“The Winner Takes It All At Once” w. Lukas Gage | Crooked Media
March 15, 2023
Keep It
“The Winner Takes It All At Once” w. Lukas Gage

In This Episode

Ira, Louis, and guest host Michael Schulman (author of Oscar Wars: A History of Hollywood in Gold, Sweat, and Tears”) discuss the 95th Academy Awards including Michelle Yeoh’s historic win, Angela Bassett’s unsurprising loss, Ke Huy Quan and Brendan Fraser’s bittersweet comeback stories, and more. Plus, Lukas Gage joins to discuss starring in the new season of You, and a lot more from the recent SXSW debut of his film Down Low to the ongoing Vanderpump Rules scandal.
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Ira Madison III And we are back with an all new episode of Keep It. The episode you wait for every year. It’s the Oscars episode. I’m Ira Madison,the third.


Louis Virtel And I’m my own hero, even when I’m broken. I’m Louis Virtel. Little shout out to Lady Gaga. So I was backstage at the Oscars early in the day, and she showed up to do her surprise ish performance. And she wasn’t wearing any makeup and she was hunched over and I thought, Oh, who will ever get to see Lady Gaga like this? This is like a really crazy like, you know, get I get being part of the Oscars. Then it turned out that was the performance. She literally just did that for everybody. Not privileged at all.


Ira Madison III She was really in her “I’ve got my rock star jeans on” like she was. She could have done a run to Erewhon.


Louis Virtel Yes.


Ira Madison III Right after that performance. Chapstick. Listen to that was like, I love her. She took this like camp eighties song from this eighties inspired song from a Tom Cruise movie.


Louis Virtel Correct.


Ira Madison III And like, I was out there like she was doing Tapestry.


Louis Virtel Yeah. It was definitely glammed and impressively because she came to the ceremony in glam, got out of glam. Anyway, we have a guest today and a guest host, so we better get to him.


Ira Madison III We do. We do. I mean, look, normally it is just me being regaled with Oscar facts by Louis. As we all know, he has a mind for trivia and a bod for sin, as they say. But


Louis Virtel Working Girl, 1988. Melanie Griffith, best actress nominee. Yes.


Ira Madison III But we are joined by the wonderful Michael Schulman this week to discuss everything from the Oscar ceremony, to discuss his book, his new book, Oscar Wars: A History of Hollywood in Gold, Sweat and Tears, which I am loving. Michael, by the way. And I’m also such a fan of your previous book, Her Again: Becoming Meryl. And so we’re going to talk about that, too.


Michael Schulman Well, hi, thanks for having me.


Louis Virtel We were just talking about first of all, I ran into Michael at the Oscars, which is where he belongs. I’m surprised disintegrate minutes after the ceremony was over. But it’s a book where you talk about the famous and not so famous campaigns in Oscars history, namely when it’s like one and two people against each other. What has been the most fun Oscars campaign to revisit? Like, what’s the one you just enjoy talking about the most?


Michael Schulman Well, the chapter in the book that was the most fun to write and is kind of the most fun to talk about. And it’s actually not about a campaign. It’s about the 1989 ceremony.


Louis Virtel Oh, sure.


Michael Schulman With, you know, Rob Lowe and Snow White and that like crazy, campy, 11 minute opening number. So I devoted a lot of investigative journalism to how that came to be. And it was it’s a really interesting story. I mean, it’s really a story about this man, Alan Carr, who was this fabulously flamboyant gay man who produced Grease and Carjacking on Broadway and more near and dear to my heart, can’t stop the music. The Village People movie.


Louis Virtel Oh, yes. Directed by Nancy Walker of Rodeo fame. Yes.


Michael Schulman Yes. And he just dreamed his whole life of producing the Oscars finally got a chance to do it in 1999. And it just destroyed his life and his career. And I mean, part of it was, you know, to me, it’s like an Icarus story. Like he just he flew too close to that Oscar sun and then plummeted into the sea. But every detail about it is so just insane and over-the-top and eighties glitzy, like Alan Carr was famous for wearing an array of designer caftans and his fabulous house and a cannon where he’d throw, you know, like bachanals for, you know, Nurea and, you know, he was known as like he was known as the glitter meister. And when he got his chance to produce the Oscars, he just decided, I’m going to put my name everywhere. Everyone’s going to know that this is the Alan Carr Oscars. He has to be better, bigger, glitzier, better, more glamorous. And then so when it failed, when it was this this camp disaster, everyone knew who to point the finger to because people don’t usually know who it is at the Oscars. Everyone knew Alan Carr, Alan Carr, Alan Carr, Alan Carr, and he was just ostracized overnight. So and there was an element of like homophobia to it because people didn’t really say this, but they kind of felt like that was too gay.


Louis Virtel Yeah, right. Which is pretty rare at the Oscars because it goes gay. You know what I’m saying?


Michael Schulman Yeah. I mean, part of what I realized researching this is that, you know, everyone calls that the worst Oscars ever. But if you just look a year or year or two years beforehand, all of the eighties ceremonies are all over the top and schlocky and insane. I mean, the year before 1988, you had Pee-Wee Herman presenting with RoboCop.


Louis Virtel Right.


Michael Schulman Like that, and Alan and Snow White’s the problem, you know. So I feel like there was the way we remember that that ceremony and the way it sort of got immortalized as a fiasco. I sort of  wanted to deconstruct it.


Louis Virtel That is valiant of you. I’m glad you did, because when you watch it, it is baffling. Like you’re just thinking, what is it about Snow White in that moment that she needed to be a part of the 1989 ceremony? And if you haven’t seen this opening number, it’s incredibly infamous. But as you said, there’s lots of infamous Oscar moments that people have totally forgotten about. One that comes to mind for me is Ann Reinking performing against all Odds in the eighties because they thought Phil Collins, the nominee, was not a big enough star. Like, what planet are we on already? And then you watch her perform it and she gives it the I’m going to call it Gusto that the song deserves. But it’s so over-the-top. You’re wondering who, you know, constructed the performance to begin with. But yeah, just the 1989 Oscars opening is one of the true campy moments on television of the past 35 years that we have any memory of. You know, it’s a it’s in the tradition of something like Night of 100 Stars or something, which we used to get.


Ira Madison III Although this week two people were sharing the was, I think, 68, 69.


Louis Virtel Costume.


Ira Madison III Oscar. The costume performance, which involved someone in a Planet of the Apes costume getting dangerously too close to Jane Fonda.


Louis Virtel And, you know, it’s the late sixties, so it’s this kooky display of like kind of psychedelic type dancing with all the nominees performance based.


Ira Madison III On see, basically. But they were used to that. Like, they were all that’s what the after party looked like. So.


Louis Virtel Right. Correct. By the way, to sidestep the Oscars for a second, I have a question for you, Michael. You were interviewed by Terry GROSS recently.


Michael Schulman Yes. It was a lot like this.


Louis Virtel Yes. And how the fuck was that? I just find like I’m a fan of Terry GROSS, obviously. But to sit there with her voice, you know, I’m sure filling the room acoustically like you’re in Disney Hall. I would be incredibly intimidated, I think.


Michael Schulman Somewhat, yes. I mean, I was pretty nervous, not because her questions were. You know, designed to make me nervous. But because I know a lot of people isn’t that show and it was that you know you ask people if people know her her process like you don’t see her. She’s not on screen. She definitely out there. Yeah, she’s at home. You don’t see her. So it’s really just like the you know, it’s like the voice of God is suddenly in your in your ears.


Louis Virtel Oh, my God. That’s so hard. That’s so hard. You don’t even get to, like, Zoom, see her or anything.


Michael Schulman Oh, no, no, no, no, no.


Louis Virtel She’s in like, a cryogenic chamber. Yeah, Steam pouring out of the room.


Michael Schulman But it was good. We talked for an hour and 45 minutes, and then they cut it down to, like, 35 minutes.


Louis Virtel Wow.


Ira Madison III Mm.


Michael Schulman Yeah.


Ira Madison III We talk for an hour and 45, and they do not cut it down. They add ads.


Louis Virtel It’s 2 hours, 36 by the time we’re done.


Ira Madison III We’re also longer than Avatar here.


Louis Virtel Okay. And speaking of Avatar, a movie from this year, what were your takeaways just from watching this year’s Oscars in person? I ran into you in the lobby where I was. I just want to say I spent most of my time just bewildered to be around of all people. Rooney Mara I just wanted I can’t explain it. I was like, Should I say hi? I’m such a huge fan and I didn’t. So just know Rooney Mara, I spared you.


Michael Schulman Well, I was watching from way up in the nosebleeds in the balcony where I usually am. And it’s really interesting. You know, people have asked me, like, what’s the biggest difference between watching live and watching on TV? You miss a lot when you’re not watching on TV, you know, and you especially miss what the Internet is turning into memes and talking about. Because, you know, I got a text from my friend Dan in the middle of the show saying, Obsessed with Angela Bassett’s non reaction to Jamie Lee Curtis. When I was like, I don’t know what you’re talking about. I can’t see any screen anywhere. I have no idea what, what like, you know, resting bitch face she made, you know, or if the internet is like if it’s the biggest get gif on the internet right now gif Jif nobody knows. So in a way you’re like sort of blissfully ignorant of what the how the internet is consuming the Oscars and but you are really aware of kind of how it feels in the room. And I feel like I could predict who is going to win based on just the vibe, the the applause. I mean that not to not to performance, just completely electrified the entire room. Yes. And then I was behind I was behind people who must have worked for Netflix, who just stood up and went wild any time, All Quiet on the Western Front one. And then when that stopped and Everything Everywhere start winning anything, I was behind some other people, like ten people who must have been connected to that in some way, like A24, they all stand up and went wild. So I don’t know, it was kind of it was kind of weird. Like you you don’t see it as a TV show. And and then I missed Rihanna completely because I left during that commercial break right beforehand. And once you leave, you can’t get until the next commercial, right? So when Rihanna was performing, I was in the lobby and I met Daniel Rohwer, I think is the guy who directed Navalny. Yeah, he was holding an Oscar. And I was like, Hey, let me talk to him, interview you. And he said, Give me your notebook. And then he took my notebook and he took out a Sharpie and he handed his Oscar to someone. And then he drew a portrait of me like we were at a carnival or something.


Louis Virtel Wow.


Michael Schulman And handed it back and then was like, Can you get me a gig as a New Yorker cartoonist? I won an Oscar. My, my, my stock is way out.


Louis Virtel Holy shit.


Michael Schulman So that’s what I was doing when Rihanna came on


Louis Virtel Impressive. And it’s like he knew you were going to be there. How else could he have orchestrated that? That’s really crazy. But I want to concur that being there, it is a take free zone. You’re not taking in the the sense of the Internet are like, who cares about what or what’s a disappointment? And like you just said, when Jamie Lee Curtis, his name was announced for best supporting actress as an as a nominee, the room roared. Like you, it was almost like, well, here’s the winner, clearly. Whereas, you know, as somebody who has watched the movies, I would personally put her in Fifth like that was a very crazy win to me.


Ira Madison III I’m very excited to talk more about the Oscars, getting the inside perspective from you, Michael, getting the writing, some of the Oscars perspective from you, Louis, because I have a lot of questions.


Louis Virtel Yeah, well, as you know I’m a literary wit and  I belong there.


Ira Madison III Uh, and then also, we’re going to go long on the Oscars this week, but after that, Louis and I will be joined by the Internet’s favorite celebrity, Lukas Gage. I got a lot of questions for him, too.


Louis Virtel We’ve put him through it. And these projects. And, and over Zoom, if you remember that.


Ira Madison III Yeah. So we will be right back with more  Keep It.




Ira Madison III Do you think they need me to call in for the Pedro Pascal Power Hour? Talk about our burgeoningrelationship?


Louis Virtel Yeah, I think you’ll add something substantive to that, namely delusion. But yes. Yeah.


Ira Madison III So the Oscars have come and gone and Louis and I are so excited to give you an exclusive look at the Little Mermaid trailer.


Louis Virtel 4 minutes of your time.


Ira Madison III So speaking of things that were different from watching it at home versus you two who were actually there at the Dolby. You did not see a Little Mermaid trailer.


Louis Virtel Correct.


Ira Madison III Like all of these things that felt like they were sort of like in show ads with people coming up to be like, well, here’s The Little Mermaid. And like, you know, here’s this thing about Warner Brothers that was only for the audience at home. And it said Segway right into the commercials. So what did you two see?


Louis Virtel Well, so they introduced those things, which we did see, and then they throw to it, it fades to black and whoever is presenting goes. And for the people in the studio, you will now see a tribute to some of the cinematography nominees or adapted screenplay nominees, like they had these pre arranged packages just to play for the audience. I had to correct the spelling on Darren Aronofsky’s name and one of them. So I consider myself a cinema hero. But you’re right. That was another thing that varied from the vibe at home, though it was nice to see, like you got to learn something about the actual nominees were about to be on stage. I have no idea what the Little Mermaid trailer looks like.


Ira Madison III Well, at least you are respectful to Darren Aronofsky. When his movie wasn’t respectful to anyone.


Louis Virtel Yeah. That is it is a crazy two time Oscar winning movie, though. I will say something that people should have been on the lookout for is that when when a movie sometimes wins the Oscar for makeup, especially if it’s a movie where the makeup line is just for one character, really, You know, movies like The Darkest Hour or The Eyes of Tammy Faye or the Iron Lady. What we’re saying is we believe in the illusion of that character, and that probably means we like that performance, too. So you kind of could have predicted Brendan Fraser’s win. You know.


Michael Schulman I remember when the when The Whale won best makeup and hairstyling. I’m pretty sure the announcer who talks as the person’s getting up on stage said something about how the makeup allowed the character to express the full range of human emotion, just like.


Louis Virtel There’s none left.


Michael Schulman Yes, imagine that. A big fake fat face that gets to be fully human with all of the emotions and it’s like, Geez, Louise.


Ira Madison III A fake fat gay face.


Louis Virtel That’s right. Gay is one of the human emotions that was crucially expressed in this film.


Ira Madison III But I also want to point out that with, you know, the expression of the character, Big Fat as a monstrosity, the one thing that I really feel like has gotten lost in the conversation about the whale is the gay part.


Louis Virtel Right? It’s because it’s so much more important. He just happens to be gay. Okay.


Ira Madison III Normally every year there would be another conversation about look at this character, you know, waiting for like a queer role, the straight actor, you know? And that’s sort of what this was a sort of way. It also felt very Dallas Buyers Club to me, to you know, it felt very much I’m an actor, you know, and I’m I’m taking on this character, you know, who’s sort of just like, they’re so weird, they’re so interesting. And I’m like, Look at this transformation I’ve done. It felt a lot like that.


Louis Virtel And that’s another makeup to Best Actor win exactly what we’re talking about. Did you have a favorite or least favorite win in the ceremony, Michael?


Michael Schulman I was pretty thrilled about Naatu Naatu.


Louis Virtel Yes.


Michael Schulman I was really hardcore


Louis Virtel That’s the most universally agreed upon win in the category in the categories that night.


Michael Schulman And they were so I mean the performance, as I said, was completely electric. I love that song. I watched that video so many times because it’s just like it’s it’s like taking drugs. I mean, you know, that it just like, gets in your brain. And then and then they were very funny when they won That guy who sang that Karen Carpenter song, I don’t know. There was just a lot of love for it. I was really excited about Sarah Polley winning.


Louis Virtel Oh, that was fabulous.


Michael Schulman Screenplay.


Louis Virtel Good speech giver, too.


Michael Schulman Great speech. Yeah, I think those are my two most feel good moments.


Louis Virtel Sarah Polley I don’t know if you saw this, Ira. She did an interview with Marc Malkin on the red carpet and he asked her what she’d be working on next. And she appeared to indicate that she was piecing something together about her experience campaigning and all the things she’s learned while promoting women talking. So if we get that and it sounded like an ensemble project, like women talking. So if we get a for your consideration type movie from Sarah Polley, I mean, like, all right, the Oscars, we did it. That’s really exciting.


Ira Madison III I love her. I loved her. I loved her look. Yeah. To very Lydia Tar-esque.


Louis Virtel Yes. Quite


Ira Madison III Lydia Tar’s girlfriend, you know, You know, like. Like one of.


Louis Virtel Her hasn’t been burned yet. Yeah.


Ira Madison III One of her wives and the Naatu Naatu, that that one was so peculiar to me. Just because that saga has been such a beast. A beast? The same way, you know, like the song from Coco was, you know, or like, something like that. But I’m just wondering what the disconnect was with the screenings or not enough people seeing it. Because for me, I just feel like people love it so much. It’s so much fun. I would have much rather seen like All Quiet on the Western Front going like head to head with this film. Yeah, it’s just very weird that it was only stuck in the song category and not anywhere else.


Louis Virtel And it’s a one of a kind film too. When you’re sitting down, you’re you’re not comparing it to anything else. The bombast of the movie and the ebullience of all the genres is exploring. I guess it would only be comparable to Everything Everywhere All At Once, which is a movie I guess we should talk about now because it dominated the Oscars really like no movie God and years and years and years and years. Because if it had taken Best Actor too, which obviously it wasn’t nominated for, that would be a different kind of dominance up there with like it happened one night and Silence of the Lambs where it wins best picture and actor and actress and screenplay and direction. But that category was blanked.


Michael Schulman Well, wasn’t it? Wasn’t it the first movie you could, you know, you know, Oscar trivia way better than me, Louis, But wasn’t the first movie to win three acting categories and.


Louis Virtel Correct.


Michael Schulman Best picture?


Louis Virtel Yes, because the only other two are A Streetcar Named Desire and Network.


Michael Schulman And that one Network, right. Which didn’t win Best Picture. Right.


Louis Virtel So, I mean, it’s obviously.


Ira Madison III Has anyone won four? No one’s won for acting categories?


Louis Virtel Correct. Yes.


Ira Madison III And best as anyone won for acting categories have not won Best picture at all or anything or no. Okay. So this was a big record.


Louis Virtel Yes. Yes. I believe the most nominees per movie is still five. And I’m we’re talking about Peyton Place and own party to. No. Is that for anyway Peyton Place? For sure.


Michael Schulman You’ve had five.


Louis Virtel Actors, you know, five because it’s. Yeah. George Sanders. Yes. Betty Davis and Baxter Celeste Holm. Thelma Ritter. That’s right. Yes. Anyway, Ira, how did you feel about Everything Everywhere All At Once dominating the way it did? Because I just rewatched the movie last night.


Ira Madison III Here’s what I thought. You know, I like the movie.


Louis Virtel Yeah.


Ira Madison III I’m actually, like, perfectly fine with its dominance because, you know, I don’t hate the movie it wasn’t.


Louis Virtel Which is all you can kind of hope for sometimes.


Ira Madison III That’s it. I don’t hate it. It also wasn’t my favorite of the year. I don’t even know if it cracked my top. You know, eight. It’s probably maybe around ten or something. I really did enjoy it. I had a great time in the theater. I had criticisms of it. But as far as a Best Picture, that was a crowd pleaser. That was fun to watch, that made a shit ton of money as well. Like, it is sort of shocking because, I mean, you know, not to bring up the bridge trial. That is Ben SHAPIRO, who had a comment about, you know, like, no one’s going to no one’s rewatched like a best picture winner, you know, since No Country for Old Man, it’s like no one’s going to be watching this. It five years of like this actually seems like one of the ones that people will be watching in five years.


Louis Virtel I feel like my timeline is awash with people bragging. They’ve seen it 75 times. They’ve already rewatched.


Ira Madison III It. I mean, I’m like, it’s so popular that you’ve you it’s brought out sort of like the worst of what film critics or wannabe film critics who just sort of have to go on very long diatribes about why they hate the movie, that that really aren’t just a simplistic I didn’t like this or didn’t like this. They’re like sort of like these existential screeds on like why the people who actually enjoy the film are the worst people in the world. It’s like gotten to that level already. So it’s interesting to see the backlash to a best Picture film that I think is good, you know, as opposed to, you know, like a Green Book.


Louis Virtel Right.


Ira Madison III Which was, you know, horrid.


Louis Virtel Also, I do think every time you get a best picture that is like, you know, an agreed upon well made with great performances, we are due for a Green Book in the future. So karmically it will come back to us. I’m just saying. But what did you think of Everything Everywhere All At Once’s wins.


Michael Schulman I mean, I liked the movie. It was my favorite movie of the year, but but mine I knew weren’t going to win. Like, my my favorites were Tar and Triangle of Sadness.


Louis Virtel Hell, yeah.


Michael Schulman So I had resigned myself.


Louis Virtel It’s like you’re hitting on me. You have to be careful. We’re in close proximity of.


Michael Schulman So yeah, I was. I was not. I was not invested in those. Movies winning because they knew they wouldn’t. And I thought the I mean, when everything as everything everywhere was winning it just it landed like a love bomb. Yeah. In the Dolby Theater. And you just knew like, everyone was so excited to be loving this movie. There was so much goodwill in the industry for it. Obviously. I think that has to do with how, you know, it being heartwarming and sort of genre breaking and a very forward looking modern way. But also, you know, it didn’t hurt that it made over $100 million. And I feel like the academy I mean, in my New Yorker cover, I called it the Unicorn of the Oscars this year because, you know, on one side, you had the the Avatars and Top Guns, these big blockbusters that, you know, supposedly save the movies, save the box office, and then, you know, arthouse movies that didn’t make any money. And like everything everywhere is the one thing that isn’t a franchise and but isn’t an obscure arthouse movie and just has something for everyone. So it made a lot of sense. And then I thought all of the three acting speeches for the people at one were so good. And, you know, I rewatched them the day after and they all made me cry. I mean, yeah, Ke Huy Quan and Jamie Lee Curtis, starting out the evening like that, I noticed they both used the phrase I just won an Oscar in that sort of breathless way, which to me, I mean, I have a healthy reverence for the Academy Awards and think they’re, of course, completely absurd in so many ways. But one thing that gives them real value is people having that feeling of like this means something when you win it. It’s like, how could this be happening to me? And they both felt very genuine about that and they were coming at it from different ways. Like for Jamie Lee Curtis, I felt like it’s so connected to her parents and.


Louis Virtel Totally.


Michael Schulman Like Family Promise made good that her parents were both nominated and she sort of felt like she was the horror movie girl, sort of, you know, like a little bit less value than than what they did. And, you know, I mean, you could tell she was talking to her, the ghosts of her parents. And I thought that was very moving. And then, of course, key just being like, this is the American dream. I mean, you can certainly be jaded about him, about that kind of sentiment. But I don’t know, Like to me it’s like that’s that’s when the Oscars actually you can tell that they have some they have some inherent worth. And if they don’t have that, then they don’t have anything.


Louis Virtel Right. Yeah, we we wouldn’t be invested.


Ira Madison III Here’s where I’m going to be a bitch.


Louis Virtel Yeah. Please.


Ira Madison III I was happy for the wins, but Ke’s speech, particularly as beautiful and moving as it was. It was so dark to me.


Louis Virtel I agree.


Ira Madison III It’s so dark.


Louis Virtel Is this the American dream that like by happenstance you win an Oscar after all of that, I don’t know.


Ira Madison III You left the industry. Because no one would cast you in roles that weren’t caricatures of Asians basically didn’t work for decades. And then the Daniels reached out and got you in this movie and, oh, you’re an amazing fucking actor and you get a nomination and you win all this shit. And now everyone’s like happy and want selfies with you. And it’s just like talking about how, like you’re the the light of the awards sees it and it’s like, Yeah, well, let’s talk about the 20 years where you ignored him.


Louis Virtel Become like a stunt coordinator.


Ira Madison III Yeah, yeah. You know, and it’s just, it just reminds you of that part of Hollywood where it’s like, this is beautiful and the Oscars, like, it’s fun and like, it’s happy to win that. But it also just reminds you of like, it’s just sort of like sad side of like the industry and what it actually represents outside of like a heartwarming moment like that. Right? Because I was happy for I said, I like Jamie Lee Curtis. I really do.


Louis Virtel Oh, please. Great celebrity in addition to God, that great actor.


Ira Madison III She is. You know, like even when she says something like off the wall and annoying, I can’t help but still like her, you know, from her Beverly Hills appearance from Activia, to me being a horror movie stan, you know, But.


Louis Virtel True Lies, it goes on. Yeah.


Ira Madison III Yes. But the joy of feeling that was then the sadness of watching like Angela Bassett lose after having lost years ago and realizing that when she did not win the Oscar for What’s Love Got to Do With It, she basically then did How Stella Got her Groove Back and then after that got no roles that were worth her acting.


Louis Virtel I always say if you look at Angela Bassett filmography, it’s kind of surprising how few like banger movies there are really. And she’s.


Ira Madison III No like the banger movies since 98.


Louis Virtel Like one of  the definitive African-American actresses of all time. I mean, she’s played certainly a number of historic and iconic roles. I mean, there’s not a a person in a history book Angela Bassett has not played, you know, even even still, it’s just like the movies aren’t really there to like she’s like, you know, like the fifth lead in Music of the Heart, you know.


Ira Madison III Kiki’s mom in Akilah and the Bee, you know, like that when when I when I interviewed her for that that fucking Netflix movie other hood you know like what are we doing with her She’s stuck in Ryan Murphy’s 911 ghetto.


Louis Virtel Mind you, that’s a good there’s some money going on in there.


Ira Madison III That’s true. That’s true. You know, but American Horror Story Coven was a much better use of her craft. You know, it’s a sadness for that because Michelle Yeoh, I was happy for her to win, too, you know, But then just the reminder that she is the second women of colorto win Best Actress since Halle Berry. You know, there’s there’s these beautiful moments. But then once, you know, like reality sets and like, I just it felt like a it felt like a dark side of Hollywood.


Michael Schulman Well, it’s the same with Brendan Fraser at away because his speech was all about how he had this, you know, facility at getting roles early in his career. And then it ended and now he he can’t believe that he’s back and he’s winning, winning Oscar, which is, of course, heartwarming regardless of, you know, the movie he’s end but then you think okay the reason this the reason his arc was like that was because he was you know, groped allegedly by the head of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and he fell into a depression, you know, And that’s and now he’s back because he you know, it’s like there was a really dark trajectory there that led to this. And it had to do with the people in that room, sort of not, you know, allowing that kind of thing to happen.


Louis Virtel Right now, it feels like people were skirting around, talking, saying the word unfair, like, you know, it’s like it’s unfair what happened to Ke Huy Quan or Brendan Fraser in these circumstances. And it’s I don’t think you can remedy that with an Oscar win, even though it looks like it, you know, something amazing and what we all want to happen, etc..


Ira Madison III Not like Jamie’s career has been unfair largely, but you know, she gave a speech about being. But like even with her talking about being ignored a bit too, I mean, she’s a little bit like Angela Bassett. Ryan Murphy brought her back with like scream queens and stuff like that on TV because she’s a great, amazing actress that apparently everyone in that room loves. But they sort of had nothing for her to do post like Halloween age to. Oh.


Louis Virtel I want to say also that Alonzo Giralde, a good friend of ours, film critic had a good point, which is I bet it’s pretty overwhelming when you’re standing on an Oscar stage and both of your parents have been nominated for Oscars but didn’t win. So I think that was a particularly awesome thing. That she has got to realize that on behalf of her family, kind of like Laura Dern a few years ago. That’s right. Both her parents, Oscar nominated, not winners, legends in their own right. And they’re still here. I want to say about the Everything Everywhere All At Once, sweep. It was really giving Schitt’s Creek at the Emmys a couple of years ago To me. I really think people were. It’s not like there’s anything wrong with that show. It’s just the people are really swept up in a sentiment, I think, and they want to be in that feeling and harness that feeling. And there’s really good things about that. As in this beloved movie that everybody likes is getting a lot of attention. But I also think it blinds people to other movies. So like like like Jamie Lee Curtis winning. It’s like I’m just like, I guess I’m happy that it’s a somewhat comic performance that won overall. I literally think in the one scene where Carrie Kahn in is calling Colin Farrell boring, she is way funnier than Jamie. Jamie Lee Curtis ever is in that movie.


Ira Madison III So I don’t hear another drag from anyone ever, Marisa Tomei winning for My Cousin Vinny after that.


Louis Virtel Oh,please, oh no.


Ira Madison III Because what she did in that performance versus Jamie Lee Curtis, a stapling papers.


Louis Virtel Right? It’s a staple heavy movie. Yes. That’s what she does in that film.


Ira Madison III What I actually want to ask you two are about Everything Everywhere, is when you look at the trajectory of Hollywood. Right. And sort of what Best Picture does, I guess for the way the industry starts to work, you know, because studio execs are very simple people. They see. They see something like what? They see something that wins like this. It’s sort of like it changes a bit. Like if not the movies were making. You know, it’s not like we’ve seen a bunch of moonlight, but that is a black film. But you see a movie like this, which, you know, has a fair budget, made a shitload of money. It’s an action movie. A crowd pleaser has a diverse cast. Do you think that, one, the Oscars are going to backlash from, you know, celebrating a film that just like, makes people feel good like this and too, that the industry is going to maybe try and make more of these. Because I will say the one addendum I’ll add to that first one about things that make people happy. We forget that movies like Green Book and stuff, etc., like they make a certain kind of white person in Hollywood feel happy to watch, Right? The same kind of sentiment that you get from Everything Everywhere.


Michael Schulman I think that maybe the the room that it the space that it creates with the Oscars has maybe more to do with the genre. Like, you know, the idea that, okay, maybe we don’t want to give best picture to a Marvel movie, but maybe we’ll see more movies that use elements of Marvel but aren’t actual sort of branded superhero things, and that those have proved to be awards.


Louis Virtel Yeah, that there’s there can be inventive use of things we like in these blockbuster movies that can be applied to the Oscars conversation. I am somewhat happy about that, even though I also just think Everything, Everything Everywhere, All at Once is the Marvel fans version of a prestige movie. Like, I feel like it’s better for them than us ultimately, but I think you have to be territorial about it.


Michael Schulman But I think that’s like the evolution of what a prestige movie is.


Louis Virtel Yeah.


Michael Schulman Is that now you have a generation entering the academy that doesn’t draw the line at, you know, multiverse talk and action sequences.


Louis Virtel Right. I want to say about Michelle Yeoh’s Oscar win. The fact that it incorporates any version of action at all is a complete anomaly and best actress. So first of all, you have to celebrate that. I mean, really, what are we talking about? Like Jodie Foster and The Silence of the Lambs? There’s just not many of those ultimately disappointing. We’ve been nominated for aliens. But say what?


Ira Madison III How many men have action Heavy? Oh, that’s interesting.


Louis Virtel By the way, speaking of men, we talk about how there’s only two women of color have won Best Actress. I think it’s only five who’ve won, maybe six who’ve won Best Ator. So it’s not like it’s dominating any other conversation either. So you’re talking about that with the Oscars, too. I can’t get this joke out of my head that my friend Devin Field, who rode on the Oscars with me, said about Everything Everywhere All At Once, which he says it’s as good as a 2012 Skittles commercial can be. You know. Bang zoom where the Skittles matrix.


Ira Madison III Oh, I agree with Michael, though, that this is giving, you know, a marvel fan. You know, like especially people who were growing up on those films and the fact that they’re dominating the industry so much like a different outlet to be doing these things. I mean, it reminds me so much of when comic books weren’t really considered like a cash cow in Hollywood, you know, and you had like a Tim Burton making Batman and Batman Returns, you know, and like and that changed the trajectory of what superhero films look like after that. But also, like what? Like action films were like looking like, just being weird and gritty. And I think that a large problem in Hollywood has been. So many of our amazing directors getting sucked up by the Marvel machine. And now here comes the DC machine after James Gunn, you know, has enacted his own, you know, five point plan to take over the industry. Wouldn’t it be great that now the industry could see like, oh, if, if this director wants to make like a fun, pulpy movie that can also get audiences in the seat. That also might be like a fucking awards contender. Let’s give them money to do that instead of having them. Do you know Fantastic Four seven.


Louis Virtel Oh, right, right, right.


Ira Madison III When we’re back, more Oscars.




Ira Madison III So now moving on to directors, the whole sweep really was surprising because I was actually shocked the Daniels won Best Director.


Louis Virtel I’m not because I feel like the directing is also a character in that movie, and that tends to be, I think, a major component of what ends up winning that category ultimately.


Michael Schulman That’s a good point. I mean, I always say like if you want to figure out why something wins any category of the Oscars, you can usually replace the word best with most. Yes. And that’s what wins.


Ira Madison III Know a lot of directors like.


Michael Schulman Most acting. Yeah. Most editting.


Louis Virtel Yeah.


Michael Schulman So yeah.


Louis Virtel You know, it’s like it’s like the big short winning editing. Like, it’s just like you remember the cuts in that movie because it’s so whiz bang, you know? So if I remember it, it must be the best.


Ira Madison III Which I didn’t go fucking. Oh, the the Queen movie won best editing too.


Michael Schulman The Bohemian Rhapsody.


Ira Madison III Bohemian Rhapsody.


Louis Virtel Oh, I literally thought you meant the favorites. Okay. Yes.


Ira Madison III Did Bohemian Rhapsody win Best Editing?


Louis Virtel Yes, I believe so. Yeah.


Ira Madison III And that editing was abysmal. It was just it was 20 million cuts in a single scene. Just two people talking to each other.


Michael Schulman Exactly. Most editing.  That was quite a lot.


Louis Virtel And by the way, it wasn’t edited at all. It’s like 3 hours long. So what was editted ultimately? Yes. I want to see if I hit the cutting room floor. No, I don’t.


Ira Madison III Okay so Louis, you wrote for the Oscars.


Louis Virtel Yes.


Ira Madison III Yes. And my one question is, did you write the Elrond Hubba hubba joke?


Louis Virtel I am ashamed to say I did not. It was just.


Ira Madison III Because that, cracked me the fuck up.


Louis Virtel I think I can give that one away. Yes. No, it was John Bines. Long time Jimmy Kimmel writer.


Ira Madison III Oh, my nemesis from NYU.


Louis Virtel That you? That’s right. You met him there? No, there were round. I think we did ultimately about 18 rounds of jokes. And what we would get are assignments where you get various topics, you know, like like we I don’t think we had a single joke about Andrea Riseborough in the entire monologue. I must have had five different assignments writing about Andrea Riseborough like I had a joke about to Leslie that didn’t make the telecast, which is, oh, that movie made $27,000 at the time she was nominated. That was the KFC budget on the Whale. I mean, they say things like that, but, you know, it’s just like there’s not time for everything, honestly. In terms of Jimmy hosting, I think it’s probably one of the shorter monologues in recent Oscar history, which as much as I think he’s hilarious and delivered all the jokes really well, that’s also a good thing. I think people just like moving the ceremony along and that was like a real credit to the ceremony. Ultimately, you know that we didn’t spend a lot of time on any one kind of time consuming bed or anything. You know, in the past how many, you know, you know, weird things where we take one audience members time and turn it into this giant bed, It maybe it pans out, maybe it does. And I really felt like it moved along. I’m obviously biased.


Michael Schulman But so I thought Jimmy was great and I interviewed him for Oscar Wars about.


Louis Virtel Oh, Red.


Michael Schulman That ends with Envelope Gate. So I talked to him about that moment and how you have to obviously improv, like keep up with whatever craziness is happening. But when I saw you coming in on the red carpet, champagne carpet, sorry, you were talking about how like your process during the show, you watch and write jokes for like what is happening along the way. Yeah. Where do you where are you sitting? What’s your setup?


Louis Virtel We were literally right on the stage backstage. Let me put this in perspective for you sonically. When Lady Gaga was performing, I assumed it was going terribly because I could only hear the drums like I couldn’t even hear her vocal. So I assumed that meant no one could hear anything. No, it just meant I’m next to the drums. So it was a real, like, cacophonous sounding backstage area. But like I was on the actual floor of the stage and stuff. Like, I remember I was walking to the bathroom and I ran into Danai Gurira as she got off stage because I didn’t realize how close we were to the people literally performing the Oscars while we were sitting back there writing, Yeah, we were back there like, they’re like 15 or 16 of us huddle up back there waiting for, you know, a pseudo slap to occur so we could write one liners to it. But it was a pretty self-contained Oscars. Everybody was, you know, on their best behavior.


Michael Schulman Like what some what’s an example of something that happened that you had to. You respond to this ceremony?


Louis Virtel I don’t think we ended up having to write anything. But for example, it would have been if there was an unexpected victory of some kind, which I don’t think we got this year, You know, like we prepared for most versions of what could happen. Like if Everything Everywhere All At Once won this award or if Angela Bassett won best Supporting Actress or whatever. So actually, we did a lot of our job ahead of time.


Michael Schulman Really? Yeah. I saw someone after the show at the Governor’s Ball producer Donna Giuliani, who said it was the Joe Biden of Oscars, which I thought was very apt. Yeah, because it she was like, it was good, but it was maybe a little boring. But that was essentially fine because the Oscars have the option of had this period of such turbulence and, you know, drama and weirdness between envelope gate the the train station. Yea, the slap obviously. And there was something reassuring about the sort of stateliness and pace and almost almost like everything going according to plan to the point of maybe we’re a little bored here. That feels very Biden post-Trump.


Louis Virtel Right. I don’t know if you saw at the end of the Oscars after Jimmy gives the good night, he walks off stage and there’s a sign that says number of Oscars without incidents: zero. And he turns it to one and then walks away and gives like Cocaine Bear a High five. That was another interesting story. Cocaine Bear ended up being because of a last minute dropout. A writer on our staff. And he was fabulous. He did a really good job like I and poor Elizabeth Banks Sounded like she was going to pass away up there, though I never heard, like, laryngitis like that.


Michael Schulman Were you anywhere near Jenny the donkey?


Louis Virtel I was during rehearsals. I was. And man, that donkey was effing adorable. Like, you really wanted to give that thing a hug. Like the the fur is very velour looking.


Michael Schulman She didn’t have any, like, diva demands, like Faye Dunaway as a donkey.


Louis Virtel Oh, I meant to say. Did you see Jamie Lee Curtis photoshoot that she did the following morning? I just saw that today mimicking Faye Dunaway, his famous photograph from 76 after she won her Oscar. And she’s sitting at that table at the. I can’t believe I’m going to miss this. That the Beverly Hilton.


Ira Madison III Yeah.


Louis Virtel I think something like that. But she’s sitting with her Oscar looking, you know, glamor.


Ira Madison III I think it’s the Beverly Hills Hotel.


Louis Virtel That’s exact Beverly Hill. Beverly Hills Hotel. Yeah. Jamie Lee Curtis mimic that. And I am so happy to see things like that. Just anything that gives you like a slight, you know, tinge of this stands up for old Hollywood.


Ira Madison III People love doing that one. I’m like, I’d be interested in like seeing someone like, repeat, like someone that like, maybe we’d be shocked to know. Yeah. Was like, because I feel like everyone’s done a photoshoot with their Oscar after they’ve won. But that’s, that’s like the most iconic one, obviously.


Louis Virtel Right. Rught.


Ira Madison III I’m going off of the Joe Biden Oscars thing. It did feel watching at home that it felt like felt like a classic Oscars. Yeah.


Louis Virtel A return to form, if you will.


Ira Madison III Return to form. Wasn’t that exciting? The speeches were exciting. The performances were fucking amazing.


Louis Virtel By the way, who prepared? Who was prepared for that? Because, as you know, like the song category, I would have considered basically the weakest one in the entire ceremony. And then when they, like Rihanna elevated that song, Lady Gaga elevated that song, even.


Ira Madison III Those songs both sound amazing live. David Byrne was fucking amazing.


Louis Virtel I loved the choreography. I was so glad Stephanie Hsu did it. It was also exactly David Byrne. He really has that B-52s quality of like children, children’s entertainer gone off the deep end, which I love.


Ira Madison III Yeah, I mean, like, I fucking love the Talking heads, but. And I would also say that part of me kind of wishes it almost had like a halftime sort of element where just like we got to all the performances and like a big bulk, just like, give us some sort of big energy. I just sort of feel like there’s somebody stops and starts. That adds to the, like, stately, almost boring ness of it. My one big question is, I guess like the highlighting of people during the show and I guess the monologue helps with that. But, you know, for people who don’t always I guess you assume that people are going to be watching the red carpet all day, too, Right? But if you miss some of the red carpet, too, to get to the show, it’s I was thinking about it this year. It’s always very interesting to me, like unless the actor that you really love wins, you barely see them during the ceremony.


Louis Virtel Right. Or you forget that they’re there.


Ira Madison III And so and they’re not presenters either because they’re there to win. Right. And so it’s just interesting to me that, you know, like an Oscars that wants to like, you know, like be up with the times and have people tuning in for these stars and whatever. Right. Like, we’ll watch that show and not the red carpet. You don’t see Austin Butler at all. You don’t see Paul Mescal. You don’t really see Cate Blanchett. And under Armor’s doing anything. There’s no like Andrea Riseborough like moment referencing her thing. So I feel like that’s maybe what the ceremony was missing for me, right? Like, these people are nominated and everyone’s talking about them and it’s a fight for whether or not they’re going to win a category, right? And it’s not just this Oscars. It just really feels like. You get to the actual ceremony. And then you see no interaction between any of the nominees, No highlighting of the nominees, really, except for the moment where you’re like, oh, and here’s their clip and then they win.


Louis Virtel And you’re fucking crazy if you don’t watch the Oscars to see, like, how Cate Blanchett is dressed, you know, And you’ll you barely got got to see that at all. And by the way, she was dressed like a Finnish first lady, which after it was giving Tilda, which is kind of appropriate given that the only Oscar winning Cate Blanchett movie that night was Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio.


Michael Schulman Oh, right. Wait, who does Cate Blanchett play in that?


Louis Virtel She’s the monkey.


Michael Schulman She’s the monkey, right. Mm hmm.


Louis Virtel You know, you know, Guillermo was thrilled to give that phone call, like, oh, you’re ready to stretch those acting chops. And she was like, getting all her Sydney theater company, Arias up and down to play the fucking howler monkey.


Ira Madison III And animation is not a genre, it’s cinema.


Louis Virtel Thank you for that. Much appreciated. Yeah, you’re right. You barely saw Ana de Armas the entire time. Could have forgotten she was there.


Ira Madison III Where was the Internet’s boyfriend, Paul Mescal.


Michael Schulman Oh, see, the thing is, when you’re at the show, you don’t see so many people. I didn’t even know what Andrea Riseborough I like her whole Fantine look, I didn’t see that until the next day. I just didn’t happen to see her. And you don’t see her on the screen. But I saw Paul Mescal like 75,000 times. I saw him on the way to the Governor’s ball. I saw him at the Vanity Fair party.


Ira Madison III He’s everywhere.


Michael Schulman Smoking  a cigarette. I just. He was everywhere I turned.


Ira Madison III Yeah, he’ll look that he he is the real everyone everywhere all at once. Okay. I mean, listen, I don’t I don’t know if you’ve heard there’s an interview that he did with W magazine and he started talking about how much he loves Minsky and he’s proposing like a Minsky song every other day on his Instagram, which I just learned that he actually does have one. He has one of those low key celebrity Instagram accounts where you just post like his photography and it’s not verified.


Louis Virtel Okay. Right. Very specific brand.


Ira Madison III He is his Hollywood’s latest whore. Let’s just put it out there.


Louis Virtel He’s also this means he will end up with Minsky. I’m sorry. I remember the Phoebe Bridgers story.


Ira Madison III Yeah, like, that’s what he’s doing. I’m like, I love that is very. I mean, we got, like, a taste of that as The Globe’s with Colin Farrell shooting a shot with Ana de Armas, It’s it felt very like throwback Hollywood, a little sexy. But maybe we’re in an era where, like, the Oscars can’t be sexy right now.


Louis Virtel Right. But, well, by the way, you know who was fucking sexy and also is a bit of a throwback and I think is a challenge for us, Ira. We need to get him on this show and I want to see if we can if we can contend with him. Hugh Grant Because I know you saw that interview. He did with Ashley Graham.


Ira Madison III Of course I did.


Louis Virtel Where I, I didn’t understand that. I think that her first mistake was not knowing that he was.


Ira Madison III Ashley Graham. Yeah.


Michael Schulman About that Vanity Fair.


Louis Virtel Yes. The Thackeray, Vanity Fair and not the Vanity Fair party. Okay, Kind of fair mistake. Then he was sort of a dick to her as the interview went on. I consider that a challenge I’m up for. I want him here. I want to talk about.


Ira Madison III I love when people tell me that interview is going to be a dick. That because we’ve we’ve had people on the show that people have said are like the notorious. We’re sort of like.


Louis Virtel Yeah, Frosty or whatever.


Ira Madison III Yeah, Frosty. And I think that we melt them.


Michael Schulman But I thought he was fine in that interview. I thought she was just being so inane and he was just sort of waiting for a question that wasn’t completely inane and dumb. And, you know, so many of those people on the red carpet just ask everyone like, Are you so excited to be here? How are you feeling tonight? Is this the best night of your lives?


Louis Virtel It’s horrible.


Michael Schulman And he was just kind of like, No, it’s not. I’m here, it’s fine.


Louis Virtel And also, I think something like like if you read the transcript of that interview, he sounds way more aloof than he is. There is just, I’m sorry to say, like British humor, but like, he’s just going for like simplicity, etc.. And then I think she did mess up again when she clearly didn’t know he was in Glass Onion for 2 seconds.


Ira Madison III Yeah.


Michael Schulman Right.


Louis Virtel You know.


Ira Madison III I mean listen, it reminds you  I think it was like The Cure was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, there’s someone on the red carpet who asked like Robert Smith, how excited are you? Like, The Cure is like inducted. He responded, well, not as excited as you are, clearly. You know. I think, I think that’s just British people. Yeah, British. And part of it was British people being British. Part of it was her being an asshole. I think it was both. But I was just so interested in like the the response to that because there’s always people who want to put on their like, I hate the inanity of Hollywood, you know, and like, look at him like, piercing it with his British humor. Like, he was perfect. He destroyed Ashley Graham, like talking like a bare BuzzFeed of Vibe. And I was like, okay, But he still showed up.


Louis Virtel Right.


Ira Madison III To present.


Louis Virtel Yeah. It’s unnecessary.


Ira Madison III It’s like Hugh Grant. He loves Hollywood.


Michael Schulman He got a big laugh. In this show. When he said scrotum.


Louis Virtel That was good. That was good. Oh, I was missing the comic delivery of Hugh Grant. Somebody pointed out that it’s been 25 years since he’s been in a rom com. What the fuck else has he been doing?


Ira Madison III Well. Not being nominated


Michael Schulman That Nicole Kidman show.


Louis Virtel Yeah, that’s it. Which he was good at. I didn’t join him in.


Ira Madison III Not being nominated for Oscars.


Louis Virtel Not one time. Maybe that’s part of it. It’s giving Donald Sutherland. And you know, he’s salty. Yeah, yeah.


Ira Madison III But of course, he’s also a sort of actor who like, I guess he could do a movie where you get his Jamie Lee Curtis moment. People love Hugh Grant.


Louis Virtel I love Hugh Grant among actors who do one thing, he’s my favorite. I think that’s true.


Ira Madison III I don’t see it for him, you know, like if he didn’t get nominated for Notting Hill.


Louis Virtel Right. Right. You know, my favorite is Impromptu, where he plays Chopin. Oh, remember when tuberculosis was a big plot point in movies? I just love that. Bring me back to, like, the Secret Garden, etc..


Ira Madison III Coughing and coughing blood.


Louis Virtel Yeah. That’s what we want. Yes. Yes.


Michael Schulman Those movies where someone coughs and you’re like, they’re going to be dead in 5 minutes.


Louis Virtel Yes. That was prestige once upon a time. Don’t Cough. Should have been the name of the movie.


Ira Madison III And I think I said this online, by the way. I was like, I wouldn’t have fared even better than Graham. Okay. Because if it’s in Vanity Fair, I would have probably gotten that. He was referencing the Thackeray novel, and I don’t even think he was referencing the novel. I think he was referencing.


Louis Virtel Some annotation of it.


Ira Madison III Yeah, The pilgrimage, though I think he was referencing how the phrase Vanity Fair even came to be in general. But I would have been like making a joke about Reese Witherspoon because he’s in the movie and he’d be like, What the fuck are you talking about?


Louis Virtel Also, that is like the definition of a you see it in a bin at Best Buy movie. That version.


Ira Madison III Just her. You look, you see it and you’re like, did she play the queen at one point?


Louis Virtel Right. Yeah, it’s like it’s a movie. It’s like two gold and looking like it looks cheap.


Ira Madison III Yeah.


Louis Virtel That and the movie Wimbledon with Kirsten Dunst. Those are in the same bin. Remember we used to do with Paul Bettany. Crazy.


Ira Madison III Okay. Speaking of other things that did go viral online, you mentioned it earlier, Michael. People need to get off my girl Angela Bassett’s neck. Okay. Because let me tell you something. If you’ve been waiting to win an Oscar for not even just years, but through an entire awards ceremony, I don’t need to sit there and grin that someone else won. You know, like everyone was excited when, like, Cate Blanchett leapt out of her seat, like, excited when Michelle Yeoh won because they have this great relationship that we’ve seen on the red carpet and through this awards season, but also, like she’s got plenty of Oscars and everyone like is excited for Michelle Yeoh. You know, I can imagine that all the other actors in the category with Jamie Lee Curtis were probably pressed about Jamie Lee Curtis’ nomination.


Louis Virtel Or also just overwhelmed by how much noise Everything Everywhere All At Once was generating in the theater already of that night, you know.


Ira Madison III Carrie wasn’t smiling either. Okay. So.


Louis Virtel Right.


Ira Madison III Yeah, Carrie saw Angela Bassett probably saw each other at the Vanity Fair party and we’re like, You want to do a shot?


Louis Virtel Carrie Condit, to me, was giving I want to win.


Ira Madison III Yes, she wanted to.


Louis Virtel You know.


Michael Schulman Angela Angela so really wanted to win. I interviewed her about a month ago from The New Yorker, and that was right in the moment when she was getting all the momentum for that category. And.


Louis Virtel Yes.


Michael Schulman I felt like I was interviewing the winner. And then it just she just watched it sort of dissipate.


Louis Virtel Yeah, right, Right.


Michael Schulman I think that must have been really frustrating.


Louis Virtel The SAG. SAG, all four acting wins matched up with the Oscars.


Ira Madison III Yeah. Okay. You forget that. They’re you forget that they’re dumb.


Louis Virtel Right. Right. If you could take one thing away from this podcast, actors, basically the only guest we have on the show. Dummies


Ira Madison III They’re dumb. Yeah, well, that’s why they come on this show.


Louis Virtel Exactly right.


Ira Madison III Anyway, that was another Oscar ceremony. You know, I thought. I thought I thought it was fun in a lot of parts and I thought it was wild in some other parts. Anyway, when we’re back, Louis and I chat with Lukas Gage, and then after that, Michael Shulman is back to close out the show with us for our favorite segment of the episode, Keep It.




Ira Madison III Our guest today has basically held me at gunpoint to get on Keep It.


Louis Virtel And sometimes it’s right to comply. Yeah.


Ira Madison III I was like, I have never heard anyone want to be on this show. That must be fun.


Louis Virtel It’s not healthy, yeah.


Ira Madison III Yeah. Listen, he’s become an audience favorite on so many shows from Angelina, You, the White Lotus. Now you can catch him starring in the films How to Blow Up a Pipeline. And also Down Low was just debuted at South by Southwest, which he also co-wrote. So welcome the Keep It, Lukas Gage.


Lukas Gage Thank you for having me. And it’s true. I only really listen to  two podcasts, to you guys and Seek Treatment, and that’s about it.


Louis Virtel Oh, I love Pat Regan, the most adorable giggle in podcasting.


Ira Madison III Um, I’m going to I’m going to let Louis kick this off because I feel like, first of all, I feel like I interview every other week now, Lukas.


Lukas Gage I know. I mean, from the cut to throwing axes together to interview me at your house years ago. I mean, it’s just. So coming full circle.


Louis Virtel Well, I will say anytime somebody I deem mainly just an actor writes something, I approach the project with suspicion and even malice, because I believe writers deserve to be writers first. So tell me what it was like writing this project and also what it is. I haven’t been to South by Southwest, haven’t gotten to see it yet.


Lukas Gage Well, I’ll just start with saying that I agree with you 100%.


Louis Virtel Thank you.


Lukas Gage I should not have sold this movie. It’s the most insane script ever. I barely knew where a comma went before Phoebe Fisher, my co-writer, helped me, helped me after reading a lot of my scripts that never got made. But I agree with you. I think a lot of times people were very skeptical when they heard that I was writing. And I’m still skeptical and I’m still learning. And this was the first thing that was supposed to be a writing sample. And I think it was a perfect storm that just the stars aligned or something happened that they needed a script that was in one location and limited actors, and it was a COVID dream. And then we sent it to Filmnation were paid to write this horror movie about a bachelorette party, and that was going to be too hard. So they said, Why don’t we just go with your writing sample? And then this crazy baby came out of it.


Louis Virtel That’s fucking rad. Congrats, Jesus.


Lukas Gage Thanks, man. Thank you.


Ira Madison III Know, A you co-wrote this with Phoebe Fisher. Yeah.


Lukas Gage Equally as deranged.


Ira Madison III Yeah. And Rightor Doyle directed it, who I adore as well. So was the whole, like, what’s it like debuting a film at South by Southwest?


Lukas Gage Oh.My God. It’s so nerve wracking and and scary and. But exciting at the same time. I mean, I think for me, I went in with the lowest expectations possible and was just expecting everyone to shit on it and tell me that I’m a horrible writer and a horrible actor, so any.


Louis Virtel Good God.


Lukas Gage Use one must expecting I’m expecting the worst. I’m just maybe I’m the pessimist in me. Or maybe I just don’t want to get it. I don’t want to get let down. But I was expecting the worst. And there are some of those reviews. But then there are some reviews that the critics get it and love it and appreciate. It’s unhinged insanity and. It was it was a it was a joy. It was so much fun. I was just, I think, really relieved once it was done because. I just it was like ripping off a band and I’m so proud of it. I don’t mean to, like, say that I am expecting people to hate it because it’s it’s I think it’s great, but I just I understand why maybe it’s a little bit, you know, you’re either going to hate it or love it. There’s not going to be you’re not going to feel in the middle about it. You’re not going to be neutral on this movie.


Louis Virtel Like Charlie Puth says, you either hate me or love me. And I believe also, who else? You’re just like him. How about that?


Lukas Gage I’m just like him. I’m just like Charlie Puth.


Ira Madison III Isn’t that Carole’s tagline, You hate me or love me? There’s no in-between.


Lukas Gage I thought you were going to say it isn’t Carole’s tagline. I’m just like Charlie Puth.


Louis Virtel That’s actually Ira’s tagline. Yeah.


Ira Madison III I was shocked that you would even be surprised that people would dislike it. Maybe some critics, but I feel like I am always surprised that no matter what happens in your life, the Internet is always on your side. I mean, you’ve got shooters on Twitter, you know, basically, like any time anything happens to you, a TMZ headline, anything like people are always like, leave Luke Cage alone. We love Luke. Is Cage like, is it surprising to you that so many people are like, just sort of like, go up for you?


Lukas Gage I mean, it’s an honor. And I feel I’m so lucky that Twitter doesn’t. But there’s some haters. There’s some haters for sure. But I’m grateful for the most part. People have my back, I guess. But then, you know, I deleted my and deleted my fly with Perez Hilton other day.


Louis Virtel Oh, that’s right.


Ira Madison III Yes, you deleted it?


Lukas Gage Well, I just deleted my response. I was like, I just gave this guy what he wanted. He wanted clicks. He wanted he’s been, like, trying to push my buttons for a while. I gave him exactly what he wanted. I was a little bit drunk at South by Southwest when I responded to him drinking beer and having ribs in the morning and I was like, Fuck him. Why is he coming for me? And so I wrote that, that little response back. And then I was like, I don’t know. Then the anxiety kicks in when I’m on Six Flags the next day sober, looking at my phone and realizing that I kind of went a little bit crazy. I don’t know.


Ira Madison III I don’t know. People loved that, though. They mostly people. People loved it. People. I mean, like you have your perfected sort of like very good responses to assholes online. You know, people love that. People are always tweeting that they want you don’t know my alphabet t shirts. So you sure make those. Definitely.


Louis Virtel We should say quickly that what happened was Perez Hilton, the website I didn’t like sell it years ago. I’m sure it’s not him writing it. But anyway, he had said something like, I don’t know what he was referring to, but Lukas Gage isn’t as famous as he thinks he is or whatever, and I don’t know what the occasion was, but Lukas responded with, I haven’t read your site since 2008, which is what I mean the world would concur with. So I mean, that’s just a journalistic fact.


Lukas Gage Yeah, by the way, he’s not wrong, but I don’t even think I’m famous. I think I’m D-List. Like I’m agreeing with him. I just don’t know. Was coming for me and like, trying to listen. I’m not going to let some termite like, like Perez Hilton force me to to try to come clean to the world like that is not the person or the road that will be allowed to do that. Sorry, what were you saying?


Louis Virtel But I must I think it must be disorienting for like a newish celebrity to see, like a dubious headline about you because, like, about yourself. Because if I if it were me, I would also think, like, Oh, no, like people are saying this about me. Like I’m in the conversation. I should say something, but you’re not in the conversation. It’s a completely random person saying something and who fucking cares? Like if you now, if you say something about it now you’re in it. You know, you’re like, know. So it’s just it’s counterintuitive. It’s not how I would want to act. I would want to be, you know, spicy, shall we say.


Lukas Gage Thanks. Ira, what were you saying? I cut you off.


Ira Madison III No, I’m usually saying something nonsensical, But no, I was like, I think everyone has been in the midst of fights with that person. And mine were about, you know, my life, but mine were just about, you know, his wack non journalistic tendencies, you know, And then like, he’s always like, like get that’s exactly what he wants you fighting with him. And then I saw that like the Spider-Man into the Spider-verse premiere and he ducked his eyes and kept walking.


Lukas Gage Yeah, that’s exactly. You said I gave him exactly what he wanted.


Ira Madison III Yeah, because he’ll never post up.


Lukas Gage No. No. Oh, my God. I’d love to run at a Spider-verse premiere and just have it. Can you imagine me brawling Perez Hilton? It all happened.


Ira Madison III I want to change topics to another hot topic because I know how much you love reality TV. We talked about it last week on the show. I had to explain to Louis what Vanderpump Rules was.


Lukas Gage I’m sorry, what?


Ira Madison III I had to explain, what Vanderpump Rules was.


Louis Virtel Familiar with the names and some of the places, but it’s just not my brand, you know? You know, I’m more like like Lydia Tar is my reality hero. Not so much.


Lukas Gage I gotcha. You know? Yeah. I mean, both my heroes, by the way. Yeah. This is I mean, you really have to get on board. It is just watch seasons one through three in this current season. It is art, but it really is one of the best reality TV shows ever made. And it’s just it’s so good. But you got to catch on board because this this drama is unreal.


Ira Madison III Which is called the scandal ball. And I know your best is what people in the cast have. You talked to them? I sent Arianna a text and just said, I love you and Tom sucks.


Lukas Gage I definitely texted texted her and texted Katie and texted Lola getting the full to immediately. I asked for immediate receipts. And yeah I am very invested in it and. The man. It sucks, but I feel like. I feel like they’re both going to be better off. Both those girls are going to be better off without the times, and they’re both going to grow from this. They’re going to they’re going to come out on top. And honestly, I know this is a heartache. I am not on team or at all. I am so against what she did and how she’s not taking ownership or whatever. But I do kind of feel bad right now. I am worried that like someone should be watching her because the internet is just coming for her.


Ira Madison III Yeah, I mean, it shifted from excitement over a cheating scandal to people in her comments, you know, saying like all sorts of evil things to her, you know, like or a slut, like, kill yourself, etc.. Although. I would say conspiracy theory person that I am. Is that not what she wanted? Because she turned off the comments. Tom Sandoval turned off the comments on his Instagram completely. She left the comments on, but she turned them off on her apology. Post was reissued. She knows how to turn them off. At first, I thought she wasn’t smart enough to figure out how to do that, but she does know how to do it. So maybe that’s what she wants. A victim narrative.


Lukas Gage Okay. That’s that’s a hot take. And I could see that for sure. I could see that. I do know. I’m going to I’m going to spill some inside tea that’s going to, like, blow your mind. I do know from my little information I’ve been talking to them that Sandoval is refusing to leave the house.


Ira Madison III Like he’s not leaving.


Lukas Gage He ain’t leaving.


Ira Madison III Okay. Okay. So Louis, Sandoval and Ariana, you know, Sandoval is the one who cheated with Raquel. They own a house together in Valley Village. The darkest part of their relationship actually, is that they live in Valley Village. But he’s refusing to leave the house. That’s so.


Louis Virtel Room 2015.


Ira Madison III That’s so House of Sand and Fog.


Louis Virtel Yes.


Lukas Gage Room, Room. 2015. Ariana is replacing Brie Larson.


Louis Virtel Just as I had pitched. Yes.


Lukas Gage And Uncle Nick is being played by Tom Sandoval. Uncle Nick? Big Nick? God,  What was the name?


Louis Virtel Oh, wow. If you remember that. That’s way beyond me. I do not remember that.


Lukas Gage Oh, I have, quote room. I had a room joke in my movie that I wrote for Down Low because I don’t want to get any spoilers, but they have the inner monologue of Brie Larson being like, roll over, jump, like stop sign that whole thing because there’s a body in the back of a car. But I got it got next’d in a draft.


Louis Virtel Oh, that is a really hilarious reference. That’s really funny.


Lukas Gage Thank you. Thank you. I’ll put it in a movie somewhere. Somewhere.


Ira Madison III Well, thanks for that tea. I hope they can expel him from their house like a vampire or something. But go and see your movie, Down Low. One of my favorite people. And one of our favorite Keep It guests ever, Zachary Quinto is in the movie with you. So what was it like working with Zachary? You’re friends with Zachary. You know, I know you broke into my birthday party together.


Lukas Gage We did come to your birthday party together.


Louis Virtel He’s like a very serious actor to me. Like, just like there to do the project. You know, maybe it’s just the look in his eyes. Like he literally looks serious. He’s resting. Sam, the eagle face myself, so I know.


Lukas Gage Yeah, No, he’s just really he’s really intense as an actor, which makes him so good. And I love when he gets super intense and has these moments where he has full blown tantrums in the movie. Like, that’s. Those are my favorite moments of his. But he’s one of the funniest people I know. And I think I think you can attest that to like outside of the work, he’s so fun and loose and free and and and childlike in a lot of ways. Like he’s he’s very serious and very mature. But he also has this playful side that I think a lot of people haven’t seen, and he hasn’t been asked to do a lot of roles like that. So I think. I don’t know. I just loved working with him so much, and I think he’s such a good person and a good friend and but also a good scene partner and a generous scene partner. And I love him. I love Zach.


Ira Madison III I mean, you got, like, not just him, but, you know, you got like Judith Light in this film. Simon Rex, Audra McDonald. I’m just like, she.


Lukas Gage Queens and Kings


Ira Madison III One, jealous, obviously. But, you know, like what? What was the conversation like even getting these people to do the film was that was a lot of that writer and maybe his connections with some of these people. And then like once you’re on set with these icons, these legends, you know, like, what’s that even like?


Lukas Gage I mean, just going toe to toe with these icons, like you say that I have idolized and seen and plays and movies and just like the Simon Rex of it all that I idolized for just being a comedic genius for so long, just being able to go toe to toe to them with. These these words that I wrote with Phoebe on on a couch at three in the morning is just like the most surreal, insane experience of my life. But I think it was, you know, half I was half parts intimidating, but other half, like in a master class. And I was just trying to kind of soak in their process and watching them work and and just it was an honor to be able to like to be seen with all of them. And and they’re also so down to play. Like each week we kind of had a person that was like Simon Rex week, Judith Light week and then Audra McDonald week. And they all work so differently and but they’re also committed, so prepared, had every single insane dialog that I wrote that maybe didn’t make any sense off book and ready to go and 100 choices in their back pocket. And yes, Simon has become a really good friend of mine too, since then and and just such a good guy. And and I think he’s like one of the best improvvers I’ve ever. Is improvvers a  word or? Yeah, so. And.


Louis Virtel I like it. Yeah. Two Vs.


Lukas Gage Improvising actor. Yeah, Yeah. There you go. I am a literate writer, as you can see.


Louis Virtel Also, I hope his movie, Red Rocket, does not like become forgotten. We had him on the show last year for that movie and it was just that would have been a great best actor win. A very unusual. Yeah. Rugged, hilarious, uncomfortable performance. Just like very. I was so pleased with what he brought to that movie. And I know he had a bit of a renaissance, but it didn’t turn into a nomination. That’s so annoying, especially when you bring up these other two actresses who I believe have more Tonys than like fucking Hal Prince altogether. Jesus Christ. I took work with Audra McDonald. She’s like my dream Keep It guest right now. I can’t believe we haven’t had her on the show.


Lukas Gage You got to get her on. She is unbelievable. Next level genius. She has. I won’t give any spoilers, but like this four page monologue that she just she nailed. And the first take, we were like, okay, we got it. But then we did. I think we only had one other take and it was just one of the most perfect nuanced. She’s so still and it’s all just like bubbling up behind her eyes. Sorry, I didn’t even ask you to answer your question about how we got everyone on board. I’m just going on a tangent about obsessed time with everybody but Zac. I had I had begged him to do it and he was on board. He was able to get Judith Light on board. I was really advocating for Simon Rex and Audra McDonald. And when Filmnation who had worked, who was the people behind the film had had connections with both of them. And I think I think actually Glen Bosner was the one who, because Red Rocket hadn’t come out yet when we were filming, he he was. SIMON Rex was on a list, and he was the one who was like, Oh, yeah, we just did a movie with him. He’s actually really great, and I think he might have a moment coming up soon. So no one had any idea that that Simon Rex was about to blow up the way he did.


Louis Virtel To switch topics to, of course, the White Lotus. For a second, I was just thinking about the conversation about your character that season and just how incomparable. Like how many other actors don’t get the chance to like have people be intrigued with you and your character from week to week? Like we’ve only had a few like Mare of Easttown Big Little Lies and now the White Lotus, where every week I’m wondering what is that character going to do? Are they the bad guy? Are they nothing at all. Whatever. And what was it like being caught up in just people wondering what the fuck you were doing or what what happened next? And then, of course, you know, the first great ass eating moment on TV that we’ve ever had. Maybe the last one. I don’t know if. Do we deserve more? I’m not sure.


Ira Madison III That’s Girls erasure.


Louis Virtel That’s okay. That’s true. I feel bad about that. I do feel bad about that.


Lukas Gage Don’t do me like that.


Louis Virtel Yeah.


Lukas Gage I just rewatched all of Girls recently and it holds up. God, it’s so good. Yeah. I mean, it was just. I am so pleased and so happy for my wife because I’ve been a fan forever. And I was. I was just hoping that the world would get on board and I’m. I’m not surprised, but I’m happily pleased with the outcome of the show, how big it became, how massive people were on board with that show, and just being a part of it and being able to act. Marie Bartlett, Jennifer Coolidge, Molly Shannon. Like that was just a little girl’s dream come true.


Louis Virtel Yeah, I would say the exhilaration level on that show. I mean, like, nobody could have anticipated that, like a brand new show. I’m sure that was just like, almost exhausting how how obsessed people were with it.


Lukas Gage I mean, I love that. I was just so happy for everyone involved. And I have such a minor part in that show. But just to be a part of that that show and be on board with it was like, I just remember when that script came out and I was just fighting for anything to be a part of it. I knew it was kind of like the same thing with euphoria. Like there’s these smaller roles, but I’m like, I know this show and I know the creators behind it. I know the writing, the cinematography and the directing is going to be so unbelievable that I would be an idiot to not be a part of it in any way possible.


Ira Madison III Hmm. And I mean, going from a show that debuted, you know, as you were on it, to joining a show when it’s a monster, massive hit, you’re on the season of You. What was that like? Joy, that I mean, we talked a bit already here. What about you having to do a golden shower scene? Oh, yeah. But now it’s out and people have actually seen it. One of the responses been to that and, you know, the fact that you were always doing some crazy sex.


Louis Virtel Scene, I’ve got to say, anybody was prepared for this. It was. Yeah.


Lukas Gage I was the one to do it. It’s in my writer, like on my resumé. Now, if you need someone to do an insane sex scene and has no shame behind it, just hire Lukas Gage. I yeah. Again, I was that was a show that I was a fan of, and one of the first shows I’d been on that I’d watch before, like because Euphoria White Lotus, that was the first season. So this, this had a little bit of a, an adjustment curve of being like the one that Penn Badgley and I’m waiting for his inner monologue about how he wants to kill me and I’m a super fan. But like you got to be present and stay in your character and just listen to Joe or Jonathan this season. Yeah, I mean, I, I, when I got the audition, I think it said something like nudity, partial nudity or some sexual situations. And I was just like, I want to be a part of the show. I also thought, okay, it’s Netflix, it’s You, It can’t be that insane. Although I was very surprised by the the the dick that we got this season on on you season four. Good for them.


Ira Madison III Yeah.


Lukas Gage But so I wasn’t expecting anything too crazy And then I was on the show and then while we were filming, episode two came out and I read and I said, Oh God. Oh God.


Louis Virtel We’re back in the trenches.


Lukas Gage Here we go, Here we go.


Ira Madison III Have there been memes yet?


Lukas Gage I don’t know. You know, I think there’s been a few, but nothing too crazy. I just think everyone hates my character so much in that show and wants me dead, rightfully so. He’s so annoying and so obnoxious. But I love him even though he does very foul things. But yeah, I think the reaction is just all the fans can’t stand me and that maybe I was me doing the job right then I think you’re supposed to hate him.


Ira Madison III Lastly, I feel like we’re so used to seeing you, You know, it’s just like, just very relatable, funny person in real life and then also playing, you know, these sort of roles that are, you know, very much in the zeitgeist like that. But how to blow up a pipeline sort of feels like a different thing for you as an actor.


Lukas Gage Yeah, definitely. That was. I mean, that was the. I guess it’s a first of all, it’s a different genre of doing this heist type movie where we follow these. It’s like we call it like the Ocean’s 11 for eco terrorists. And it was a it was a topic that I had. I wasn’t well informed on. Let’s just say I had like I had to be taught a lot and had to read this book and and just had to. I remember reading the script being like, It’s so good, it’s so interesting. And I was such a fan of Daniel, but I had no idea what the hell these people were talking about. I really had no idea. And sometimes I’m watching it and I still have no idea what the hell they’re talking about.


Ira Madison III You’re like, What’s planet Earth?


Lukas Gage What’s an infrastructure? What’s planet Earth? What’s a normal? Yeah, like bt, but, I mean, that’s that’s the dream, right? Like, I think you get these scripts and and you can empathize with these characters that. You normally maybe wouldn’t or don’t have the knowledge on and get to learn all this new information and learn how to make, how to make a bomb to blow up a pipeline. I mean, who would have thought. But I we really, you know, were taught the steps of it and wanted to be informed on it. And and by no means are we, like, advocating for everyone to go out there and blow up the pipeline. But we you know, we’re calling to action, calling people to action on an issue that needs to be talked about and in maybe extremist way.


Ira Madison III So we don’t want a Jane Fonda moment.


Lukas Gage No, no.


Lukas Gage You know, when Lukas Gage advocates blowing up pipelines.


Lukas Gage I know, right.


Ira Madison III Although she would she’d be like, yeah, blow them up.


Louis Virtel I would say Jane Fonda would be like an unsurprising cameo for the final act of this movie. She’s like, Oh, by the way, I’m preparing for this. Yes.


Ira Madison III Yeah. It’s like, What the fuck do we do that? Jane Fonda steps in as Jane Fonda. She’s like, We’re gonna blow this motherfucker up.


Lukas Gage That would be sick. That would you really sick. I’m so into Jane Fonda blowing up a pipeline that’s hot.


Ira Madison III The sequel. You got to write it.


Lukas Gage Right.


Ira Madison III Jane Fonda blows up a pipeline.


Louis Virtel This is the 80 for Brady sequel. For the record, Yes.


Ira Madison III Yeah.


Louis Virtel Yeah. He’s on board, too. Lukas, thanks so much for being here. It’s always a pleasure just to run into you in general and the like at Hollywood Metropolitan. Yes. That varies. Yes. By the way, kind of say when people run running like a lot of people like look great when they work out. I truly look like a Nick Nolte in mug shot. So, like, you have to know if people run into me at the gym, it is just a horrible moment for me. Yeah.


Lukas Gage No, I think you look great. I’m always, like, frazzled and running in late with a ripped band T-shirt and, like, dirty gym shorts. You look amazing. You look stunning.


Louis Virtel Well, you heard it here first, everybody.


Ira Madison III So, yeah. No.


Lukas Gage Are going to talk about the story at your party, Ira? Is it never going to be talked about?


Ira Madison III We could talk about it. We could talk about it afterwards. When I feel okay, what would I kick you out of my home? Because you peed on my deck.


Lukas Gage I peed on. I did not pee on your deck. I peed in a bush and the bathroom was full. Okay.


Louis Virtel These are the adventures of actor choices that you need to survive in this business.


Ira Madison III Okay, Yeah, that’s fair. Because we talked about it in the cut.


Lukas Gage Back story, baby.


Ira Madison III We talked about for the cut, but it got cut. So one of Louis and I’s mutual friend, Steven, is your manager.


Lukas Gage We got to get him a full shout out. He’ll be pissed.


Ira Madison III Steven Timbari, youra manager. He’s fantastic. I hosted a birthday party for him in L.A. at my former home. And then someone came up to me and told me at some point during the party, Lukas Gage peed on your deck.


Lukas Gage By the way. What a snitch rat. And second of all, it was in a bush. And it was in a Bush and the  bathroom was full. And I had to pee so bad. And then I was kicked out. I was removed from a party and left. And the worst part of your house, has no wifi, has no service. And I was I couldn’t find anyone to like. I was knocking at the door. They get why viper an Uber. So walk down the hill of like Beachwood Canyon to get home. And I was so pissed.


Louis Virtel I just have to say about the both of you, you are both fucking pathetic. I cannot believe this fucking story. Also, I just want to say about your manager quickly. I checked my text after the Oscars and Steven’s like, he’s like, I won’t be able to start the Oscars on time. What time is Lady Gaga coming on? Honey, I don’t have a train schedule, but I don’t know when she’s performing.


Lukas Gage But not Steven. He was like at.


Louis Virtel 6:36.


Lukas Gage South by Southwest, and he was like, I got it, babe, babe, I got to get home. I got to get home and see Gaga. Like, I’m sorry. Like, I can’t change my flight. Like, it was all. It wasn’t my way to get home for the Oscars. He had to get home for Gaga. He loves. I mean, it’s a great song.


Ira Madison III Listen, the story of both of us sound crazy. But I was the world. I was very drunk. It was mid COVID.


Lukas Gage It was a sensitive time for all of us. Yeah, I and my feelings were hurt for a second, but then I think it actually made our friendship a lot stronger afterwards.


Ira Madison III It did. And I felt guilt from like sending you out into dark Beachwood Canyon. Like. Like you could have been murdered like it was Scream.


Lukas Gage Yeah. You know, like, I really could have been murdered.


Ira Madison III Knocked on the door, and they’re like, Lukas, do you know Lukas Gage? He was killed.


Lukas Gage He was murdered at Ira’s birthday party. But I do remember being in London with you at Jeremy Harris’s. We went to his play and then afterwards, like us hashing it out at the children firehouse and, like, embracing each other with a hug about it.


Ira Madison III We did it.


Louis Virtel Like, somehow this made it even worse. Good Lord.


Lukas Gage Yeah, this made it even where I’m making it. We’ll stop talking. Thanks so much for having me.


Ira Madison III Yeah, I love you, Lukas. We’ll see you soon.


Lukas Gage All right. Bye, guys.


Ira Madison III Bye.


Ira Madison III All right, Michael. You know this segment is. Keep It. What is your Keep It this week? Is it Oscars related or do you have some other gripe?


Michael Schulman You know, it is Oscars related and it kind of comes off of what we were talking about before with sort of Marvel elements getting into like a prestige movie. My keep it this week goes to. Battles. I have seen so many you know, I saw every like Oscar movie this year. I am so sick of movies that end with a giant battle. I’m just going to read a partial list, Everything Everywher, All at Once, Top Gun, The Woman King, All Quiet on the Western Front, Black Panther RRR, Avatar, which was like an hour long war, basically the last third of the movie. I liked a lot of those movies. So my problem isn’t with those movies. It’s just. It feels like every movie this year ended with, like, a climactic, huge battle sequence. And I just I feel like I’m almost I’ve seen it. I’ve seen I’ve seen so many people this year and movies like Impale each other and it starting to feel like the kind of elements of Marvel and action movies have really now infiltrated every single genre. And so, you know, even like, you know, I thought Woman King was really great, but at the end of it, I was like, I feel like I’ve seen this in a Marvel movie.


Louis Virtel Yeah.


Michael Schulman Like 2 seconds ago. And I you know, my personal taste is I would rather see a movie that ends with, you know, like a very tense conversation.


Louis Virtel Yes. We’re Frost Nixon-ing right here.


Michael Schulman Exactluy.


Ira Madison III Here you two go.


Louis Virtel Yeah. No, I agree. It’s funny that you call it a climax because it always, to me, feels like an anti-climax. It’s like, here’s the thing we expect now. It’s like, why am I even watching a movie? I have clearly seen this movie before now, you know?


Michael Schulman Yeah. And like even RRR, the battle sequences are bonkers. And you know, there’s the one where all the like the zoo animals fly out of a, of the cages and start like eating every one. And they’re very entertaining. And then there’s like a big one at the end. But I had sort of climax, you know, 2 hours before that watching not to, not to yes, you know, give me a give me a musical number. But it it’s like that same rhythm of like, okay, we’re in the third act. There’s going to be an insane battle sequence that sort of defies physics and you’re going to be happy about it.


Louis Virtel And there’s a winner and a loser. Yeah.


Ira Madison III Can I say I actually prefer the like, the old school, sort of like, not even like war movie, but, you know, like war battle sort of movie. Whereas like, you have the big fight or whatever. But this is a you know, this is maybe my version of like a tense conversation. At the end. You have the main protagonists and the antagonists, and they have their unfinished business at the end. And maybe that’s a fight, maybe it’s whatever, but it’s not as bombastic and marvel and big like Shooter. But as everything you know, I feel like the Northmen ended in a fantastic way this year. You know, it was just him deciding to stay and fight Polonius and then, you know, ascending up into the heavens, you know, like something like that. It felt at least a little bit different.


Louis Virtel This is just what’s coming to mind. A movie that I think ends really well that might otherwise end in some kind of a battle sequence is Apocalypse Now, like how it ends with the confrontation with Marlon Brando. And you just you’re introduced basically to his character at that moment and how strange he is. And that’s a nice, warped turn for the movie that’s already pretty warped.


Michael Schulman Yeah, they’re just like tropes within battle sequences now that are so worn, like how one supporting character dies. Yeah. So there’s like a moment of music, swelling and sadness and then like back to the battle. And there’s also the cliche of like that one perfect shot, which is really very big and Top Gun, like they have to get this one thing exactly right and hit this one mark and they do it and it’s like, okay, they did it.


Louis Virtel Yeah.


Michael Schulman Bull’s eye. I knew that was going to happen.


Louis Virtel Yeah. Imagine if that didn’t happen, right? Yeah. No. Also, that’s sort of something I hated about Top Gun. Like they are setting up the stunt of what the plane has to do from the beginning. Like, it’s like a gymnastics move that’s never been performed before. Like, if she doesn’t land on both her feet, we’re not going to win or whatever, you know?


Ira Madison III Right, Right. I mean, that’s just Star Wars.


Louis Virtel Right? Yeah, that too.


Michael Schulman That is Star Wars.


Ira Madison III Just blowing up the Millennium Falcon. I’m sorry, The Death Star. Oh, imagine the Millennium Falcon got blown up.


Louis Virtel Yeah, Yeah. You’re falling apart over there.


Ira Madison III I’m feeling like Chrissy in Three’s Company this week.


Louis Virtel You sure you’re exactly. Right on the phone.


Ira Madison III On a set with my phone. Yeah. Hi, guys.


Louis Virtel Well, I’m Joyce Dewitt,  I’m Joyce Dewitt with her hard bob waiting for you to fucking leave. Yeah.


Michael Schulman Kind of. Does that mean I’m John Ritter and I mean, I can be Mr. Roper.


Louis Virtel Yeah, easily.


Michael Schulman I drop by for fun. Yeah.


Louis Virtel You’re giving me any. I think they both want me. So either it’s acceptable. All right. Yeah. Don Knott’s I think won a ton of Emmys, at least for his earlier show.


Ira Madison III Anyway, he won six for Knots Landing.


Louis Virtel There’s not the same Knott and you know it.


Ira Madison III Louis


Louis Virtel My Keep It as two problem this week. One, Keep It just to people who ask me if I quote unquote, punched up the RRR speech because. He referenced the Carpenters, that it’s simply not how the Oscars work. They don’t they don’t reach out to the staff of the Oscars asking, is there any help?


Ira Madison III Is there any fagot backstage or does Karen Carpenter, we want to reference her.


Louis Virtel That was actually that girl. That was such an adorable speech, by the way, because he him bring up the Carpenters. Not just a surprise to me. It surprised everybody in the room. And then for him to do his speech to the tune of Top of the World Cupboard. Utterly adorable. I’ve never seen anything like that at the Oscars. That was great to see. And then the other Keep It,  I’ll say as an Oscars fan, unfortunately, Keep It to the In Memoriam, which left out and Hayes, who is, you know, just a definitive late nineties movie star in lots of famous movies. Do you know what I didn’t know about the In Memoriam until it was confirmed to me the other day, even though I think this is just public knowledge, if you win an Oscar, you’re automatically in the in memoriam. So that pushes so many people out of the package. Ultimately, they can only have so many, you know, in the show. But it’s like not to be a dick. If I’m choosing between animation, Kirstie Alley who got into it, I might have gone in.


Ira Madison III Hmm.


Michael Schulman I do enjoy guessing beforehand who’s going to get the final slot. And I will say I did absolutely guessed directly as it was happening. I leaned over to the person next to me and said, Walter Mirisch. And there he was.


Louis Virtel I was very surprised. So you really beat me on.


Michael Schulman That because I know my academy history. He was a long standing president of the academy in the seventies. Right?


Louis Virtel Right. But you would have thought Angela Lansbury is still going to clear that, right? Anyway, you did it. You beat me.


Ira Madison III I don’t think enough people laughed at it. And maybe it was different in the audience, but I did like the Robert Blake joke.


Louis Virtel Oh, that was very funny. I found also Robert Blake. I mean, in addition to being a murderer, one of the craziest fucking celebrities who ever lived, that interview he did with Piers Morgan, where he’s wearing like a leather vest and nothing else. I mean, truly the kind of person who, like Baretta, would have a big bird on his shoulder all the time. I mean, a crazy person. Ira, what is your Keep It this week?


Ira Madison III My Keep It goes to the the attacks that I faced.


Louis Virtel Oh, here we are.


Ira Madison III Online when I simply said that if you want to revisit the works of Brendan Fraser. You don’t necessarily need to watch Encino Man, because you know what? It’s a bad movie.


Louis Virtel It is abysmal. Is this controversial at all.


Ira Madison III Because there’s two Oscar winners. I was called. I was called a thief. I was called a crook. I was called the cook, his wife and his lover.


Louis Virtel But I will say it’s giving a aggrieved woman in a murder mystery right now like your pearls and swipes.


Louis Virtel I mean and  listen, we know that I champion movies that have, you know, less than stellar quality. Yeah, I love Scream three. I want a sequel to the three, five, five. But I don’t know. I like it was always on TV as a kid, and I don’t like it. I don’t like it.


Louis Virtel Right. It’s in that it’s in that definitive genre of played on Comedy Central all the time. And because it was there, I would always see like a truncated version of it where like, you know, the big sex scene was taken out or whatever. I’m talking about airheads. I’m talking about the Money Pit. I’m talking about the chase with Charlie Sheen. These are terrible films, and I have seen them 70 times on accident.


Ira Madison III Now I will offer you and I are 86 millenials. You know, also.


Louis Virtel Since Lady Gaga, Lindsay Lohan, great year.


Ira Madison III Yeah. You know, so when we were watching these films on cable constantly, unlike, you know, the the Gen Xers who are right above us watching those at the same time, I’m going to I’m going to tell you one slight difference between us and them. We were not fucking stoned.


Louis Virtel Yeah, right.


Ira Madison III Okay. Yes. I wasn’t stoned on a Saturday afternoon watching Encino Man on Comedy Central. That’s why I don’t think it’s one of the best fucking movies in the world. Right. Okay.


Louis Virtel No, I’ve only seen Up in Smoke stoned sober. Yes, Right.


Ira Madison III If you want to revisit the iconic films of Brendan Fraser, let’s talk about Bedazzled.


Louis Virtel Oh. Oh, Number one.


Michael Schulman Bedazzled. I actually felt like the whale was somehow like a subplot of bedazzled. Like. Like Brendan Fraser had. His character had been like, I wish to be an Oscar winner. And like, Elizabeth Hurley sort of winks and goes, okay, stud


Louis Virtel I fucking love her in that movie and I love Elizabeth Hurley.


Ira Madison III Also, someone was in my mentions being like, Oh, the Dudley version was better. And you know what? It’s not.


Louis Virtel Right. Yeah.


Ira Madison III Elizabeth Hurley makes that movie and Brendan Fraser is at his hottiest. And if you want to watch Brendan Fraser and another hot role, George of the Jungle. That movie is that movie I will recommend. Okay. I don’t even know. I don’t even remember the plot.


Louis Virtel Right now, but I remember watching Cartoon Network at the time thinking they better get this adaptation right. I hope they get all these historical details down on the screen. This is an important document of the Jungle times.


Ira Madison III The way I used to have, the way I used to have my own double features. I feel like I used to back to back. Just watched George of the Jungle and Jungle to Jungle.


Louis Virtel Oh, wow. Which I would rarely put them in the same cinematic universe. So brave of you to do that.


Ira Madison III I mean listen, a Tim Allen classic. Okay. Yeah. I love Jungle to Jungle.


Louis Virtel And then Jungle Fever, the full trilogy.


Ira Madison III Otherwise, you know, I think The Scout is funny ish.


Louis Virtel Yeah, that’s all right.


Ira Madison III And then you, you know, you have you have School Ties, which is an actual good film. And people suggest it to me, Mrs. Winterbourne, which I unfortunately have not seen.


Louis Virtel I have definitely seen that movie. It’s okay. I remember believing in the prestige powers of Ricki Lake. I remember that moment in time. Sure.


Ira Madison III Gods and Monsters is a great thing.


Louis Virtel Oh, that’s his best movie. Ian McKellen, Oscar nominated, of course. And. And Lynn Redgrave, too.


Ira Madison III Yeah. And we don’t even need to mention The Mummy, you know, And The Mummy Returns because those are already in on the Criterion Collection.


Louis Virtel So, no, I’m still I’m like free hand drying. Rachel Weisz It’s like a crazy superfan. All the time. I’m constantly thinking about her.


Ira Madison III I truly feel like she as hot as he is, and as much as we love him, I feel like she is the reason people keep talking about are the Mummy movies. And then, of course, Michelle Yeoh is in the third Mummy movie with Brendan, which is very bad, but they’re very good that you notice. I did not mention Dudley Do-Right with Sarah Jessica Parker.


Louis Virtel Well, we really threw him in that. And George of the jungle, we were just like, you know, Hanna-Barbera ing his ass up and down and back.


Ira Madison III With him with, like, with a blond love, which was okay. Sarah Jessica Parker. That will be a blast from the past Alicia Silverstone.


Louis Virtel Yes, I think we’ve named all of his films now, so yeah, I don’t If there’s any left, I’ve simply bought them.


Ira Madison III Yeah. So that is just to say Encino, Man. Awful.


Louis Virtel Give it. Come on, Pauly Shore. Give it a rest.


Ira Madison III Yeah.


Michael Schulman Put it back in the permafrost. Yeah.


Ira Madison III Yeah, but I’m sure we’re, I’m sure if not. And some Encino Man two where at least had it to some, like, Encino Man sequel, like Super Bowl commercial or something.


Louis Virtel Oh, right, right, right, right. Yeah. What’s the Cobra Kai version of Encino, Man? Yes. Uh huh.


Ira Madison III Yeah. Yeah. They’re going to link up for something in the future. Anyway.


Louis Virtel Yeah, that’s our episode. But we ended up being very comprehensive. And Michael, your new book is terrific. And by the way, we should say your last book about Meryl Streep. So fucking good. Before you go, what can I. What’s your favorite, I guess, underrated Meryl Streep performance.


Michael Schulman Oh, underrated. Underrated. Okay, wait, wait, wait.


Louis Virtel And that can have lots of definitions. Basically not Kramer versus Kramer or Sophie’s Choice or mine.


Michael Schulman She Devil.


Louis Virtel I think She Devil is essential to understanding Meryl Streep because it’s the rare movie where that role could have been any number of comic actresses of the time. You can picture Bette Midler or Goldie Hawn or whomever, and she is unbelievable and so funny.


Michael Schulman Yeah, And that was the point of her career where I think where she was just like, you know, I’m 40. I’m funny and I’m sick of doing these accents in these dramas. And why not the hell just play Mary Fisher in She Devil. I was so obsessed with that movie when I was like 13 that I actually read the novel She Devil, which is incredibly dark and disturbing.


Louis Virtel Oh, wow. I did not know it was an adaptation. All right.


Michael Schulman Sure was. Yeah. And I also loved that there was a moment in history where Meryl Streep was the second, you know, billed actress in a movie star, Roseanne.


Louis Virtel Yeah, right. She like his third bill. I would put her beneath Ed Begley almost right. Yeah.


Ira Madison III So and unfortunately, Roseanne is awful at that movie.


Louis Virtel She is not good. It is a very sullen Roseanne performance.


Ira Madison III It is. It is. It is like one of her worst performances. I like. We revisited that on like the show, baby a year or so ago, like and she’s just like Meryl is the bright spot of that movie. It’s like Roseanne and Ed Begley are like, What the fuck are y’all doing?


Michael Schulman And it was also a real like, it was it was it set her on the road to Death Becomes Her, which I also think is very important. If it existed for that reason alone that you know, Diana, that would have been enough.


Ira Madison III I would say my favorite underrated Meryl performance is Defending your Life.


Louis Virtel Oh, come on, Albert Brooks. Meryl Streep. So funny. I just love, like a man the age of like a concept comedy. You know, maybe that new Jennifer Lawrence movie is kind of a concept comedy, but it just feels like a thing of the past in the way where it’s like.


Ira Madison III It’s like a Cameron Diaz throwback.


Louis Virtel What are these two weirdos are up to. Yeah. Cameron Diaz.


Ira Madison III Right? Yeah. I mean, listen, we could do with more comedies like that because I think we said before of the show the main problem with comedies now they’re not funny.


Louis Virtel How about that?


Ira Madison III It’s just people in light situations.


Louis Virtel And I’m already in one. Yes, so.


Ira Madison III Michael, thank you so much for joining us.


Michael Schulman Thanks for having me. This was so much fun.


Ira Madison III Yeah. And thank you to Lukas Gage for joining us as well. This has been Keep It. We’ll see you next. 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 as 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.