MJ Still Holding At #9 On Facebook’s Top 25 Pages – April 2014

Source: Inside Facebook – By Justin Lafferty


Last month, we talked about how Shakira’s Facebook fanbase was rapidly growing. Now, according to PageData, Shakira is Facebook’s most-liked person, with 87.7 million fans on the social network.

Shakira’s Facebook page has gained nearly 1 million fans in the past week and passed Rihanna as the person with the most likes on Facebook. She still trails Facebook for Every Phone and Facebook’s own page.

Shakira officially earned the honor on March 21 and shared the news with her fans in a post.

Discover which Facebook pages have the most likes by clicking below. 

Please Note: As of this posting, Michael has 72,163,355 likes and he has the 5th popular celebrity Facebook page.

Fullscreen capture 412014 81615 PM

# Name Total Likes  Daily Growth Weekly Growth
1     Facebook for Every Phone 413,741,416 +539,003 +3,832,024
2     Facebook 144,365,483 +68,665 +445,543
3     Shakira 87,849,760 +134,672 +993,727
4     Rihanna 86,462,819 +18,811 +134,589
5     Eminem 84,660,986 +66,106 +494,914
6     Coca-Cola 80,905,045 +32,848 +311,955
7     YouTube 78,947,450 +13,527 +103,068
8     Cristiano Ronaldo 76,786,141 +52,956 +448,098
9     Michael Jackson 72,133,022 +41,962 +362,873
10     The Simpsons 71,717,070 +22,210 +155,666
11     Vin Diesel 70,830,125 +72,704 +524,041
12     Texas HoldEm Poker 70,247,014 +2,840 +22,967
13     Harry Potter 69,870,527 +50,431 +378,574
14     Katy Perry 66,214,187 +48,562 +354,613
15     Will Smith 65,036,935 +27,886 +212,233
16     Candy Crush Saga 64,945,134 +59,030 +448,161
17     Justin Bieber 64,703,278 +59,410 +395,864
18     Lady Gaga 64,109,805 +32,529 +245,644
19     Linkin Park 61,001,390 +25,348 +181,692
20     FC Barcelona 59,626,939 +111,095 +835,835
21     Beyoncé 58,610,885 +56,782 +404,915
22     Bob Marley 58,454,270 +56,291 +407,666
23     Taylor Swift 58,024,730 +89,229 +652,435
24     Selena Gomez 57,466,759 +46,421 +312,781
25     Family Guy 55,604,989 +3,285 +26,138

Read more: http://www.insidefacebook.com/2014/04/01/top-25-facebook-pages-april-2014-shakira-is-now-facebooks-most-liked-person/

Michael Jackson Still Holding 11th Place On Facebook’s Top 25 Pages (February 2014)

Source: Inside Facebook.com

Fullscreen capture 232014 63158 PM

For the past few months, one of Facebook’s most popular people has been actor Vin Diesel. In January, Diesel’s Facebook page crossed the 60 million fan mark and shows little signs of stopping.

According to PageData, 1.1 million people have clicked “like” for Diesel in the past week, making his page the 13th-most liked page on Facebook. Among living people, he is the fifth-most popular, behind Rihanna, Eminem, Shakira and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Wondering which Facebook pages have the most likes? Click below to find out. 

# Name Total Likes  Daily Growth Weekly Growth
1     Facebook for Every Phone 382,566,163 +516,049 +4,026,134
2     Facebook 110,959,881 +71,894 +582,400
3     Rihanna 85,001,512 +42,895 +293,510
4     Eminem 81,413,248 +54,193 +388,528
5     Shakira 81,096,090 +135,197 +715,176
6     Coca-Cola 79,275,807 +55,597 +213,843
7     YouTube 78,205,353 +19,778 +145,453
8     Cristiano Ronaldo 72,775,745 +78,696 +529,284
9     The Simpsons 70,045,642 +22,623 +164,556
10     Texas HoldEm Poker 69,974,979 +3,575 +32,984
11     Michael Jackson 69,629,904 +47,483 +344,995
12     Harry Potter 68,334,612 +25,684 +181,664
13     Vin Diesel 64,643,747 +140,531 +1,106,224
14     Katy Perry 63,403,482 +56,489 +404,474
15     Justin Bieber 62,981,084 +25,885 +176,575
16     Lady Gaga 62,700,480 +28,042 +221,795
17     Candy Crush Saga 60,726,342 +86,398 +595,854
18     Linkin Park 59,564,508 +24,864 +184,415
19     Will Smith 59,059,040 +156,030 +701,323
20     Beyoncé 56,023,625 +49,943 +300,160
21     Family Guy 55,179,047 +11,403 +88,305
22     Selena Gomez 55,167,545 +31,649 +316,022
23     Bob Marley 54,858,848 +48,696 +340,060
24     Taylor Swift 54,163,017 +53,534 +376,187
25     FC Barcelona 53,939,251 +91,253 +657,482

Other changes from January 2014:

  • Shakira jumped over Coca-Cola and YouTube to become the No. 5 most popular page.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo went from No. 10 to No. 8, swapping spots with Texas HoldEm Poker.
  • Lady Gaga fell two spots to No. 16.
  • Linkin Park and Candy Crush Saga swapped positions.
  • Beyoncé overtook Family Guy for the No. 20 spot.
  • Selena Gomez was not on the January 2014 leaderboard, but is now the 22nd-most liked page on Facebook.
  • Leo Messi and Akon fell off the list, but FC Barcelona is now on the leaderboard at No. 25.



Michael Jackson Among The Top 25 Facebook Pages — January 2014

Source: Inside Facebook.com


Every month, we track the top 25 Facebook pages with the most likes, according to PageData. In our first PageData leaderboard of 2014, we see that Coca-Cola has passed YouTube to move into the No. 5 spot.

While Facebook for Every Phone and Facebook always generate tons of likes, this month’s chart shows that Shakira, Vin Diesel and Candy Crush Saga also added hundreds of thousands of fans in the past month.

Click below to see a full list of the most-liked Facebook pages. Here’s the list from December 2013

# Name Total Likes  Daily Growth Weekly Growth
1     Facebook for Every Phone 362,101,546 +621,530 +4,379,284
2     Facebook 108,385,727 +81,321 +630,357
3     Rihanna 82,237,709 +43,479 +259,896
4     Eminem 79,657,079 +48,522 +327,383
5     Coca-Cola 78,286,825 +58,574 +470,855
6     YouTube 77,521,891 +19,615 +129,619
7     Shakira 76,526,243 +61,812 +442,337
8     Texas HoldEm Poker 69,832,118 +4,033 +26,999
9     The Simpsons 69,222,337 +11,716 +85,148
10     Cristiano Ronaldo 68,685,054 +56,146 +392,735
11     Michael Jackson 67,946,032 * +43,687 +283,507
12     Harry Potter 67,484,601 +26,023 +168,168
13     Katy Perry 61,566,344 +51,249 +326,641
14     Lady Gaga 61,531,612 +25,927 +163,534
15     Justin Bieber 61,389,439 +77,175 +512,897
16     Vin Diesel 59,218,025 +141,745 +639,674
17     Linkin Park 58,734,330 +23,137 +148,995
18     Candy Crush Saga 57,632,748 +96,795 +627,620
19     Will Smith 56,425,503 +39,694 +315,630
20     Family Guy 54,772,864 +7,670 +49,966
21     Beyoncé 54,427,784 +32,609 +232,001
22     Bob Marley 53,351,310 +36,748 +239,330
23     Taylor Swift 52,096,021 +56,701 +331,219
24     Leo Messi 52,075,136 +23,632 +181,825
25     AKON 51,893,490 +21,760 +148,687

Other changes since December 2013:

  • Michael Jackson and Cristiano Ronaldo switched places, with the late King of Pop sliding down to No. 11.
  • Katy Perry moved from No. 14 to No. 13, bumping Lady Gaga down one spot.
  • Justin Bieber advanced from No. 16 to No. 15, with Linkin Park falling from No. 15 to No. 17 and Vin Diesel rising all the way up from No. 20 to No. 16.
  • Candy Crush Saga fell from No. 17 to No. 18.
  • Will Smith went down one spot, to No. 19.
  • Family Guy also fell one spot to No. 20.
  • Taylor Swift rose from No. 25 to No. 23.
  • AKON fell from No. 23 to No. 25.


*Administrator’s Note: Michael’s Facebook page is currently at 68,884,220 likes.


New Shirts Use Michael Jackson And Other Celebs To Fool Facebook’s Facial Recognition

Source: Digital Trends – By Kate Knibbs

michael-jackson-facial-recognition-970x0Can you trick Facebook? More importantly, can Britney Spears help you trick Facebook? A graphic designer named Simone C. Niquille created an art project privacy advocates will love that tests the limitations of facial recognition software. She designed a series of shirts called “RealFace Glamoflage” specifically to help Internet users evade facial recognition technology all over the Internet. 

Many websites use facial recognition software, but Facebook’s decision to take advantage of the technology is important because it’s the most widely used social network, so the recognition database it is amassing will likely be more vast than any other. If you’re not comfortable with Facebook’s forays into facial recognition, the company’s decisions to buy facial recognition software Face.com and to change its terms of service to allow your profile pictures in auto-tagging tests may leave you cold. If the social network’s insistence on moving forward with facial recognition gives you the heebie-jeebies — but not enough to quit using it — Niquille’s t-shirt campaign may bring you closer to a solution. 

Niquille sells shirts featuring prints of the faces of celebrity impersonators for Michael Jackson, Barack Obama, and Britney Spears — shirts specially designed to make facial recognition algorithms go berserk. Other shirts feature the faces of women culled from pop-up ads on Facebook. “I reverse Google Image searched their images to try and figure out how one might end  up as a face on a fake pop up ad,” Niquille explains. “I didn’t find the identities of those girls, instead multiple social media profiles, Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr selfies with the same photo. Thus, those girls are as hard to identify as a celebrity lookalike, I’d argue.” 

The shirts haven’t been tested on Facebook because they were designed before the company stepped up its campaign to incorporate the technology, and Niquille doesn’t use the website. She initially had other facial recognition usage in mind when she developed the project “Picasa has an online automatic photo tagging service as well as iPhoto. Cameras have facial recognition to snap a photo when your smiling or to focus on your face, PayPal’s iPhone app let’s you pay with your face, or that’s a pilot, to mention only a few,” she says. 

But even though the designs haven’t been proven to definitively thwart Facebook, Niquille says they’ve beaten other systems. “Depending on the facial recognition technology, the shirts work more or less successfully. They aren’t designed to protect in any way but to confuse,” she says. “I have tested them on multiple facial recognition or detection devices I had access to and the success rate obviously varies from light, wearer and software.” 

Since the creator isn’t going to tests the concept on Facebook, looks like it’s up to the buyers to make sure these shirts work — and even if they don’t, they’re an interesting fashion statement. 

MJ Still Rules Social Media

Source: WOGL.CBSLocal (98.1) / Inside Facebook


Philadelphia, Pa (WOGL) – Michael Jackson’s Facebook page ranked in the top pages followed last month…four years after his death.

InsideFacebook reported that MJ’s fan page received over 72,000 likes a day in the month of September, putting the page at No.11 on the 25 Most Liked Facebook Pages.

Ahead of MJ on the list is The Simpsons, Coca Cola, Rihanna, and Eminem. Facebook for Every Phone took the No.1 spot, followed by Facebook at No.2 and Youtube failing in at No.3

MJ still holds the title for the King of Pop and, as the most influential person in Pop music history, it’s no surprise that he is social media royalty as well.


Sunday People Advertisers Boycott

Source: The Michael Jackson World Network


A Michael Jackson fan who is not happy with the standards of journalism in the Sunday People newspaper has set up a Face Book page where he will list all that papers main advertisers, and encourage other people, not only fans, but anyone who is heartily sick of the shoddy journaiism in that newspaper to boycott the advertisers products until a complete retraction of the stories dated (7/1/13) and (7/7/13) is issued.

Here you can connect with this campaign.


Did Bad Amazon Book Reviews Help To Kill Sullivan’s Book?

Swarming a Book Online

Source: New York Times – By David Streitfeld

Alessandra Montalto/The New York Times

Reviews on Amazon are becoming attack weapons, intended to sink new books as soon as they are published. 

In the biggest, most overt and most successful of these campaigns, a group of Michael Jackson fans used Facebook and Twitter to solicit negative reviews of a new biography of the singer. They bombarded Amazon with dozens of one-star takedowns, succeeded in getting several favorable notices erased and even took credit for Amazon’s briefly removing the book from sale.

“Books used to die by being ignored, but now they can be killed — and perhaps unjustly killed,” said Trevor Pinch, a Cornell sociologist who has studied Amazon reviews. “In theory, a very good book could be killed by a group of people for malicious reasons.”

In “Untouchable: The Strange Life and Tragic Death of Michael Jackson,” Randall Sullivan writes that Jackson’s overuse of plastic surgery reduced his nose to little more than a pair of nostrils and that he died a virgin despite being married twice. These points in particular seem to infuriate the fans.

Outside Amazon, the book had a mixed reception; in The New York Times, Michiko Kakutani called it “thoroughly dispensable.” So it is difficult to pinpoint how effective the campaign was. Still, the book has been a resounding failure in the marketplace.

The fans, who call themselves Michael Jackson’s Rapid Response Team to Media Attacks, say they are exercising their free speech rights to protest a book they feel is exploitative and inaccurate. “Sullivan does everything he can to dehumanize, dismantle and destroy, against all objective fact,” a spokesman for the group said.

But the book’s publisher, Grove Press, said the Amazon review system was being abused in an organized campaign. “We’re very reluctant to interfere with the free flow of discourse, but there should be transparency about people’s motivations,” said Morgan Entrekin, president of Grove/Atlantic, Grove’s parent company.

Amazon said the fans’ reviews had not violated its guidelines but declined further comment.

The retailer, like other sites that depend on customer reviews, has been faced with the problem of so-called sock puppets, those people secretly commissioned by an author to produce favorable notices. In recent months, Amazon has made efforts to remove reviews by those it deemed too close to the author, especially relatives.

The issue of attack reviews, though, has received little attention. The historian Orlando Figes was revealed in 2010 to be using Amazon to anonymously vilify his rivals and secretly praise himself. The crime writer R. J. Ellory was exposed for doing the same thing last fall.

Attack reviews are hard to police. It is difficult, if not impossible, to detect the difference between an authentic critical review and an author malevolently trying to bring down a colleague, or organized assaults by fans. Amazon’s extensive rules on reviewing offer little guidance on what is permissible in negative reviews and what is not.

With “Untouchable,” Grove had hopes for a modest best seller. The book was excerpted in Vanity Fair, and Mr. Sullivan, a longtime contributor to Rolling Stone who lives in Portland, Ore., promoted it on “Nightline” and “Good Morning America.” Amazon selected it as one of the best books of November, encouraging readers to “check out this train wreck of a life.” The retailer also selected it as one of the 100 best e-books of the year.

None of that helped when Mr. Sullivan tried to complain, saying reviews of his book were factually false yet being voted up by the fans so that they dominated the page for “Untouchable.” The bookseller replied with boilerplate. “Rest assured, we’ll read each of the reviews and remove any that violate our guidelines,” adding, “We’ve appreciated your business and hope to have the opportunity to serve you again in the future.”

In an interview, Mr. Sullivan asked: “Should people be allowed to make flagrantly false comments about the content of a book or its author? This is suppression of free speech in the name of free speech.”

“Untouchable” is 586 pages of text, with 200 pages of notes. Much of it focuses on Jackson’s chaotic last years, including his efforts at comebacks, his struggles to remain solvent, his shocking death in 2009 and the battle over his estate.

It is a largely sympathetic portrait. For instance, Mr. Sullivan seeks to refute the popular notion that the singer had troubling relationships with young boys. Jackson was found not guilty of child-molesting in a criminal trial in 2005.

Yet even before the book was officially published on Nov. 13, the rapid response team declared, “It’s time for action!”

Within two weeks, the book had nearly 100 anonymous one-star reviews that included such comments as: “A disgrace and a disgusting insult to the greatest artist and entertainer the world has ever known.” “There is not one actual fact in this book.” “Sullivan seeks to criticize Michael’s spending habits? It’s none of his business what Michael spent his money on.” “Michael Jackson has dedicated his entire life to helping others. He doesn’t deserve this.” “The audacity to term Michael Jackson’s life a ‘train wreck’ is nothing less than evil and uneducated.”

For several days in late November, Amazon stopped selling physical copies of the book after buyers said copies were defective, in a development first reported by The Portland Oregonian. Mr. Entrekin said Amazon was the only sales outlet that had received such complaints.

The fans took the credit for removing the book from sale. “Book stopped selling,” one of them noted in a Nov. 26 post on the Facebook page. “MJ fans we have done it again!!! Who’s BAD!!!”

About that time, other readers started leaving positive reviews of the book and criticizing the negative reviews, turning the review forum into a full-scale brawl. The fans labeled these reviewers “haters,” saying: “Do not fight with the haters but we need you to focus on the book and leave negative reviews of the book. Rate it with one star. We do not want the book rating to go up.”

It also encouraged the fans to report “the MJ hating trolls” to Amazon for making “inappropriate and personal” attacks against those who left negative reviews.

Tom Mesereau, the Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer who became a hero among Jackson fans when he successfully represented the singer in his molesting case, was a major source for Mr. Sullivan. In early December, he made a YouTube video calling the attacks on “Untouchable” a “disgusting, sophisticated, Hollywood-style P.R. campaign.”

In reality, the campaign is being run a long way from Hollywood. An administrator for the rapid response team, who identified himself as Steve Pollard, said five people run the Facebook site and Twitter efforts, only three of them in the United States. Going after “Untouchable” was “a moral responsibility,” said Mr. Pollard, a 52-year-old resident of Detroit. He explained, “If you were to drive by a graveyard and see someone steal a corpse in order to make a profit, you would feel some responsibility to do something.”

He said that the response team did not tell fans what to say in their Amazon reviews and that they did not try to have the book removed, despite messages to the contrary on the Facebook page. But he added in an e-mail that some of the favorable reviews of “Untouchable” “were removed (I think) because they were attacks against fans and not reviews of his book. We reported the attacks of course.”

Mr. Pinch, the Cornell researcher, said he got the sense that “Amazon is hoping that all these problems with positive and negative reviews will go away.” He added: “But as more and more abuses come to light, the overall effect will be a slow undermining of the process. There are so many ways to game the system.”

Grove distributed 16,000 copies of “Untouchable.” Nielsen BookScan, which tracks sales in most outlets, counted only 3,000 copies sold. For a time this month, “Untouchable” was being outsold on Amazon by a book on Jackson’s body language, “Behind the Mask.”

That book, published by the author, had something going for it that “Untouchable” did not: the endorsement of the fans. “Michael Jackson would be pleased that such an objective book was written about him,” one reviewer wrote on Amazon. 


Denzel Washington Talks Family, Sports, Celebrities, Movies And Michael Jackson Coming Over For Fried Chicken

Source: Grantland – By Daniel Kellison

Dinner With Daniel: Denzel Washington

The film legend talks sports, FLOTUS crushes, and family history

Obama is in town … “

It would be hard to imagine any four words wreaking more havoc on Los Angeles’s already-clogged thoroughfares. If POTUS only knew how many votes he was losing on his traffic-halting visits … Actually, he could probably count them all, one by one, fuming in their idling Priuses as his motorcade breezed past to some lavish Katzenbergian soirée.

So knowing I’d been given a very tight interview window, I left early. Three hours early. For a roughly seven-mile drive. This did nothing to alleviate my stress. As I drove, I imagined myself breathlessly explaining to Coach Boone that I’d actually left three hours earlier … “Son, we leave for camp at 7:29. If you report at 7:30, you will be watching — not playing … ”

Of course, I arrived in less than 15 minutes.

A few leisurely hours later I walked into La Descarga, a handsomely appointed new Cuban restaurant where we were to meet. Milling around the unmanned bar were a small battalion of publicists, a photo crew, hair and makeup people, and, just as casually, some of the biggest movie stars in the world: Matt Damon, Richard Gere, Jamie Foxx, and Denzel Washington — all laughing and shooting the shit as they waited to shoot a Hollywood Reporter cover. Before we met, Alan Nierob — Denzel’s publicist — told me: “Denzel’s ‘bored’ talking about drinking … ” (“Drinking” being the central, underlying theme of his new film, Flight); making sure to punctuate the end of the e-mail with: “So bored.” The other thing he said was I’d have him for an hour — hour and a half at most.1 Oh — and Denzel wouldn’t be having dinner with me. “Honestly, if he has an opportunity to have dinner in town? He’s going to want to do that with his wife and kids.” I really couldn’t blame him.

Daniel: I really appreciate you doing this. I can only imagine where you spend the better part of a year making one of these artful, well-crafted movies … and then, like, your immediate reward is being asked the same inane questions over and over again. Must be like Dante’s nine circles of hell.

Denzel: [Smiling coolly.2] I’m not worried about it. I know you’re not going to do that …

Daniel: Well, anyway, if I ask a shitty question … just tell me and we’ll get rid of it.

Denzel: You don’t have to worry about it. You’ll know. [Laughs.]

Daniel: Do you know Grantland, the site that you’re doing this for?

Denzel: No. Tell me.

Daniel: Uh … OK … It’s a sort of pop culture [and] sports site … part of ESPN … started by, uh, this guy Bill Simmons … ?

Denzel: OK. [Polite nodding.]

Daniel: … He writes a lot of basketball stuff? There’s also, uh, a bunch of other interesting writers on there — Chuck Klosterman … It’s sort of a smart site. With a slight intellectual slant to it …

Denzel: Why you interviewing me then?

[Both laugh.]

Daniel: Are you at all interested in digital media? Or does that just pass you by?

Denzel: I don’t even have a phone.

Daniel: Really? [Laughing.] You don’t have a cell phone?

Denzel: Mm-mm. Not right now.

Daniel: So when people need to get in touch with you, what happens?

Denzel: They call the house, and I check the messages when I get home.

Daniel: [Laughing.] Wow. I like that. Old-school.

[Denzel smiles.]

Daniel: But I did see you have a Facebook page — and it did seem like maybe that might have been you on there?

[Denzel looking at me skeptically .]

Daniel: There was a message last week: “Happy Friday, everyone, stay blessed and prosper well”?

Denzel: Nah, I don’t have a Facebook. What is it? Just people do that? Pretend to be you?

Daniel: Yeah, there was a Twitter thing, too — but just two posts — Same thing: “Hello Twitter world — Denzel”

Denzel: [Laughs.] Really?

Daniel: Yeah. But it’s not you.

Denzel: Not me!

Daniel: Yeah, I kind of had a sinking suspicion … OK, but speaking of Twitter, there is somebody on there I do love, and I was reading he’s also one of your great friends — though maybe I’m wrong about this too? George Wallace?

Denzel: [Pauses.] No.

Daniel: The comedian?

Denzel: I mean, I know him, but he’s not —

Daniel: — not one of your great friends.

Denzel: I haven’t seen George in years —

Daniel: [Laughs.] Oh, that’s too bad. I liked the idea that maybe that was true.3

Denzel: Yeah, I haven’t seen George in years.4

Daniel: How about Seinfeld? I read you guys are also great friends? Or do I have that wrong too?

Denzel: I don’t know Seinfeld. I mean, I know who he is, but —

Daniel: I’m starting with a thud here —

Denzel: Where has he been?5 Seems like he went back to New York and disappeared …

Daniel: Uh, yeah, I think — he’s sort of retired from TV and now he’s doing a web series —

Denzel: Oh, really?

Daniel: Comedians and cars.

Denzel: Oh yeah — because he’s a big Porsche guy, right?

Daniel: He’s a huge car guy, yeah.6

Denzel: Somebody else said that in another interview I did. They asked if I was good friends with George Wallace. They make all sorts of stuff up. I also heard I died in a snowboarding accident …

Daniel: I must have missed that one. So you had to deal with the repercussions of that too?

Denzel: You know a couple of people called me in a panic. Like, “Denzel!!” and I’m like “Yes?”

Daniel: Called the house?

Denzel: Right.

Daniel: Do you even snowboard?

Denzel: [Laughs.] No!

[Both laugh.]

Daniel: OK, so forget George Wallace … and Seinfeld … Are there people you haven’t met that you want to meet? Though I’d kind of imagine at this point you probably have met everybody that you’d ever want to.

Denzel: [Pauses.] Ah, I’m trying to think.

Daniel: World leaders … or maybe other actors you admire?

Denzel: I’m sure, yeah, yeah …

Daniel: How about I throw some names to you.

Denzel: All right.

Daniel: Have you met Robert Redford?

Denzel: Yes. Yeah, I used to be on the board of Sundance.

Daniel: How about … Michael Jackson?

Denzel: Michael had fried chicken at my house.

Daniel: What was that like?

Denzel: That was cool.

Daniel: So you invited him to your house?

Denzel: He came over, I forget why, I think my wife had invited him, and he came over, and I was like, “He can eat!” He was going to town, man.

Daniel: What year of Michael was this? This was Bubbles-era Michael, or …

Denzel: We were in our old house, so it had to have been before ’99. We moved in ’99.

Daniel: Right, and anything that you remember other than he ate a lot?

Denzel: I just remember my kids coming downstairs and just staring at him. They were just standing there like [imitates shocked face]. I said, “Say hello,” and they go, “Hello Mr. Jackson … OK, good-bye.”

Daniel: [Laughs.]

Denzel: They were just like, “Michael Jackson’s in the house.”

Daniel: That must’ve been great, because as your kids — well, I find my daughter — I work in TV, largely — but my daughter’s pretty jaded. She doesn’t really care about any of it. Did your kids get excited about that stuff?

Denzel: They didn’t jump up and down, but they’re very kind of low-key. I don’t know if they get excited. Though I tell you what. My youngest son, Malcolm, he was like, “Dad, Jay-Z is doing seven shows across the country in one night. You gotta get tickets. He plays L.A. at like ten o’clock.” So I’m like [dialing sounds] “Claudine, give me some Ts.” “Yeah, yeah, they’ll be here, just come backstage, you’ll do the whole thing.” And Malcolm was like [shocked face]. And I’m like, “Say hello, Malcolm.” But it was so interesting, just the power of these young artists, because he got onstage, and all he had to do was start the song, and they all would take over — and do every line — and Malcolm was like right there with him like [pretend singing/rapping]. And I’m standing there, because we’re in the wings, standing behind my son, and I’m watching all these people with their fists. And Jay’s like, “Hovaaaaa!!!” and my son’s like, “Hovaaaaa!” And I said, “Wow, he’s got ‘em.” All he had to do was the first couple of notes of the song, and he’d say a line, and he’d [making the motion of putting the mic out] and they’d do it,” and I said, “That’s power.”

Daniel: That’s the cult of personality.

Denzel: Yeah. Hovaaaa!

Daniel: Yeah, that’s cool. How about royalty? Ever go to those royal premieres where you meet the Queen or Prince Charles or anything like that?

Denzel: Nah, I haven’t been invited to any of those.

Daniel: Really? All your movies?!

Denzel: I mean, I guess that’s a different world. Unfortunately, I haven’t been. But if you speak to the Queen, you can tell her I’d like to come by.

Daniel: OK [laughs]. I’ll put in a good word for you, see what she thinks.

Denzel: Yeah, go hang out with Harry. No, wait, which one is the crazy one?

Daniel: Harry.

Denzel: Yeah, go hang out with Harry.

Daniel: William’s the mild-mannered one. Harry’s —

Denzel: I bet William’s the nut. I bet you behind closed doors, William’s the crazy one.

Daniel: Yeah, but Harry was the one who went to Vegas, had some girls over, got naked … took a couple pictures …

[Both laugh.]

Denzel: What was he thinking?

Daniel: Who knows …

Denzel: Yeah, he wasn’t. How old is he about? Mid-20s?

Daniel: Yeah, I think he’s in the Royal Air Force too. But he seems like he’s a good time, Harry.

Denzel: Good Time Harry.

Daniel: And probably another good argument for not having a phone. You’re also a pretty big Yankees fan.

Denzel: Yeah, yeah …

Daniel: You know any of those guys?

Denzel: No, I don’t know them personally, but I met [Robinson] Cano, and I met Derek [Jeter] over the years.

Daniel: I assume you watched the playoffs?

Denzel: Yeah, yeah, I was keeping up as much as I could.

Daniel: Do you get mad, do you yell at the TV?

Denzel: Yeah, nah — well, yeah, I do get upset about it.

Daniel: Or are you jaded because you’ve got so many rings already?

Denzel: What is it, like 26, 27?

Daniel: I think you’re at 29.7

Denzel: Is it 29?

Daniel: I think it’s 29. I might be wrong. I’m a Red Sox fan.

Denzel: Oh, really? WHOAAAAAA.

[Both laugh.]

Denzel: Interview is over, I gotta go! [Pounds the table.] I gotta go!

Daniel: I was actually trying to save that for the end.

Denzel: Oh, man, the Red Sox? Ohhh my God.

Daniel: I grew up in Vermont, what can I say?

Denzel: No, no, I like, I like … uh, man, I can’t even get it out. I couldn’t even say it. I like, I like, I like, I like — I like Fenway Park.

Daniel: There’s got to be one Red Sox you like?

Denzel: [Long pause.]

Daniel: I mean, I hate the Yankees. But I can admit I like Jeter … or I admire Jeter.

Denzel: [Long pause.] Rice — ?

Daniel: Jim Rice?

Denzel: [Backpedaling.] See, growing up in New York as a Yankee fan, you’re not allowed to like Boston —

Daniel: No, I get that. I get mad when I see Ortiz talking to A-Rod. It makes me angry. I have to agree with you. I think they shouldn’t be friends.

Denzel: Well, that’s for the fans. You know, the players —

Daniel: Or at least pretend not to like each other, like with Thurman Munson and Carlton Fisk back in the day — I like that, when they truly hated each other’s guts. But you’ve been a Yankee fan forever, right?

Denzel: Oh yeah … back in the day … I go back to like Tommy Tresh, Whitey Ford, what was that team, Clete Boyer?

Daniel: Yeah, that’s ’60s.

Denzel: Who else was on that … Phil Linz, Bobby Richardson, Joe Pepitone, the Mick and Roger, Elston Howard, and Yogi, they’d platoon as catcher.

Daniel: Yeah, I can do that, too. Like ’75 Red Sox, I can probably name 20 of them I bet. —

Denzel: ’75 was the famous jumping up in the air —

Daniel: Yep, Fisk, waving it fair.

Denzel: Yeah, was it Carlton Fisk? And Yaz [Carl Yastrzemski]? You gotta respect those guys. Whatever I have to say about the Red Sox, I have the utmost respect for those teams. Those were some serious …

Daniel: Me too. But they never won.

Denzel: Yep, never won.

Daniel: But yeah, those were my idols. I remember going to Fenway as a kid and seeing Yaz smoking in the dugout.

Denzel: Really?

Daniel: Yeah, just having a butt between innings.

Denzel: You know what blew my mind as a kid? They took us to see the Harlem Globetrotters. I was in the cub scouts, and our den mother took us to see the Harlem Globetrotters, and we’d go backstage — backstage? [laughs] — locker room at halftime, and they’re smoking and playing cards.

[Both laugh.]

Daniel: That’s great.

Denzel: [Laughs.] I was like, “Nooo!” Because as kids, we all thought, you know, “Oh, they can beat any NBA team. We thought the Globetrotters — There was always that argument, you know? And these guys were smoking cigarettes and playing cards.

Daniel: Meadowlark Lemon actually lived in my hometown — Brattleboro, Vermont.

Denzel: He was there. Meadowlark Lemon. I met Meadowlark Lemon. I don’t know if Goose Tatum was on that team, but —

Daniel: Curly —

Denzel: Yeah, Curly, Meadowlark.

Daniel: Yeah, it’s funny. We remember those guys. Can people name the Globetrotters today? I don’t think people know them in that same way, but I remember.

Denzel: Where are they now?

Daniel: I’m pretty sure they still do it.

Denzel: The old pail-of-water-paper-trick, you know the same ol’ —

Daniel: Yeah, exactly, the paper confetti, yeah, yeah.

Denzel: Oh, here’s something funny, talking about Jeter — I remember we were at Anaheim, at an Angels-Yankees game, and we had some great seats. So we were right near the on-deck circle, and Jeter was warming up, and so I said, “Jeter, this is my son — last week, he was the no. 2 running back in the country … ” And he looked up and said, “Oh, he must get that from his mother’s side.”

Daniel: [Laughs.]

Denzel: Then he got up, clicked his heels, and hit a home run.

[Both laugh.]

Daniel: Wow, that’s funny.

Denzel: And I was, like, for the next half-hour, I was the butt of all jokes. I’m figuring in this sea of Angels, I’m the only Yankee fan there, and I’m going to show everybody that I know Derek, and he throws me under the bus.

[Both laugh.]

Daniel: It’s funny, like Derek seems so mild-mannered, like it’s funny that he would go at you.

Denzel: No, but he did it so smooth. Just clicking his heels, cleaning his cleats, must’ve had that home run on his mind …

Daniel: Let’s talk about your son. Played two years with the St. Louis Rams, right?

Denzel: Yeah. What was trippy is that it was my dream to be a running back in the NFL, and then my son became a running back in the NFL.

Daniel: I know, it’s amazing. I was watching, actually, the videotape you showed, when you were on Letterman?

Denzel: Yeah, that was in the UFL.

Daniel: Right, Daunte Culpepper was the quarterback.

Denzel: And he ran that touchdown —

Daniel: [Laughs] Yeah, and your wife is running down the sideline with him, and the defender on the other team just tramples her

Denzel: That’s right, that’s right.

Daniel: But what struck me was — and I’m not judging — if it happened to my wife I definitely would have laughed too — but you seemed particularly amused by that. Did your wife mind how much you seemed to enjoy that story?


Denzel: Well, she was all right, so it was fine. As I said, she bounced right up.

Daniel: That was an amazing piece of videotape. But that must’ve been really something for you as a dad when your son gets all these colleges recruiting him to play ball …

Denzel: Yeah, he had a four-year scholarship at a small school, Morehouse, and became the all-time leading rusher in the history of the school.

Daniel: Spike Lee went to Morehouse too, right? Did he try to talk up the school to you and your son?

Denzel: Yeah, he probably did, I think so. Yeah, I think he did. But I also liked what they said. He had about half a dozen scholarship offers, and Morehouse, the athletic director called and said, “You know we want to give your son a scholarship to Morehouse.” And I said, “Well, you know, I mean I love Morehouse, and you know, I’ve got a couple of dollars, so I’ll pay for it, and why don’t you give the scholarship to somebody who really needs it?”

Daniel: Right.

Denzel: And he said, “We’re not giving you the scholarship. We’re giving him the scholarship. He earned it.”

Daniel: Right, right.

Denzel: And I liked that, that’s when I said, “Oh, OK.” I liked that. I dug that; I dug that.

Daniel: Yeah, and that makes your son obviously feel great also, that he earned that himself going in.

Denzel: Yeah, and he’s, you know, I think when he got there, the guys are going, “Oh, what’s he doing here, he’s just here because of his dad” and all that. Then he broke all the records in the history of the school.

Daniel: And then they knew why he was there.

Denzel: And then they knew why he was there.8

Daniel: I have a question about your wife … you’ve been married nearly 30 years …

Denzel: Right.

Daniel: I should say indirectly about your wife … Because earlier this week, Michelle Obama — who, by the way, is already married to the charismatic, handsome leader of the free world — she says she has a crush on you.

Denzel: [Surprised.] She said that?

Daniel: Yes.

Denzel: [Pause.] Cool.

Daniel: You didn’t hear that?

Denzel: No. But it’s nice to be loved by the First Lady … that’s, I mean, that’s nothing to be pissed off about.

Daniel: Yeah, I was wondering about that. I mean how about your wife? Does she hear that and just roll her eyes, or does she go —

Denzel: I don’t know if she’s heard that one.

Daniel: Well, ’cause, like, my wife is from Texas. She gets super jealous. She would not like Michelle Obama one bit after that. I mean, that’s my wife, but your wife, is she —

Denzel: I mean, did you see it when she said it? I mean, in what —

Daniel: Yeah, they asked her on a talk show, like Kelly and Michael or one of those shows, and she said her crush was you.

Denzel: Wow. That’s cool.

Daniel: Yeah, I thought that was pretty cool, too.

Denzel: Sorry, Mr. President.

Daniel: Meanwhile — so, your wife doesn’t care about that stuff.

Denzel: I wouldn’t say she doesn’t care, but maybe she just doesn’t know.

[Both laugh.]

Daniel: Well —

Denzel: I mean she knows now.

Daniel: Well I’m guessing she probably doesn’t read Grantland either …

Denzel: Right, right.

Daniel: And at the same time, a while back, President Obama said he’d want you to play him in the movie of his life.

Denzel: Oh, yeah? I heard about that. He mentioned like me and Will Smith or something like that.

Daniel: What do you think about the election? How do you think Obama’s chances are?

Denzel: I think he’s going to win.

Daniel: You think so?

Denzel: Yeah, I think he’s going to win. Close, but I think he’s going to win.

Daniel: Did you watch the debates?

Denzel: Yeah, I watched a little bit of number … I don’t remember which one it was.

Daniel: The bad one? The first one?

Denzel: No, I think it was the second one.

Daniel: Oh, that was a good one. I mean for Obama.

Denzel: Yeah, yeah, yeah. It was the second one. The “bad” one? [Laughs.] Was it so bad?

Daniel: Yeah, that one was bad.

Denzel: Oh, that was the one where he didn’t do so well.

Daniel: No, it looked like he had the flu, or I don’t know what was going on. I think if you’re the president, you can’t say, “I don’t feel well,” because people will be like —

Denzel: “Too bad.”

Daniel: Yeah, “Suck it up.”

[Both laugh.]

Daniel: But yeah, yeah, so do you have a relationship with the Obamas? Do you know them at all?

Denzel: Nah, nah — I mean, I met them. And I’ve been to the White House, but it’s not like I talk to them on Saturdays.

Daniel: Right, right. So you weren’t like all charming with Michelle at some point? To where maybe she got it in her head …

Denzel: No. Don’t get me in trouble, man!

[Both laugh.]

Daniel: Let’s shift gears to the movies a little bit here. I was watching Flight, and yet in the movie — do you ever do this? Where you watch a movie and there’s, like, a “money” phrase — which is invariably always the title of the movie? And the phrase they kept saying again and again in this movie was “Act of God.” And I was wondering — was that maybe the original title?

Denzel: No, it was always Flight. Hmm, though, yeah — I think a couple of extra “Act of God”s got into the script, but that’s the nature of the accident and all —

Daniel: But there’s also this sort of religious underscore to it, too — where your co-pilot in it, he’s a bit of a religious zealot —

Denzel: Right, right.9

Daniel: There was a scene also where he kind of goes on a little bit of a super-religious tangent, and his wife also goes on a little bit of a tangent —

Denzel: When he asks me to pray?

Daniel: Yeah, and you kind of give a little bit of an eye roll — and I think the audience does a little bit of an eye roll, too. And then I thought, and again, thinking about it, I know you’re a guy who’s pretty religious himself, right?

Denzel: Mmm-hmm.

Daniel: And so, I mean, is that — is that tough, where if you’re personally religious to then pretend to be incredulous about religion?

Denzel: Well, yeah, and actually, in that scene, we actually, when we shot it, she kept saying “Praise Jesus,” then something-something-something, then he said, “Praise Jesus,” and [the other characters] kind of look at me, and I said, “Praise Jesus.” I mean he’s, I’m doing, you know, whatever I can do to win in that scene. I’m walking around trying to manipulate people.

Daniel: Yes.

Denzel: It’s terrible. I mean, people probably didn’t pick up on this, but when I see the co-pilot on television, I don’t have a brace or the cane. But when I come into the hospital, I got the brace and the cane. I’m working it, looking for my own sympathy.

Daniel: Yeah … no, I did notice that — because I also noticed when you had that scene before with the Cessna, you’re walking around a little better, like jumping off the ladder, all spry — and then like the next scene, like the moment after, you’ve got your cane again …

Denzel: Yeah, and I’m fine.

[Both laugh.]

Denzel: Yeah, some people probably go, “Oh, man, they messed that up.”

Daniel: Yeah, that’s a really good movie. You do seem to have a knack for picking good ones. A better batting average than most, for sure …

Denzel: Great, thank you.

Daniel: And then let me ask you this. And this may be sort of a naïve question, but do you do that thing where you stay in character while you’re making a movie, even after the cameras stop rolling?

Denzel: You do stay — I mean, you stay, you know — you take the clothes off and go home. I’m working on it, but I don’t —

Daniel: So off-camera, when you talk to your co-stars, you’re not that character, you’re Denzel.

Denzel: It’s not that cut-and-dry. It’s not that cut-and-dry.

Daniel: Have you worked with actors who insist on staying in character?

Denzel: Well, they — you know, they have a right to. I mean, sure.

Daniel: Yeah, I’m just curious because I’ve never been around it. But do some actors insist on being in character even after you stop rolling?

Denzel: Yeah, some do, yeah.

Daniel: … it just seems it could be, I don’t know, a little annoying? [No response. He doesn't bite … .] OK: Here’s another thing I was wondering: You smoke throughout this movie. But you don’t smoke in real life, right?

Denzel: No.

Daniel: So is that hard to do?

Denzel: Well they usually use the fake, you know, what do you call that, that stuff? Green leaf something? It’s herbal. Because you know, we’re doing take after take after take.

Daniel: So those aren’t addictive, then?

Denzel: No, they’re not — they’re not tar and nicotine.

Daniel: Right. OK, we talked about your son and his athletic accomplishments. Let’s talk about yours. You played college ball under P.J. Carlesimo at Fordham [University], right? What do you remember about him?

Denzel: He was tough. He was crazy. He was real hard on us.

Daniel: When you say crazy, what do you mean?

Denzel: He just made us run and run and run and run and run and run and run. But we were 19-1, our freshman team, so he was a good coach.

Daniel: And did you go beyond the freshman team, or was that it?

Denzel: No, that was it. I didn’t have a scholarship. I was just a walk-on.

Daniel: Right, right. And when you say crazy —

Denzel: I mean, he was just hard. But it paid off, you know. Always talking about in the fourth quarter, and how you gotta be ready —

Daniel: Your son actually talked about that a little bit, too. He said in that Sports Illustrated article, he was talking about how you were super tough on him in that same kind of hard-coaching way.

Denzel: Yeah, probably some, yeah. In that P.J. Carlesimo mode, making him tough.

[Both laugh.]

Daniel: Yeah, but honestly — nothing wrong with it — in hindsight, you always remember it, I think, in a good way.

Denzel: In a good way.

Daniel: I mean, in the moment you might not be happy, but in the end … . Are you sort of that way when you approach a film, are you no-nonsense, or do you feel like — ?

Denzel: I mean, yeah, I’m there to work. I’m not there to socialize. So I like to, as you said, stay in character, concentrate on what I’m doing, not chitchatting with everybody. Nobody goes to the movie and goes, “Man, that movie sucked, but he really was nice to everybody.”

Daniel: Right. So you’re there to do your job —

Denzel: To do my job, that’s right.

Daniel: Even though I did read that Tom Hanks in Philadelphia, you did give him a hard time.

Denzel: Yeah, I gave him a hard time — but yeah, he laughed all the way to the Oscars.

[Both laugh.]

Daniel: I read that.

Denzel: Yeah, he couldn’t eat; I was always trying to give him Almond Joys and Snickers and stuff. He couldn’t eat. He was eating like 800 calories a day when he was supposed to be the skinniest — but he got the last laugh when he won. “And I want to thank Denzel … and his Snickers bars. He had to eat. Here’s your award … .”

[Both laugh.]

Daniel: Yeah, that’s funny. Oh — you know what I want to ask you about? I remember years ago seeing a picture of you a couple of years ago — I think at a Knicks game — and you having this crazy, messed-up pinky.

Denzel: Yeah.

Daniel: I never forgot it. It was pretty extreme … . You still have it?

Denzel: No, I got it fixed.

Daniel: It was like —

Denzel: It was flopped all the way over to the side. Yeah, from football. I went up for a pass, and the ball hit it, and then I just kept dislocating it, dislocating it, and it finally got so worn out when they showed me the X-ray, the bone was just — the whole thing was just worn out.

Daniel: Right.

Denzel: So I mean, if I did that [bends finger back], it would pop right over there.

Daniel: Did your kids used to freak out over that?

Denzel: Well, they were like bringing their friends over, like, “Dad, show them the magic finger.”

[Both laugh.]

Daniel: The magic finger …

Denzel: Yeah, I’d do something special, like [makes sound — aughhhh ahhhhh], and their friends would be like [AAAAAAhhhhhh!!!!], and they’d run. My kids would be like, “I told you!” And they’d be like, “That’s so gross — put it back!” And I’d make it seem like [ugh, ah — makes motion of snapping finger back in place]. “There you go.”

[Both laugh.]

Daniel: The magic pinky. You’ve clearly got a good sense of humor. How about comedies — you ever think about doing comedies?

Denzel: I just did a picture with Mark Wahlberg. We’ll see if it’s a comedy, but there are some jokes in there. I’d like to do some comedies.

Daniel: Well, your first movie was a comedy.

Denzel: Oh yeah, Carbon Copy. Well, in theory it was a comedy.

Daniel: Yeah, when it came out, it had one of the greatest taglines ever: “Any resemblance between father and son is purely hysterical.”

[Both laugh.]

Denzel: Oh boy, well, there you go …

Daniel: It’s funny. This is the horrible thing about the Internet, of course; you can go on YouTube and watch anything from any time, it’s like it’s all there, you know.

Denzel: It’s all there. Carbon Copy‘s on there?

Daniel: Oh, Carbon Copy‘s on there in 15-minute chunks, so you can watch it. I watched the first 15 minutes —

Denzel: That’s about enough. That’s all you need — that’s all you need.

Daniel: I read you also went up for the Tubbs part on Miami Vice?

Denzel: [Shakes head.]

Daniel: No?

[Both laugh.]

Daniel: Yeah, looks like we’re going full circle on the Internet research here …

Denzel: I don’t even think I was acting then! When was that?

Daniel: ’84?10 Early ’80s?

Denzel: ’84? No, maybe. I was acting then, so maybe — not sure on that.

Daniel: Yeah, maybe even doing St. Elsewhere back then … ?

Denzel: Yeah, I was doing St. Elsewhere then, that’s right.

Daniel: So at the end of these interviews I like to ask 10 totally random questions, you know, if you’re OK with that.

Denzel: Sure.

Daniel: Any music or a record album that changed your life?

Denzel: Oh, wow. Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On. I just loved it.

Daniel: How did it change you?

Denzel: I mean, it didn’t change my life, but I just remember it, when it came out and Marvin had that cool Nehru jacket on, and it was raining, and he had that [collar] thing up.

Daniel: Right, and what music do you listen to now?

Denzel: I’m listening, I got in the car right now, I’m listening to Zap Mama. You heard of Zap Mama?

Daniel: I don’t know Zap Mama.

Denzel: Oh, well, check ‘em out.

Daniel: All right. Do you ever get nervous?

Denzel: Yeah, sure.

Daniel: When do you get nervous?

Denzel: Sometimes like, especially doing theater, you know, like first preview, first performance.

Daniel: Right, so you never get over it as an actor, like you don’t feel —

Denzel: I don’t think you ever get over it. Even your first day of shooting, your first shot — you feel, you know, a little edge.

Daniel: What’s the most hot dogs you’ve ever eaten at a sporting event?

[Both laugh.]

Denzel: I actually got sick one time from eating hot dogs — at a Yankees game — but it had nothing to do with the Yankees. But one time I ate some hot dogs — but then we had some wine with the hot dogs.

Daniel: Wine? Not beer?

Denzel: Wine. Then we went downtown to a sushi restaurant, ate sushi with some kind of, some drink, and then we went out to a club, and had vodka and cranberry juice. And you know when you get that “it’s too hot in here” and all of a sudden you break out in that sweat? And you can feel it coming? And I’m fighting my way to the front door. Oh, you’ve been there, right?

Daniel: [Laughs.] Yeah, I think everybody’s been there.

Denzel: Well, I think that food, all that mixture of stuff, the club had no air conditioning. It was like this [motions] big, no air. Packed, people on the tables, and I’m sitting there, and I’m starting to like get that [motions that he feels sick], and then sweat broke out, and I’m fighting to get out because I didn’t want to throw up on anybody. I made it outside, but —

[Both laugh.]

Daniel: That’s a good one.

Denzel: Yeah.

Daniel: When you made [The Taking of] Pelham 1 2 3, did you ever fly with John Travolta?

Denzel: No, no. I would, but I mean — He’s got a big Qantas plane or something, a 767?

Daniel: Yeah …

Denzel: He’s got two or three planes.

Daniel: Yeah, I was just wondering, if you would —

Denzel: Yeah, he’s an expert pilot. I think he did like a solo around the world or something like that.

Daniel: Yeah, no, I was wondering. That would just make me anxious, probably.

[Denzel laughs.]

Daniel: Have you ever been fired from a job?

Denzel: Uh, yeah, must’ve been. Yeah, I was. I think. I remember quitting a job. It was funny. I was at the American Conservatory Theater. I was studying in San Francisco, and my first television role was coming up, so I’m getting excited about it — my name’s in the TV Guide. And I actually bought a TV Guide, and I was showing it to the people in this restaurant where I worked, showing it to the manager, and it was coming on let’s say Monday, or whatever day it was coming on, and I never worked that day — and he changed the schedule. He says, “You’ve gotta work Monday.”

Daniel: Aw …

Denzel: Yeah, he changed the schedule, I said … “But — ” He said, “I don’t care — you’ve gotta work Monday.” So I went in Monday, and they would allow you to go in before work and eat for free. I came in, got my tray, it was like a slide down the thing. I got my soup, had a glass of wine, I had some dessert. I brought a couple of my buddies, we ate. And he’s like, “Denzel,” and I say, “Yeah? I’ll be right back, I’ll be back.” Never came back.

[Both laugh.]

Denzel: Went home, watched the show. But that was low, man.

Daniel: Yeah, but he had that one coming.

Denzel: Yeah, yeah, but I could just see the look, like, because I was trying to play it, too, like I was pissed when I was there, like I was gonna eat, and he was like, “It’s almost time for your shift.” And I was like, “All right, I’ll be right back.” Haven’t seen him since.

Daniel: How about your weirdest job outside of acting?

Denzel: I’ve worked … let’s see where else I’ve worked. I was a garbageman.

Daniel: In New York?

Denzel: Yeah, Mount Vernon.

Daniel: Union or not union?

Denzel: Nah, summer.

Daniel: You ever get any good stuff? See any weird stuff?

Denzel: Well, there’s garbage, and then there’s haulage. Now haulage is great, because haulage you’d see, haulage was like somebody would call in, and you would go pick up some mattresses or a couch or old TVs and stuff like that. But your driver used to get side jobs, like we’d go up into Westchester, and they might’ve chopped down a bunch of trees, and they want us to clear all the wood, so you were always like, hurry up and get our regular work done, and he’d always have some side jobs for us, and you might get an extra 10 bucks a pop or something like that.

Daniel: But you weren’t furnishing your house with the haulage stuff then?

Denzel: [Laughs.] No, no, no.

Daniel: Do you believe in fate?

Denzel: In fate? Um, that’s a good question. I don’t know. That things happen for a reason?

Daniel: Yeah.

Denzel: Yeah, I’d say yes.

Daniel: What made me think about the question was there was something about how when you were a kid there was a woman who came to your mom’s hair salon —

Denzel: Oh, yeah, that said I would travel the world and speak to millions of people?

Daniel: Yeah.

Denzel: Yeah, and then I started acting five months later.

Daniel: You think that prompted you? Do you feel like in your head that was some sort of an impetus that got you going, or —

Denzel: Well, when she left, I asked my mother, “Who was that?” And she said, “Well, she’s one of the oldest church members in town, and she’s known to have the gift of prophecy, like she’s known to prophesize,” and she was clear as day. She said, “Young man,” and mind you, I was flunking out of school, I wasn’t even in school, and she said, “You’re going to travel the world. You’re going to travel all over the world, and you’re going to speak to millions of people,” or she said, “You’re going to preach to millions of people or speak to millions of people.” So I don’t know if I preach to them, through the movies —

Daniel: You could make that argument — there are certainly messages in the characters you portray.

Denzel: Yeah.

Daniel: Have you ever been in a physical fight?

Denzel: Sure.

Daniel: When’s the last one?

Denzel: It was a while, yeah. I mean, I box, but like —

Daniel: No, I mean like —

Denzel: A street fight, yeah.

Daniel: Well, just like someone pissing you off —

Denzel: Maybe in my early 20s or something. It’s been a long time.

Daniel: But nothing, uh —

Denzel: Make love, not war.

[Both laugh.]

Daniel: You heard “What’s Going On,” and you changed —

Denzel: Yeah, that changed everything, that’s right.

[Both laugh.]

Daniel: Have you ever done a movie for money?

Denzel: We do every movie for money. You mean just for money?

Daniel: Just like, “Eh, I can live with this one — and then maybe I’ll do something else down the road … .”

Denzel: Sometimes that’s the case anyway. You might do a film like Flight where you know there’s not a lot of money, necessarily.

Daniel: Yeah, that’s what I mean. That’s done for —

Denzel: For the love, yeah. Yeah, and you sacrifice, yeah.

Daniel: And there are other times where you go, “Eh, I can live with this”?

Denzel: Yeah, absolutely. I think so.

Daniel: I’m guessing you’re not going to say which one.

Denzel: [Laughs.] I’m not going to tell you …

Daniel: Another one, I don’t know if you’d answer this or not, but have you ever tried a psychedelic drug?

Denzel: [Laughs.] I’m not going to answer that.

Daniel: OK. Uh —

Denzel: I’m still tripping.

[Both laugh.]

Denzel: Do they still make psychedelic drugs? Like acid and stuff?

Daniel: I think they do, but I don’t know. I haven’t taken one in a while.

Denzel: I don’t know. I don’t hear about it. You hear about college kids tripping.

Daniel: Yeah, mind-altering drugs.

Denzel: LSD, I mean, I grew up in the ’60s. Went to high school from ’68 to ’72, so I did what they were doing between ’68 and ’72. In fact, I was in high school in upstate New York during Woodstock. I remember that Woodstock weekend.

Daniel: Did you think about going?

Denzel: Oh, we couldn’t go. We were, like, going to private school, we had no — we were trying to figure out a way to sneak out.

[Both laugh.]

Daniel: Actually, that’s how I ended up with my first serious TV job, working with David Letterman.

Denzel: What, tripping?

Daniel: Yeah, in college. I took acid one night, and I suddenly had this epiphany — this one moment of crystal-clear, cogent thought where I was like, “I’m wasting my life. I better figure out what I’m going to do,” and the next day, I called up the Letterman show. Letterman was my hero, and I got an internship and worked there for eight years.

Denzel: Is that right?

Daniel: Yeah, born out of an acid trip.

Denzel: That’s trippy.

[Both laugh.]

Daniel: Do you watch TV?

Denzel: Yeah.

Daniel: Any shows you like? What shows do you like?

Denzel: ESPN, ESPN2, FOXSportsWest.

Daniel: How about any scripted TV?

Denzel: Nah, I don’t really watch scripted TV.

Daniel: Anything you do that drives your wife nuts?

Denzel: I don’t think we have that much time.

[Both laugh.]

Denzel: Oh, I know what pisses her off. If I wash my hands in the sink where she washes the vegetables. She washes the dishes in that sink, but I can’t wash my hands. Have you heard that before?

Daniel: [Laughing.]

Denzel: She washes the dishes, the dishes have dirt and old food on them, but I can’t wash my hands in ‘em. I’ve got to watch my hands in the other sink.

Daniel: Wow. That doesn’t seem right.

Denzel: No. I mean you’re right there, you’re right there, you think. I come in, and she’s like, “Don’t wash them! Wash your hands over there!” and I go.

Daniel: Runs a tight ship, yeah?

Denzel: Yeah, but she’s been out of town for a week, so I’ve been washing my hands in there. Every day.

Denzel Washington’s new film, Flight opened to unanimous critical acclaim this past weekend. You should see it. It’s excellent.

Daniel Kellison (@Danielkellison) is a TV producer/writer and co-founder of Jackhole Industries with partners Jimmy Kimmel and Adam Carolla. Among their many shows, he co-created Crank Yankers and The Man Show, and was the original executive producer of Jimmy Kimmel Live. Before that, he spent eight years as a producer for both Late Night with David Letterman and Late Show with David Letterman. Most recently he has been serving on President Obama’s Entertainment Advisory Council. Last month he announced his deal with Google/YouTube for two new comedy channels launching in January: Jash, featuring partners Sarah Silverman, Tim & Eric, Michael Cera, and Reggie Watts; and the Video Podcast Network featuring Carolla and (he really, really hopes) Earwolf.


The Social Networking Lives Of The Deceased Celebrities

Source: Forbes – By Dorothy Pomerantz

Just because a celebrity is dead doesn’t mean he can’t tweet. Just look at Michael Jackson. The pop star (who earned $140 million in the last 12 months) has 884,000 followers on Twitter, where he has sent out 572 tweets, including, “RETWEET if you’re bad! #whosbad.”

Obviously it’s not Michael Jackson sending out these tweets. The singer passed away in 2009 at the age of 50.

But the people who manage the estates of dead celebrities have realized that if you want to keep your star relevant, it helps to have a social-networking presence. A surprising number of the stars we looked at for this year’s top-earning dead celebrities list have active online social lives.

We turned to Starcount, a Singapore-based firm that tracks social networks, to help compile a list of the dead celebrities with the biggest social networking footprints. Starcount tracks 11 social networks around that world. Of course Twitter and Facebook are in there but they also look at sites like Renren and Orkut.

Michael Jackson tops our list of the Most Social Dead Celebrities. Jackson’s biggest presence is on YouTube, where his channel has attracted 1 billion hits. The most popular video on the site is for “Thriller“, the short film Jackson made in 1983 with director John Landis.

But Jackson’s team also uses the site to promote new Jackson projects like Bad25, a reissue of Jackson’s iconic Bad album. The release will coincide with a documentary about the album from director Spike Lee which will air on ABC Thanksgiving night.

Living stars need to use social networks to keep in touch with fans. Stars like Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian and Lady Gaga have shown how powerful it can be to have fans feel like they are friends with a celebrity.

It’s a slightly different story for dead celebrities. It would be extremely weird if a dead celebrity replied to a fan’s tweet or Facebook posting. Instead, the estates use the sites mostly to keep fans up to date on any new products and to give fans a place to interact.

“A few years ago, it was rare for deceased stars to have official presences on social networks,” says Daniel Dearlove, head of data at Starcount. “The accounts can serve as communities for fans of the dead star.”

On Tupac Shakur’s Facebook page, for example, there are images of Shakur murals from around the world submitted by fans. The site recently shared a photo by Abdul Kashem of a mural in Birmingham, England, of Shakur’s face. It attracted 1,000 shares and 57 comments.

Shakur ranks third on our list of the Most Social Dead Celebrities. Like many of the musicians on our list, Shakur is most active on YouTube where his channel attracts more than 100,000 hits per day. The channel has been viewed 39 million times.

Musicians do well on our list because fans can watch their videos and listen to their music through their fan sites. Ranking second in between Jackson and Shakur is Bob Marley. The reggae singer is having a resurgence thanks to a marketing push from his estate, which now sells a Marley-branded “relaxation” drink, as well as Marley headphones, speakers and bags.

The singer has 41 million fans on Facebook and is the most popular reggae star, living or dead, on social networks, according to Starcount.

John Lennon ranks fourth on our list. The singer’s YouTube channelhas been viewed 21.9 million times. Yoko Ono recently put up a video thanking fans for their devotion to Lennon on what would have been his 70th birthday. Fans 

can also watch videos of Lennon’s music on the site.

Rounding out the top five is Elvis Presley. The King has legions of passionate fans who can read about his new music on his Facebook page. And no, that’s not a mistake. Presley is featured in a duet of “If I Can Dream” with Celine Dion on the Canadian singer’s latest album, which hits stores this week.