I was never a regular viewer of The Sopranos when it was on, but, I saw enough episodes to know that it was, like Twin Peaks or The X-Files before it, totally game-changing television. And though I loved James Gandolfini on the show, I think I loved him even more in some of his smaller supporting roles in movies.
For instance, I don’t remember one goddamn thing about that piece of crap Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts movie The Mexican except that I loved Gandolfini in it. I also loved him in more recent stuff like Zero Dark Thirty and that crazy-good TV movie Cinema Verite with Diane Lane. He was one of those guys who just walked in, read a few lines and totally stole the movie. But, even better than that, I liked watching him on interviews where he seemed like a genuinely humble regular dude who just happened to fall into massive Hollywood fame. Guys like that don’t come around too often, and when they leave us at such a young age, man, it makes the loss even greater.
So, for that and for the fact that I totally agree with what he says about people who like to meet up for breakfast (unless it’s a late breakfast at noon, can’t stand em!), I salute the late, great James Gandolfini in his own words. RIP, Mr. Soprano.
“I read [The Sopranos pilot]. I liked it. I thought it was good. But I thought they would have to hire some good-looking guy, not George Clooney but some Italian George Clooney, and that would be that. But they called me and they said can I meet David [Chase] for breakfast at nine a.m. At the time I was younger and I stayed out late a lot, and I was like, ‘Oh, for fuck’s sake. This guy wants to eat breakfast? This guy’s going to be a pain in the ass.'”
We’ve been Morgan Spurlock fans for years and he is the king of great quotes. But, while discussing manhood today on The Jeff Probst Show — which is awesome, by the way! — Spurlock said something that made me wanna stand up and cheer, especially since he was talking about stay-at-home-dads at the time!
Anyway, this is what Spurlock said in response to someone’s suggestion that staying at home with the kids was women’s work that somehow made a man less-manly:
“There is nothing more manly than being a good father”
OK, let me start by saying that I absolutely loathe Tia and Tamera Mowry — those crazy-annoying twins from that crazy-annoying TV show Sister, Sister — so, I was kinda surprised when Tia said something even remotely interesting (and relevant to my current gig as a SAHD) on The Nate Berkus Show today. Yes, I watch Nate Berkus sometimes. Mostly to fill the gaping hole in my life since Oprah left the basic cable airwaves. So sad…
Anyway, Mr. Berkus was interviewing Tia and he asked her if motherhood was what she expected it to be. You know, total softball, standard daytime-TV question. But her response was surprisingly honest, especially coming from a fake-ass robot like her. Sorry, even if I totally agree with her…I still kinda hate her. Anyway, this is how Tia Mowry answered Nate’s question:
“I’m gonna be honest, I’m gonna be real. The lows are a lot lower than I expected, I mean, I am so exhausted, I am always on auto-pilot. But the highs are a lot higher than I expected [too]. I have so much love for my son, he is my motivation.”
Wow, nicely put, Sister, um, Sister. I feel your lows and your highs!
Read a great quote on fatherhood the other day in the L.A. Times. It was near the tail-end of a fascinating interview with the freakishly-good Oscar-nominated actor, Michael Shannon (“Revolutionary Road”, “Boardwalk Empire”, etc.). Shannon was discussing his new role as a father to a young girl in the post-apocalyptic, “Take Shelter”, and mentioned how his real-life role as a father to a three-year-old girl prepared him for the challenges of the part.
On the subject of real-life fatherhood, Shannon had this to say: “You don’t understand until it actually happens. Your imagination can’t prepare you for what a powerful experience it is. It’s literally like a new nerve is inserted into your body and it runs straight into your heart, and it’s directly related to this other person.”
Wow, I don’t think I’ve ever heard it described so well. Especially the part about how your imagination “can’t prepare you for” it. That is seriously, the truest thing I’ve ever heard. Nothing can prepare you for this job, no movie, book, song or inspiring fireside chat with an elder can even begin to prepare you for what lies ahead.
Thanks for putting it so beautifully, Mr. Shannon. Can’t wait to see your new movie!
Got my haircut today and while flipping through the magazines in the waiting area, read what just might be the best quote ever in “Rolling Stone” magazine.
Eddie Vedder was being asked about his ecclectic musical tastes when he was growing up, and the interviewer asked whether or not Vedder hid his huge James Taylor fixation from his punk-rock friends at the time.
Not missing a beat, Vedder replied: “Oh, I didn’t give a shit at all. Punk rock is saying what you want and not giving a fuck.” So. Damn. Awesome. Now, apply that same quote to parenting and I think you could start a serious movement, baby.
Judge this Stay-at-home-Dad at your own peril, haters…I might act like I care what you think, but, trust me, most days, I just don’t give a fuck. Punk rock parenting forever!