CBFC Interview • Interviewed by Beth Blighton
Interviewed April 2001
CBFC: Okay, here we go... What is your favorite word?
Clancy: (chuckles)... Oh, it's these kinds of questions....
CBFC: Yeah, it's these kinds of questions, all right! (laughter) But I think you'll like a couple of them.
Clancy: God, you had to be thoughtful...! I guess, if you go on The Actor's Studio, you can't just be off-the-cuff like you and I are!
CBFC: Well, it's up to you. You can go either way... (laughter) I mean, you are still being quoted out there as saying you wanted to be an acrobat and a fireman, because of some glib answer you gave somewhere...
Clancy: (laughing) Yes! Right!
CBFC: "Clancy Brown wanted to be an aristocrat, and an acrobat..." And I'm like, "Uh, right..." I laugh every time I read that because, not only did they believe that statement, but they passed it on! So now, here's your chance! So go ahead, it's time to come up with your favorite word.
Clancy: Um... What's my favorite word? I've been coming across such great new words, in getting ready to go to Ireland. Oh, I dunno.... I could say something really pretentious like "circumspection"...
CBFC: But the truth would be....? (laughing)
Clancy: I dunno... I like all of them! I like all these words!
CBFC: Okay, then you're really gonna like the second question, which is: What is your least favorite word?
Clancy: Yeah, cuz I say it all the time!
CBFC: What turns you on or is your favorite thing?
Clancy: My favorite thing is language, believe it or not, even though I can't come up with a word! My favorite thing is language and poetry, and the rhythm of language, which is why I'm flipping out about going to Ireland. They've got such a great facility for the spoken word...
CBFC: And the next question is: What turns you off?
Clancy: What turns me off is... thoughtlessness is the wrong word.... but kind of a knee-jerk thoughtlessness. The most cogent example, because we're reviewing on me, is Roger Ebert wrote this review of "Starship Troopers" that was thoughtless. I mean, the guy is supposed to be -- and he is -- a very smart, very learned, very articulate guy, and he just lambasted the movie for the most obvious reasons, without looking deeper, without doing his job. So maybe it's laziness... and cowardice, really. Maybe it's laziness and cowardice, cuz maybe he'd already heard that it was too violent for kids, and didn't look deeper or consider the source of the show, and all the rest of that. That really pissed me off. I thought that was a real disservice. But you see that all the time, like at my little girl's school, there's this beef that's going on, and some of these parents are just reacting without thinking.
CBFC: Yeah, people are pretty good at doing that, I'm afraid.
Clancy: It's like, if you're going to take the time to indulge your fury, ya know, your knee-jerk fury, please give us the respect of thinking about it for a couple of minutes, and try to come up with a solution, rather than just go on and on. That's why politics makes me angry these days, and news reporting, and all sorts of stuff... Cuz there is just no perspective left to anything anymore. It's really all sort of emotional...
CBFC: Plus it all just seems to be a game with some. The game to get the ratings or score the point or whatever -- that seems to be more important than anything.
Clancy: And ultimately it's laziness... It's just cynical and lazy! So that's really what gets me.
CBFC: I can understand that. Now.... What sound or noise do you love?
Clancy: Several! My daughter... Any sound she makes, just about -- except when she's whining for no reason. (chuckles) But I love the sound of my daughter sleeping, and the sound of my daughter laughing, and saying "Daddy", and telling me a story, or asking me a question... And the sound of dogs barking... as long as it's not too much in my house!
CBFC: And what sound or noise do you hate?
Clancy: Telephones! And actually all the things that are connected with them -- like beepers and cell phones -- I'm just so tired of that.
CBFC: And my favorite question: What is your favorite curse word?
Clancy: What is my favorite or which one do I use the most?
CBFC: Either one! (laughing) Or both!
Clancy: My favorite one is "Splood"... and "Zounds"!
CBFC: It's what? Okay, you're gonna have to spell those, cuz now I'm gonna have to transcribe this! (laughter) And where are you getting these?
Clancy: They're archaic curse words, and they mean "God's wounds" or "Jesus' wounds" or "God's Blood" or "Christ's Blood".
CBFC: And where did these come from?
Clancy: From Shakespeare!
CBFC: So those are your favorites?
Clancy: Oh, I love them! Oh, my God! If I could figure out a way to use them all the time... There was actually a time when I was saying "Zounds". And I used to swear regularly, but now I don't so much.
CBFC: Yeah, I imagine not so much any more, cuz you will hear those words come back to you from a little bumper seat in the back! But you don't have one that just pops out of your mouth, beyond all control?
Clancy: Well, nothing interesting. Just the general... You know, just whatever does it.
CBFC: Whatever suits the occasion! (chuckles) Now this question you have answered glibly before, so you will get the chance to straighten this one out: What profession, other than acting, would you like to attempt? -- And let's not say something like fireman, ballerina, or astronaut!
Clancy: (Laughs) Ballerina? I said ballerina?
CBFC: No... but you would have, if given the chance! (laughing) The only ones missing were ballerina, astronaut, and Indian chief!
Clancy: Hmm.... You mean, would I like to pursue now, or if I had it to do over again?
CBFC: Either one.
Clancy: If I had it to do over again... I probably would actually pursue dance. It's just so good for you, and there's a physicality of music that's a great thing. Cuz I really don't have that, and have never had that kind of mental discipline or that mastery. But I always had physical discipline -- with exercise, and I worked out (until recently), and I always enjoyed that. So that would be something... I don't know if I would have ever done it. If I could go back in time, I might have decided to play baseball.
But what would I do now? God, there are so many things, so many things...
CBFC: Has doing the acting ever made you think you'd like to do more in that type of field?
Clancy: Oh, I'd like to write. I'd like to go to the land of poets... The other thing I'd like to do, I'd like to check out archeology. That way I could be a historian and get to go to places and find out about the people who were there.
CBFC: And what profession would you not like to do?
Clancy: What would I not like to do? I would hate to be on Wall Street.
I would hate to be a lawyer or a finance guy. And not because I don't admire them, but I would hate to be a doctor these days! That's become just an impossible situation.
CBFC: You seem like the sort who would be a good lawyer, because you're very good at presenting both sides of an argument. Or is it the politicking of the whole thing that is the turn-off?
Clancy: Politics in anything is a turn-off. Lawyers especially. Like my brother said when he worked at the firm, "I really like the law, the only problem is... I have to work with all these lawyers!" There's just too many people in those professions who are in it for other reasons, rather than a love and a respect for what they do. Know what I mean? Same problem with doctors.... Doctors less so... well, maybe not less so, I don't know... but it's just so regulated and liable, and all that. I mean, how many lawyers do you know who truly love the law, and know the history of law -- rather than just some class they had a long time ago, back in law school? I think that's the measure.
CBFC: Okay, now this is the last question... If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive?
Clancy: (laughter) That Shakespeare is holding auditions... It's an open call...
CBFC: And there's a part for you, and it's a good one!
Clancy: They're holding a workshop, and here's the lecture schedule!
Sunday, July 20, 2003
Some Clancy Trivia: Just For The Fun Of It!
CBFC Interview • Interviewed by Beth Blighton • 2001
CBFC: What is your favorite color? (She asked in her best "Monty Python & the Holy Grail" bridge keeper's voice...)
CBFC: What is your favorite pass time when you're not working?
Clancy: Playing with Rose.
CBFC: Any hobbies?
Clancy: I used to have hobbies, now my avocation is fatherhood.
CBFC: Are you a good cook and what is your specialty?
Clancy: No, I'm not! Though Rosie thinks I cook very good hot dogs...
CBFC: What's your favorite food or cuisine?
Clancy: Hot dogs.
CBFC: How did I know that would be your answer? Okay, any food you absolutely despise or will not eat?
Clancy: Probably... snails. And Brussels sprouts, but I have eaten them!
CBFC: What's your favorite guilty pleasure?
Clancy: I don't really have any guilt! (chuckles)
CBFC: What's your all time favorite "desert island" book -- the one you'd want with you if you were stranded on an island for years?
Clancy: Um... I always... If I've got nothing to do, I always like to read, believe it or not, I like to read "Plutarch's Lives", an old biography where Shakespeare got a lot of his source material.
CBFC: Is there a movie that stops you from channel surfing every time you come across it?
Clancy: There's a lot of those. "Patton" will stop me every time. "All About Eve" will stop me every time. "Godfather" will stop me every time, although it didn't stop me this weekend. This weekend there was this "Godfather" saga on...
CBFC: Are you more likely to sing in the shower or while driving?
CBFC: Do you play Air Drums, Air Guitar, or possibly Air Piano?
Clancy: All three! Depends on the solo of the song I'm listening to... (chuckles)
CBFC: What CD or tape is getting the most play in your player right now?
Clancy: Right now, it's "Sugar Beats", which is a kid's rock-n- roll thing. Another is "The Parachute Express." Then, if it's up to me, what I've been listening to recently is the Clancy Brothers.
CBFC: Okay, you grew up in the 70s, just like I did (heaven help us...), so just consider these next ones our "Pulp Fiction", "Are you a Beatles or an Elvis man?" kind of questions... Were you a disco fan or a KISS fan?
Clancy: Neither, really. I guess I liked Parliament!
CBFC: So you liked the funk...
Clancy: I liked those guys. Earth, Wind, and Fire -- those guys were great. But I also listened to a lot of Eric Clapton...
CBFC: Which did you watch or like better, "The Brady Bunch" or "The Partridge Family"?
Clancy: I liked "The Partridge Family." I was too old for the "Brady Bunch." By the time "The Brady Bunch" came on I was kinda over it.
CBFC: "The Addams Family" or "The Munsters"?
Clancy: Oh, "Addams Family," no question!
CBFC: Mary Ann or Ginger?
Clancy: (long pause...) I have to choose? Can't I just have them both?
CBFC: Well... I suppose. If you must. (laughter) Are you at all superstitious, and is there any superstition you practice?
Clancy: Yeah, I guess I'm not seriously superstitious... but every time I have a meeting in some building that I've had a miserable meeting in, I remember everything, or if I have the shoes on that I wasn't successful in.
CBFC: Is there anything that creeps you out, like spiders or snakes?
Clancy: Rats... I hate rats!
CBFC: I ask because the spiders were a little creepy in "Earth 2."
Clancy: Spiders don't bother me, cuz you can smash them, but rats I just hate. Now pet rats, I have no problem with -- like somebody that has a pet rat or something like that, that's white and nice and clean...
CBFC: So "Willard" and "Ben" were probably not movies you went to?
Clancy: No... but I kinda wanted to! But my mom wouldn't let me see 'em.
CBFC: Are all the drivers around you maniacs or idiots? Maniacs being anyone who is driving faster than you, and Idiots being anyone who is driving slower?
Clancy: We have a saying at my house, when somebody's driving really fast and crazy, and blinking their lights at us, or pulls around us really fast to cut us off, we have a saying that they must be "delivering an organ to a hospital!" Are they maniacs or idiots? Ya know, I live in Los Angeles, and on any given day, they really are maniacs and idiots.
CBFC: So it's a smorgasbord out there on the highways for you, is it?
Clancy: There are some days that are worse than others. It's like the weather out here! You get on the road, and all of a sudden, everybody around you seems a little too anxious to get to where they're going. But it's not consistent. Cuz there are those days when you can get where you're going without incident, but then there are those days where it's just... people are transformed!
CBFC: Full moon days?
Clancy: Yup! I've gotta do kinda an unscientific study of it someday and figure out what is actually going on that day, whether it's a full moon or the temperature is high or something...
CBFC: Is LA one of the places where you really shouldn't honk at people?
Clancy: LA? Eh... It really doesn't matter. It doesn't do anything. If you honk in anger, you're just honking in anger. But if somebody's in a big hurry and cuts you off, if you honk at them it's not going to make any difference. Saying, "I'm honking at you to tell you you're a dope!" doesn't do anything...
CBFC: So you're not gonna get a gun waved at you for this behavior?
Clancy: Jeanne got in a beef once with a driver that followed her, some guy who believed she'd cut him off or some crazy thing like that. She got really scared about it, and she didn't even drive home. I told her, "Next time... drive home. Drive right home, come in and get me, and I'll come out and I'll take care of it."
CBFC: Ya know, I had a crazy do that once with me, too. Followed me all the way to the grocery store, just so she could scream and carry on and shake her fist at me. And I thought, "Now, how do you know that I'm not crazy?!?" I think that behavior carries its own risks, because how do they know that I'm not the crazy person with the gun, and they're gonna follow me now? Seems a little wacko to take that chance!
Clancy: Yeah, people have gotten nuts that way with me before...
CBFC: Wow! What were they thinking?
Clancy: I mean, I'm pretty easy going... If I did something stupid, I'll apologize. I'll say "Jeez... sorry, I didn't see ya or whatever." But then, if somebody persists in carrying on, I just have to say, "Okay... God, I guess I'm gonna have to beat you up now or something..."
CBFC: (laughter) And does that usually bring the matter to a very swift conclusion?
Clancy: Yeah, usually. There were a couple of instances, but this one was very funny... It was in a parking lot, and I got out of my truck. And my truck was really dirty for some reason... like I probably hadn't washed it. And my key went flying off my key chain, and it bounced off the guy's car parked next to me, and then under my truck. And I was trying to figure it out and, all of a sudden, he starts yelling at me. And I say, "It's okay. it's just my key... My key fell off my key chain and I'm looking for it." And he continues to yell at me. And I said, "So... ya know, what's the point here? Your car's okay..." Then he starts saying my truck's a piece of shit, and he's really going off. And I say, "So... what's the end here? We get in a fight? You want to get in a fight?" And he says, "Oh yeah, you try that and I'll come over there and..." So I said, "All right, fuck you, man!" and I start walking over to him. "I guess I gotta beat you up now!"
Clancy: So he jumps back in his car, and...
CBFC: Were you standing at the time or were you hunched over looking for your key? Cuz I can't believe anyone in their right mind would look at you and think, "Oh, I think I'll fight with this one!"
Clancy: No, of course he didn't want to do that! He was obviously angry about something else... or didn't like the way I looked or whatever... but he was angry about something else and just decided to heap this abuse on me. And, well, enough is enough!
CBFC: Not smart...
Clancy: I mean, I wasn't gonna beat him up... ya know.
CBFC: I would think you wouldn't have to! The intimidation factor alone should have been enough...
Clancy: And I still don't know what a woman should be expected to do, exactly.... in that situation. I don't know how a woman who's really getting this abuse can react effectively enough to really shut somebody up. It may be cell phones...
CBFC: I don't know. It seems to me that you have to be almost as crazy or crazier than the other guy, and indulge in this bluff right back. "Oh, you're crazy now? Well, maybe I'm crazy, too!" and hope nobody's bluff has to get called.
Clancy: If everybody stays in their car, I'm fine. But if somebody gets out of their car, I'll talk a little bit and say, "Whatever you say, just calm down. No problem."
CBFC: Yeah, that's a little scary.