Rick Yaeger: Hello, everyone. It’s Rick Yeager here with “One-Question Interviews”. Today my guest is Illeana Douglas, who in just one question ended up showing me every picture on her desk.
No seriously, you should check out this interview. It’s coming up right now!
Ladies and gentlemen, Illeana Douglas! Welcome!
Illeana Douglas: In this corner…
Rick: In this corner…[laughter]
Rick: …it’s Illeana versus Rick. Please…
Illeana: I’m wearing a sweater too, because it’s cold here in LA, believe it or not.
Rick: Yeah, you’re in LA. I’m in Vancouver. You’re getting the rain and well… we’re getting rain too.[laughs]
Tell everyone what you’ve been up to!
Illeana: Well, a quick headline, how about working with Jerry Lewis?
Rick: Not familiar with his work. Could you tell me a bit about him?
Illeana: Well, I’ve got to stand up for a second. Hold on, sorry. I do this to you all the time. Let’s see. I’m sitting at my desk. This is on my desk, OK? Here’s a picture. I’ve got Peter Sellers, I’ve got Roddy McDowall. I’ve got all sorts of people. Anyway, this is what I…before I do all my writing…
This was not to me. This was actually to Tom Arnold.[laughter]
I begged him for it! I didn’t have it. Anyway, I look at him every day. Then one day, you get a call and they say to you, do you want to be Jerry Lewis’ therapist? That’s who I’m playing.
The movie is “Max Rose.” We worked together the other day. I have one more day on the movie. It was astonishing. He’s a national treasure.
Rick: No kidding.
Illeana: He’s really exciting, and even though I saw all of his movies as a kid, of course it does make you want to re-see everything.
I’m just going to go off on a different tangent. I’m sorry, but….
Rick: Go ahead, go ahead!
Illeana: When we were kids, they played Jerry Lewis movies all the time. I’ve noticed like, in the past 10 years, except for “King of Comedy” and maybe “Funny Bones,” you don’t see too many of the Jerry Lewis movies, like that we saw when we were kids.
Rick: Right. “The Nutty Professor” was always on.
Rick: Now they’d rather show the Eddie Murphy version.
Rick: Yeah, I joke “I’m not familiar with his work,” but people these days might not be familiar with how big a talent he is and how big an influence he has always been.
Rick: OK, you’ve worked with Jerry Lewis. I was…
Illeana: I’m finishing up my Web series, “Easy to Assemble,” which you know about.
Rick: Right, fourth season of “Easy to Assemble,” which it’s just filthy with celebrity cast members.
Illeana: Unbelievable! In alphabetical order, Tom Arnold, Roger Bart — my goodness — Wayne Federman, Greg Proops, Laraine Newman, Fred Willard, Ed Begley. On and on and on…I know I’m missing people. Kate Micucci!
I think it’s amazing! Like you said, I’m a huge film buff. My grandfather was Melvyn Douglas. He was in the movies. There’s quite a film history.
I love movies. I do a lot of stuff for Turner Classic Films. That’s my goal, to work with everyone in the universe. I never in a million years thought I’d get to work with Jerry Lewis, so that has happened.
There’s so many people, yeah, that I’ve been so lucky to work with. Of course, all the people that I love, but then, you know, Dennis Hopper, and Peter Fonda, and people like that, that are just amazing film stars…Chris Walken, of course. DeNiro, John Turturro, Matt Dillon.[laughter]
I feel like I blinked. I feel like I’ve got to start…I’ve been doing the Web series so much, but now I’ve got to start doing…
I like how my grandfather did it. Then he became a character actor the second half of his career. That’s what I’m going to do. I feel like that lady that was in “Titanic.” It can all come together for me.
Look, oh, Alan Bates. I didn’t get to work with Alan Bates, but he did a play next to me. I was rehearsing a play in New York, and he was doing a play. It was directed by Arthur Penn. Every day we used to have lunch. Isn’t that sweet?
Rick: Very cool.
Illeana: Yeah, Alan Bates and Frank Langella. Incredible, it was really great. Don’t get me started, I’m like that.
Rick: OK, we’re going to get this… As you know, the show is called One-Question Interviews.
Illeana: Yes, yes.
Rick: I have almost 1,000 different questions, ranging from the profane to the profound. I’ll choose one at random. You’ll answer it either seriously, or in a funny voice, if you like. Everyone goes home happy!
Illeana: All righty. I’m ready. I’m ready!
Rick: Illeana Douglas.
Rick: You’ve been in so many of our favorite movies, worked with so many of our own comedy heroes, of your own comedy heroes. You have produced, and written, and starred in your own star-studded Web series.
Your question is, what would you like to be known as your last words?
Illeana: My last words. Jesus. OK. Let me think about this. Well, I feel as if I have so many friends on the other side, I think I’m going to…I’m looking right at him.
I’m going to say, “Here I come, PS!” which is Peter Sellers. Because he’s my guardian angel on earth, so I think he’s going to be the first person who greets me on the other side.
Rick: Wouldn’t that be awesome.
Illeana: Those are going to be my last words. Well, that’s my selfish thing. Then my last words are going to be like, I better have a good turnout at…[laughter]
Illeana: …my funeral. I’ve left instructions!
Rick: Your Saint Peter is Peter Sellers, then.
Illeana: There he is. I’m looking right at him. I’m like some eccentric, like crazy…that’s Peter. I can’t even see it. Can you see it?
Rick: Yep. It’s the footprints.
Illeana: Those are his footprints. I’m becoming very eccentric! I don’t know exactly what’s happening to me. I already started showing you every picture on my desk.
OK. That’s my answer, and I’m sticking with it.
Rick: OK, well, it’s a great answer, and I can’t thank you enough. It’s been a great honor, just knocked over my iPad. [laughs] I honestly hope you can come back again if I get to keep doing this kind of show.
You can catch Illeana Douglas in “Easy to Assemble” on Dailymotion and YouTube. You can also follow her on Twitter. All of those links are right down there below our faces. They’ll also be on the show notes for easy clicking, at onequestioninterviews.com.
Everybody, this is Rick Yeager for “One-Question Interviews.” Thank you so much for watching and check back next week. Bye bye.