Sunday, November 23, 2008

Hearing Voices

I believe that I get a bit more enjoyment out of reading than most people. How so? Well, when I read an interview with, say, Conan O'Brien, I recall what he sounds like in real life and then use that voice in my head when reading what he has say. This makes the interview much more interesting as it feels like I'm listening to an audio recording of the person as opposed to just reading about them.

One of the most fun interviews I ever read in this way was a profile of George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and Matt Damon on the release of their film "Ocean's Thirteen" last year.

I loved changing the voices in my head (shit, that makes me sound crazy, dun'it) as each one said what was on their mind. If you've never done this before, give it a shot:

TIME: When you have so many stars in a movie, and it's the third in a trilogy, how do you keep it from going off the rails and becoming Cannonball Run 3?

CLOONEY: Well, we like to think it's more like Lord of the Rings, in the trilogy sense.

PITT: Wait, what's wrong with Cannonball Run 3?

DAMON: I don't even think there was a Cannonball 3. Look, you have us confused with deep thinkers. You've already put more thought into why we did the movie than we did.

TIME: Shall we talk politics for a moment? I'm sure like most actors you're all watching the Republican field, just waiting for a candidate to get behind.

CLOONEY: I'm just hoping Gingrich gets in. Come on, Newt! Actually there's a really good field out there. I like Barack Obama a lot. I've spent some time with him.

PITT: You just cost him votes.

CLOONEY: I've actually had that conversation with him, just saying "Look, I'll give you whatever support you need—including staying completely away from you." Actors have done a lot of damage to candidates lately. My father ran for Congress in 2004, and it was "Hollywood vs. the Heartland!" My father was Hollywood.

PITT: I'm just hungry for some honesty and leadership. And I'm following them all—on all sides.

DAMON: I'm an Obama guy too. I think a lot of the problems in the world would be mitigated if he were the face of our country. I haven't ever met him or talked to him, but he's the first person in a long time who I've been inspired by.

CLOONEY: When other politicians stop and listen, that's how you know what charisma is. You can't teach that. He walks into a room and you go, "That's a leader."

TIME: As we're talking, there are paparazzi in boats out in the harbor taking pictures. Having just been through the celebrity muck of Cannes, who gets it the worst?

CLOONEY: There's no question, it's Brad.

PITT: Well, exponentially, with us together ...

CLOONEY: But even before he was with [Angelina Jolie], we used to chum the water with him.

PITT: This is not a joke. They used to send me out to take the hits.

CLOONEY: We were at the airport in Italy. So I walk off the plane, and it's "Hey, Giorgio!" And I go, "Look! Brad Pitt!" and they're gone.

DAMON: You described it once as "People were stepping on our faces trying to get to Brad."

PITT: Ah, well, I don't take it as a compliment.

I was recently given Obama's 2006 book "The Audacity of Hope". Since I hear Barack's voice in my head as soon as I open the book, I must read each page at the rate and cadence in which he would speak it. This means no speed reading (Obama never speaks fast). It'll take me that much longer to read it, but for authenticity's sake, I think it'll be worth it.


Sarah said...

i totally can't do this.

Coconut said...

Ha, I do the same thing.

Eric Curtis said...

I remember reading that interview on Fark when it came out. I loved it then, and it was great to see it again. Those guys sounded like they were having a great time.

I can do the voice in my head thing sometimes. Usually, it's a British actor/actress. Must have something to do with the accent.

Great site!

"I'll be back"

Rocketstar said...

Obama does have a certain cadence which means the guy on SNL, his job is easier and he does him well already, only to get better.

Thomas said...

Sarah, thanks for playing. There's a consolation prize waiting for you backstage.

Coco, good to hear I'm not the only one.

Eric, their enthusiasm really is contagious. Thanks for stopping by. Like the Arnold reference. Hopefully "T4" next summer will be worthy of the franchise.

Rocket, you're right. Fred Armisen does have the voice and mannerisms down.

disestablishingpuritanism said...

Clooney is Mr. Debonair. Girls want to do him and guys want to be him. He's the Cary Grant of our generation. All three seem like very down-to-earth, cool guys.

Whenever I read something, I can't get my own damn voice out of the way. I wish I could get Barack's. His sounds so much better. It's not Ben Stein-like from Ferris Bueller's Day Off but pretty dry and bland.

Timothy Smith said...

Obama chops it up and slows it down for maximum impact. He strikes me as someone that is carefully thinking out what he wants to say as he is saying it.

Very refreshing after Bush Jr.

Brian said...

Haha, I do the same thing. If I don't know the character, I'll pick a voice that would fit that character.