A “Two Appetizers” Kinda Guy

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S1: Hello, Nicole. Hi, Ben.

S2: I’m so happy today. So am I. Oh, my God. I feel like you’ve manifested today’s episode. Yes, we did. We absolutely. And we have been chasing this particular manifestation for a while. Yes. For as long as we have been on the air. Exactly. Yeah. It’s been a minute. It’s been a minute. And we did it. And it is everything we could have imagined and more. God, yes. Phenomenal goodness. That’s why I’m great. I can’t stop grinning. Actually, I just have teeth just like coming out of my eyes, my cheeks, my nose. I’m just I’m a I’m a walking tooth right now.

S3: I’m just so happy because like you said, it was everything we had wanted and maybe even a little bit more. And Nicole, do you want to explain why I am mostly made of teeth today?

S2: Because we finally got to talk to Jake Johnson. Oh, my God. Turtle Bay to see Nick Miller. We make the Miller. Oh, my gravy. McConnell a beard of the beard.

S4: You know, Jake from New Girl, of course, as you know, as Nick Miller, you know him as Peter B. Parker from Spider-Man into the spider verse, which I just saw. Fantastic. Oh, my God. Paper hard drinking buddies.

S3: And now he’s an Stumptown and he’s got a new show that’s coming out on Netflix on Friday, the 21st of August. It’s called Hoopes. He plays a foul mouthed basketball coach of a hopeless high school team. It is raucous and noisy and actually a bit of a departure from the other things that you have seen and loved him in. But it’s also got its own, you know, screechy charm.

S2: Oh, so, I mean, and it was such a good interview. I mean, he’s he’s a professional. He’s funny. He’s sweet. Yes. He knows his craft like it was. Yes. Yes. It was just everything you would want to interview with an actor to be. Yes.

S3: And an actor that you actually really enjoy watching. Like there was something for me of the pure pleasure of seeing someone whose face is so familiar to you in a very specific context. And then suddenly they’re in the closet talking into a mic. And, you know, and somehow you’re kind of like, oh, my God, the magic is intact. Oh, my God, they’re still such a good actor and such a good like, you know, like it’s that wonderful, kind of like perfect alchemy of the situation where it just feels like, oh, my God, yeah, this was meant to happen. So like you said, it did feel way like a manifestation of what has been years of wanting to interview this person. And we did it. So shout out to you, Jake, because you became flesh for one night only on ASIMCO.

S4: I had an internal bet about how long it would be in the interview before he mentioned he was from Chicago.

S2: I and it was probably within that first minute. So, yeah, I loved it. I was like, there it is. Honestly, I checked it off of a little bit girls. I was like, yep, Chicago, Chicago. People love to tell you that from Chicago. We had our incredible producer share. You know, she was on the call as well. And Jake Peep that she was from Chicago because she was representing in her Chicago Cubs shirt. And he thought and he had a little moment with Cher. I love. Yeah, he was just a dream. Just a dream. I’m yes, I have come away from that interview.

S3: Yes. Smiling like a loon, but also with just so much more affection for Jack Johnson. Like, I was like, you know, I like you as a performer, blah, blah, blah, blah. Like I like you as a person. You seem like such a nice guy, right.

S4: You can see, like all the characters, the parts of himself that he’s put in all his characters.

S2: But you also see the who he is as an individual person. Yes. It was just I love him. Yes.

S3: I decided I feel like all our interviews are great, but this one really feels very special in addition to all of our other great. I wouldn’t rank them because that’s like saying which of my kids is my favorite? There’s no such thing. But I will say that every new interview becomes my favorite interview. And I think with this one in particular, we were on fire. There’s no two. I can’t even mince words. We were just great guys. I can’t explain beyond the simple fact of the matter. Nicole and I were asking amazing questions and Jake was giving us fantastic answers. And at one point I kind of was just like making a mental note like, oh, my God, this is it. This is the dream. This is my job. And I can’t believe I get to do this.

S2: It was just it was just so good. I can’t think of anything else to say except that it was just so good. And yes, Tutut, we are tooting our own horn because we are fantastic. Yes, we are. And on that note.

S3: Let’s not keep you in suspense any longer. This interview is the culmination of Nicole and I furiously manifesting, I said manifesting. Thank you. I’m trying to get this to work.

S5: And here for your pleasure, Jake Johnson, just sitting in my closet doing press for three days.

S6: Excellent. Just make you can. Yes. I mean, this was just what I really planned for when I moved out to L.A. and tried to be an actor.

S4: Oh, gosh, yes. We’re just going to hop right into these questions together, if that’s all right. Yeah.

S2: OK, so we obviously have had access to watch whoops a little bit earlier than the general population. And Ben Hopkins is how do I say this, a mess of a human being.

S6: He’s a he’s a piece of human garbage.

S2: I mean, he’s just like flotsam and jetsam smashed together and floating aimlessly in the ocean of life.

S6: Yeah, he’s loud. He’s not smart. He’s mad. He’s coaching a team that he can’t win. He’s mad at his dad. He’s mad at his team. He’s mad at himself. And yeah, that’s Coach Ben.

S2: Can I can I ask what drew you specifically? You were like, oh, that’s that’s the character for me. What was it that made you think I can do this?

S6: Well, you know, it’s different. This one this one started about seven years ago. Right. So Ben Hoffman came to me with Chris Miller and Phil Lord, I think it was after season one, a new girl, and said that there was a pilot presentation for an animated show that had this to the opening. You saw where he’s yelling at the refs to transition into the locker room scene with the players to transition into trying to get the talk at a prostitute in order to play. He said MTV was interested to give us the pilot presentation and he said as an idea, let’s be as loud and ridiculous as we can so that they have to pass on it. But let’s not water it down. So I came from a family in Chicago with a lot of big, loud characters. And so growing up, vulgarity was just funny in my house. You know, as I got seasoned in this industry, it was taught to me that, like, going blue or going vulgar is a cheap way to get a laugh. But that’s not how I came up. I came up with if I was nine and dropping F bombs on, my uncles were laughing that I was funny. So it was fun to be in the booth and just kind of let it rip. And then MTV passed, which is what I assumed they were going to do. And everybody passed Comedy Central, saw TBS, saw it, nobody wanted it. And the program the show died in about a year ago. Netflix came around and bought it for ten. So all of a sudden, we had 10 episodes for a concept of a show that I’m not sure would work in twenty twenty, you know, and neither was Ben Hoffman, we were like, well, this is a really loud, ridiculous show that doesn’t have a message, doesn’t really have a point of view. It’s just jokes and it’s jokes for the sake of jokes. And we had a conversation. Do we water it down and kind of change it? And we said knowledge is lean in on what it is. It’s a loud, ridiculous show about a bad basketball coach who’s unhappy and he screams for 10 episodes. And our goal was to then cast it with the funniest people we could so that nobody backs down. So ever. But if you look at the cast list on IMDB, yeah, everybody’s funny. Everybody’s a comedian, everybody’s a killer. So we tried to get as many people in the booth together improvising and being funny. And, you know, that’s the show.

S4: Yeah. Yeah. So who takes place in Kentucky? And obviously there are a lot of Southern characters in there, but your character, Ben, doesn’t really have that much of a Southern accent. It was that your way of just sticking to your Chicago roots and keeping Chicago from the cold?

S6: That’s a good question. You know, Ben’s from Kentucky, so he wanted Kentucky. I don’t have the ranges and I’m not going in there being like, hey, man, I’m coach beer. I’m not doing that level of there’s a level of hackery I’m happy to do, but I don’t think I could take myself seriously talking the way I talk in that show where I’m like, listen, you motherfucker, you got like now I got to do it in my own accent. And then Ben was good with it. But, you know, the truth is that Ben is people I’ve seen on Instagram, people are making sure we’re not going after Kentucky on this show. And we’re not you know, Ben’s a Kentucky boy, so we’re not going after the South that we’re not trying to make fun of Kentucky. The reason I don’t have an accent and Natasha does is because she could do an accent like and the reason Rob Riggle doesn’t is no one wanted to hear Rygiel with a Southern accent. So it really was a deal. Dealer’s choice, 80 miles could doing. Cleo Kane, who plays the principal, doesn’t have one, but it just because Cleo came on a new girl and she was so funny that we just cast her to be her on it. All right. So some do, some don’t. But, you know, it was really dealer’s choice. It’s when people showed up, we would honestly ask you to do an accent.

S4: Well, as a Southerner, I appreciate that, that you recognize that that is not a part of your skill set and you just let go because I get easily offended by certain Southern accent. So thank you.

S6: Well, we didn’t we didn’t want to do just generic Southern. So we, like Ben, can do a Kentucky. So he’s like, well, if I hear it, if you’re doing like a Southern, like not all Southern accent are the same. Correct. And so we were I was like, man, you’re entering a conversation for hoops that I’m not getting involved in. I’m not getting paid a lot of money to do this. This is a, you know, soft mark swearword show. Like, let’s just do what it is. I’m not learning a Kentucky accent for it in the dialect coach. No, I’m not doing a darn good for hoops. I’m just not doing it.

S2: I love the Kazmir Pass.

S4: Well, were you able to, like, drop some Chicago Easter eggs throughout the show?

S6: That’s a good question.

S7: But no, you know, honestly, for this one, you know, a lot of characters, I try to bring a lot to myself, too, and I try to find my way into it. I really didn’t with this character. This is not a character that I feel deeply connects to me or who I am or what I believe in. I came up during 20 years of comedy before I started working as an actor. At about eighteen, I started hitting comedy stages and for years it was just comedy. For the sake of comedy. There was I was a comedy nerd. I loved. All I wanted to do was make people laugh. And that’s kind of fading. You know, as I’ve gotten older, things mean different stuff now. So you take projects thinking about what’s going to happen with it and what this project means, who’s going to watch it. And honestly, at first that was so cool and it felt so new to be like thoughtful, but now everybody’s so thoughtful. But I just had a feeling of, like, fuck, man. I just miss doing a comedy show where it doesn’t have any messages to it. There’s no hidden anything. It’s just trying to entertain. And what I’ve been saying impress them.

S6: I mean it if somebody starts watching this show in a minute, if they don’t like it, they don’t like the suares, they don’t think it’s smart, they don’t think it’s funny. Then I ask that person just to change the channel because it’s not going to get better. It’s not going to come around and you’re going to see episode three. The show really earned my viewership not happening, if you like the first. You’re probably going to like the last minute episode 10, and if you don’t, you’re not. And there was something about that that felt really fun for me about this project.

S4: Well, there are tender moments, though, like when the seven foot tall kid, Maddie, gets a girlfriend. Yes. Heart is broken and things like that. Ryan coach have to come and kind of revive his spirits a little bit.

S6: Yes, but we undercut that. There are there are moments of sweetness, but everything is cut with the dick joke. Yes. You know, once there and we’re getting sweet, then you’re like, shouldn’t somebody do something crass and against and show we’re like, yes, this is good. Like 40 seconds of niceness.

S2: Yeah. No sincerity allowed. I like that as a mission statement. Should we could we cut this with a degree? We should.

S6: No, I said no. One thing I do want to make clear is I’m not I don’t mean to be talking trash. I like the show. I just want people to know what they’re getting into because it is a show. Yes, there are sweet moments. And yes, these I do believe Coach cares about these players. But whenever we leaned into that, we were very aware of this isn’t the show. We’re not going to have, like, sweet music playing. We need a joke and we need it fast.

S2: The gag order is it’s wrapping. It’s wrap like before one joke lands has another one hundred. And that was the idea.

S4: Uh huh, yeah. What what’s the kid’s name who always has his underwear pulled up. And I like him because he always like this don’t make no damn sense. I really like that. Like his hook. Which one. Like with a little Pignol.

S6: Oh you know who that is. That old time bomb. You know who does that voice is Ben Hoffman, the guy who created the show.

S2: So that makes sense because he, like it was very familiar to me. Grow up. I’m from Nashville, Tennessee. So I’m like, right by Kentucky.

S6: Yeah. Timebombs bands. That would be the only voice he did. And when Ben would do time bomb normally gave them notes, he would go in the booth and just be like, hey, man, shut the fuck up. Oh, this little boy disgusting is quite horrible. This is a horrible little human.

S2: I love him. So do you feel like the show was cathartic then for you?

S4: You talked about, like, being able to just be funny for the sake of fun and not think too much?

S6: You know, I’ll be honest, and I don’t mean just to say no to a question, but no, what I loved about the show is it wasn’t cathartic. I didn’t learn anything. I didn’t have, like, big epiphanies. I didn’t grow. I would go to a record like you like what I did, Skydiver’s. There were times I was doing that, that the material would be so strong. Then I would feel emotional. I’d be like, wow, like this is cool. There were moments of New Girl when we’d be doing a scene. And I would feel like, man, there’s a real energy in this area. These characters are becoming real. This is something what I liked about Whoopsies. I never felt anything. It was like you would go to work and there was a microphone and an actor would pop in and we would do some jokes. We would record some jokes. Hopefully we would laugh a lot and then we would leave. And I’m like, man, that was really it’s cathartic. And looking back, the fact that it was so light. I say that it’s a light, even though it’s a disgusting show, but I like doing something where I’m like, yeah, this was this is just what it was just whoops. I mean, people like it. I would love to make more. It’s fun. And in terms of like when we were in the writers room, we were breaking stories. Most writers rooms are so intense and you’re talking about characters arcs. And if somebody does something, you’re like, well, how do we make that make sense? If somebody had a funny joke for a character, it was going in in the changes, the character a little bit. That will be fine. Maybe it’s going to be just fine. Like so we’re saying Coach does not. Yeah, yeah. It’s funny. So now he just does that and it’s just fun. So I like that aspect of it. I can tell you being very emphatic, it was fun, guys, it was fun. Well, I’m honest. I’ve done so much development in the last few years. I’ve written in, you know, 20 projects that studios or networks have canceled. The last minute I shot pilots, I’ve had dream projects that meant a lot had a message. They didn’t let me make it. And I’ve had these conversations over and over about each character’s arc and what it means and blah, blah, blah. We didn’t do any of that and it got on TV. So I’m like, I’m not a wall.

S2: The world doesn’t make any sense. I’m in my closet talking to you and I see so few people that you guys feel like my we are your friends. What do you guys want to do? I get their pizza. I want pizza.

S6: The worst part is I can’t eat any cheese anymore.

S2: So I got a little bit of pizza. I probably might not be eating teeth, but fuck it. Yeah, I said we’re all going to die of something. Intolerants.

S6: Well, I’d rather not die with a terrible stomachache.

S2: I mean, it would be it would be a way to go. Not the best way, though. That’s what I wanted to ask. You’ve already kind of mentioned pizza of into the spite of us. So for me and for many people who watched that, he was very much relatable, crying in the shower icon for a whole generation. How how does that still kind of how do you feel about that all this time later? Because it was one of those movies where I think everyone watched it and said, well, it’s a masterpiece, like it is a masterpiece. And, you know, I watched interviews where you would talk about the making of it and how it was such a long process. What was what does that the legacy of that car have been for you personally?

S8: A lot. I really love that. And I think that was a masterpiece, too. And I say that, you know, I saw the creatives working on the scripts.

S7: I got Phil Lord would like send me, you know, early material on it. And that was one of the I’m not first of all, I’m not a big comic book guy. All right? So I didn’t I don’t I probably seem to Marvel movies in its entirety. I haven’t seen all the Star Wars. I don’t care about it. So when Peter Parker first came my way through film, I thought, like, man, I’m not sure I’m the guy because there are people who love this so much. But then when I started hearing the version of Peter Parker, where he was Peter Parker, who got tired of being Spider-Man and was a very human version of it, it felt like, man, this is like an indie movie version of Peter Parker.

S6: And I got really interested in that. No. One, I see the scripts they were writing in the scenes we had. And for me, also working with Shamik Shoemaker plays Miles. It’s such an awesome job in it. And we got to record together a lot. And I don’t think he actually got the credit he deserves for that character because that’s not his voice. Right. Like Myles is a youthful kid. Shamik is a twenty five year old man and we would be talking to Shamik and Jake and be buddies, and then we would face the mikes and he would turn into smiles. And instantly I knew who Peter was and I knew Peter was opposite. Miles, if you don’t have him playing Miles, I don’t quite know who Peter is right away. But as soon as he’s coming out going like Peter, I got to go do this well, instantly. I’m not playing Peter being mean to that voice. So it was just it was just a really, honestly great experience.

S7: And then when I saw the movie, I knew it was special. And then when we started to impress hearing what people were saying, hearing people saying that for their kids, it was the first time their son or daughter saw a character, a superhero spider person who looked like them.

S8: And it kind of blew me away that I was part of it. And I felt really lucky.

S4: Yeah. You at the beginning of the pandemic and all the stuff that’s been happening, you were kind enough and generous enough to send some some kids, some voice mails. And Parker, do you think you’re going to do that as Coach Ben and people like you can cut down my ex-wife.

S2: Son of a bitch.

S6: This it’s never gonna fucking end.

S2: No, I’m not doing it. Oh, my God. That’s it. I rip your head off like that.

S7: Peter Parker thing happened and it was you know, at times I forget about the reach of the world these days, especially in this pandemic, because we’re so isolated and alienated. And social media doesn’t mean very much to me. You know, I don’t have Twitter. I don’t check very often. I don’t care about it. I don’t view it as real as a.

S6: The people view it as real, but I was laying in bed and I was explaining to my daughter what the pandemic was, and it was almost like a dummy’s guide of explaining a pandemic, because it’s hard to explain to a kid when you don’t know. And then I started thinking about, man, there must be like so many kids who are freaked out. And in terms of being naive, I thought the world was going to be back to normal by like May 1st at the latest and the latest. I thought this would be two weeks, a lockdown and then let’s go. So I thought, like, well, I could probably make a few of these tonight. And so I posted it and got a couple of emails. So like midnight, I was in my bathroom doing them. And then the because of social media and the reach news circuits picked it up. So all of a sudden there was like forty thousand emails and I was like, oh shit. And each email was like sadder than the next one. I was like, you know, I’m like, Hey, this is Peter B. Parker and I’m like forty nine thousand more. So it was one of those things where JJ bit off a little bit more than he could chew. But, you know, my agency, this guy named Eugene Yuta, he’s a white guy. They helped. I made a bunch of choices. I did. I made like 400 or 500 voice notes. And then we just they found an algorithm. We could just start sending them out. So we sent out like almost forty thousand emails. But oh, my God, crazy. That’s why I’m kind of crazy. I got one three hours with that a lot, but it was like technical terms. The funny part of it was because I was doing them a lot and I’m stuck inside that my kids were around and at first they thought it was work and very soon they were like, this is what are you doing? So I would let them join so some little kids would hear like, hey, you know, Steve, this is Peter Parker. I’m here with my friend. And my daughters wanted to be spider characters, but they don’t really like the movie that much, so I never watched it. So they don’t know Spider Gwen. So would be like Spider Rose. And I’m like, OK, so it’s believe there’s like Spider Rose or whatever I give them. And I was a little bit like this is probably irresponsible to the world of, like, Marvel, but, you know, we’re taking a chance here. Let’s move on.

S2: It’s a it’s a good thing. It’s a spider. It’s the way it was speaking. Spider rose into the hall and Tocantins by the rose is like a six year old kid somewhere I love so much. I want to talk a little bit about Stumptown, which is another adaptation of a comic book character. You played great, McConnell. I feel like he every time I look at him, I feel tired for him, like he’s been through so much like every bad thing has happened to him. He somehow retains, like, a core of goodness. Yeah, I think that’s good. Yeah. Are you excited for season two because they need you.

S7: They did. You know, I really like the show and I really love working with the cast over there. We just got a new showrunner, a woman named Monica Homiletics. She just pitched what she wants to do season two and are pretty excited about it. But it’s a I like your take on Gray, and that’s what I like about them. When I came on board, I was having a lot of conversations and the thing I was always asking for.

S6: Great, because if you actually break down characters in shows, a lot of times if you look at them as real people, their pasts are unthinkable. You know, great if he’s a real person. Gray was in jail. He made a deal with the scariest guy in jail. Right, KANE So imagine that’s real life. You’re in jail, the scariest person in jail. You borrow five hundred thousand dollars from open up a bar and piss it away. So I said, if this is a real character, this is a human being who’s looking to get beaten to death. Here’s a guy who, deep down, it’s what you said is so tired that he’s looking for somebody to finally unplug him because all his actions are beyond self-destructive. And so I thought, I really like that. Start in anywhere you go with him. Keep in mind what you’ve built for him. He’s an he’s done really self-destructive stuff, so I like that what I’ve heard there, they’re going to keep that theme that underneath. But he is a character who’s trying to do good. He’s trying to think ahead. But I think doom is coming for that guy and I’m excited to do it and play with it, especially on network TV. Right, right. Right.

S2: That’s the that’s that’s the most enthralling thing, is that this is all on, like, ABC.

S7: I’m like, oh, this is like ten of my regular, you know, honest to God, when a new girl ended, I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do and, you know. A lot of shows are like Hulu or, you know, the streaming sites, they all have a certain shared, edgy quality, but it’s a shared, edgy quality.

S6: So I’m like, well, it’s all the same level of edgy, edgy. It’s just streaming. And then I was thinking, like growing up, I remember shows like NYPD Blue and things like that, and we never had cable growing up and we had one TV.

S7: So there was whatever show was on my mom and my siblings and I, that’s what we watched. And I felt like I kind of want to do that as opposed to, you know, blank plus or whatever it is. And so the ABC of it was a really big selling point. I was like, I want to be on network TV before this thing goes away.

S6: And all network TV shows are like celebrities dancing or celebrities trapped in cages or some shit. I was like, I think we’ve got a couple more years before this is dead, so let’s do that leading to.

S2: Yeah, come on.

S4: Well, when Stumptown first came out, one of the things in order to keep with the theme of our show, our podcast here, I just kept seeing women on my timeline say, oh, you have got to watch this, Jake Johnson. You have got to watch Jake as great in this show. Oh, really hot, you know.

S2: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. People love a sad, broken guy. Oh, yeah. Especially if he has a beard. And I’m wondering, how does that make you feel that you are a sex symbol? You are what we like to call a first object. People are thirsting after eyebrows like eyebrow like.

S8: Well, you know, here’s what I have to say. In this era of the pandemic, I think we could all I mean, we could all say our world is upside down in an upside down world.

S6: Guy like me becomes a sex object, and guess what? Let’s keep it upside down. No, no, the whiskey lady and I’ll tell you why I say it’s upside down. I’m not doing this to be a Saint Campbell actor, OK? I’m so humble. This is just the truth. I was a single guy for a lot of years before I was on TV. So was Brad Pitt before Thelma and Louise. Brad Pitt was single. I can guarantee he and I had a very different vision when Brad Pitt, as a young man, walked into a bar and O.J. walked into a bar. We had different experience. So as of recently, you know, you guys, which I appreciated social media, I want to say, you know, I’m a sex symbol. Well, eventually the world’s going to be right side up again and will be the hunk’s and the character actor. Then I’ll be hopefully working again.

S2: Now, this was the case when we were watching New Girl, right? Like the first time around. Yes, it was very much. You guys were originals. Oggi Stand’s.

S8: We know there’s a whole new group of fans and I’m deciding that I believe there’s two schools, the originals and the new school, because it’s a different type of fan. So you guys were the originals?

S2: We were I was watching it. This is I was still living in the UK at the time and it would come on on Channel four. And I was like, OK, let me it was I think it was Friday night, like nine thirty. And I was like, this is peak Friday night. And like I began watching it and I was like, Oh, I love this show. And then now that, you know, especially with Pandemic and people watching and watching and every so often someone’s like, why didn’t anyone tell me about the show? And I get really, really? And I’m like, I’ve been yelling about this show for five years. How dare you? Yeah.

S8: I got to tell you, I feel I’m with you on that because, you know, being on the television show as an actor, you never know when another job is coming. And I’m grounded in my life. So I do know what it’s like not to have a television job. So having that level of work, having an income, there was a lot that I really loved, weren’t like in my co-stars having a work situation where I know what the thing is. When we were going away, then Fox was being pretty cool and saying, like, we don’t want to cancel you, but nobody’s watching. So when we did our final season, we got eight episodes, season seven. Well, Zooey Deschanel and I literally wrote a letter, an email to the heads, to Dana Walden and Gary Neuman, the heads of Fox and 20th, asking for more for like the few Oggi fans who stayed with us because we’re like, you can’t end the way Season six ended where it was rushed. It went to give Liz Meriwether the time to finish this. Right. But when we finished that show, a lot of shows were in there, like the final episode.

S6: They all go like, I’m coming in together, you know, and they’re like, you knew him as whatever. And the guy’s like, oh, I’m like, not the guy at all. And everybody like, cheers and goes nuts. Nobody asked us to be on any show so long. It’s like people are like fall. I’m like, I hear you guys. It’s not like you’re ten years too late, you’re eighteen months. So it’s a little bittersweet. I’m like, hey man, we were just working. Yeah. Yeah.

S2: I mean I get that.

S8: I think I do things with this resurgence. They’ll be you know, honestly, everybody in that cast, Hannah Simon and I were texting two nights ago. She wanted me to watch some documentary on Hulu. I think it was called like Spaceship Earth or something. It’s like a crazy show about everybody living in a pod. Zoe and I still text all the guys and I are on a text chain. Everybody still linked up. So I would be surprised if there’s not some sort of a thing at some point where everybody comes back the catch with that show and everybody’s smart and everybody has opinions. So it’s not a show or the group would all be like Lambourn is now running his own show. He’s becoming like a mogul.

S6: So the more I come back to I’d be like, I guess when he doesn’t have a great story, he’s coming back with an arc. So Liz Meriwether would have to crack a great story. And if she does that, it would be really fun to get everybody back.

S4: One new girl first started, there were a lot of jokes that Nick Miller was fat or has his cookie jar belly and things like that, which was really not the case. I mean, you were just a regular Joe. And I wonder, did you feel can you talk about the pressure of, like, even regular Joes having to be cut? A.

S6: I’ll be honest with you, this is a true story. So I booked the job. I was so psyched. I never booked a TV pilot. I’d never even come close.

S8: A lot of actors, Max Greenfield added. Schmidt tested for 17 different shows. Testing means they draw up a contract and it’s between you and another person. In order to test, you got to be pretty damn good and pretty close. I had never tested commercial, meaning I’d never been close. That’s not to say that I didn’t audition for a lot of shows because I auditioned for plenty. But New Girl was the first one where I tested. Then I got it. I couldn’t believe it. It was I. I got my rate for the pilot that I knew I was going to make. I was very fired up. There was a day and I was the first thing whenever I started making money. This is just the interfamily.

S6: The first thing I thought about is what I was going to order at a restaurant in terms of appetizers, because I’m like, I can get my meal, I got some color, you money come in, I’m getting decides I’m getting extra guacamole. And why would I have to do this Mexican restaurant I like. And all I was thinking about, I don’t think I said one word to her because I’m like, all right, two sides, extra guacamole. I’m getting the weird thing of margaritas, the whole thing. I’m not getting one. I’m on the way to do the whole thing. Give me the picture and I’ll pour my own. Let’s go. Let’s go. My manager called and I thought he was just going to say, like, Congrats, buddy. So I’m like, Hello, Jeff. I’m like driving to a Mexican restaurant. And he’s like, great about that.

S8: Fox called. Everybody’s excited about you playing. Nick Miller was like, great. And they said, we’re looking to shoot in like six weeks and was great. And Fox would like you to lose ten to fifteen pounds. No, no part of me was offended the way someone might be offended by that. I have a really thick skin and it takes a lot to offend me. I almost started crying because I wasn’t going to be able to eat the meal, I was so excited for my wife and I went out to eat because she’s like, let’s just finish the meal. I got like a green salad with chicken with no dressing. And I just thought, like, in this business, when they give you something, they got to take something back.

S2: Guacamole for you now.

S8: But so there was a lot of that early on. I tried to figure out, did I remember Zoe because I didn’t know what to eat then. So I became really actory and I just wouldn’t eat. And then I remember season one. Zoe, like, made me a plate of food once where she’s like, you’ve got to eat nuts. And I was like, I was eating power bars all the time. And then I just had a moment where I just said, fuck it, like I’m done. I don’t care that much. You know, you start getting into the vanity game and then you you know, you start thinking, maybe I should do this, that and the other, but. You know, bodies, a body break, I don’t need to take my shirt off for a photo shoot, so life goes on.

S6: So once I was in the show and it got established, they can’t fire me for being chubby. So I did it. They made a bunch of jokes once. Liz made a joke about it and Max Greenfield hit the joke and everybody laughed. I think everybody in the network could exhale and say, like, great McMillans. You can be the chubby guy, God bless, I guess, what I did. Soon as that joke happened, I got my two sides, I got my margaritas. I was back to Indiana, where I should go.

S4: Excellent. Well, what would we have to wrap up? But I wonder, what would a 13 year old, Jake, say if he saw that women were, like, thirsting over you and passing around? This means that that you’re now like daddy.

S2: Yeah, like there’s a lot of people that want to go to a farmer’s market with you. I’m just. I’m telling you, people want to buy fresh citrus going into that.

S6: I got to tell you, there is a level of the Internet that Damon Wayans Jr. and I always said to each other, we stop making jokes together and we just send each other. Funny thing we tried on our line. Some people on the Internet are so hard. Funny. The fact that the fantasy has turned into I want to go to a farmer’s market and get Citrus River is a great joke.

S8: It’s like, what do you want to do with them? Like man. Like that girl. So hot. Yeah. What do you want to do? I want to go to a farmer’s market in a mid-range city.

S6: I’m talking like a penis, like the brush farmer. And I want to be engaged and I want to get some grapefruit with that woman.

S2: Come on.

S6: You know, 13 year old Jake, actually 12 to 13 year old Jake, probably when I peeked at my level of coolness, I was still at that point, puberty hadn’t taken me apart from the other guys so I could still play sports. Right. So I would probably have to be like, well, hell, yeah, what else are the ladies going to want? You got everything you want here by five foot ten frame. But let’s go.

S2: Oh, that’s great. Oh, OK.

S4: So can you tell us when hoops will be out and all the good juicy details?

S7: Yes. Hoops comes out this Friday. I believe all ten are dropping at once and I hope people check it out. And what I will say is, if you don’t like the first minute, walk away and if you do lean back, because I think you’re going to like, oh, there it is.

S2: It’s the same. I appreciate that. Thank you so much, Jake. We have had a lovely time. Yeah, it was really fun. How are you guys? Oh, great kids. Thank you. Bye bye. Them. I cannot believe we did this. You sound like we just came back from a bank robbery and the money is between us on the table. And I can’t believe we got away with all that cash. That’s how I feel. I feel rich in my spirit. Oh, my God. Come on, church reach. In my spirit, I am and I am enriched in the spirit. Yes, I feel that feel. Yeah, I was just so I don’t know if I fascias you know. Yes bitch. Couple of vocabulary words. He was quite vicious. Yes he was. You know, especially considering that, you know, he’s doing all this press in a weird situation. Right. Like, you know, we’re doing all this stuff remotely. You know, he’s tucked in his closet. Sure. The staff is good, but he was just really present and just awake. And he gave us such great energy. And I am still I am still just, like, so amazed by it.

S3: I’m just like fully I just wanted to be my friend. I want us to go and get pizza. As we suggested in the interview, I feel like he’s the kind of person that you have excellent chats with, but also love really hard, you know, the type where you kind of know a little bit.

S2: Yes, he seems like a good laugh. And I am so glad we got the chance to pretend to be his friend for a little podcast episode. How? Nicole, I’m not going to come down from this high anytime soon.

S4: No, neither am I. It’s going to be something I think about for a very long time that you go just reserve some room for me.

S3: I’m on my way up.

S9: Aid kit is a slight production produced by Cher, Vincent and Nicole Perkins and Jim out of Miami. Our music is by Tanya Morgan.

S10: You can follow the show on Twitter at First Aid Kit. And we are on Tumblr at First Aid Kit, podcast, Tumblr, dot com.

S9: If you like to listen and live tweet, there is a hashtag trackpad that is to Cape Cod and you can join other but every Thursday or any other time, if you prefer, you can write us an email and send it to us Thursday at Slate dot com.

S3: If you want to use a similar service, just send us a short and boy do we mean short no longer than a minute. Voice note by email at at first aid kit at Slate dot com.

S9: You can find all of our episodes and links to listen at Slate dot com slash podcast. If you find yourself wishing you could get even more Thursday content every week. For now you can all you have to do is become a slate plus member slate plus a Slate membership program for just thirty five dollars for the first year. You can get a little extra from the show and all other slate shows. Plus absolutely no ads.

S10: Visit Slate dot com slash thirty eight plus to sign up, stay thirsty and keep your hands clean is what Nick Miller would want. Or actually maybe not. Anyway, we’ll be back with some more next week. Bye bye.

S1: Hello.

S2: Hello, Nicole. You have a name? No. Well, OK, well, this is your task to make one up before the next leap. OK, I’ll do it. I know something I’ve seen. Yes. Deejay on your knees or some shit.

S11: I love it. I love it.

S12: I like what you said as we were prepping for this that, you know, slate plus stuff is our tech after dark.

S2: So I like that they think, you know, the one and only to go see me throwing it out with throwing it out. But we’re going to we’re going to brainstorm and come back to you guys with some really and truly special nomenclature for our alter egos that do talk after dark. How are you all this week? I hope you are all doing OK. I am still here and no one is more surprised. To be honest. I thought I’d be rocking in a corner, just kind of like crying for my mother. But it turns out I’m stronger than I thought.

S12: How about you, Nicole? Well, I keep, you know, jokingly saying this, but it’s actually quite real. I am definitely scheduling my breakdown for the end of August after I take care of some major tasks. But I am really looking forward to that day that I just melted to the floor.

S2: Oh, my God. It’s actually my mental breakdown. This is the grimmest lull of the whole year so far. I feel like I am sketching out how I’m going to move the couch so that I could have like a premiere real estate in the living room. What I love is that you are such an organized planner that I could just imagine you shading in the artwork in your calendar like, all right, break down in T minus five days, getting your snacks in, getting your drinks and just like waiting for the calendar to flip over.

S3: It’s been a weird year and I keep thinking that we won’t really know the impact until many years from now. Absolutely.

S12: I agree on that. But luckily, you know, we have some things to save us, like our recent episode of romance novels, which was very popular. Everyone seemed to love that episode.

S2: What wasn’t a love, Nicole? I knew I could talk to you about romance novels forever.

S3: And in fact, last week you sent me a little message and you were like, here’s a book to read. And when I read it, it felt like it was my friend, like telling me about a fantastic day. And I thought to myself, a recommendation from Nicole is worth its weight in gold. And I went to Kindle and I straightaway downloaded it just literally off one review because that’s how much I know and trust your skill.

S12: Nicole, listen, I started reading because when I sent you that recommendation, I hadn’t even gotten to a halfway point of the book. It was like, I don’t know, 10 percent and or something like, wow, that’s a high.

S2: Wow. Yes, yes.

S12: And I’ve got, you know, a little farther since then, of course. And now it is not just, oh, I feel like it’s a friend telling me this. I feel like this author has taken some of my secret fantasies about like meeting the love of my life. Oh, well, put it in this. But I’m for real. And this is her debut romance. Wow. I can’t tell you who it is. I can’t, you know, whatever. But yes, when it comes out, I can give you this hint. It’s coming out on December twenty twenty this year. Just be on the lookout for it, because when it when it’s time for it to publish, I would definitely be one of the most vocal people on Twitter talking about it because I am loving it so far.

S2: Uh, Nicole, you just you whetted my appetite. And like I said, I went to preorder because I was like, all right, Kendall, come on. Yes. I’m very, very grateful to have such an amazing recommender in my life. But actually, for this week, we went to other published authors to get a little bit of quarantine content to make you hopefully feel a bit more alive, more like a human person.

S3: We reached out to a few of our favorite romance authors and we went to them with our little question cap in hand. And we asked of them some things that we thought might be of interest to our listeners, but more importantly, to be honest, much more selfishly, that I wanted to know. And it just so happens that we also are going to share it with you guys. This is a purely selfish exercise. I have to be honest, Nicole. I was like, oh, I wonder what my faves think about X, Y or Z? And they answered, and we are going to listen to their answers. And hopefully it will be an illuminating experience. Are you at home as it was for us?

S12: I am so excited about this because, you know, we have been trying to figure out, one, how to incorporate our love of romance novels into Thursday kid overall for a very long time, and then to how to get our favorite authors, some of our favorite authors on the show in a way that, you know, felt good for us. And so filling out some kind of nosy questions and having them answer it just really it’s very much us checking off a major task on our list. So attack task maybe.

S2: Yes, attack test. I love it. That task will ask. Amazing. I felt I felt your epiglottis doing some work. Yes. Yes. Worth the Takoradi. So I know what a reference. I love it. Come on. Wow. OK, so let’s get into these questions.

S3: So, Nicole, you said some of our favorites were involved. Can I ask you to please share with our listeners who are the five authors that we reached out to with very nosy questions this week?

S12: Of course, we have Rebecca Wetherspoon. Alisha Rae.

S13: Yes. Vari McFarlane.

S2: Yes. Jasmine Guillory and Elisa Cole. Yes, Bill. Yes. I’m so excited. First of all, is that not the Avengers of romance? Listen, I like their Voltron, right? I want one of my favorite things is realizing that you and I are of such a similar generation that we can say Voltron and laugh. I we’re not referring to the recent Netflix reboot, though. We are talking about the original shares back in the 80s. Yes, we are. The younger listeners are going like, well, who is that a relation of Voldemort? It’s Voltaren. Yes, you’re absolutely right.

S3: They are amazing. Go. I am so appreciative of the time that they took to answer our questions. They call what was the first question that we sent to our super team of authors?

S12: OK, so our first question is, what’s your platonic ideal of a meet? Cute, which can come from real life, pop culture, whatever you want and which of your characters meet cute is your favorite and why?

S2: First of all, we love a multipart question. Listen, we are in love with you. Yes. Well, basically those people at the Q and A like it’s more of a comment and a question like get the fuck out. But I did it this time. No, we don’t we don’t have a comment. Then we we definitely do the, you know, multi layered question that they like asked us, can you repeat the second half of your know and they get annoyed. I know my favorite thing when I’m moderating is to kind of be like, well, that was a four questions, but fine, thanks, Steve. But we’ve done it ourselves here. So our first answer comes from Viro McFarlan.

S14: I surprised myself by how much I had to think about this because I don’t think my storytelling brain particularly works in terms of me cutes, which is strange. I know, but true. And I had to do quite a lot of thinking about which ones I liked in popular culture and I decided on I will go with you the scene in Jerry Maguire.

S15: And it’s when he leaves the agency and it’s kind of crickets and he’s saying he will go with me. He’s got the goldfish in the bag. And Renee Zellweger says at the last minute, I will go with you. And it’s just it’s a really nice scene. And you really feel for both of them. And it establishes a lot of character. And I even like the fact she’s called Dorothy Boyd, which is a really kind of cute rather than sort of glam name. Is it sort of, you know, Dorothy Boyd feels like so when you might want to. So I really like that. I’m not at all to be making the connection because I only realized it’s after a chosen Jerry Maguire, my favorite of my own meet cute in my books is my first book. You have me at Hello. Which of course is a very famous line for Jerry Maguire. I didn’t actually choose the title you either, so I can get out of that one. But anyway, yes. So my heroine Rachel is a king in Freshers Week to be very hung over. I think it’s a typical student and she’s getting her student card laminated. And I love interest. Ben is the one behind the desk doing the laminating as a volunteer. And I just like it because I suppose it’s that sort of week. You know, early weeks, anybody’s been to university or college, remembers, you know, the sort of hollow homesickness you have, which seemed a really good kind of high stakes moment to meet somebody so interesting to you. And then later at the end of the book, Ben. Talks about how it wasn’t love at first sight, it was familiarity at first sight because he just knew he felt he knew her already and he also felt he knew she was going to matter to him. And obviously, she feels vice versa. So, yes, that that would be the favorite of my books.

S16: And now here’s Rebecca, my ideal platonic Mika. I think since I do a lot of book events, I would love to just meet someone at a book signing or just, you know, at someone’s book event. I think that would be a great way to meet somebody and of my characters. I think my favorite meet Cute is Aiden and Sheas Me cue from wrapped. They already know each other, but they’re both newly single and they match on a dating app. And I think that would actually be kind of fun to match on a dating app with someone you already knew and thought was attractive but was kind of not an option. So I think that’s my personal favorite. And also, no one dies. I have a problem with murdering people in my books, so no one dies that make you.

S13: And here is Aleesha.

S17: As far as which of my characters meet, cute’s is my favorite. It’s probably the right swipe because the characters, me, you know, you might have guessed it from the title on a dating app. And I feel like that’s true for a lot of couples these days. We’re just a generation that’s facilitated by technology everywhere, including our love lives. And, you know, despite how common it is, I think that there’s still this prevalent idea that if you meet on a dating app, the Meet Cute is just different or not is special because you’re meeting over text. But if I asked couples who have met online or on apps about their make you, you know, sometimes they’ll just be like, yeah, yeah, we met on X Y the app, but usually they go into more detail like there’s a story there. For example, I met my boyfriend on Bumble and my opening line was important question.

S18: How do you feel about sharing your French fries? Because I’m hungry, like all the time. And I thought he was really cute and I was hoping we could go get some French fries and he’d share them with me. And whenever he reminisces now about how he met, he says all that line about French fries just cracked me up. I thought you were so funny. And I go, well, you said you’d share them, so I figured you weren’t a serial killer. And now we have a running joke in our relationship about fried potatoes. So that’s, I think, why I like the right types. Make you, because I wanted to show that just because you crossed paths in text instead of in a grocery store or a library or whatever, it doesn’t mean that it’s not going to be magical or that you can’t lead or reimagine it. Right. It’s magical. It’s not how or where you meet that makes a meet. Cute, cute. It’s you you make it you so and anyone can feel free to use my French fry line if they like.

S13: And now, Jasmine.

S19: My platonic idea of a meet you and this is a little weird, one is two friends of mine, they met at a networking event. They were both in their 30s and they both had braces at the time. And that’s why he introduced himself to her, as did he notice that she had braces and they sort of bonded over that. And one reason I love this is because I remember when she had decided to get braces, she kind of thought her life was going to be over for those two years and it ended up being the way she met her husband. So I kind of love it. That was a surprise and kind of a secret way in my favorite meat shoot in all of my books. I think it’s got to be in the proposal at the beginning where Nick gets proposed to over the big Jumbotron and Carlos saves her and gets her out of the stadium. That was like I had the idea for that and I just loved it so much. And I love it because you really get an introduction to who each of those characters are in the midst of it.

S13: And last but not least, we have a little my platonic ideal of a meet.

S20: Cute is usually one where there is some kind of misunderstanding.

S21: I don’t know. I just find that kind of the way that expectations get turned upside down to be a really fun way for romantic partners to meet each other. And possibly because that’s kind of what happened when I met my husband in real life, I went to a friend’s party.

S20: There was a random, cute French guy there. I had recently been dumped, so I was not even trying to start anything, but was just keeping him occupied and talking and talking and talking and talking. And he was kind of just looking at me. And basically over the course of the day, I was like, man, this guy really doesn’t like me. He said he didn’t respond at all when I was talking to him. He wouldn’t look me in the eye. And I had gone in to hug him when we were all saying goodbye. And he kind of like stepped out of the way. And I was like, OK, weird. But basically he didn’t really understand English and particularly not me. Speaking English had a mile a minute. Someone had told him that Americans didn’t like to be stared at, so he kept looking away from me. And also French people don’t really hug like that. So when I went to hug him, he was confused. And yeah. So I like the misunderstanding. Meet cute.

S3: So that was quite the journey through many writers psyche’s, wasn’t it.

S12: Yes, it was. And I love that we got different answers from everybody.

S3: Yes, because of romance novels have endless tropes that you could borrow and mix and match and remakes. And that’s the joy of the genre. Guys, uh which of these was your favorite which is your personal favorite of the five on offer?

S12: Oh, I have a tie between Alissa’s misunderstanding of the French guy and then Jasmines, you know, friends and meeting because they had braces in their 30s. That’s my favorite. And they end up married. I love them.

S2: I mean, well, somebody whoever is right in the season finale of my life, could you just pop that in? For fuck’s sake? I’m tired. Just get me someone who is exactly me, but not me.

S12: I am so exhausted.

S3: I feel like Chala in Sex and the City. Like, where is he? I’m tired.

S12: I’m just like I have so much good stuff to share the same say.

S3: It’s actually this is actually made me horribly wasteful. So thanks guys. Um it was actually really lovely.

S12: Yeah. It was really sweet. Like I don’t know how this episode ah this plus segment could get any sweeter, but here we are.

S3: So like we said, we asked them three questions. So the second question that we sent to our authors was which romance trip are you the most reluctant to write, even though it may be a personal favorite and why?

S12: Oh, that’s a good question. Even if I do say so myself.

S2: I mean, I was going to say, wait, you clapping yourself and I think you were, which I really approve of. Thanks.

S12: First up, we have Barry again.

S22: So the question is, which remains true for my most reluctant to write, even though it may be a personal favorite. And why which is a really good question. By the way, I really have to think about this one as well.

S15: It would be and I’m going to be completely honest about this. The sole reason that I’m reluctant to write it is because you just don’t think it’d be very good at it. But it’s when you build the viewer or the reader’s expectations towards a particular couple getting together or your heroine having an interest in a particular person. And then you do a kind of bait and switch. And actually she gets together with somebody else who obviously will end up being far better, a far better match for her. And then I immediately ask myself if you can say that very you’ve got to have an example. And the most recent example I can think of, which was done very well, is and sorry for spoilers. Stop, stop listening. Now, if you don’t want to spoiler alert all the boys up love before which this book are a big hit on Netflix. But at the start of it, if you remember, it’s the childhood friend Josh who ends up dating my older sister and breaks her heart.

S14: And when all the letters go out, you think that he’s going to be the love interest. But quite quickly she ends up in a fake fake romance, which is another favorite trope, which I actually have done with Peter Kavinsky. And he’s the one that she actually ends up with. So I so enjoyed watching that. And I think it was done really well. But yeah, I mean, never say never. Maybe I’ll manage at some point. Yeah, that’s the one I’m reluctant to write because I just think that I tend to build a romantic hero up so much that it’s quite hard. It’s quite hard to go in one direction than another without disappointing the reader. I guess that is the big that’s the big pitfall of that idea. So, yeah, but if you want to sit and well, watch two of the boys I’ve loved before.

S16: And now here’s Rebecca, I think the trope I’m most reluctant to write, even though I enjoy reading it, is love rekindled. I sort of did a love rekindled trope in a cowboy to remember, but the heroine has amnesia and they didn’t date when they were younger. Love rekindled is actually very hard for me to write. I usually write stories where people are starting from someplace new and I’m kind of one of those people who’s like, if you broke up once, maybe you should stay broken up. That’s how I feel about things in real life. But so it’s very hard for me to write that. But I love reading it.

S13: And here is Aleesha.

S23: I grew up on soap operas, both American and Indian, you know, either Hindi, Emirati. I would race home after school to watch them with my grandma. And the troop that I adored most was, I think, the convenient amnesia trope where someone they bonke their head and they can’t remember like two or three key things and maybe they fall in love with someone all over again, or maybe they meet someone new they’ve normally never go for. I don’t know, the sky is the limit when you can’t remember things. So, um, but I don’t think I can write it because when I’m writing, I think about consent issues a lot.

S18: And I know just enough about medicine and head injuries to not be able to suspend my own disbelief as I write.

S23: But if no one is going to check my science, if I can just shut off my brain and I can just say, like, oh yeah, a two by four hit my hero in the head and they’ve forgotten everything. And then near the end, another two by four hits them again and they’re back to their baseline. I mean, I would, I would one hundred percent.

S13: Right that no question.

S19: And now Jasmine, I love the friends to lovers trope. I think that it’s so fun because you get to see so much of a relationship and a friendship become more. But I’m super nervous to write it, I think, because you have to get it just right. Like so often I worry that it’s going to be someone sort of pining after someone else. And that’s not what I want. Like, I want the two people to come into this as friends who both suddenly realize that there’s more. But I think it’s a really hard one to get just right. So I’m nervous to write it. I haven’t tried yet.

S13: And here we have Alexa again.

S20: The romance trope I am most reluctant to write is friends to lovers or rather long term pining friends to lovers like who have loved each other for years and never said anything. Mostly because I don’t understand that I know writers don’t have to be at all like their characters, but. I feel like I personally am too impulsive to ever just wait years without saying anything. And so when I’m reading it, it causes me extreme anxiety to be like, why haven’t they said anything? So long term planning is the truth that I probably would have the most trouble with writing.

S12: Again, such incredible answers.

S2: I mean, I love them. Oh, they have the range.

S3: Every single person here killed it. And each answer is just insightful. And I think also if you’ve read their books, you have a sort of like. Oh, I see that. I see that.

S12: What was your favorite of the bunch? Um, you know, I think just because I kind of like this, the idea of love rekindled that Rebecca was talking about, even though she was hesitant to write about it. I really love that trope. I love the idea of people reconnecting, even though there is no one in my life that I really want to reconnect with because I firmly believe in once it’s over for a reason I like once I get over my heartbreak, of course.

S3: But you’re one of those people who says I’ve successfully completed the relationship.

S12: Yeah, yeah. Because I don’t see because I feel like people I guess we do change and mature, but fundamentally we are the same. And so if, you know, if you were struggling to treat me well the first time around, I don’t believe that you have suddenly learned how to treat me well for a second time. I think that it will be too much work for me to constantly remind you of. You know, hey, we’ve been through this before. I remember. You suck then, you know, like, I don’t want to I don’t want to have to deal with that. But yeah, I do think the idea of people reconnecting, um, you know, after so maturity is possible. And I guess I just I’m just going to keep it in my books instead of real life.

S3: I mean, people often say that the best indicator of future behavior is past behavior, and that’s just my romance. Brain also can’t quite get there. But I appreciate people who, when they are writing their novels, kind of really kind of go down that road and explore it in a way that feels interesting and new. My favorites of all the answers, of course, I feel like this is, as Alicia herself said, it’s just I know too much, or at least slightly. I know just enough to kind of be like, that’s not real. But I love I love a convenient amnesia trope. I love it. And I can’t do it very well at all because it’s just like as she pointed out as well, like there are issues of consent and like it’s kind of dodgy.

S2: You don’t want to be that person is kind of like another in love, but they actually secretly hate each other. It’s like, um, what are we doing it?

S3: But I just love this idea of a clean slate. And just like coming to something without all your preconceived notions or like your prejudgments, like you are just you’re wide open, I suppose, which feels like a very romantic place to be, because I know that I carry years of I’m not going to say trauma, but years of issues and something very seductive about a convenient amnesia that makes it feel like, oh, that could be fun. Uh huh. So that’s my favorite of those answers. But I loved all of them, to be perfectly honest. Yes.

S12: Thing in a third question that everyone answered is how has the pandemic changed the way you approach writing, especially love scenes? Do you feel compelled to be more detailed now or more dependent on reader imagination to fill in the blanks of. What a great question, Nicole. Oh, thank you. Because, you know, I got to I got to ask about the love scenes and I got to get that in there.

S3: Same I mean, that’s like seventy seven percent of the reason why I read romance novels. So here’s Barry’s answer to that fantastic question.

S14: Has the pandemic changed the way I approach writing this? A very straightforward answer to this. No, because I have completely avoided covid pandemic and lock down in my current book on this kind of practical and creative reasons for that and the practical. Recently, I’d already written an awful lot of it when the twenty twenty crashed down on us. And from the creative point of view, and I don’t think I’m going to necessarily write, I mean, I keep I’m never say never myself all over the place here, but and I don’t think I’ll be writing about covid or the lockdown, which I mean, the big question is how long this will goes on for which I think is going to is going to affect things, but. For the moment, I hope my books are kind of, you know, have a lot of realism and emotional truth in them, but to some extent, obviously, the genre is about escapism. And personally, the last thing I want I mean, I wouldn’t have two characters arguing about Brexit or Donald Trump because just because unless unless it was hugely dramatic and really set the plot. But I just think that people to some extent want to step out of all those kind of and depressing reminders sometimes. And yeah.

S15: So I think the pandemic is an absolute gift to thriller writers or horror writers because, you know, for years we’ve had all this kind of freedom and travel with mobile phones and suddenly you’ve got an absolute precinct. You can just shove the characters in and go, it’s lockdown. So of course, nobody could leave. But yeah, as a romantic comedy author, I’ve got to say I’m just going to stay clear of it. But whether or not as time goes on that feels quite fraudulent, I think it’s just, you know, it’s a bit of a wait and see. But yeah, nothing’s really changed for me at the moment in terms of the worlds, the worlds that I create, which I’m just going to pretend it’s 20, 19 for two years.

S13: And here is Rebecca Wetherspoon.

S16: I think the pandemic has changed the way I do everything. I have deadlines, so I don’t really have a choice not to write, but I think it’s just taking a little bit more effort to get in the mood to write romance. I’ve been watching a lot of rom coms and reading more just to get my brain thinking about love. Also, this whole time I’ve been, you know, prevented from going out and dating. So that also just kind of has nipped the lovebug in the bud, if you if you will. But I think the process is still the same. You still have to write a book. You still have to plot a book and you still have to bring two people together. So hopefully the pandemic will end and my life will be filled with love and things will be a little bit easier.

S13: Next up, we’ve got Elysha, right?

S23: Yeah, I don’t think there’s a creative who hasn’t changed the way they approach their work during this pandemic. I am writing contemporary books that won’t be released until twenty twenty one or twenty twenty two. And I don’t know what the world will look like then or how traumatized we’re going to be by all of this. I think about my grandmother. She was born in nineteen twenty two in India after the Spanish flu and she was traumatized by it. She would tell me stories that her siblings and parents told her about friends and family and strangers getting sick about them dying. So, you know, this the effects of this will last for a long time. So how do you how do you approach that? You know, do I write the world as it existed before March 13th, twenty twenty? Or do I write it as it exists now? Is that going to be an alternate universe by the time, you know, the books are released?

S18: So that’s that’s what I worry about. Now, as far as the love scenes go, I mean, I think it might be hard for me to write like a hook up or one next step or a little bit because, you know, you don’t know that. Where have they been? Have they been wearing a mask? But other than that, I think perhaps I’m writing the couples maybe a little bit more desperate. And clothes tear off right now because I don’t know about everyone else. I I’m very much hungry, you know, I miss it. Just even platonic touching. So so maybe I might be channeling that more into my characters and the love scenes there.

S13: And here is Jasmine Guillory.

S19: I think one of the things that the pandemic has done for me and my writing is it has made me want to linger more on all of the things that we can’t do right now, like long flirting with someone new. You know, the way that you discover someone, like touching people, all of that. I think it’s the stuff that we can’t do right now. And I am having a lot of fun putting it into my writing. So that is I think that is the way that it has changed my writing in that I like spent a lot more time on all of those parts in the books.

S13: And last but not least, we have a little cold.

S20: It hasn’t changed it explicitly because I’m currently working on a reluctant oil spin off. And I because this is a somewhat fantasy world, I decided that coronavirus does not exist in this world and the way it exists in our world. But it has changed how I think about people being close to each other, people being in crowds, because even if it doesn’t exist in this world, it exists in the world of the reader. And I don’t want them, you know. Feeling having to be pulled out of this story by characters like randomly licking the face of someone they don’t know or, you know, whatever might happen in a non current of a world where you don’t have to worry about, you know, a virus like that. So I think it’s similar probably in the way to have romance, had to adjust to characters always using condoms where you kind of even if you’re not going to approach that and you’re writing what the reason for it, you kind of want it there just to signal, like, you know, the aluminum foil ripping in a romance to signal that they’re going to be protecting themselves from OCD and unwanted pregnancies. You know, something to signal to the reader, like, OK, everything is fine. There’s no coronavirus here. The characters are safe in some way and that way will vary depending on the situation.

S3: OK, so we had, again, five different in some ways and similar in others. I am so interested in this question because I know that, Nicole, you and I have spoken about the difficulty in getting into a headspace that allows for a very specific kind of fiction to take root and grow. And it’s it’s been a real kind of peeling back of my process in a way that I never realized was important. So we were saying how troubles have been a little bit harder because you need, like fuel to kind of feed this part of your brain that comes up with scenarios and makes things sound fun and interesting or whatever. And Varis, answer about, you know, this is a genre about escapism. And even though the characters are realistic and have, like, emotional truth to them, her way of dealing with covid and all of this stuff is to essentially swerve around it. And I like the way, you know, it was a very practical thing of just like, well, I’d written most of it before 20/20 did what it did. But on top of that is just kind of like there’s no need. Like it’s not necessarily the gift to romance that it might be for another genre, which I think is really interesting, because, again, you have these ideas of what your different genres are supposed to do. And I guess a lockdown feels more apt for like a thriller or for like a horror book. But this like romance has this place of connection and connectivity is kind of something that she doesn’t want to bring that into.

S12: And I think that’s actually, you know, a fair thing to do. Yeah. I mean, Alissa Cole, she had a similar response where, you know, she’s talking about writing in this fantasy world where coronaviruses does not exist. But she knows that for the reader, it still exists. So she has to make sure she’s not pulling anybody out. And I think that’s very wise, you know, because you don’t want the reader to be like, oh, but this is like, you know, this is kind of weird because I’m in this situation, you know, so I like that. Yeah, I like that. She is also even if she doesn’t want to talk about it, she has to remain aware that the readers still have it in their mind. And, you know, Alyssa and Alicia and Jasmine, you know, they’re talking about they want to linger more and have, you know, longer touches. And Alicia was like she it’s making it harder for her to write one night stands and hookups because she knows the reader is going to be like, oh, where have they been? You know, that kind of thing.

S2: Well, I love the way what’s the contact tracing? Everything that’s happening, right? Yeah, I get that.

S12: You know, we have all these answers where people are. If they can’t acknowledge it in the text, they have to acknowledge that their readers are thinking of it, you know. Right. Right.

S3: Which is why I left Rebecca’s answer about the honesty of just saying, yeah, it’s more effortful, like it’s more difficult. I’m not dating anyone because I’m not going anywhere. But she like she said, she’s reading more and she’s watching rom coms. And I feel like those are very handy little tricks to kind of get into the right headspace. You know, your brain just makes what it makes, whether it’s facts or fiction. So if you can’t go out on several dates, what you can do is watch people go on several dates and maybe you’ll get a similar sort of dopamine, high contact high from watching other people. I really love that. I love I loved how thoughtful everyone was about trying to create something for the reader, but also acknowledging that it’s a little bit harder. Um, and I did like the idea of kind of like a sort of like a secret between the author and the, you know, the reader. Yeah. Which is, you know, when when the touch lingers, you’re thinking, Oh, yes.

S12: And we did have a bonus question that, you know, I did want to get something juicy, some, you know, something super juicy out of our authors and Alicia Ray was able to answer our bonus question, which is what have been the best and worst reactions when someone you’ve dated? Why don’t you write romance? Mm.

S17: Uh, I started writing romance novels when I was 26, and I have gone on a lot, a lot, a lot of first dates since then, maybe more than the national average, I’m not sure. And in the beginning I would just kind of sidestep it, like I’d just say, oh, I’m a lawyer and nothing else. And I didn’t feel ashamed exactly about being a romance author, but there was a part of me that just dreaded the reaction I might get from someone who wanted me to feel shame, if that makes sense. But then, you know, I got to a certain age and I was just like, screw this. Let’s let’s turn this to our advantage. Let’s make it into a test to see if there’s going to be a second date. So I lean in real close and I wouldn’t blink. You know, you might want to miss anything. And I’d say, well, I’m a lawyer, but I also write romance novels and then I mentally rank their response. The worst was always some form of gross lechery. So do you, like, do all the stuff that’s in those books which, you know, if you get asked this question, I think the only appropriate response, whether it’s true or not, is, yeah. Yeah, I do. But if you say it carefully enough, there’s never really any follow up questions. And the good reaction was always some form of like, oh, cool. You know, like, oh yeah, I can I can take that, I can work with Ucore, but if I think back on it, the best relationships that I’ve had, the first response was always well above. Oh cool. And that makes sense because this is something that I love and I’m passionate about. And the best partners in my opinion, are the ones who are going to support you in doing something you love and you’re passionate about whether they understand it or not. And in fact, if they don’t understand it, there should be even more excited and interested about it on that first date because they’re excited about you and interested in you.

S12: Well, first of all, thank you, Alicia, for being game and sharing that part of your life with this. Uh, uh, and, you know, to all the people who are like, uh. So do you do all that stuff? Uh, please find a new line.

S2: Find a new response. That is the voice of an author who was being Googled. And it’s time for you to go. I’m so tired of everything. Oh, my God. It’s the mood of 20-20. Everybody’s just like, oh, it’s like every word has that underneath it.

S3: I love that answer because I think Alicia kind of nails the important thing, which is if somebody is interested in you, none of this is a bad thing. Like this is such an important part of so many women’s lives. And I’m just kind of like like you said, get a new line. Like, how is this all news to you that women like all sorts of stuff? And like the fundamental thing for me anyway that I get from romance novels is a sort of affirmation of what I want and what I like. And it’s somebody that you are on a date with is kind of interested in that. That’s only a good sign and I’m here for it. Shout out to all of our amazing Bulstrode avenges of romance. Right. This is once again, we spoke to Valerie Macfarlane. We spoke to Rebecca Wetherspoon. We spoke to Alicia Ray. We spoke to Jasmine Guillory. And we spoke to a coal and all their books are available. Wherever you get your books, that’s physical or e-book or whatever, just write their names. We’re going to put this on our Tumblr. So you have all the names of all the authors that we have recommended and spoken to for this particular plus and spoke about on the show a couple of weeks back as well.

S12: And you can also look for their handles. We’re going to put that up on our Twitter account. We listed some of these authors before when we talked about our romance novel episode. But we will boost that info so you’ll have it. And again, we hope that you go out, read these authors. We can’t guarantee that you’ll love them as much as we do, but hopefully you’ll find someone or something that you do like. And, you know, I just sleep with a romance novel tonight. Let’s do it.

S3: Wow, a, that’s a that’s a very impressive platform for 2020, and I’m here for it.