Decoding Carnivale with Clancy Brown
January 10th, 2005
This is the transcript from Clancy’s radio call-in segment on Southwest Michigan’s WIRX/Rock 107.1, with Shelley Morgan.
SHELLEY MORGAN: Hey, it’s close enough to 4:20. It’s never too early for 4:20, is it? I didn’t think so, because it’s time to “Decode Carnivale.” (“Carnivale” theme song starts up) Clancy Brown, the star of HBO’s “Carnivale” on the phone from LA, where it’s raining and crazy there, huh?
CLANCY BROWN: The house that you see on the news was just around the corner from us.
CLANCY: It’s just been a big pain in the ass getting’ in and out (chuckling), ya know, dropping my daughter off at school and coming home. I mean, it’s crazy here. And then the biggest storm is supposedly coming in tonight! (laughing)
SHELLEY: And so you’re gonna get even more… Oh, fun.
CLANCY: Yeah, we lost power last night. A big ol’ tree right in front of John Wells, who’s the executive producer of, uh…
CLANCY: “ER”, yeah, among other things… And a big ol’ tree in front of his house fell down and took out power. So I got to yell at him, “Goddamit, Wells!” (laughing)
SHELLEY: It’s all your fault! You shoulda dug up that tree years ago!
CLANCY: Yeah, we all had great fun.
SHELLEY: So, it’s good that you got to see the show ahead of time…
CLANCY: It sure is! Cuz I wouldn’t have seen it otherwise!
SHELLEY: I liked it… but I didn’t like it.
SHELLEY: Yeah, I liked it because… It’s cool, it’s kinda cool to reacquaint yourself with your old friends.
SHELLEY: However twisted they may be…
SHELLEY: But… I don’t know! There was definitely a different sensibility, a different feeling. It wasn’t shrouded in mystery. It was, “Here’s this, and here’s this, and here’s this, and here’s this…”
CLANCY: Yeah, and once you got all that stuff, then it sort of stopped for a second, as Ben started driving, and started breaking into buildings, and looking for files…
CLANCY: And you’re like, why is this so tedious? (chuckling)
SHELLEY: I’m going, okay, I know it’s going to take… I know I’m going to find something out.
SHELLEY: It was really interesting at the beginning to have Samson do the whole, “Here, we’re catching you up and telling you this, and it’s in a riddle kind of thing.” He did a great job with really weird lines!
CLANCY: Yeah, yeah. I don’t really know why that’s there.
SHELLEY: You’re just… like going, “THE FATE OF MANKIND!”
SHELLEY: How about that?
SHELLEY: I just thought this a little TV show…
SHELLEY: I guess not, I guess we have higher aspirations for this.
CLANCY: Yes, of course. Yeah, it seemed a little… That part was… I mean, like the show’s not pretentious enough! (Laughing) You know? It just kinda had that at the top! Like, oh, you guys… come on.
SHELLEY: I mean, it was cool to get the quick recap of everything that happened in the first season.
SHELLEY: Then, you know, it started right back up.
SHELLEY: Right from the flaming bus and the whole thing!
CLANCY: No kiddin’. Well, it just picked up right where we left off.
SHELLEY: And I love that, rather than, “Three Months Later…”
CLANCY: Yeah, exactly. My favorite thing was… This is why Nick Stahl is the best actor in America. The first ten minutes, he’s having a conversation… with a curtain.
SHELLEY: (at the same time) With a CURTAIN! I know! (laughing)
CLANCY: And it’s… You actually are interested in it! I mean, it’s really good! He’s great!
SHELLEY: Oh, he’s amazing!
CLANCY: And then the next time you see him, the next big up-chuck of exposition, is the guy that comes back into the Temple and he hits him over the head with the phone… And then they just start talking, and the guy is just lying there. And he never gets up! (laughing)
SHELLEY: No, he doesn’t. Well, he just got hit in the head with a 1930’s telephone.
CLANCY: Right, he just got hit in the head with a 1930s telephone, and he’s lying there, he can’t get up, he refuses to get up. And then, at the end, he gives us one last piece of information… and then he passes out -- after about ten minutes.
SHELLEY: Well… you know.
CLANCY: I don’t mean to make fun of my own show, because I love this show, and I love the dialogue and everything else. But those were two moments that just proved to me that Nick Stahl is THE best actor in America! (laughing)
SHELLEY: Okay! (laughing) Thank you for that!
SHELLEY: How ‘bout we Decode some more “Carnivale? (“Carnivale” theme starts playing) Clancy Brown, Brother Justin Crowe from HBO’s “Carnivale” on the phone. Hey, last night, Clancy, we got a few more clues into what’s going on with your character – some lost Gospels or something. What the…? What’s up with that?
CLANCY: The Lost Gospel of Mathias… William Talbot Smith, and he’s listening to the radio broadcast… Actually, William Talbot Smith actually existed. He was an occultist back in the day.
CLANCY: Yeah. And so, somehow, Dan Knauf got ahold of his memoirs or something, and decided to put them in the show.
SHELLEY: Well, this makes sense!
CLANCY: Yeah, and so he’s looking for me or the…
SHELLEY: He’s looking for The Usher.
CLANCY: The Usher, yeah.
SHELLEY: Cuz it says, “The Usher shall declare, Thou shalt be strong.” And you said it at the same time he was reading it.
CLANCY: … He was reading it. Right, exactly
SHELLEY: Which was just chills, baby!
CLANCY: Oh, yeah?
SHELLEY: It was just awesome!
CLANCY: That was a good moment then, huh?
SHELLEY: Oh yeah, well, c’mon… You’re… You got some good dialogue!
CLANCY: I have fun. I have fun preaching, that’s for sure.
SHELLEY: (laughing) And so, then, he shows up at the end and gives you the Gospel of Mathias.
SHELLEY: And Henry Scudder’s name was on the inside.
CLANCY: Which I can only assume that this is some kind of Gospel that has been handed down through the generations.
SHELLEY: Right, it’s one of those Lost Gospel kind of things…
CLANCY: Right, but that specific book goes to some Avatar or another. I mean, I really don’t know what that means.
SHELLEY: Well, maybe we’ll find out this season and maybe we won’t! (laughing)
CLANCY: Yeah, right.
SHELLEY: When Scudder dies, Justin will receive the divine blood. Now, is that good blood or…?
CLANCY: Yeah, what was that? That was at the tree, right? Cuz I have to kill him with my own hand or something like that?
SHELLEY: Yeah! So is that good blood or is that bad blood?
CLANCY: Well, I think, at this point, clearly, nobody knows! I don’t even think Justin knows, ya know? I think he knows that now he’s got information that he has to do it. And then he’s been handed this book, which he’s very happy to have.
SHELLEY: Uh-huh. It might be a…
CLANCY: But I don’t think he knows exactly what team he’s playin’on. Well, he does know, in a way. He knows he’s playing on God’s team. That’s Justin. Justin is convinced that, even if it seems dark and awful, it is still God’s will, so...
SHELLEY: And Justin got a little this week!
CLANCY: (with a smile) Did he?
SHELLEY: Of course, he did!
CLANCY: (playing out the rope) He did?
SHELLEY: Didn’t we see him go to the whorehouse?
CLANCY: Well, we saw him walk into the…
SHELLEY: Oh, come on!!!
CLANCY: (slyly) I’m not saying anything! I think maybe that’s one of these, one of the reasons this show is so brilliant, is that it presents something to you, and then you fill in the blanks, and you’re inevitably wrong.
SHELLEY: (laughing) I dunno… He had lustful thoughts.
CLANCY: (Hook, line….) Did he have lustful thoughts?
SHELLEY: (exasperated) OF COURSE, he did…
CLANCY: (sinker) Really…?
SHELLEY: Those lustful thoughts, at least, were projected on your face.
CLANCY: (Really having fun with this now) REALLY?
CLANCY: You think so?
SHELLEY: Of course, I think so!
CLANCY: You know, lust can look like anger, can look like confusion…
SHELLEY: But, ya know…
CLANCY: Ya know, I’ve done these scenes before, where you have to pretend like you’re makin’ love, and you…you… You make funny faces. (chuckling)
SHELLEY: Well, yeah!
CLANCY: And those funny faces can be anything, in reality.
SHELLEY: Yeah? Okay…
CLANCY: It’s always the context. (laughing)
SHELLEY: But I saw the camera angles that were being cut between you and her.
SHELLEY: And where you were supposedly looking…
CLANCY: Uh-huh…? (still not giving Shelley a break)
SHELLEY: So then…
SHELLEY: You got up and went to the whorehouse.
CLANCY: Oh, this must be in the preview, right?
SHELLEY: No, this was last night!
CLANCY: (Not realizing she’s talking about Iris now) No….
CLANCY: No, cuz all I did was walk in the door last night.
SHELLEY: Well, I know you just walked in the door!
SHELLEY: I’m sure you’re just there to save souls…
CLANCY: She’s a little tiny Japanese girl!
SHELLEY: (teasing) You were there to save souls, I’m sure…
CLANCY: Sure, I was!
CLANCY: Ya know, I’m the one that…
SHELLEY: Yeah, you’re the Good Guy, I forgot. (chuckling)
CLANCY: I’m the one who took over Chins and turned it into a mission, rather than a bordello.
SHELLEY: Yeah, uh-huh…
SHELLEY: Well, then obviously you had seen the inside of it before…
CLANCY: So, I’m doing a little one-on-one soul-saving, perhaps.
SHELLEY: (laughing) Yeah, that’s what that is…
CLANCY: Perhaps. Could be, just as easily as what you’ve projected onto it, Shelley… (laughing)
SHELLEY: Oh, well, I’m gonna project…
CLANCY: (razzing) Shelley… Get your mind out of the gutter, Shelley! (laughing)
SHELLEY: That’s impossible! It’s impossible for me to get the mind out of the gutter!.
CLANCY: (evil chuckle)
SHELLEY: WIRX, Clancy Brown, otherwise known as Brother Justin Crowe on HBO’s “Carnivale”, hanging out with us this afternoon, talking about “Carnivale’s” season premiere last night. And they kinda pretty much picked up where last season left off. There was a big fire in the Carnivale. And last night, Clea Duvall’s character loses her catatonic mom, Apollonia, in the fire at the Carnivale. And she was just.. She was, I dunno, pretty amazing!
CLANCY: Clea was brilliant, I thought, in last night’s… She’s such a good actress. She’s uh… She was all upset.
SHELLEY: She plays Sofie.
CLANCY: Yeah. And she was…
SHELLEY: She wanted to apologize to Jonesy, and he wasn’t having any of it.
SHELLEY: Because he had caught her, at the end of last season with, uh…
CLANCY: With the girl, Libby.
SHELLEY: Libby. They were makin’ out, and Libby was naked.
SHELLEY: Or almost naked.
SHELLEY: And Jonesy wasn’t too thrilled by that.
CLANCY: And neither was she, actually. Neither was Libby.
SHELLEY: Though Libby seems to be over it.
CLANCY: Well, you know, women are smarter than men that way. (laughing)
SHELLEY: Yeah, you think?
CLANCY: They can,.. They can, sort of accept what the situation is and ask for forgiveness a lot easier than macho men like Jonesy.
SHELLEY: Yeah, you’re right. He is pretty macho.
CLANCY: He is. He’s lookin’ good. He’s lookin’ like John Wayne to me.
SHELLEY: He DOES, doesn’t he?!?
SHELLEY: There’s this whole kind of goodness around him.
SHELLEY: There’s the shady dealings of the Carnivale, and there’s the whole Brother Justin thing, and you don’t really know whether he’s good or evil.
SHELLEY: But then, you’ve got Jonesy, and he’s the moral pillar… Except, ya know, he did do Rita Sue.
CLANCY: Yeah. Yeah, he’s not THAT moral! (chuckling)
SHELLEY: I know, but there’s something about him… There’s something that’s inherently good about him.
CLANCY: Yeah. He’s John Wayne! You know, he’s the icon. He’s the baseball player, he’s wounded. He’s good. He’s a good, good man. He can fix anything. Every woman should want to marry him.
CLANCY: And then, when he cheats on ‘em, they’ll forgive him.
SHELLEY: Because it’s…
CLANCY: Because he’s…
SHELLEY: John Wayne.
CLANCY: John Wayne, exactly.
SHELLEY: Works for me.
CLANCY: Next week, because our power was out here, at my house in LA, I didn’t see the previews, so I don’t know…
SHELLEY: Well, you were talking to Stroud on the radio.
CLANCY: Oh, yes! Oh boy, is he good or what?
SHELLEY: He was pretty awesome.
CLANCY: That was like the scariest shot of that actor I’ve ever seen, in this episode, when he’s listening to Brother Justin and those shadows played… That looks like a scary dude!
SHELLEY: He was maniacal.
CLANCY: John Carroll Lynch. He’s so good in this show. Very fun to watch.
SHELLEY: I’m very excited to see how, number one, he gets out of jail…
SHELLEY: If he’s gonna be your apostle and your archangel.
CLANCY: Yup, he’s my apostle and archangel. He’s the guy.
SHELLEY: It’s gonna be sweet, man. Everybody wants one of those, don’t they?
CLANCY: Yeah, but you don’t want to marry him! (chuckling)
SHELLEY: No! (laughing) I understand that.
CLANCY: You just wanna have his devotion, but no vows.
SHELLEY: (laughing) But if he’s an apostle, he’s gonna be off wandering around, and that’s not what you’re looking for in a man.
CLANCY: Exactly. Proselytizing.
SHELLEY: Exactly. Okay… So Clancy, thanks for checking in with us today and trying to help us decode “Carnivale.” We definitely, definitely appreciate it. And, of course, HBO will be showing it a couple of times this week, and then new episodes each and every Sunday night, on HBO. Clancy Brown, Brother Justin Crowe, thank you so much for hanging out with us today.
Tuesday, January 11, 2005
Decoding Carnivale with Clancy Brown