This is an unofficial transcript from an interview with CC Perkinson of CC Variety.TV, added to Youtube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rSmZnueWmU) on 12 January 2008. It was typed by Hilary, not provided by CC.
(Music starts. CC appears)
CC: Hi, I’m CC with CC Variety TV! We are in Beverly Hills at the Lodge with Golden Globe nominee Jason Isaacs from The State Within,
so obviously we are not going to have the Globes which is a big
disappointment for all of us and I would imagine for Jason as well so
let’s find out a little more about that and obviously it was a best
actor nominee in a mini-series so tell us about State Within.
Jason: State Within
. . . well it’s a—the reason I felt really bad apart from my own
selfish thing about not wearing my tux and getting to hobnob with all
the stars is that it’s a BBC America show, it was a six-part
miniseries, it went down a storm in England, I think it was a
three-parter here, and BBCAmerica is this fantastic channel that’s in
60 million homes, but they don’t have a big advertising budget so the
Golden Globes was a really big deal for them. It was
nominated for best mini-series, I got a nomination and they got another
nomination for something else, and it’s a big lost opportunity for them
to tell all of America how great their shows are.
CC: Absolutely, because it was also nominated for best, what, motion picture in TV as well?
Jason: Best—best mini-series. The writer’s a really good friend of mine. I had to call him the other day and say, “You’re not coming”! I
lent him my tux from the show—in the show, I had this very very
expensive tailored tux and he came into my house and he got it the
other day and he put it on and it’s really, it’s like, (gestures at his
chest)—it’s a beautiful thing and I think he’s probably at home
parading in front of the mirror (CC laughs) as we speak.
CC: —wishing he had somewhere to go in it! How unfortunate, I mean, nice tux, I would imagine . . . So on The State Within, what was your favourite part in the movie, what’s captivating about the movie that you liked it so much—
Jason: Well I was the good guy. I’ll
tell you what it was, the BBC in Britain and BBCAmerica who put money
into it, get to make shows that American television would never dare to
make. You know, it’s very morally grey, it’s not made for
commercials—when you make shows in America, you have to write a little
twist or turn before each commercial to stop people flippin’ around. Well
when you tell a story over six hours, you know, without any concern for
whether people are gonna watch it, they didn’t underestimate the
audience intelligence, at all—you have to be smart to watch it, you’ve
gotta be on the ball, you can’t look away, you can’t be doing the
crossword at the same time. Um, so it’s a really interesting, grown-up
complex story and I get to be at the center of it, trying to save the
world from, uh, disaster and from war and since I’m normally maiming
and raping and burning and gouging people’s eyes out it was a nice
change of pace for me, I get to—
CC: Wow, I would guess . . .
Jason: I got to get the girl a couple of times
Jason: You know, which is always fun.
CC: It’s always good to go get the girl, go home with the girl--
Jason: “What’d you do today, Dad? Well . . .” (CC laughs)
CC: Also, now also I find it very interesting you actually went to law school and got your degree in law but yet you’re acting.
Jason: Well, do you know any lawyers? I mean, have a lot more fun than they do, you know. (CC laughs)
CC: I know a lot of lawyers who represent you guys.
Jason: I have a lawyer . . . I’m sure he’d like to swap! I
get to go out and do uh extraordinary things, in my day job, I get to
do things in fact that I would do for a hobby at the weekend if I did
something else for a living
Jason: and uh lawyers are always trying to get out of the office.
CC: That’s true
is more fun and I get to come to glamorous locations, like this, and
meet you and I get to wear funny clothes and put on funny voices kill
people be killed love, you know, save the world, all that stuff.
CC: You’re also in Harry Potter.
making number six right now, and I’m not in the sixth book so I’m not
in the sixth film. I have to wait for them to make number seven, and
uh, I’m counting the days—
CC: Wow, you’re like *mimes chewing nails*
Jason: Yeah . . .Daniel Radcliffe who plays Harry Potter, is off to Broadway to do Equus on Broadway for a while, so that—
CC: Another naked--Still doing the naked thing?
He’s naked every night, I don’t think he varies it night-to-night, I
think he’s always naked, and so they’ll be waiting, uh, for him to
finish to come back to start number seven and I’m chomping at the bit.
CC: Wow, that has to be a lot of fun to work on that I mean the locations themselves—
Jason: I don’t want to give the magic away, but you know there isn’t really a Hogwart’s—
CC: Oh come on!
Jason: We don’t really fly and all that stuff, it all happens in one studio.
Jason: The strike has affected everybody in the world. I live in London, but I’m in an American TV series, Brotherhood, and Brotherhood
is, like every other American TV series, not shooting at the moment and
nobody’s working, the crew’s not working, and so, it’s tough. When
hopefully the strike is over and everybody gets a fair settlement, uh,
I think we might be doing some more Brotherhood. I have a film called Good with Viggo Mortensen that’s coming out, uh, later this year. They haven’t quite finished it, but they’re hoping to get it submitted to Cannes in time.
CC: So you’re married to Emma, very beautiful, you’ve got—is it two children?
Jason: I’ve got two little girls. We’re going to Disneyland on Monday, we’re very excited.
CC: Are you really? That is awesome.
Jason: So everyone’s back at school, in fact they
should be back in school in London as well, so I’m hoping that there’s
going to be no lines ‘cause my memory of Disneyland, I last went when I
was 16, is there are lines like that (gestures)
CC: And lines, and lines
Jason: and you go there all day and you get to do two rides. (CC laughs) I’m hoping we’ll get to do thousands of rides.
CC: Well you know the "Pirates of the Caribbean" is, like, obviously the most famous one.
Jason: They haven’t seen Pirates of the Caribbean [he seems not to understand that CC is referring to an attraction at Disneyland, not the movie]. In
fact they don’t see anything I’ve been in, you know, in fact they don’t
see any kid’s films because I put the classics on for them. They watch Mary Poppins, they watch films that have no bad guys, ‘cause the thing about films is, they’re full of these nightmare things. My five-year-old is sophisticated now. She
watches movies and she goes (affecting a light, high voice), “This time
it’s the mum that’s dead, Dad” (CC laughs) “this time it’s both
parents” “this one’s an orphan before it starts” ‘cause she gets that kids’ films always kill one or both of the parents. But uh Pirates of the Caribbean’s pretty scary, Bill Nighy with his squid face—
CC: —do you sleep with one eye open?
Jason: They don’t sleep, they’re like their dad, they’re all ? They’re in Hollywood, they wake up at two o’clock in the morning, they want to go OUT, they don’t understand—
CC: They’ve already got that Hollywood itch
Jason: Just when we get over the jet lag we’ll fly back to London and the nightmare will begin again.
CC: So now in London, what’s a day in the life of you guys at home?
Jason: Well you know I have two different lives: I
have the working life, when I go somewhere and I’m pampered and I get
to do the thing that I love, which is pretend to be someone else, and
uh, lead these vicariously very exciting lives and then I have the very dull suburban dad, scrambled eggs and reading stories and school run stuff, happily it’s kind of 50-50 . . .
CC: Tell us some other really fun and exciting things about you.
Jason: Fun and exciting—there are NO fun and exciting things—
CC: ‘Cause we know you’re pretty loose and you know not so serious—
why I get to—you know, one of the good things about being an actor is
you get to go and do exciting things, I get to go and kiss strange
women and be blown up and decapitated and strangle people and all this
and I can go home and I can be desperately dull and
you know read stories, really my life is . . . since I had kids I have
no desire any more to kind of be the last person at the party or ? (CC: Right) It’s all about being there and then I go to work and I so these ridiculous things like The State Within
that I’m nominated for, there’s a plane crash and I walk through
thousands of people who are maimed and there’s burning bodies and all
this stuff—and my four-year-old, she was then, came to the set and
watched it—and then I get to avert a world war and then I go home and I
read “Thomas the Tank Engine”.
CC: (laughs) You know what, that’s a good day though.
Jason: Oh it’s a good day! I’m
pretty blessed at the moment because things could get a lot worse and
I—sometimes I feel sorry for myself, like this week when the Golden
Globes isn’t happening but the fact is I get to act all the time which
I love doing, I get pretty well paid for it and I can walk down the
street and take public transport—(laughs) I’m looking out the window,
it’s Los Angeles, nobody takes public transport—but in London I’m
completely anonymous everywhere I go, yet I work all the time.
a psychological disease, I’ve got this thing, if I’m ever talking to a
cabdriver, my wife will lean over and go, “you’re not Irish, you’re not
fooling anyone” but actually that thing of trying to become people when
you’re talking to them is what I do for a living now so it’s all fine.
if we were at the Golden Globes (JI sobs or laughs? off-camera) and you
were to get your nomination and receive it, what would your speech be?
Jason: I wouldn’t give a speech because—
CC: —you’d have to have something prepared
Jason: No no, I think preparing a speech is tempting fate! Uh,
first of all there was no chance of me winning so in a way I’m kind of
glad that I don’t have to sit there and do that [mimes bitter
hypocritical delight and applause] ‘Oh great, how fantastic, I’m so
glad you won’ [CC cracks up]. I’m nominated in the same
category as Ernest Borgnine who is a living legend, he’s 90 years old,
God bless him, he’s a phenomenal actor, he last won in 1955 for Marty;
uh, and Jim Broadbent is in the same category—who is an acting god—who
I personally have voted for in various competitions in England for the
same performance, in Longford, which is fantastic; Adam Beach is in the category, he’s nominated for Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee
which was an amazing series, and then there’s a guy called Jimmy
Nesbitt, James Nesbitt, who’s also nominated, who’s one of my oldest
friends. It’s kind of weird that we’re both nominated—we
used to share an apartment together—or rather, I rented the apartment,
he slept on my couch for free—and the idea that either of us should
ever be picked out for acting seems
CC: Kinda surreal
Jason: completely ludicrous so in a way it’s better that we’re not there having our fixed grins and misbehaving.
parents had to sit through watching me naked and swear—I was castrated
once on stage (CC: Oh my God!), you know I was constantly doing all
kinds of deprivation and, uh, perversion parading in front of them so
when I get to play the British ambassador to Washington in a nice suit
and save the world, you know, they can finally say to their friends,
“watch my son, he’s on television, (nice boy?).”
CC: They can finally call their family and friends
Jason: They’ve seen my guts pulled out (with vivid gesture) they’ve seen me, all kinds of ignominy
Jason: So I think it’s nice for them
CC: Now I’m gonna quickly ask you, because London’s really appealing, and where you live—do you have a big place? A big piece of property? (Jason: No, no.) Or is it just like California, is it all tucked in tight?
houses are an awful lot smaller than California, particularly Los
Angeles, where, you know, a big house in London is somebody’s poolhouse
here (CC laughs). So uh, I live opposite a park, which is great, we all go to the park. Where we live, we pretty much walk everywhere, or we go by bike, or we get public transport.
CC: Well we were happy to have you here today.
Jason: Thanks very much.
CC: Thank you very much, Jason.
Jason: This is my red-carpet experience! I won’t be having a red carpet, so you represent all of the American media and you’re doing a very good job.
CC: Well thank you very much! Well
we were very happy that you got to talk with us, and enjoy Disneyland,
and have a safe trip home, and uh, we’ll be cheering for you!
Jason: Can I just say to everyone, watch BBCAmerica—you’ve got it, find it on the dial, it’s got great shows!