which album is that off of again?


Louis Virtel: Well, it was written for the movie Cocktail. It didn’t. I want to say it got a Golden Globe nomination, but that was the year of Let the River Run by Carly Simon, so it didn’t go very far. But, you know, Aruba Jamaica. Yeah. You know that song


Ira Madison III: I well, you know I love Cocktail. A Tom Cruise classic


Louis Virtel: I mean, fine cinema. I love Tom Cruise’s two stars films, you know, like Days of Thunder, Cocktail, you know, just see him in OK movies. Also


Ira Madison III: Before he was crazy.


Louis Virtel: Correct. Correct. Well, and I think this is even before, like Mimi Rogers. So like even before I was born on the 4th of July, et cetera. But there’s also there was a cover of the song I heard recently by some outfit artists named Holiday Sidewinder, which is so good, but kokomo to me, it’s kind of like one of those we didn’t start the fire songs where you put it on, and I am simply amped.


Ira Madison III: You know what, it’s a good song. It’s a good song. I feel like people who are Beach Boys fans are specifically just pet sounds fans, right?


Louis Virtel: They want the like prestige era, not the Margaritaville era. Yeah


Ira Madison III: Yeah. They have no interest in like pretending that the Beach Boys are anything else.


Louis Virtel: Right, right? Yeah. I mean, my favorite Beach Boys song is still I just wasn’t made for these times off pet sounds. But if it takes me like fifteen minutes to get to Ralph’s, I’m throwing on Kokomo and feeling like I’m in, you know, a bunch of islands that mainly exist, Kokomo, which doesn’t exist.


Ira Madison III: I do want to say a brief note about last week’s episode. Our Danny Pellegrino interview. A friend of mine heard us talking about Rosie and you know, the friendship with Tom Cruise about how like, they’re still in contact, right? And my friend said that his boss worked with Tom Cruise once and literally every Christmas they got a coconut cake and a card.


Louis Virtel: Oh, as in from Tom Cruise?


Ira Madison III: Yes.


Louis Virtel: Well, he does seem like one of these, like really like, I think if you meet him, he’s utterly charismatic and like, remembers your name and you know, he’s.


Ira Madison III: He’s into manners.


Louis Virtel: Yeah, he’s one of those ultra showbiz, not schmoozing types, but just networking types.


Ira Madison III: Yeah, I feel like the ultimate sort of example of that was remember after he did the couch incident with Oprah. You remember the the next interview with Oprah was he invited her up to the cabin, and it was very much like, I need to show you that I’m like your intimate friend again.


Louis Virtel: But what I mainly remember about that, I don’t remember the content of the interview. I remember they run into Katie Holmes at the door and she goes, Yeah, I’m just about to go into town. The fuck. Oprah’s here


Ira Madison III: *laughs*


Louis Virtel: The prearranged, I’m going to meet you here and then just be on my way out was so strangely choreographed.


Ira Madison III: You know, I mean, maybe it was the invention of Vogue’s 73 questions that you know were Vogue shows up at the door and it’s “Oh my god. Vogue magazine is here. I had no idea. Let me finish doing what I was doing with my day.”


Louis Virtel: Yeah, right? Let me put down this rolling pin. I was just making a cake. Or fucking whatever.


Ira Madison III: *Laughs*. Ah, it’s very um law and order interrogation.


Louis Virtel: Yes.


Ira Madison III: You know, like, like whenever they go to interview anybody, they’re always like, You know what I’m going to do, I’m going to keep doing what the fuck I was doing while these police officers are interrogating me and then I’m going to be, I’m going to stop what I’m doing when I find out it’s about a murder because the cops, I was like, Well, you know, she was murdered, and then they’re like, *gasp*


Louis Virtel: I have to stop throwing these fish into these crates. Yeah yeah


Ira Madison III: And then they’re helpful.


Ira Madison III: Yeah.


Louis Virtel: What do you want? Yeah.


Ira Madison III: Oh, all right. Well, this week we’ve got a return guest on the pod. It is Gabrielle Union coming back to hang out with us again for some reason.


Louis Virtel: But last time she was here, I like, threw my arms up. It was a roller coaster. She was so much fun. I love it when a guest comes on and they’r like, “you know what I have, a lot of opinions and guess what? I feel like sharing them.” And that is, I think her her sort of vibe.


Ira Madison III: The beauty of this not being a completely filmed podcast is that whenever there’s a guest on that Louis loves, he is truly like, excited like a grandma.


Louis Virtel: Oh yeah.


Ira Madison III: The hands are up in the air.


Louis Virtel: I’m one of those like.


Ira Madison III: Used Price Is Right Come on down.


Louis Virtel: No I’m one of those inflatable men outside a car dealership just flapping away.


Ira Madison III: But if you would like to see some of the recorded content from this podcast, you should check out Crooked’s new pop culture channel Uncultured on YouTube, where this week we are asking you to vote on your Oscar predictions before Sunday’s Big Show. And that means that you get to hear our Oscar predictions today, and you will also get to see our Oscar ballots online, so, you know, go and fill out your own.


Louis Virtel: And I just want to say I have not seen complaints recently about how often we have discussed the Oscars recently and to those people, I just want to say we’re almost there. Keep on, keep on truckin


Ira Madison III: With, there’ve been complaints?


Louis Virtel: Well, people defended my honor. A lot cleaner. Like, I think Louis is only programed to discuss the Oscars. He can’t help, but this is the only thing he loves. And so thank you to those people.


Ira Madison III: It also happens once a year. So truly, once the Oscars are over and we talk about it, we move on.


Louis Virtel: Right, by the way, there’s no other pop culture going on right now. I’m sorry, I check all the time. So


Ira Madison III: Ugh anyway, check out Crooked’s new pop culture channel Uncultured. And of course, don’t forget to rate and review this podcast. And before Gabrielle Union. We’re going to do another deep dive into some blind spots we have in her film oeuvre.


Louis Virtel: Yes, yours is I must say a more justifiable blind spot than mine because I realized I hadn’t seen this movie in full, I had only seen the critical climactic scene, and that is Love and Basketball. So I’m a big sham, and I went and saw it finally last night.


Ira Madison III: Louis has been telling lies for years.


Louis Virtel: Yes, right? No I’m living lies


Ira Madison III: Literally 20 over 20 years just telling people you’ve seen Love and Basketball. And I watched The Honeymooners so,


Louis Virtel: Now, which which I’m sorry. No offense to Gabrielle Union is. I forgot that existed. I forgot we had that in the world.


Ira Madison III: I wonder if she’ll remember it existed when we asked her about it. All right, when we’re back. We jump into the movies of Gabrielle Union.




Ira Madison III: Today’s guest has been in some of the most quotable and iconic films of recent history, but we have not seen them all. So this week, Gabrielle Union Blindspots. First up, Louis. Your people are already typing angry comments about you not having seen Love and Basketball.


Louis Virtel: I feel bad for me. I was I was dumb not to have seen it before. In fact, the movie was reduced and in my head to a joke I always make about Justin Timberlake that it’s his favorite movie. You know, can’t you just picture. Hey, Justin Timberlake, what’s your favorite movie?  “Oh, you know, its Love and Basketball.” You know. With this like proto-Michael Jackson accent that he sometimes has. I’m sure about the stuff before he used to do interviews about having met Michael Jackson, where he’d be like, Yeah, and that’s when I met Michael Jackson. I’m like, What is this voice? Mike-O? Mike-O Jackson


Ira Madison III: Was that before? Was that before or after he started talking like a gib in every interview?


Louis Virtel: Right. No, I mean, there’s eras. I mean, people, you know, give Madonna shit for the accents all the time. But Justin Timberlake, I mean, let’s start tracking that Duolingo, et cetera. Anyway, Love and Basketball. I’ll start with criticisms. It is 20 minutes too long. I don’t really know why it’s that long. Like, I can’t tell you. Like what scene needs to be cut out. It’s sort of like every scene is a minute and a half too long, but otherwise. Let’s just first of all, say, you know, who slays in this movie? Alfre Woodard, not that you would ever watch an Alfre Woodard in a movie and think, well, she was bad, but in this movie she kind of has a role that I think would be even read as boring on the page, like, Oh, she’s sort of a traditional mom and wife who’s sort of on the fence about her daughter’s ambitions. Man, she is very powerful. She really puts the heat on Sanaa Lathan too. You can you can see her sort of transforming Sanaa’s acting just by her sheer force. And that’s exciting to see. I also want to say that this movie has one of the few high school dance scenes where it definitely looks like a movie, but you also it’s believable and you want to be there and the music is popping. They’re playing a lot of like, I believe Bobby Brown comes up. We just got paid. That song comes out. That should be playing at every dance.


Ira Madison III: Speaking of Justin Timberlake before N’sync covered that song to hell.


Louis Virtel: Right. Yeah. Who gave them the right? That’s really unusual.


Ira Madison III: I would say that one thing Alfre Woodard is actually very good at is playing a mom. You know, and I think it’s maybe just because she infuses it with, you know, more believability than sort of like a regular person, which is sort of like a boring mom role on the paper. But, you know, like it will really get a lot from her in a role like that. You know.


Louis Virtel: Its like gritty. I don’t know. I think people would not make a character like that. Like kind of like kind of bubbling under anger. Like, I think she really channels that in a way that you wouldn’t necessarily put into the role.


Ira Madison III: She’s really sort of channeling too like the time period, like it’s set in early 80s.


Louis Virtel: Yeah.


Ira Madison III: In Los Angeles, you know? So. In the beginning, at least, you know, so like, it’s a mom who moves their kids in the early 80s to L.A. And then like as time progresses, you know, like being a black mother in that time period, you know, you’re going to be going through something a bit different than the rest of your contemporaries.


Louis Virtel: Right.


Ira Madison III: Across America, but reminds you of sort of her role in Crooklyn.


Louis Virtel: Of course, of course. Also the romance in this movie between Omar Epps and Sanaa Lathan. They really set up the intensity of it by making them dance with different partners. At this high school dance and the partners are Boris Kodjoe and Gabrielle Union, and they hate it. So it’s like, Wow, they must really be in love if they’re really dancing with these people. Boris Kodjoe, it’s like, I’m like clinging to my face I can’t believe somebody looks like this.


Ira Madison III: The hottest people in cinema.


Louis Virtel: Yes, right? Yeah. And Boris Kodjoe, they’re not like overtly playing horrid people either. So it’s not like they’re, you know, utterly disgusting from the jump, either. So that was a clever move on the filmmaker’s part.


Ira Madison III: I miss when Boris Kodjoe was like the hottest person that Black people would bring up ever. Mostly, it’s because it’s I’m like, slightly sick today. So I was thinking about the sort of, you know, like sick at home starter pack. You know, the people always make memes about online, the starter pack for when you’re sick and what you’re doing at home when you’re missing school. It would always be. The Price is Right. Of course, it would always be The Young and the Restless starring Boris Kodjoe.


Louis Virtel: Oh yes.


Ira Madison III: Looking fine as hell on it. And then it would be like. So there’s always this debate between the people on Instagram, Black people on Instagram, whether or not it’s 7up or ginger ale, which is the soda. Your mom would give you so that you could feel better. And listen, I know a lot of us drank ginger ale as kids, Same. But I’m not going to have people erase the fact that sometimes your mom would give you seven up.


Louis Virtel: I never drank ginger ale growing up. I always had seven up when I was sick.


Ira Madison III: Yeah.


Louis Virtel: In fact, tthat was probably the last time I had seven up. Come to think of it


Ira Madison III: Right. So one called it that the seven up was like the white starter pack. And I’m like, you know, well, maybe sometimes mom was like, I’m going to get the seven up, OK, I’m going feel classy today.


Louis Virtel: I have the feeling they cost the same amount. Like, why wouldn’t you just have seven up? Um. No oh yeah. Seven up and saltines. Also, crackers are still like among lmy favorite food. So. Anyways


Ira Madison III: yeah, saltines ugh and well, that’s because you don’t like foods in general.


Louis Virtel: That’s true. right.


Ira Madison III: You don’t like flavors.


Louis Virtel: I’m on the fence about that. Why do we need them?


Ira Madison III: Yeah, and always a Campbell’s soup.


Louis Virtel: I never ate soup growing up, too many flavors.


Ira Madison III: hmm not even chicken noodle. .


Louis Virtel: No! I hate like limp noodles. No, it’s got it. It’s got to be like a solid noodle.


Ira Madison III: OK. No flaccid noodles.


Louis Virtel: No right. My new single my new rap single. No Flaccid Noodles. Yeah. I also want  to say about Boris Kodjoe for a split second, we did the right thing and gave him that show Undercovers, where he was like a James Bond type. It was with him and it’s Gugu Mbatha-Raw, right?


Ira Madison III: Yes yes, they invented the phrase sexpionage. It was in every promo.


Louis Virtel: Yes, sexpionage!


Ira Madison III: J.J. Abrams, a J.J. Abrams joint, too. I feel like that would have been that would have ran for 12 seasons on USA.


Louis Virtel: Yeah. Or 25 seasons on Starz with five spinoffs.


Ira Madison III: Showtime, it’d still be on.


Louis Virtel: Yeah, right. But it would only be every five years. Yeah, yeah.


Ira Madison III: But it was on NBC and that shit got canceled. And let me tell you something, I’m sure I’m not going to look it up right now, but I’m sure the ratings for Undercovers, which was canceled after like two episodes, are higher than a season of Mad Men combined.


Louis Virtel: Right, right, right. Or whatever is on network now, you know, like The Truth About Pam or whatever? Yeah. By the way, Renee, what a crazy choice for you, Renee Zellweger. Anyway, moving on. Also,


Ira Madison III: Can I can I can I say that? Can I say thatf maybe this is bad of me, but like before I knew that she was in The Truth About Pam. And people were like, Renee Zellweger looks unrecognizable. And then they were showing photos of her from it. And I was like, You know what? That is her right.


Louis Virtel: Yeah, right. Yes.


Ira Madison III: Yeah. Maybe she was like, I was like, maybe Renee Zellweger was finally like  fuck Hollywood, and I’m just moving to the Midwest and I’m just um eating fast food and drinking sodas.


Louis Virtel: Yeah, right. That’s the truth about Pam right there. Also, the soundtrack in general, I had underestimated that the climactic scene in which Omar Epps and Sanaa Lathan play basketball in this sort of contentious moment that plays.


Ira Madison III: “I’ll play you, for my heart”.


Louis Virtel: Yeah, that plays on their off and on again relationship is set to Michelle N’degeochello’s song Fool of Me, which is from, I think, her album Bitter from ninety nine or so. I brought her up before her. How she’s just this rad bassist who has a number of amazing albums. She had a single that was remixed called Pocket Book around 2002. That is so good, you guys should listen to that. What a perfect song for this and that it’s it’s literal, literally like, how can you make a fool of me as he beats her at basketball? Like, it’s a little one for one parallels, but so good and the tone is so right. So congrats on that choice. Everybody knows love and basketball is a great rom com, but what we don’t know is that there was an existence of a movie version of The Honeymooners, and it started Cedric the Entertainer and Gabrielle Union.


Ira Madison III: Let me tell you something about this film. It is very 2005 studio comedy.


Louis Virtel: Sure. Oh, I’m thinking broad.


Ira Madison III: Yes, it is very broad.


Louis Virtel: This is the Wedding Crashers Wedding Crashers is like the Yale of that yeah.


Ira Madison III: So Cedric the Entertainer plays Ralph Kramden, and Gabrielle Union plays Alice. You know the Ed Norton and Trixie. Their neighbors are played by Mike Epps and Regina Hall. So, I mean, like. First of all, this is a great fucking comedic cast.just


Louis Virtel: Right. And I just want to say both of these movies, of course, also have Regina Hall, so this is secretly a Regina Hall episode also,


Ira Madison III: like you couldn’t you couldn’t lose with this cast. You know, I just wish it were a better film you know.


Louis Virtel: That makes sense.


Ira Madison III: Because, you know, it just really doesn’t give on any of the four an opportunity to do what they do best. But it is extremely watchable and and you would probably not be shocked to learn that Roger Ebert gave it three stars.


Louis Virtel: Roger Ebert was a very sympathetic film critic. That’s what I will say about him.


Ira Madison III: I will say 2005. What’s it got to like later in Ebert’s life, he became a film reviewer. He sort of like end of his review basically says this is the type of movie where you go in, like expecting to be horribly disappointed and you leave pleasantly surprised. I think it’s just like later in his film career, he was like, If I absolutely am dreading seeing this film and then I go in and I enjoy any of it, I’m going to give it three stars.


Louis Virtel: No, right? I’m sure like, literally, if the milk duds he bought tasted good, he’s like, All right, it’s three stars. No, but that’s kind of a crazy TV show to reinvent so far later, because the dynamic is so, one broad, as you said. But two, like Ralph Kramden is.


Ira Madison III: Is abusive?


I’m gonna call, has, yes, has a violent streak that’s sort of the comedic thrust of the of the show. If you guys haven’t seen the original honeymooners, what you should know about it is The Flintstones was basically copied beat per beat from The Honeymooners, as in Jackie Gleason considered suing because Fred Flintstone is so Ralph Kramden and Wilma is so Alice and Mel Blanc, who voiced Barney Rubble, was told to copy Art Carney’s voice for Ed Norton, and he refused to do it. So literally, it was like a facsimile.


Ira Madison III: And what’s so weird is that this honeymooners was only 39 episodes and one season.


Louis Virtel: There are a few shows like that that you think of as stone cold classics and in fact don’t have many episodes at all. I think The Munsters is another one of those plenty of like two season shows that just happen to rerun for an eternity.


Ira Madison III: Yeah, but you know, it’s also it’s also from the era of when they were like, what, two shows on TV?


Louis Virtel: Right.


Ira Madison III: So if you were, if you are well remembered and you had that much of a catalog of episodes like you would be aired in syndication for perpetuity.


Louis Virtel: Right. By the way, I just want to say about Gabrielle Union, so she did that remake. She’s in Cheaper By the Dozen coming up, which is also a remake of an old film, but has obviously turned into other movies over the years. And she just was in something else


Ira Madison III: From that same era too. You know because the original cheaper by the dozen is from the 50s. But no one thinks about that. They always think about the 2003 version starring Hilary Duff and Superman, Tom Welling


Louis Virtel: right. Yes, right, right, right. Oh, and also she was in that Facts of Life TV episode recently, too. So it’s Gabrielle Union is becoming our go to like nostalgia maven or something. I wonder how she feels about that. We can ask her using our interview skills.


Ira Madison III: What I will say about the dynamic in this is they do, you know, sort of get into the fact that they argue all the time, but they argue all the time. And then when it’s time to go to work, you know, they leave with like a kiss, like, you know, they they squabble, but they still love each other. So, you know, it doesn’t quite reach the honeymooners level of, you know, is he going to kill her at the end of this episode? And he never says the phrase “to the moon, Alice” you know when it’s like. I’m gonna punch you in the face like the movie opens up with where they meet, and it’s he very sweetly says, Oh, he’s he’s a bus driver and like, he’s going to take her just she’s like, You’re going to take me all the way to Brooklyn. And he says, I’d take you to the moon, Alice. And I thought, that was sweet.


Louis Virtel: Cute. Oh, wow, we love that pitch in the room. OK? That’s a. Nice work, everybody.


Ira Madison III: By the way, the Flintstones, iconic television.


Louis Virtel: Oh sure.


Ira Madison III: And I have your question. I like constantly trying to ask. And, you know, like older Gen Z people or very younger millennials that we meet, whether or not they have any idea who The Flintstones or the Jetsons are,


Louis Virtel: are they confused?


Ira Madison III: Well sometimes they are and sometimes they like they know them, but they don’t know them, know them in the way that The Flintstones and The Jetsons were shows that were constantly on when we were kids.


Louis Virtel: There’s absolutely no way you could grow up and not see The Flintstones and The Jetsons if you are now 35 years old. Absolutely not.


Ira Madison III: But now TV is very much umm. You have to go searching for it, you know, and


Louis Virtel: No, and I have no idea why you would even see it anymore. It is sort of a shame. I mean, I feel that way about old looney tunes and stuff, which was never my thing. But I have, of course, seen 100000 Bugs Bunny cartoons.


Ira Madison III: It’s the um.


Louis Virtel: No, please I was wearing a shirt yesterday that had Barbara Feldon from Get Smart on it, which used to be like everybody has seen. Get smart. Now you would. I think if you interviewed 100 people on the street, one person will have seen Get Smart


Ira Madison III: 17 of them might have seen Get Smart starring Anne Hathaway, The Rock and Steve Carell.


Louis Virtel: That was cute. I did enjoy that.


Ira Madison III: Actually, did think that was a quite a good movie,


Louis Virtel: not a top 10 role for Anne. But we liked Anne. Yeah


Ira Madison III: I would just say that that’s one of the biggest divides in pop culture right now, just the fact that we used to be at home. Like I said, when you’re sick or right after school and things would just be on. And so we have so much pop culture knowledge because we it was just in front of us and to to watch to be a kid who watches The Flintstones or Jetsons now you’d basically have to be the child of someone our age who’s like, Oh, I’m going to put TV on for my kids to watch. I’m going to put on like Boomerang because I loved watching Scooby Doo, The Flintstones and The Jetsons and stuff when I was a kid. And I want them to watch it.


Louis Virtel: OK, well, we’re depending on those people because we’re slowly being. Speaking of Mad Men, we’re being we’re being washed away with an older generation and we don’t know how to keep up.


Ira Madison III: By the way, we got the statistic for Mad Men versus Undercovers, and 8.5 million people watched the premiere of undercovers and three point three million watched the very popular finale of Mad Men.


Louis Virtel: That is effing crazy, and I will cap this conversation by saying it is unbelievable that Vincent Kartheiser was never nominated for an Emmy for Mad Men because Pete Campbell has to be the most memorable douchebag in the history of television.


Ira Madison III: All right, when we’re back, we’re going to talk to the nostalgia maven herself, Gabrielle Union


Louis Virtel: [AD]


Ira Madison III: Our return guest today is an actress, producer, author and activist. She is now the star and ep of the new and improved Cheaper By the Dozen out now on Disney Plus. But most importantly, as I said, this makes her a two time Keep It guest. Please welcome back Gabrielle Union.


Gabrielle Union: How are you? Good morning. Good morning


Ira Madison III: Good. How are you?


Gabrielle Union: I’m alright. I’m all right. This is ugh this is like my last day of press for cheaper by the dozen.


Louis Virtel: Ok let’s talk about being at the end of a press cycle. I mean, do you completely exhaust every single experience you’ve ever had with the people you made the movie with?


Gabrielle Union: I have no original stories left at this point. At this point it’s like I’m making shit up and hope that no one hears me and these lies or calls me out.


Ira Madison III: It’s fine you’ll start turning into like a Robert Pattinson or Lady Gaga. Like, You know what? I was actually eating children on the set of Cheaper By the Dozen


Gabrielle Union: Listen by my next interview later on tonight with my husband on his show. I’m going to just flat out say I’m a fucking cannibal, and


Ira Madison III: *laughs*


Gabrielle Union: There were actually 12 kids and then I ate a couple, you know, on lunch break


Ira Madison III: *laughs*


Gabrielle Union: Yeah, you’re like delirious. Like, there’s and you’re nervous cause you don’t want to misspeak. You don’t want to say anything crazy, but you’re like sleep deprived. You know, it’s just it’s just it just feels like you’re walking through landmines. Like, at any moment, you’re going to say the wrong thing. Its gonna happen


Ira Madison III: Mm hmm.


Louis Virtel: Well, we were just going through moments in your filmography in which we had blind spots and we realized that recently you were on the facts of life. Live reboot on ABC and you’re also in this reboot of Cheaper by the Dozen. What is it like to be? And we also talked about the honeymooners, which you were in years ago.


Ira Madison III: That was my blindspot. I had never seen the honeymooners.


Gabrielle Union: You missed so much because. I don’t think my mother saw that one either


Ira Madison III: *laughs*


Gabrielle Union: So, Ira, you are in great company.


Louis Virtel: But what’s it like to remake something that is like age old and, you know, beloved and to put your stamp on it? Is that fun or daunting or what?


Gabrielle Union: It’s always a little interesting, because you never really know how people are going to react because these are the beloved, beloved projects. So you’re like, Am I going to improve upon a brilliant piece that probably didn’t need to be touched? Or am I? I don’t know. We’ll find out. So like with The Honeymooners, we did the Black remake of The Honeymooners set in Brooklyn, but we shot it in Ireland. And you know where there aren’t black people?


Ira Madison III: *laughs*


Gabrielle Union: and like doesn’t look like Brooklyn? Dublin, Ireland. They they kept insisting that we were a singing group and they’re like ” Are you a  singing group?” And like me, it was like me Regina Hall, Cedric the Entertainer, Mike Epps, John Leguizamo. And clearly they thought Eric Stoltz was like our manager. I’m imagining, but we were asked all the time, like, if you’re singing group. And then we would just start singing songs from the five heartbeats. Like when they were asked to sing and forced to pull off on the side of the road. Yeah, that was us. So, yeah, so in that case, it was, you know, then it wasn’t like a like a hit hit it was it fine, but people were like, why? I was like, I don’t know. The check cleared. And I was like, Yeah


Ira Madison III: Absolutely, and we also I also pointed out that Roger Ebert gave it, three stars, he had a good time.


Gabrielle Union: Oh, yes. Well, and you are talking about the honeymooners or you talking about cheaper by the dozen


Ira Madison III: We’re talking about the honeymooners


Gabrielle Union: Oh that many stars? Well shoot. We did ok. I mean, we had a great time filming it. Um, especially had a great time when we would go to Amsterdam on the weekends. Mm hmm. I don’t know if you’ve ever been to Amsterdam with Mike Epps?


Ira Madison III: I have an apartment in Amsterdam now,


Gabrielle Union: As one does. That was very chic.Like you were just like, Yeah, you know, in my apartment in Amsterdam. Well Oh, shit, OK. That’s like, is it the new Hamptons? What did I where am I? Am I missing this shit?


Ira Madison III: I think it’s becoming like, sort of like the new Berlin London for some people. So, yeah


Gabrielle Union: Mmm. Ok, OK, I was just going to get high. So it’s good to know that its now like the Palm Springs of Europe. This is good to know.


Ira Madison III: Yeah, that’s an interesting thing, too, about shooting a movie in Ireland because I feel like I’m always I mean, it shouldn’t shock me because, you know, the film industry always wants to find ways to shoot things cheaper where they don’t have to pay the taxes that they’d have to, you know, in America. But I like never get it never ceases to amaze me when someone’s like, Oh yeah, the new Texas chain massacre. Like, we shot that in Prague because we can’t shoot it in Texas.


Gabrielle Union: Yeah. What they don’t tell you is like, they just let you sign up for a project, especially back then. You know, I had zero control and they’re like, Oh yeah, we’re shooting the, you know, the Black remake of The Honeymooners set in Brooklyn in Dublin Ireland. I’m like, Oh, OK, that should be fun. Not thinking, Oh, where are we going to get extras from? Because, you know, Ireland is like one of the most homogeneous countries ever. So like they then they’re like, Oh shit, where we’re saving money in taxes, we have to literally ship in extras from London to you know for crowd scenes.


Ira Madison III: *laughs*


Gabrielle Union: you know and then it doesn’t look like Brooklyn. So we’d have to. We then had to shoot an additional three weeks in Brooklyn. But what they don’t tell us as actors is your personal taxes. You are being taxed in the highest tax bracket in a country that you are not familiar with, nor you’re not releasing your tax dollars at work and you’re getting hit with like insane taxes. Like here is what 33 percent there its like closer to 40 and up. So you basically I basically shot that for free for um to be mistaken for I’m not sure who. Um Im like may I be Samantha Mumba.


Louis Virtel: I was going, I was going to bring up Samantha Mumba. I was like, Could she have been involved in this in some way? I guess not.


Gabrielle Union: Whats crazy is I saw her in a hotel lobby with her boyfriend at the time, Cisco, and that was a highlight of our trip.


Ira Madison III: Hmm.


Gabrielle Union: And then I saw Coolio at a bar. So, you know, I don’t know. Maybe it’s like, you know, it started really in like Dublin and now it’s in Amsterdam. But perhaps, you know it was Dublin


Ira Madison III:  That was the hot spot then that was the hot spot then


Gabrielle Union: Yeah, insane. But yes now.


Louis Virtel: OK. Well.


Gabrielle Union: We have taken on cheaper by the dozen and we’ve added again, like the honeymooners, more Black people. And yeah, I mean, it’s the first weekend, but since it’s not like in the, you know, in the theaters, it’s hard to say. You just have to sort of wait to see the numbers, the streaming numbers, the analytics. So you know


Louis Virtel: Correct me if I’m wrong, this is this is the most children you’ve ever worked with on a project, right? Like, I don’t usually associate you with working with kids at all in movies.


Gabrielle Union: Thank you for that. Yeah, I could have very quickly slide into the mom mode. And, you know, I don’t want to say luckily, but yeah, that just hasn’t been my my career trajectory at this point. So yeah, this is the most animals and small children I have ever worked with. And unless there is a sequel, I’m not going to say I did. I will be clamoring to, you know, do this again quickly. I live in it. Its what I come home to, and I don’t, you know, it’s I’m going from chaos to chaos was a challenge, for sure.


Ira Madison III: Mm hmm. What’s so interesting, too, about this movie is that like, I watch it and I literally was taken right back to, you know, watching every Disney Channel original movie that I used to watch, you know? And so like, I thought it was really sweet. And I would say that it’s funny when you know when you do these remakes and then you come in with like preconceived notions. And I will say that, you know what? By the end of the movie, you had me convinced that you were in love with Zach Braff.


Gabrielle Union: See.


Ira Madison III: So you did that.


Gabrielle Union: See. I mean, listen, it’s weird cause like you get cuts, especially during the pandemic. Normally, like you’re kind of watching it with test audiences or at least other people in the studio. But during the pandemic, you’re getting these cuts, you’re watching at home. I’m looking at my makeup. I’m looking for continuity. I’m not really looking at it for how did this all? How does how does this land? It’s hard to tell. I shot it. I know where the jokes are, so it’s not like, I’m going to be surprised I was there. So it wasn’t until the premiere that I got to see it, you know, in the way that it should be seen with an audience and they are howling like, my husband is not an easy chuckler. You know what I mean he doesn’t find everything funny. He was dying. He was laughing out loud, uproariously disrupting the next joke. I’m like, there’s three more jokes, shut the fuck up. Yea so like to entertain him. As well as you know Zaya as well as Kav who’s only three. I think we might be on to something. I think this is going to do pretty well. This audience reaction is way more than I could have ever imagined. So, yeah, we’re proud of it. We’re proud of it.


Louis Virtel: I feel I feel like you would also be a tough chuckle. What like actually makes you laugh to watch in a movie?


Gabrielle Union: I mean, my fav, one of my favorite all time comedies is Talladega Nights.


Louis Virtel: Oh, interesting answer.


Gabrielle Union: But like, like anything, Eddie Murphy, obviously like Life is like. It’s Life and Boomerang, are probably like my all time favorite Eddie Murphy movies, comedies, but like back in the day, it was like the incredible shrinking woman I found to be like one of the most hilarious movies.


Ira Madison III: Mm hmm.


Gabrielle Union: You know, any Steve Martin would be like the jerk like, you know, Blazing Saddles. Like, I laugh at like the obvious shit, but also like dates like, I cringe.


Louis Virtel: Hmm.


Gabrielle Union: Abbott Elementary and Grand Cru have me dying. Yeah. Like, it’s a weird range of mix of things. Insecure obviously


Louis Virtel: I’m going to say our friend Joel Kim Booster posted about Abbott Elementary and how man, it is so hard one to be like a new voice in prime time, and then to get something on the air one and then two, it’s fucking really good. So she really what an astonishing accomplishment for her.


Gabrielle Union: Yeah, no, She’s been like, I kind of did one of those like, you see somebody that you like are obsessed with, but you only really know them from social media. And I saw her at a restaurant in L.A. and I was like, hi, not to be that person, but I’m just a huge fan and, you know, you know, keep doing what you’re doing. And then from there, we started you know she followed me back and we started DMing. And so when her book came out, she asked if I would blurb for her book. And I felt like, you know, in the way that if Barack Obama asked for a blurb for his book or Michelle Obama, I was like, You. You, I was so flummoxed. I’m just like a like a nutty fan. I’ve literally seen every skit, everything she’s ever written, done. And it seemed like you knew it was coming. And it’s just like, Will everyone else get it? They’re fucking getting it. It’s it’s it’s the best show on TV, and for it to be on network TV and to not have the luxury of cussing or or anything like that. I work with kids like that’s a tall order. You know what I mean to appeal to so many people and be culturally relevant? That’s damn near impossible.


Ira Madison III: Well, I love that. I mean, it must then be a show that you can watch with your kids, you know, because it’s been forever since I found a show that I’m watching it, I’m like, It is it. It’s giving me wholesome, but I love every minute of it. And then there’s moments of it that aren’t which, you know, jokes that we get as adults.


Gabrielle Union: Yeah, that’s like ideal. But Kav goes to sleep at 6:30, so it’s not like she’s watching the Gilded Age with me. Like, there’s certain things that me and D commit to watching together. Like, We can’t watch insecure without each other or scandal back in the day. Game of Thrones, that kind of thing. But I’m on my own with the Gilded Age and all rise and like certain things. He’s like, whatever


Ira Madison III: OK, I do have a question because you mentioned the premiere and you brought Kav. Has anyone asked you about when Black Twitter noticed that Kav threw up the Black Power fist at the cheaper by the dozen premiere?


Gabrielle Union: The fact that it was well I saw it later, but like the the fact that I didn’t even realize because by the time she hit the carpet, I was doing press like press media, whatever. So I didn’t know that she was her and her lil, her BFF Crosby, that in her Janie andJack clothing campaign. You know, she’s she’s representing meanwhile I’m talking to Variety and I’m, you know, being very clear about my thoughts about all the anti LGBTQIA bills. And little do I know my little three year old is on the carpet like, I’m holding it down mom, like this how we do. But yeah, I I had no idea she. So I’m like looking through the pictures that my girlfriend sent. I was like, Look, a little Angela Davis, right? I was so proud


Ira Madison III: Do you find that, you know, sort of. It’s just natural for your family to sort of digest what’s going on in the news and then have your reaction to it and speak vocally about it just because of, you know, the makeup of your diverse family? Or is that something that you’re like? You specifically want to sit down with the kids and be like, You know, this is what’s going on. This is how we feel about it.


Gabrielle Union: Well, we have to talk to them about everything just for their personal safety. Right. And they understand what they’re up against in an age appropriate way, but at this point, like Zaya. She reads the things herself. You know, she’s she’s very much a student of history, she understands that shit is cyclical and she’s seeing the patterns, you know, of what happened previously in centuries, centuries ago since the dawn of time. What happens when you platform hate and oppression and where we’re going? So she is as just a student of history alone, aware of where this is going, and then she keeps, you know, she stays up to date and then we’re talking about it constantly. We ask her, How do you want us to show up? And in what kind of way? And how do you think we can be more impactful? And we talk about and sometimes she reads us for filth, and sometimes she’s like, Well, maybe you should look at this study or look at this article, and I’m like, Yes, ugh can you send me the link? She’s she’s she’s brilliant. I mean, the child wants to go to MIT. So that’s what we’re dealing with like with Zaya. But like with Kav, you know, she’s three, but already it’s like, you have to be super cautious. Like, I always thought I was. I would raise a little mini me. And yes, you see her with the fist, but you also see her in a full Elsa gown at soccer practice. And one thing long blond hair and with Rapunzel. And I’m like, Oh God, I’ve already lost. Oh my goodness. And being frustrated with her. And so you have to you have to do it. And if we have this platform and we are in a position to tell the truth at some point. You got to say, I think I have enough money or things or power that I can be honest. I don’t know what that line in the sand is or how many billions some muthafuckas need to just tell the truth. Tell the truth. Shame the devil, I don’t know what that barometer is for everybody, but we hit that number a long time ago, like I was 19 when I sued my first company, when I realized that Payless shoe source had positively identified the man who raped me after the first robbery and sent us a notice about a $10 pair of canvas shoes but couldn’t send us a notice, actually, that could have saved my life.


Ira Madison III: Mm hmm.


Gabrielle Union: So at 19, I I made a decision about who I was going to be in this world and what I would stand for and not stand for. Obviously, it was at the darkest, lowest moment of my life. Most terrifying moment of my life. But then moving forward? I just wasn’t as afraid of. Taking on bad that bad faith actors, bad, bad people. I just I just I’m not afraid. I almost died like, can I get any lower and death is lower, but the only thing standing between me and death is losing my soul because I’m I’m afraid of losing my position or things or access or whatever? What is the point of living if that’s if I got to live on my knees and not a good way. But you know what I’m saying? Like, how much is enough? You know, you have people who are untouchable in Hollywood, and they have no problem speaking about the environment or animals and showed more concern when the when the gorilla in Cincinnati was murdered but are silent about their neighbors and their family members and. I don’t understand it because they can’t do anything to you. I mean, I don’t know, like I was very clear about my thoughts about Disney funding hate and oppression on a Disney carpet. I don’t know if they might murder off, my character on a cheaper by the dozen. It’s like the sequel Zoe has died in a tragic accident. I don’t is. I don’t know. I will never know how my name is spoken of in rooms, you know, due to me telling the truth, right? I have no idea. Luckily, there’s enough other companies that are willing to hire me knowing that I tell the truth and I don’t. I will not be held back by fear of what. You know, take my career away. I’m Black in Hollywood. What does that even mean? You know what I mean? And luckily, I have a husband who’s done OK for myself. I’m only falling so far, so if I can’t do it. Like Jesus. So I do, you know, I try to try to cover as many people and things as I can in a given day or week or what have you. I try to put my money where my mouth is, but I don’t do it performatively. Like, if they were to do a poll like who is the way who have the Wades given money to? People would be like, Really, what when? And I’m like, Yeah, I didn’t do a press release about it. I just handled it. I saw something on social media I DM’ed this grassroots corporation was like, Did you guys need some extra funds? Could you use a Ford truck? Could you use whatever, if I have it, you have it? And that’s just kind of how I’ve had to move through life as an adult since I was raped at 19 and sued the company that was responsible for that. And now they’re bankrupt, sorry Payless. But they should have gotten right with the Lord, Their karma was a little delayed but karma is right. It is always right on time.


Ira Madison III: You know, God doesn’t like ugly or patent leather pumps. Apparently


Louis Virtel: There it is. Commandment number 11. Yes. No. Also, Gabrielle, you have a quality where I mean, you’ve been described as an activist, you obviously are. But there’s also a quality about you. And it makes me think of Jane Fonda specifically. I know there are other celebrities, but she’s who’s coming to mind where it’s like, there is no reticence about learning. It feels like you are on every corner of the web. Just like either meeting people are gaining information somehow, some way not afraid to get it. What are your kind of favorite methods to just? I was going to say stay informed, but just to know shit in general. Are there ways that you like gathering information that are really empowering to you?


Gabrielle Union: I don’t rely on one news source. I think you learn well. So a hard head makes for a soft behind. I learned quickly that you cannot just trust one news source or one Twitter follower. So if I see something, I’m going to hit like a number of international news sources to see if there’s a through line here. I’m going to check in with trusted media journalists who who don’t have publicists like just, you know, I want to know, you know, real facts. I don’t want colored facts, if you will. But that’s the only way I can have at least some confidence that what I’m reading or hearing is is accurate. But it just just takes a little bit more time to do your due diligence, which I don’t mind. And then certain journalists will lead me to other journalists who lead me to other journalists who cover different, different things that I’m passionate about or maybe want to learn more about. But just being open to new voices from different parts of the world and. Yeah, I just kind of doing their work, which sounds so cliche, but it really is just a few more clicks, more follows, you know what I mean? Like, like, perhaps I’m not going to be like, Oh, somebody said the queen of England is dead, and I’m just going to retweet that on just the strength of one website. I’m I’m a go to like, you know, BBC Al Jazeera. Like, No. Turns out. A faulty intel on this one. But I’m, you know, so its like when I turn on, when I look at Twitter in the morning and I see the trending topics and I see somebody who’s a little older, somebody that I know, I immediately think death. But sometimes it’s like Janet has been trending randomly for, like the last five days, but it’s just like appreciation. But I wake up in a cold sweat. Like, what have they done? What have they done to Janet??


Louis Virtel: We need her SNL performance of throb to make the rounds again when people see that I feel like she gains a whole new generation of followers. That, to me, is that the main Janet touchstone for me?


Gabrielle Union: Yes. Absolutely


Ira Madison III: And Samuel Ellis favorite song of hers from the documentary.


Louis Virtel: Oh, that’s right. Oh my god. Did he win with that comment? Yes.


Gabrielle Union: Did you guys watch all the documentary? Like all the parts? Yeah.


Louis Virtel: Oh, please.


Gabrielle Union: Yeah, that was must see in our household. Yeah.


Ira Madison III: No, we talked about it out here. We’re like one of the wildest parts was seeing the invention of the song scream like in the bedroom.


Louis Virtel: Oh my god.


Gabrielle Union: Well, it was. It’s wild because it’s like there’s me, the fan of Janet. And then there’s me who had dinner with her a couple of months ago, but it’s like they’re the same. But also like, it’s hard for me to suspend the woman and mom that I know, you know, we’re talking toddler stuff and then I’m watching like, I don’t know who she is. It’s weird. There’s like a disconnect where I’m like, Oh, wait, that’s my fucking friend. Hey, like, I still like, you know, if I go to the concert, like we went to see her and it was like me and Queen Latifah and a crew of our friends. We’re both we both know her. Mind you screaming like we’ve never met her, and it’s the first time we’re seeing her perform live. She just has that affects you.


Ira Madison III: Absolutely. I mean, the best part of the show is always acceptance. When she did it each time, which you pause after her moment and she go a lot of hits, huh? Well, thank you for being here again, Gabrielle. You know it is. I know. I feel like it was. It was. So I feel like you were one of the celebrities who was sort of state in our minds during the pandemic because you were like, You know what, I’m going to do? I’m going to put on a fashion show every day on Instagram, which we loved. And now it’s great to see you back, you know, in the cinema again, because, you know, we’ve always sort of admired sort of like your quality and presence on screen, you know, and I think we all deserve to see more of that. You are like one of the actresses you ask Black people, who’s your favorite actress like? They’ll bring you up. You know, so we want to see you more.


Gabrielle Union: Oh my goodness. Well, you’re going to see a lot more me after this one. Then I’m back to my regular fare, you know, kissing boys,.


Ira Madison III: OK?


Ira Madison III: So in at some point this year, I have a movie that we we just finished reshoots on called The Perfect Find with Keith Powers and Gina Torres and Lala Anthony and Aisha Hines. And I know I’m missing a friend in there. Steelo Brim. Jungle Pussy. I mean, it’s a different, insane cast, directed by Nina Perrier that will come out on Netflix. Older woman, younger man. And there’s this movie that I did with directed by, directed and written by Elegance Bratton starring Jeremy Pope, me, Bokeem Woodbine. And that’s called the inspection. It’s basically like Moonlight meets officer and a gentleman, and I’m like,.


Ira Madison III: Okay.


Louis Virtel: Oh wow,.


Gabrielle Union: I think this role would be very surprising. So


Ira Madison III: Ok good. Yeah, the kids were nice, but we missed Gabrielle Union doing romance and picking up a gun on screen


Gabrielle Union: Naked and unafraid. Yes, I’ll be back in my natural habit, but thank you guys.


Ira Madison III: Thank you for being here and have a great table read.


Gabrielle Union: Yes, thank you. Thank you. And that’s another new project that’ll be out soon all right.


Ira Madison III: All right.


Gabrielle Union: Bye, guys.


Ira Madison III: [AD].


Ira Madison III: All right, so we’ve talked a bunch about the Oscars already, but we have yet to offer our actual predictions for the show. My prediction is this show is going to be a fucking mess.


Louis Virtel: What leads you to say that?


Ira Madison III: Every thing that comes out about the Oscars every day, I’m like, Do I want to watch this Black men show? I know I will, but it’s it’s wild that the Oscars is in a point where it’s trying to lure in new viewers and every decision that they make to lure in new viewers. It’s turning off regular viewers, right?


Louis Virtel: You know, a friend of mine just said it feels a little bit like the Democratic Party they are obsessed with reeling in people who are fundamentally uninterested in what they do, while at the same time making their own fans scream


Ira Madison III: Oscar moderates is who they’re trying to get. It’s like if the casting directors of friends were adding all the guest stars that they used to have on every episode of friends, but also were like, you know, who were actually going to get rid of like Rachel and Joey and Ross.


Louis Virtel: Yeah. Yes. Right


Ira Madison III: People are here for the guest stars, not the actual people that you tune into every fucking week.


Louis Virtel: Right. Right no, it’s again. I think I brought it up before. It’s as if the producers of Jeopardy were like, Well, if we want everybody to watch, the questions have to be multiple choice. You know, it’s like, No, we like this now. It’s good now. It’s good now, anyway. So I wouldn’t want to say about Oscar predictions. I am not good at them. It’s not really a skill set I pride myself on having. Obviously, there are always surprises the night of, but the things I’m I end up predicting while all the things everybody predicts. So just this, this is going to be humiliating to me and I look forward to that. But just be aware.


Ira Madison III: I tend to sort of be good. I’ve won a few Oscar ballots in my day. I think last year when we watched the Oscars together, I think I had like, maybe lost by like one point because I tend to always, you’ll see it on here. There’s always at least one or two categories where like, I can’t pick who I think is going to win and I have to support who I’m rooting for.


Louis Virtel: Yeah. Oh, I see you’re too full of heart is your problem?


Ira Madison III: Yeah, but best picture.


Louis Virtel: Oh we’ll start right there. Great.


Ira Madison III: Yeah.


Louis Virtel: Well, let me say something. I feel like there is a contingent of voters that still actually is gunning for drive my car, which and many artistic ways is leaps and bounds up ahead of everything in this category. I know that’s a long shot, and people are basically saying it’s down to Cota and the power of the dog. Ultimately, I’m going to pick the power of the dog because I think people agree. It’s very accomplished for Jane Campion. Everybody in the cast is great. The movie looks great for an epic, slow movie. It is very watchable. And so I think people want to congratulate themselves for having watched it and enjoyed it and understood it. And also, Coda is worse than at Coda almost was great. I loved the decision making the main character played by Emilia Jones has to make. But ultimately, it’s settled for something too easy. So I feel like it ended up fine when it could have been fabulous.


Ira Madison III: Mmmhmm. Also, you know what, like, didn’t have enough dialog in it?


Louis Virtel: Ok. That’s true.  All right.


Ira Madison III: Who’s the screenwriter?


Louis Virtel: You’re a you’re a coda child of dumb ass adults


Ira Madison III: I’m a dumb ass all on my own Louis, you don’t have to involve my parents.


Louis Virtel: That’s true


Ira Madison III: you know, I’m I think I’m going to go with power of the dog, too. I think it’s going to win. Would I prefer something else when? Sure. I honestly would love if West Side story won. I thought it was a great movie


Louis Virtel: You know what? I would have no problem with West Side story winning. I think it is a super muted conversation about the quality of that movie we’ve had. I like all, all of the performances in it, have something. The look is great. I thought the pacing was great, especially in a movie of overlong, especially in a year of overlong movies. So I’m it’s unfortunate that we haven’t had more discussions about West Side Story.


Ira Madison III: I think it’s mostly just because in the conversation, you know, with directors Steven Spielberg has like. He’s been around. Yeah. Get out, so it’s better to bring him back again. Yeah, but he did it.


Louis Virtel: I agree it’s a wonderful film.


Ira Madison III: Best director, I think while you know, like Miss Campion is going to get it again, if only so she can find a new Black person to insult me.


Louis Virtel: Oh, I guess you and I didn’t get to talk about that. I became Lancz last week. I mean, again, I’m going to call it a failed joke like she was going for the Williams. Sisters literally don’t play against men when they play tennis, and I am literally in a category against other men, but that parallel alone is a stupid one to make. And then the comment, the more you think about it, the worse it gets, the more insulting against, the more ridiculous it gets that. So I guess there’s some suspense, like will voters retract their appreciation of Jane Campion, but ultimately, I think. They want her to win it, so.


Ira Madison III: And, you know, I’ve always hated that bitch. And they’re coming around for with coming around on her for the power of the dog. But she didn’t do that piano movie, which gave Holly Hunter her Oscar over Angela Bassett. So Jane Campion has been on my list for a minute.


Louis Virtel: Yeah, it’s right up to almost 30 years, in fact.


Ira Madison III: So yes, this is a 30 year grudge. OK. I am coming out of Jane Campion’s ahead in the shower. That’s what kind of grudge this is.


Louis Virtel: And also, she beat Stockard Channing and Six Degrees of Separation, which is one of the great, stuffy upper crust performances of all time.


Ira Madison III: You know what I would? It’s it’s weird because it’s such an interesting category. I don’t know if I would give Spielberg the award. I thought it obviously we fucking love West Side Story, and we said that we would be fine if it won Best Picture. I think that what I really love about it is him trying his hand in a musical and it’s and it’s amazing. But I think that’s I think that he could get a best director for doing a musical later. Like, this is his first musical. Let’s do it again. All right. Yeah, play it again. Ah, it’s also weird that this is like, one of PT Anderson’s best films and Licorice Pizza has completely dropped out of the combo.


Louis Virtel: Right? Well, other than people are upset necessarily with. What is deemed a racist scene, the John Michael Higgins character, who has the wife and he talks in an exaggerated Japanese accent and then he can’t understand what she’s saying, it’s going for abroad laughs and coming up with basic racism.


Ira Madison III: Yeah, I mean, it’s more about what you’d expect from the director of Boogie Nights.


Ira Madison III: Mm. I mean,


Louis Virtel: this man gave us Phantom Thread. I mean, I love Paul Thomas Anderson. Magnolia.  I mean, he’s the reason people care about Aimee Mann now.


Ira Madison III: Yeah, yeah. I mean, I love that man. But he is still a straight white man,.


Louis Virtel: Right.


Ira Madison III: So right. Can’t expect too much from him.


Louis Virtel: All right. Best Actress. I mean, which is still, I mean, if we’ve discussed one category to death on this podcast, it’s this one. But I’m sorry. This is one of the most interesting ups ever in Oscar history, so allow me to it.


Ira Madison III: I finally saw the eyes of Tammy Faye on the plane. I fucking loved it.


Ira Madison III: I thought she’s a she did slay. She did slay.


Ira Madison III: I thought she fucking served. And now I’m like, Wait a second. Do I want her to when I get her winning the SAG Award now, she is so fucking good at it and she’s like, It’s interesting because there’s there’s, you know, sometimes this is kind of the opposite of being the Ricardos, right? Because you could put a side by side people. I put the side by side of Chastain with Tammy Faye and like, it is eerie how much they are the same person


Louis Virtel: and how much she doesn’t look like Jessica Chastain.


Ira Madison III: Yes. And Nicole Kidman, on the other hand, is sort of, you know, a it’s an interpretation of Lucy Ricardo, which I think works. I love Nicole Kidman in this film. I actually like everyone in this category, except I am pudding still as my choice. Penelope Cruz this one is my going with my heart. One because, you know, I’m Almodovar HYBE till I die, but I still think this is Penelope is best performance.


Louis Virtel: I think it’s certainly in her top five. I mean, who can forget will there? Who can forget Captain Crowley’s mandolin? I’m kidding.


Ira Madison III: I mean, honestly, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, duh.


Louis Virtel: Of course. Here’s the thing every time I look at the names in this category, I am immediately flooded with three or four reasons it could still be them. Like, That’s what I look like. I’m sure you probably thought Kristen Stewart was your favorite before, you know? And I was like, Oh, is she fit? Like, who knows?


Ira Madison III: I saw Spencer and like, hopped in my car and blasted that song from the end of Spencer as I drove around L.A..


Louis Virtel: Right. So you lived Spencer, right?


Ira Madison III: Yes, yes. And then I went to KFC and then the paparazzi killed me in a tunnel. This is my God.


Louis Virtel: That’s by the way. We went to our friend, had a concert themed birthday party where he got KFC. This is not spying on guys. It was the most delicious meal I had all month. OK, moving on. I think I’m going to go with this guy. People. I’m out, I can’t believe I’m saying this, I am going to go with Jessica Chastain to win, I think she will win, but I would vote for Penelope Cruz.


Ira Madison III: I would pick Jessica Chastain if it was for the three five five, which is in danger,


Louis Virtel: Are we getting the three five six the three five seven. Yeah right


Ira Madison III: It is in danger of becoming my new salt. I love the 355. I’ve already rewatched it twice.


Louis Virtel: Are you sure it wasn’t just a good movie trailer and then there was no film at all?


Ira Madison III: I don’t know. Then what did I watch?


Louis Virtel: Three times I would love to know. I would love to know. OK, Best Actor. This is another interesting category. And also, I think this is a controversial choice. I am going with Andrew Garfield because I think when you see all five of the choices, you’re like, who fucking who slapped on film? And I think Andrew Garfield, like, you couldn’t have cast it better. He made that character almost likable, and he has such a extreme narcissist. But like powering through those songs, I love the way he sings them above the emotion of those songs. Everybody else in this category legends. I wouldn’t say any of these other definitive performance.


Ira Madison III: I would agree with that. These are all amazing actors. I love each of them. And it’s also neither of their best performances. I would say I’m going with Will Smith because I feel like it’s his time. He has delivered Oscar worthy performances before and hasn’t gotten his Oscar, and I love when Oscars just, you know, give someone it just won an Oscar when it’s their time. You know, like when Denzel got it for training day.


Louis Virtel: Right, right, right. And also, Will Smith put out a really weird and revealing memoir and that should be rewarded. Absolutely shocked me and shocked me.


Ira Madison III: Honestly speaking, out Tammy Faye. I mean, I thought Andrew Garfield was maybe even better in that, though. Yeah, and they so Lady Bird in that movie, right?


Louis Virtel: Like, slimy in the right way, like enigmatic and in a way that it justifies how naive Tammy Faye is, characters. Is that sort of a problem I have with the movie? It really pretends she had no idea what was going on. She was a saying. She loved LGBT people. She’s just, you know, a laundry list of wonderful qualities. And meanwhile, she’s the only dark force in that couple. It feels a little unlikely, but anyway he was wonderful


Ira Madison III: he was deliciously. He was deliciously evil with that scene where, like, he finds out about the affair. And then goes to bed, and it’s like in the morning as I forgive you, but you’re going to have to talk about it on air.


Louis Virtel: Right. Yes.


Ira Madison III: Great scene, great, what a great said, what a great thing. So yeah, I’m going to go, what was this?


Louis Virtel: Now Best Supporting Actress? Well, we have to keep it veterans here, Aunjanue Ellis and Ariana Debose. And I think it is between those two. I do too. I think it’s going to be Ariana just because she’s won every precursor. She’s also, of course, very memorable in the movie wonderful gown. Yeah.


Ira Madison III: So it’s honestly, she’ll give a great speech.


Louis Virtel: Yes.


Ira Madison III: Yes. Also, you know, queer woman. So you got to support that. That’s true. That’s true. I don’t know that Jessie Buckley did that much on The Lost Daughter for this unfortunate season.


Louis Virtel: Unfortunately, I just don’t like that part of the movie. I didn’t need flashbacks. I just wish Olivia Coleman’s character was given no context other than she’s sort of done with being a mom. How about that?


Ira Madison III: Yeah. Um, I still haven’t seen Belfast, so.


Louis Virtel: I mean, Judy is great, it’s an extremely small part, it’s very surprising she got in over Katrina, who has a sizable performance with, you know, a real crying jag in it. But Judi Dench in this movie, there is a moment when the family wants to go see Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. You know, the movie about the flying car


Ira Madison III: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,


Louis Virtel: and she hears about it and she her reaction of her of disgust is so funny, like Judi Dench. Hilarious. Hmm.


Ira Madison III: Are you saying she’s a bad knobs and broomsticks fan in the movie?


Louis Virtel: Potentially, yes. I don’t explore that subtext, but supporting actor, I am going to go to win with Troy. Ah, from Kota, though, I would vote Kodi Smit-McPhee.


Ira Madison III: Mm hmm. You know, I would vote. Um, I would vote J.K. Simmons just because I want him to know that any time he wants to go on a date, I’m ready.


Louis Virtel: He he routinely dates male podcasters who asked to go on dates.


Ira Madison III: This is gonna work out for you.


Ira Madison III: J.K. Simmons is so hot, baby. I just want to hear baby. I just want to hear him screaming at me in bed where those pictures are Spider-Man.


Louis Virtel: Also, he is a shocking choice to play William Frawley from I Love Lucy, and it’s like casting Arnold Schwarzenegger to play Fred, Fred, Flintstone or something.


Ira Madison III: I would like to see it.


  1. Ok I bet you would. Costume design? I’m going Cruella. I’m going to name a couple more, and then you can see the rest of our picks online. Best Original Screenplay. I would vote personally for worst person in the world, though I think the winner is going to be, Oh my god, is it? Don’t look up. I think that might be it because everybody saw that movie. And adapted screenplay. I’m going to go power the dog, and that’ll be another Jane Campion win.


Ira Madison III: I would say Paul might get in on licorice pizza.


Louis Virtel: Oh, yeah. I mean, it’s a one of a kind movie, I can’t compare it to anything, and I think I think voters in that category remember that


Ira Madison III: and adapted screenplay. I think it’ll probably be drive my car.


Louis Virtel: God, that would be so fucking rad. That movie goes to crazy, it drives to crazy places. Look at me, I’m like, Yeah,


Ira Madison III: I sort of hate these buzzwords where you have like a drive. My car like a parasite like this was at its biggest parasite. But you know where it’s like, here’s a foreign film. We’re going to stick it in the middle of these other films? You know, it’s like it feels weird, like, am I going to root for this one versus this one? I don’t know. I mean, you can be xenophobic. I because I love my car. I’m just like, you know, I just I feel like I wish it were more the norm where there are other foreign films like in the race, like, I think that parallel mothers should be in there. You know, I just feel like every year the Oscars always throws like sort of one in there and then it’s just sort of like, All right, well, what are we doing here?


Louis Virtel: Right? Like, if if they were in good faith voting for the best screenplay all the time, it feels like four of these would be foreign, for example, you know? Yeah, but but I don’t know if I’ve ever said this before. We’re not ready to have that conversation.


Ira Madison III: So your last word to wrap up on before everyone else can see our results online. Best Original Song. What do you think Beyonce will perform and to do you think that she will win? I think that if Beyonce is performing and Big Lie, that’s winning because the only way they’re going to lure Beyonce out of her home to the Oscars is if they show her the ballots.


Louis Virtel: You know, Price Waterhouse is like, We’re breaking all of our traditions here at as you can see your name on the


Ira Madison III: Please come


Louis Virtel: Yeah, well, the rumor is she’s performing on a tennis court in Compton for this, which would be amazing. I mean, I think she’s performing. She’s not going to just service the Williams sisters. She’s going to show up and perform, come on.


Ira Madison III: Thats fair.


Louis Virtel: I’m going to say the winner is. It feels weird to vote for no time to die. I feel like that’s what you want to say. I’m going to vote for the dose or a guitar from Encanto because of the residual. We need to talk about Bruno omnipresence


Ira Madison III: well I’m bee hive, so I can’t not vote for Beyonce in any category.


Louis Virtel: Hmm. OK,.


Ira Madison III: So that’s my answer.


Louis Virtel: Going with your heart again. All right. All right


Ira Madison III: I’m going with my contractual obligations. So you can see the rest of our recommendations on Instagram with the official keep it Oscar ballots. Add when we are back. Keep it.


Ira Madison III: And we’re back with our favorite segment of the episode. It’s Keep It! Louis?


Louis Virtel: Yes?


Ira Madison III: What are you saying Keep It to this week?


Louis Virtel: As I drum my fingers because we get to be mean now. My keep it is to, I want to say nice try to start, but it is a keep it to Doja Cat’s cover of celebrity skin, which I now I’m hearing on the radio all the time. I believe she recorded it as part of a Super Bowl commercial. Taco Bell ad or something? Here’s the problem.


Ira Madison III: Iconic.


Louis Virtel: If you’re gonna cover. If you if you’re going to cover a song, you need to add something. It is literally just a copy of Courtney Love’s original vocal. This is a whole song from the late 90s. I’m sure you’re all familiar. I’ll make me over. You know that song co-written by Billy Corgan, and you can kind of hear it. It sounds a little smashing pumpkins in the melody, but


Ira Madison III: yeah, insufferable


Louis Virtel: Among people who have taken a hard fall from that era. Billy Corgan maybe has fallen the farthest, thankfully. I mean, I cherish so many people from that time. If it were Liz Phair, I would be inconsolable. But Liz Phair rules. So there you have it anyway. No, every time the song comes on the radio, I want to love it. I want to, you know, pump my fist and enjoy that kind of rock rancor that is so been missing from popular music over the past 15 years or so. But it just sounds like a copy. It sounds like karaoke revolution or something. And I’ve really become a fan of what Doja Cat brings like. She has that music video from last year where she is an alien, and, by the way, not like a totally hot alien either. Like, she’s going for funny and I appreciate that energy. We need some Katy Perry like a reverence in pop music, still, and I think she’s bringing that. But yeah, it just makes me want to listen to the original celebrity skin, which I think is, I think is Courtney Love’s best vocal. You really hear one how influence she is by Stevie Nicks and then to just the wrath and the sarcasm and the rowdiness of the song is second to none. And yeah, I think it’s always best single. I know it’s not off live through this, which is considered their best album, but celebrities, can you throw it on and you have to be in a convertible or something? There’s so much gale force of angst coming at you.


Ira Madison III: I mean, you don’t think it’s somebody’s daughter. I’m kidding. You know what, I actually think that’s much like I think return to Saturn is no doubt best album, even though most people think it’s a tragic kingdom. I would say that celebrities get as I think they’re, you know, like celebrities get the perfect job. But I just think like Malibu is a gorgeous, gorgeous song.


Louis Virtel: Oh, yeah, definitely. And also in this regard, the album Beautiful Garbage, which is garbage, is a pop album. Yeah, that would that. We are both obsessed with is inspired by a lyric in celebrity skin. Beautiful, garbage, beautiful, you know, so it’s directly responsible for an album we are obsessed with also.


Ira Madison III: Also listen to Petals by Holes OK underrated song


Louis Virtel: Did you just say holes?


Ira Madison III: Sorry


Louis Virtel: The Louis Sacher Hive jumped out


Ira Madison III: All right, my keep it this week I have. First of all, I have two keep its. I missed  last week. One is a short one. The doom war culture has to stop. Keep it to taking photos of celebrities eating at restaurants.


Louis Virtel: It’s gross. I mean, again, this feels like an alt right take or something. People treat celebrities horribly. It’s it’s largely, I think it would largely discolor your human experience to be a celebrity. That’s my feeling.


Ira Madison III: Ah, stop it. Mostly because there was a photo of Tom Holland and Zendaya, and in the photo, there’s like this man who’s trying to eat, who’s staring at the camera in horror. And it’s like every time you take a photo of one of these celebrities, you also just get a photo of a random person who’s trying to go about their day,.


Louis Virtel: Right.


Ira Madison III: I just I think I just sort of sick of recording people in general without them knowing.


Louis Virtel: Yeah, it’s disgusting


Ira Madison III: and but yet people get mad about police states.


Louis Virtel: I mean, like we just we discuss things like revenge porn all the time, like, you know, posting that kind of stuff without people’s consent and like, that’s gross enough. But actually, just like lifting footage on the regular from people and like, you possess it and you put it out in the world and your branding it, that’s all so gross.


Ira Madison III: All right. My actual keep it this week is this is a little different than what you might expect me to be saying about the Supreme Court confirmation hearings. But you know, this week Ketanji Brown Jackson is being, you know, going through hearings to be confirmed to be on the Supreme Court so she can be the first African American woman on the Supreme Court, which everyone is constantly repeating in its 233 year history. A black woman has never been confirmed to the Supreme Court in America. And I’m like, No shit. 233 years. I’m like, OK, we’ll so for like a hundred of those years they were slaves.


Louis Virtel: Right?


Ira Madison III: The other, like few like women, couldn’t even vote. So how are they going to be judges on the Supreme Court? And then if there were in recent history, I think we know about it, right?


Louis Virtel: Yeah, yeah. They haven’t unearthed a wild trivia bit or anything. Yes


Ira Madison III: I just I just want to find the one person who was shocked that there was, you know, like Harriet Tubman never served on the Supreme Court. Isn’t that what she did?


Louis Virtel: Oh my God thats so funny.


Ira Madison III: You think Harriet Tubman was walking around making Supreme Court decisions? Instead of taking slaves to freedom.


Louis Virtel: Abraham Lincoln’s assassinated Harriet Beecher Stowe, saying, I won’t stand for it. Banging her gavel yes


Ira Madison III: like Diahann Carroll was on the Supreme Court, the Supremes were actually on the Supreme Court


Louis Virtel: That’s why they were named that.


Ira Madison III: Yeah. But aside from that, aside from that moment of like trivia that’s being presented as, Oh my god, you’ve never heard about this trivia that is actually just sort of basic. Yeah. The other thing that I want to get into, which sort of involves the Jane Campion thing, right? Everyone is sort of tweeting like, Oh my God, look at her having to sit there and listening to these idiot Republicans. And for the most part, I agree. Like, no human being should have to listen to Lindsey Graham speak, let alone look at him or be the same room at him,


Louis Virtel: and also uttering the word racism several times. Like he’s familiar with the concept. But anyway,


Ira Madison III: I also just want to point out that I love it. His reason for being mad and sassing off was he had another black woman that he wanted to be confirmed to the court and she is in his pit. To the very mixed, very Matt biopic, was it picked by Biden? But I want to say that. Other tweets and other comments are about, you know, like I can’t believe she’s going to have to like, sit on the court, you know, with these people, et cetera. You know, here’s one thing I’m going to offer to the world. You don’t actually know what’s going on in people’s heads. So we should start projecting, you know, this happens with Jane Campion and Venus and Serena. There were photos that came out after where people were like, Oh, look at them dancing with Jane Campion. It’s like, Look at all the work that these Black women have to do, you know, just to exist and survive. You know, they have to, you know, like put aside all their angry feelings about this bombing and march forward. I’m like one that could be true, but also could also be true is that they sort of like dancing with Jane Campion. Maybe she seems like a rad person to them. They were laughing during the speech. Aunjanue Ellis was laughing during the speech. I just want to posit that a moment that, yes, historically and in context when you look at it is a really shitty thing to say in the moment. It probably just didn’t even register to Serena and Venus, because Venus has also said before, you know, like. People come to her all the time, you know, they just can’t find her, you know, like if you know, you’re the baddest bitch. If you have gotten yourself up to the level that Venus and Serena are on the court, a joke like that isn’t going to register for you because you’re like, what? And so, Mike, it is really two people projecting things onto other people because a lot of people are saying this about Ketanji Brown Jackson, you know, like imaginable, she has to like, you know, sit there with Clarence Thomas or whatever. I can guarantee there’s going to be a moment where someone is upset when she gives an interview or something where she’s like, Oh, you know, like, we actually really get along. She’s clerked for the she’s clerked for the court before. You know, people were shocked when, like Ruth Bader Ginsburg would say, that, you know about Scalia, it’s just that these like if you are a woman who has worked as a judge and gone all this way to get on the fucking Supreme Court and you clerked for Justice Breyer before, you know, it’s like you are probably going to be fine, like checking with them from time and time. You know, I’m not saying that Clarence Thomas is her best, you know, but I’m saying that the way that we want to project things onto people in politics is usually not how they feel


Louis Virtel: and also potentially a little tedious. You know,.


Ira Madison III: It is.


Louis Virtel: It’s I like, it’s really simplifying what their experience says. There’s like a very popular meme going around right now of like all of her qualifications she’s had leading up to being on the Supreme Court and how she she’s really gone through even more stages than all the other justices. So I mean, to that, speaking to that, this woman has seen it all like so it’s not like she’s going to be sitting next to these people on this bench and simply flabbergasted by what is going on. You know what I mean? Like, there’s no there’s going to be no level of shock or whatever that we’re sort of conferring upon her.


Ira Madison III: Yeah. My point, it’s just like, don’t be disappointed by people that you want to project yourselves onto. I think mostly about how everyone is shocked whenever Michelle Obama is like talking about how much she loves that word pro bono George Bush, or like she’s holding his hand during a ceremony, you know, like she’s in a different world than you are. OK? Her husband was the president, like she’s notlike you


Louis Virtel: Right, what’s the correct answer? It’s like, Well, when I see George W. Bush, I make sure to punch him, you know, whatever? Yeah


Ira Madison III: Right, What the fuck do you think she had to do?


Louis Virtel: Right? And sort of an easy tact to take like, of course, of course. Michelle Obama dislikes much of what happened during his administration. Unfortunately, he’s also a person and also a person in her orbit. So


Ira Madison III: Right, I mean, I feel like it’s just the whole thing about projection that happens on the internet, you know? It’s a thing that a lot of people do to other people and expect that people who are celebrities or even people who aren’t celebrities, just people who like you see are writers or doing something in life aren’t doing the exact thing that you believe you would do in that situation, even though you’ve never actually been in that situation and you don’t know what you would do.


Louis Virtel: Correct? Yeah. Right. I think that I think that’s a really good point. Like, people feel like, Oh, I would have this visceral reaction and I would act on those feelings. It’s like, No, you police your own behavior. A lot of the time, actually, and you don’t act on what you think is your most moral instinct. Always.


Ira Madison III: A lot of y’all don’t even speak up when you’re disrespected at work. OK? A lot of you don’t even speak up. Back in school on what you’re on, like public transportation and you see someone being harassed or, you know, sort of abuse by another person. So what makes you think that you are going to be in the White House disrespecting George Bush to his face? Come on.


Louis Virtel: Right? Mhm.


Ira Madison III: Anyway, that’s my keep it


Louis Virtel: a qualified keep it and and a bit controversial, too. I can’t wait to get into the comments


Ira Madison III: I came on this bitch mad as hell.


Louis Virtel: That tweet comes up all the time. It’s not, I don’t even want to quote the whole tweet. It’s like if there’s a tweet about Christina Aguilera’s vocal on moves like Jagger.


Ira Madison III: Its so mean.


Louis Virtel: Yes, but at the end of it, supportively, they say she came on this track. What is it?


Ira Madison III: She came on this bitch mad as hell. Yeah.


Louis Virtel: By the way, it’s it’s like an okay case to say, I don’t know. I don’t know where this person got this idea, adding, But I look up between us.


Ira Madison III: All right, that’s been Keep It.  Thank you to Gabrielle Union for joining us this week, and I am. I am not gone next week. Louis and I have a fantastic interview with Judith Light. A little icon.


Louis Virtel: Oh my god, she’s human caffeine. You can’t not talk to her and not, like, be catapulted into the ceiling. She’s like a trampoline endorphins.


Ira Madison III: By the way, a little note Aida, who was gone working on a project, is not with us next week or in the Judith Light interview because she is currently working on a project with Judith Light,.


Louis Virtel: Which is so upsetting.


Ira Madison III: Sending me photos of like


Louis Virtel: It’s humiliating to us. Yeah, we’re just talking to Judith Light about her important work, Aida is


Ira Madison III: She’s on set with Judith Light.


Louis Virtel: Right? She’s like giving Judith Light a piggyback ride. She’s like running around with Judith Light. Yeah


Ira Madison III: Judith Light and Sheryl Lee Ralph, by the way,


Louis Virtel: I have to actually put down my headphones and walk away. It’s not. It’s not right. I should hang out with Sheryl Lee Ralph.


Ira Madison III: So my actual. Keep it this will keep it this week is to Aida Osman and I’ve been waiting for a minute to get to it.


Ira Madison III: All right. We’ll see you next week. This has been Keep it.


Louis Virtel: Bye bye. Keep it is a Crooked Media production. Our senior producer is Kendra James. Our producer is Caroline Rreston and our associate producer is Brian Semel. Our executive producer is Ira Madison III but I, Louis Virtel, do a good job too. Our audio engineers are Charlotte Landes and Kyle Seglin, and the show is mixed and edited by Charlotte Landes. Thank you to our digital team Matt DeGroot, Nar Melkonian and Milo Kim for production support every week.