Dinner For Five
April 22, 2002Dinner for Five invites four celebrities and the host (Jon Favreau) to dinner to talk about whatever they want to, share some drinks, some food and some laughs. It actually is a televised dinner. Another contribution to reality TV I guess.
The show was broken down into segments with a little description of the segment on a black screen between them. The show was 30 minutes long.
Click on the pictures for a larger view and follow the links to view Real Video of the show.
Since this is such a long transcript, I've put the beginning of Jeff's lines in red so you can find them easily.
Dinner for Five
Cuts in to Jeff and Illeana laughing
Illeana Oh here we go.
Jon We were doing this IFP panel . . .
Illeana I'm not even drunk yet and he's starting!
Jon We were on a panel with all these young film makers and we were sitting there. It was Illeana, myself. . .
Illeana Bill Pullman
Jon Bill Pullman was there . . . It was all about them coming to us as young producers wanting to ask us questions about how to get their movies made. So they said "so how you do go about it?" Someone asked a question about casting and about foreign financing and I explained how it has to be an equation and if you don't want to have any stars or you want to direct your thing, you should put together an ensemble of different stars maybe that might appeal to different foreign financiers. Then Illeana takes the mic and she and she starts saying "what ever happened to making a movie out of passion. I mean, I'm sick of hearing people like this talking about..." and she starts crying. I'm there...I just met her in the back room. We were, like, all happy
Illeana We were great
Jon She just railed and railed doing this big tirade and the place burst into applause. I felt like the biggest ass. I felt like the biggest, like, here I am, trying to give them some pragmatic knowledge.
Illeana Something happened to me. I had this weird, like, Jimmy Stewart moment. I don't know what happened. I was so horrified afterwards.
Jeff That's impressive I don't think you were...
Illeana I said, I was like, "we're making art here. We're not baking a cake". Blah blah blah...I dunno. It was truly embarrassing and then to my horror everyone started applauding and Jon looked like this villain.
Jon I was like the studio head there.
Illeana And then the rest of the night, like anytime I talked, Jon would go, "You're not going to start crying are you? Are you OK? I can talk about...."
Jon You snapped right out of crying too and you started joking with me, like whispering jokes to me. It was a very strange surreal experience for me.
Illeana I've never mixed medications after that though
You want me to do that?Fred When you're an actor and the director gives you a direction that you think is wrong, what do you do?
Jeff I dunno, I'm usually kind of crazy in some way and umm passively cooperative. And I go [points] "mmm, uh hmm, you got something there. That's good!" And then "watch this" and I do whatever...you know something, what I want. I try to please myself too.
Jon I always find it's an ego game. I always find that if you say you're wrong to a director you're probably not going to have a good day. .. It's probably not going to be a fun take. So much of acting is being loose so I, as little as possible come in my way, I find, unless I'm doing something bad then come and let me know. But I agree with Jeff. I believe it's the art of satisfying the ego of the director while still feeling like you're doing something with your emotions.
Jon You were. You really set the tone on that. It really taught me a lot actually because it was one of my first films. Christian had, oh I'm very bad with lines, and Christian had maybe 5 times the lines I had and he was always off book solid.
Christian It was important me, at least on that, to be as clear and focused as I could be. Because on projects I had before, you know, I could wing it. Rely on instincts. Just kinda show up and uh and it just would work. I didn't feel very comfortable. It worked for a while but it eventually stopped working and I realized I needed to a do little preparation.
Flowery PhrasesFred They called me...Christopher Guest, they said we're doing this movie. They told me the plot and then he said and "oh, it's going to be all improvised. There's going to be no script". My first thought is "oh great nothing to memorize" and then I started to go home and I thought "oh wait, that's not going to be easy." Because you have to do your homework. You can't just memorize lines. You gotta be prepared because the pitfall is to be with a bunch of a people like Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara and just sit back and say "Oh gee, aren't they good" and never get into the game. He said "listen, this idea," he said "all my friends like Martin Short want to be in it." Then he said, "but I don't want them I want people who aren't that recognizable." So that brought me right down. [laughs] Yeah, There's no script.
Jeff That's so so hard
Fred Scary. Now I would not want to be...if I go see a movie that's been improvised, I would not want to go see it but for some reason it worked. Because you know the framework...
Jeff A lot of improvised movies don't work.
Illeana When you did Best in Show did you do research on the dogs?
Fred Yeah, well what they did, they sent me the tape of the Westminster Dog Show. I didn't even . . . well, I knew there was a Westminster Dog Show but I didn't know it was on television. And he said "you'll notice Joe Garagiola is the color man and he hasn't taken any effort to learn anything about dogs. I've heard Joe Garagiola on telev. . . on ball games and he seemed to go out of his way to have very flowery phrases. I remember once he said "the fans are leaving like the concessionaires are selling fire." I thought now that's a weird thing to say. So I tried to use that kind of pattern. When the dog jumped up I said "he went after her like she was made out of ham" [laughs] and I thought "now what would he say in certain situation?" So it didn't all come, like, right on the spot. They showed me film of what I was supposed to have seen and the guy who was my co-host, Jim Kidd-the English guy, people say "Is he a real dog expert?". Actually, he knew no more about dogs than I do.
The Sensitive SexistIlleana After you did Swingers did you have a probl...I would assume that women would be like "You're that sexist guy who did that movie" or was it the opposite?
Jon No, no not at all. I had a much easier time getting women after I was famous.
Illeana Oh no, that's so sad!
Jon Why is that sad?
Jeff Was he sexist in the movie? You were attractive in the movie, a very sexy fellow? Am I right?
Illeana So people didn't . . .
Jon I don't think I was sexist
Jeff I didn't get that terrible reading
Illeana [laughs] Slightly, well it was about dating and trying to get girls in bed and stuff...
Jon What's sexist about that?
Illeana Not sexist . . .
Christian He was heartbroken..
Illeana It's about a guy sort of plotting
Illeana Look, I have no other women on my side. Back off. Chill.
Jon Were a lot of very sensitive men.
Illeana You were trying to get girls.
Jon Is that sexist?
Illeana So I'm saying...
Jon The irony is that the more unapologetically sexist men are in movies, the more women tend to be attracted to that person.
Illeana OK, that's what I wanted to hear
Jeff is that true for you?
Illeana No, that's why I find it interesting.
Jon Like you [to Christian] you were always the bad boy...
Illeana Like whatever you play in movies do people then?...People tend to
Jon They hope.
Christian They hope, yeah.
Illeana They hope?
Christian Then you try to live up to that projected image.
Illeana And that's sad. That I find true.
Christian Yeah it's exhausting.
Illeana It's sad.
Jon I was so sensitive in the movie. Women would be like "Your nothing like the guy in the movie"
Illeana [fake voice] "You're not sweet and sensitive!"
Jon [girl voice] "You're not looking for a girlfriend"
Christian When you play like crazy and wild characters and you meet people and they're like "You're boring!"
Illeana Yeah I know
Christian And you fell like "Gees."
Shaken not stirred.Jeff There...I want to see a movie that you've been in which I've never seen which is Name of the Rose which everybody says I've got to see.
Christian Oh yeah, that was cool.
Fred Good movie.
Jon What was that...like Sean Connery?
Christian Yeah, Sean Connery. I was like 15 years old
Jon That was like your first real, big, acting part.
Jeff what was that like?
Christian It was horrifying
Jon I was more the Roger Moore generation. He was mine
Christian I liked Roger Moore, but when I saw the Sean Connery movies, it was a whole different thing.
Jon He just was so cool.
Fred I had to interview Roger Moore at Nappy a couple years ago. So, one of my last questions was, "What what did you think of the last James Bond?" He said [fake voice] Well I haven't seen it because I knew I'd be asked that and if I can't say something good..." [normal voice] So all that talk and he didn't approve of anything since him.
It's not the acting they pay you for.Illeana When your an actor, sometimes you have to wait for the crew. . . it starts getting dominated by the crew, special effects, camera, lighting, etc. And suddenly everybody forgets "wait we have to act?" You know? Without acting, without good acting, there's no movie and sometimes you kinda have to scare the crew or scare everybody into remembering that it's not about the light in this special position and stuff. Have you ever found that?
Jon My first director that I was with was probably the best director I've ever worked with. David Anspaugh. He directed Rudy. He was so great. This is a good director: My first day, this was my first time on a set where it wasn't like a TV show or a commercial, where it was more than one day's work. I did my little performance of a scene and he pulled me aside and said, "You wearing a mic?" And I was wearing a lav and he looked. He turned it off and he brought me away and said, "if you don't mind me saying this, do it a little bit smaller. Do you mind me saying this?" and I was like, "No no, I'm happy you're telling me this." And I thought, "how cool." That said so much that he had the respect to turn my mic off so the crew couldn't hear what he was telling me on the headphones. And another time the crew was sort of grumbling and he said, "You want another take?" and I said, "no, everybody is getting tired." Because you like the crew and you spend more time with the crew than with the director. And he said, "Let me worry about everybody, do you want another take?" and I said, "Yeah, I'd really like to try it again." He just made me feel so protected from all the distractions that you might have and just a wonderful thoughtful...
Christian That should be a directors job, to make you feel protected.
Jeff That's wonderful, respectful.
Fred Actually, the takes on the movie take the least time. All the time is spent on the lighting and the waiting. The take is like 30 seconds.
Christian It's like Orson Wells said, "It's not the acting they pay you for, it's the wait."
Illeana That's what I mean. It's like, they light it for six hours and then they're like, "come on, come on" and they rush you. They're rushing you.
Christian You're sitting in your trailer and you're watching the sun come up and you're like "This is a night scene. What is going on? How can it be this difficult?"
Illeana That's always my fantasy for the audience. That just, they have no idea the time spent, you know? Like again, the movie I just did. Wake up at 4, picked up at 5. An hour to the set. No one has any idea.
Jon That's what great about independent films. As much as you're slumming it and as much as the food sucks and as much as you don't have the time to get as many takes as you'd like sometimes, it's lack of experience sometimes. You're compelled to shoot x number of pages a day and that gives an energy to it. Those big movies, whenever I visit the set. I visited Lost World when Vince was there. It would drive me batty as much time as you're sitting in your trailer waiting for everything to be just right. When you got all the money, they just want everything to be just right. The studio movies I've done it's been pretty much the same thing. It's just so much showing up days and never working. When you throw all that money at a movie...The Replacements was like that.[really's from others] Oh yeah. I'd be in my football uniform all day and just sitting around a trailer.
Christian You don't think about that. Yeah, you get all dressed up in your uniform...
Illeana Let me ask one question, this is like my own cliche. Do you find that when you're in the goofiest outfit that somehow the worst thing in your life is possibly happening? Your in a really a goofy outfit, and your on the phone saying look at me, my life is in hell but I'm an archeologist.
Jon I love on the lot where the people dress with like the alien heads, like the Paramount lot, breaking up with their girlfriends over the cell phone.
Illeana Yeah, yeah as soon as you said football I can imagine you're buying your house but you're . . .
Jon Yeah yeah yeah, in shoulder pads.
Illeana I love things like that.
Jon I did a Seinfeld where I was clown. And no matter how much...you take your wig off and you're still dressed like a clown. And so here I am, enamored with the whole show and the thing, and every time I would walk up to someone to say something. [other laugh] Sienfeld was like "Every time I look at you I feel like I'm in a Mel Brooks movie." It was very surreal.
Illeana That's great!
Christian How about having to dress up like a woman? Have you ever had to dress up like a girl or like a woman?
Illeana Oh you're kidding
Fred In sketches no
CantaloupeJeff Your wife is a doctor. You should be very...she must be at home now healing people so keep that in mind.
Jon That's right
Jeff Doctors...she must be very open-minded. You know, doctors know the human body inside and out and are...
Jon Especially mine. Pretty early in the relationship, she was just a first year intern, a first year resident, she like was examining me, like touching me and then like examining me and she made the doctor face. You know like that face that the make, like when they know something but let them make sure and how are they gong to say things in laymans terms. Sorta that [makes face]. So she's feeling me and I said, "What?" and she said, "You might have a, I'm not sure but there's a certain thinness in the wall here and you might have a hernia." I was about to shoot Rocky Marciano which was going to be a big break for me and I was starring in this thing and I'm like, "What?" She said, "It's not big a deal, worse case scenario, you don't have an oper...alot of people like in the VA and the veterans hospital don't have the operation they wear a truss. The worse thing I've ever seen is people with scrotum the size of a cantaloupe." She's like, "That's the worse." I said "how can you tell me that's the worse?" and she said, "It's not like you're dying. The worse case scenario is that your scrotum gets huge from you intestines falling." Now I can't get a checkup because I'm thinking like an actor and I gotta fill out my form for the insurance and if I say I might have a or have a hernia. . . A hernia is like a preexisting condition. I can't be in a boxing movie and this is my big break so she says, "Let me make some calls, let me call a surgeon." Surgeons have offices, some of them, that are about the size of this table and I literally had to go into this surgeons office. As a favor, she was going to check me out and you gotta lay on the floor. You can't lay on the desk so I'm down on the floor, on the rug, with her hand down my pants.
Illeana oh that old story. [Laughs]
Jon And she's like...and the surgeons know. They have to know because if they operate on you and you don't need it. The surgeon knows like that. And she says, "You don't have a hernia" and I was like, "great" and ever since then my wife has never checked me.
Jeff So your scrotum has never ballooned to cantaloupe size?
Say it like this
Fred I always heard, "never give an actor a line read". You hate that? I wouldn't...
Jon What counts as a line reading? When somebody actually says the line to you in the way that they want you to say it?
Fred Say it this way. I've had directors tell me do it this way and sometimes I want to say "let me hear you say it". I wouldn't be offended. Jeff would you?
Jon You seem like you...
Illeana Sometimes they do. I remember when I was doing Stir of Echoes and I had the biggest the laugh. David Koepp was the director.
Jeff David Koepperli? Lost World.
Illeana He's wonderful
Jeff I love David Koepperli.
Illeana He's wonderful. He's incredible. We love him... you know we adore him. And we're doing the scene and we're fighting trains and weather and there's lots of problems with the scene and then right before, we done, like, about 10 takes and he goes "You know what it is?" You know what it is? You're Max von Sydow in The Exorcist and walks away. And I was like "I'm Max von Sydow in the...?" and action. "I'm Max von Sydow" and the rest of the scene was gone. I was like, "David what the hell did you tell me that for?" I couldn't get the scene.
Cut outJon Nothing upsets me more than being cut out of something.
Fred Kevin Cline was cut out of the "The Big Chill."
Jon Kevin Costner
Fred Was that Cost...I
Fred I mean I just hate it.
Jon [To Jeff] Did you see Kevin Costner in that?
Jeff Yeah, we were there for that whole flashback scene. Yeah, he had a whole flashback scene.
Christian I still don't get what that scene was about. What was it about?
Jon Did that surprise you? Were you relieved?
Jon I get psyched when other people are cut out. [oh, come on] Seriously, because it's more time for me.
Fred But it feels like a piece of me is taken out of me.
Christian It's the worse feeling in the world.
Illeana I make jokes about it. I mean, you could make a laser disc out of all the movies I was cut out from. There was one year I was cut from like 5 movies. Yeah. But then they put it on that damn computer thing.
Jon That's right, IMDB.
Jon Internet Movie Database.
Illeana Yeah, they put you were on it and then they put that you're deleted. Like you've have some life problems or something.
Jon They put me in the credits though, as a courtesy. In Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle. And I've have people say "You were great in that" [others "no" and laugh].
Illeana I've got that too and I always just say "Thank you"
Jon But it tells me what kind of people they are. Of course, I understand now. I've trimmed people way down. But you have to serve the movie. You gotta do what's best for the film and you have to make people sit through more movie if it's not working or if it's off. As a writer it's awful too.
Illeana That's me. If it's character driven, yes. There was a movie I was in where they cut someone and I was upset. They said it quote unquote did not serve the film.
Christian Sometimes you've had a speech in a movie or something and then they trim it in the middle and all you see is the middle section and then you go see it and you think "wait that does seem right now because the flow is wrong."
Fred I'm so glad to hear this. I was taking it personally
Jon I've cut myself out. That's what you realize, you gotta make the best movie you can.
Same Sex Marriage
Fred I was in a celebrity tennis match once and they ask you to come to the dinner afterwards to meet the people because the people pay good money. So I went and most of the celebrities afterwards all go and sit at one table so I didn't want to do that. I wanted to wander around because the people paid good money. I walk up the first table and I said "hi is everyone having a good time?" And she says, "Were you on"...She says, "Who are you?" I said, "I'm Fred Willard." and she says, "Were you on Roseanne?" I was on Roseanne and Martin Mull and I got married in a homosexual wedding. And I said "yes I was" and she said "Oh you're the guy that uh, one of the two guys that married." And I said yes. And she said, "That's when I stopped watching the show." [Others laugh and Slater says "oh no"] and I thought of a million retorts but at the time I just went back and sat at our celebrity table. Here I was just trying to be polite.
Jeff You were certainly polite
You Should Do More
Fred I hate to go to parties with people who aren't in the business and the first you hear is "you gotta forgive me, I never go to the movies." or "I never watch television, tell me what it is you do" it's something that when you're with an actor you know you're starting...you talk.
Jeff But with some people it's a passively, uh, kinda hostile thing that they do sometimes. Don't you find that sometimes?
Jon I don't think that they are.
Jeff I dunno...In some cases...Sometimes they do. People will...yeah
Jon I hate the one where they love you and they're like, "Oh my god what movie was that that you were in?" and then you have to start listing stuff. I always start with the most recent and then you have to go to the more obscure.
Illeana I hate that.
Jeff Or they go "Oh I don't like the movies" "I don't go to the movies" Or they'll go. Or they'll go. "Oh Jon Favreau, you should do more. You should be working more."
Fred "You're Good."
Jeff "Why haven't...Why haven't we seen you? You should, you should." [others are making comments too] They wouldn't say that to you of course because you're, you're, you're prolific but they've said it to me.
Jon [To Christian] You had to worse because you went through the whole teen young thing.
Christian I got some screams
Jon The whole sex symbol, young, teeny boppers in love with you . . .
Illeana That must be hard.
Jon It must be crazy.
Fred I'd love it.
Illeana You said that so seriously.
Jon It is. It's cool but I think it's sorta scary.
Christian It is scary. It's a little scary. Because it's also that projected image thing we were talking about. You know. You don't know who you you're supposed to be or who they think you are. You don't know what the heck's going on.
Jon It's almost like they're so much around you.
Illeana Do you try to be your movie?
Illeana You have to be right?
Christian It's almost like you shut down because you don't know what to do. You can become very withdrawn.
Jon It's like...
Jeff When you were married is it difficult when you're married. I mean, does it cause problems with your wife? I mean, going, "Oh gees my husband is so...."
Christian It could. If you were dating someone that could be weird
Jon They like the attention though if you're respectful to them.
Christian If it's girls coming up to you or girls looking at you from across the room you can't help but, you know, you catch people's eye and that can be a little interesting.
Jon But if you were single, these days, that'd be even harder in a way. Because it's so...It's like drinking out of a fire hydrant. There's no way to meet somebody. They're all coming at you with such force that you can't have a real relationship, Very tricky I would think.
Fred [jokingly] And having women use you just for sex. I find that disgusting. Jeff, let's excuse ourselves!
Jeff [laughing] Let's get out of here.
Black screen, credits roll but you can still hear voicesJeff If you were.. Have you ever played the essence game? If you were a dessert, what would you be?
Illeana If I were a dessert, I'd have to be apple pie.
Jeff Really? Really?
Illeana With Ice cream on top.
Fred Good answer.
Jeff Oh what kind...vanilla ice cream?
Illeana Oh you bet.
Jeff Hot apple pie with melting vanilla ice cream.
Illeana Defiantly hot.
Jeff Not a piece of cheese?
Illeana [laughs] No cheese.
Jeff You ever had apple pie with Cheddar cheese on it?