Peter Gallagher on Conan!
On November 1, 2001 Peter Gallagher was a guest on the Conan O'Brien show. The following is the transcript from the interview.
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Conan: All right everybody, we're back. My next guest has been in dozens of movies, including American Beauty, and sex, lies, and videotape. He can now be seen in the play Noises Off, which just opened on Broadway last night to amazing reviews, please welcome Peter Gallagher.
How have you been?
Peter: I have been very well. I'll tell you, you had me rolling the other night, I got home after the show, I got into bed, my wife was asleep. But I turned it on and watched your show, and I put on my brand-new wireless headphones, I'd been watching TV in silence for the last couple of years ...
C: So, you don't wake up the wife.
P: No, I don't want to wake her up and I just, she was ready to kill me, after 3 times, you know, the thing when you were out in Caifornia hitting on Gina Gershon and Jeri Ryan and Julian Marguilles ...
C: Funny to you, maybe, but not funny to me.
P: What balls! I'm sorry, forgive that. It's like some place every guy has been and never wants to return to. And I'm there and I can't hear myself, I say, "Oh, No!" and my wife says, "What is it, is everything all right?" and I say, "It's Conan, is he going to be all right? Yeah, it's OK, he's funny.
C: It's OK, he's funny. That's Great.
I have to say, I've known you for, you've been coming on the show since the beginning. It's been 8 years, now, you do not age. This man does not age. If you've seen footage, watch sex, lies and videotape, and then watch, you know, your latest movie and there's no difference. It's like you, Dick Clark and Rob Lowe have some kind of weird potion that you drink ...
P: Well, it's true, actually, Rob and I are Dick's evil spawn, but you know, we drink the blood, we don't like it, but a promise is a promise.
C: But is there anything that you do, I'm just stunned by that, I'm fascinated by the idea that, you know, these people that just don't get any older, is that just genetics or are you using like creams and balms?
P: I've got a lot of like masking tape right now ...
C: I did see that, yeah.
P: No, my mom is 86 and she looks, you know, young.
P: She does. Mom, you gotta stop wearing the bikini.
C: It's kind of creepy.
P: It's kind of scary.
C: Now, Noises Off opened last night and you don't look at reviews, is that right?
P: Not until later, we put them together and after I leave the show, I read them.
C: OK, I will tell you I've never seen reviews like this, they're great, everyone is raving about you and about the show.
P: That's great, that's what I hear.
C: Opening night, what's that like for you, what is opening night like as an actor?
P: Well, it's uh, you know the show, but there are certain things in your body, I mean your heart rate increases, your breath rate increases, and Thank God, you know you've done it, actually there was a study that I read in the paper or something that the three most stressful occupations that a person can have in terms of what happens to your body is a soldier in combat, a test fighter pilot and an actor on opening night, which sounds silly, but that's what they said, you can feel it in your body ...
C: Where is bull-fighter in there? Where is lion puncher? Where is late-night talk show host, buddy? That's what I want to know! I mean, come on!
P: Every night is opening night for you ...
C: You have one opening night and then you have your lines locked in ...
P: And for you, every night is opening night ...
C: I'm walking on a razor's edge all the time, anything can happen ...
P: That's right, baby.
C: Anything can happen, Whoa, look out (knocks over microphone) that's crazy what just happened, every night, anything can happen, at any moment. I have to be like a cat on the balls of my feet ...
P: Whoa, don't scare me! Whoa!
C: Talking about, whoa, the theater is tough. Gotta do the same thing every night and the old ladies, Yay! (claps hands).
Constantly on the guard, you know. I don't know what's going to happen, out here. Last night, I'm interviewing John Samos and it almost got crazy for a second. Wait, no it didn't, it was fun.
C: What the hell was that? But so you obviously got through it fine.
P: Yeah, it's more just the dialog that you have in your own head, "What am I getting nervous about, I know this show, God, you idiot, you've got a line coming up, don't screw up the line ..."
C: Oh, so you're insane?
P: I wouldn't be here if I wasn't!
C: I've seen you on the subway, sometimes (Conan mumbling and gesturing to himself, audience laughing).
C: We're tight on time, tonight, but I did want to pay you a compliment. I've met your wife and your kids. It's the best-looking family you've ever seen. They really are, your wife is beautiful and your kids are just gorgeous and really nice, they're like, "Hello, Father, hello, Mummy."
P: Not quite, but they're great kids.
C: Boy's wearing a little sailor suit, I'm kidding.
P: He's an ice-hockey goalie.
C: Yeah, that's true, no, they're very, very cool, so congratulations on that.
P: Well, thanks very much.
C: That's the real achievement in life,
P: The real achievement ...
C: Not this (touches desk), our families, don't you agree?
P: Yes, yes! To the ones we love, the ones who make it worthwhile showing up!
C: What happened to us?
P: Oh something, but it wasn't all bad.
C: Noises Off is now playing on Broadway and everyone is going to go see the show and Peter is also starring in the Showtime mini-series The Feast of All Saints, which airs November 11 and 12th.
C: You're a good man, thank you for being here.
P: And you're a good man.
C: Thank you for being here.
P: Thank you.