I get asked a lot if I am worried that my movie God Bless America will inspire copycats. I hope people are inspired by the movie because it’s a violent movie about kindness. If people were a little more kind after watching this movie, I’d be happy. If you could take rational people and turn them into killers by showing them movies, the military would be in the business of producing movies. If we’re going to start banning violent works of fiction because we’re afraid of how they may influence people, we should start with the Bible.
Leveled Magazine: What’s the biggest misconception about show business?
Joel Murray: The biggest misconception is, “it’s not what you know it’s who you know,” because I know a lot of people. I’ve got brothers that are very successful. I know a lot of people in the business. That doesn’t mean a lot because there are people that don’t know anybody, who are complete jerks that continue to work. But you might know a lot of people, be a nice guy, and show up on time, and that’s not necessarily how it works for some reason.
What T.V. show best describes your childhood?
I guess All in the Family because I grew up in a family of nine. Much of my childhood took place with the eleven people that I lived with. I shared a room with two other people. Much of my youth was working on my interpersonal skills within my own clan. We didn’t have Archie, but my mother was a little bit of Edith Bunker.
If you could play any American president who would it be?
It’s probably a boring story, but I would go for Gerald Ford. Look wise, I think I could play Ford. I grew up as a football player. I didn’t play center, I was a fullback, but that’s just as intelligent of a spot. He’s a Michigan guy, seems like he has the same sensibilities. I’ll go with Ford.
Who’s your favorite band?
In high school and college I got in with a lot of “Dead-heads.” I’ve seen twenty-five shows. There was nothing like it. I’ll have to go with the Dead.
What was your biggest fear growing up?
Because my mom was a widow and my dad left her with nine kids, it was disappointing her or ticking her off. I didn’t often get punished, but just her giving me the silent treatment was one of the more painful things in my life. Disappointing her was my fear.
What advice would you give to the youth of America?
Nobody owes you anything. You’ve got to do a lot of things in this life for free before people should really have to pay you for anything. And if you want to get into the arts, you have to work at it and you have to give it away a lot before any checks start rolling in.
Leveled Magazine: What’s the key to good acting?
Tara Lynne Barr: Being truthful. As actors, our job is to help tell the story, and we absolutely have to be truthful to our characters and their given situations to achieve that. Good writing helps too.
Where are you from?
I hail all the way from Orange County, California. My family and I are part of the dwindling liberal minority. Help.
What real life person would you most want to play?
I would love to play a musician of some kind. Playing a female rocker would kick so much ass. Someone like Janis Joplin would be so exhausting and incredible to play. Too bad Amy Adams beat me to it, dammit.
What’s the worst thing that you’ve ever done?
The worst thing I’ve ever done is too raunchy/hilarious/illegal to mention in this interview.
What would your reality television show be about?
My reality television show would follow my life as an actor trying to balance a career, college, and my personal life. With some housewives and a couple interventions thrown in to spice it up a bit.
What American president would you want to party with the most?
Andrew Jackson. He wasn’t the nicest guy (organized the Trail of Tears), but he sure knew how to throw a party. His cabinet members’ wives didn’t like their husbands hanging out with him because he was a bad influence. Truth!
Who do you think came up with term home of the brave?
Francis Scott Key. He probably wasn’t so brave though. Brave people are too busy being brave to write pretty poems, right?