The all-star cast of Adam McKay’s “Don’t Look Up” had their premiere on Sunday night at Jazz at Lincoln Center, followed by a press conference on Monday. Meryl Streep, Jonah Hill, Leonardo DiCaprio and a heavily pregnant Jennifer Lawrence obviously had a good time making the send-up satire about a comet heading to Earth that will cause complete destruction.
The biggest take away from the press conference: Hill referring to Streep as “the GOAT” in text messages to the three time Oscar winner. Meryl, not hip to all the current lingo, though he was calling her an actual ‘goat.’
Streep said: “I thought well that’s kind of cute I am kind of an old goat. And then Jennifer told me in the photo sho0t this morning that means. I didn’t know.”
The audience responded with laughter.
Hill was visibly taken aback. “Meryl, “ he pleaded, “ You didn’t know? It means the greatest of all time, the greatest actor of all time and that’s you!” Meryl then explained her thoughts on it. “Well he’s so familiar with me now, and my mother used to refer herself an old goat and she was so cool.”
Hill told the audience: “She is the coolest. Oh my god. I’m actually spiraling right now For 26 hours you thought I was calling you a goat. My therapist is going to be getting quite the phone call. Working with you is a dream come true. I’m bull shook!”
There were other discussions on stage.
McKay talked about how much he admired the films Network, Ace In The Hole, Office Space, Wag The Dog and the like. Jonah quipped, “You also talked a lot about “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel. ” McKay shot back, “A lot of people know that at this point, it’s not a reveal now, that Alvin is really an interpretation of the cultural revolution of Mao Tse Tung. So yes that was a touchstone.”
After the laughter died down in the room, Leo was asked about his climate advocacy for all these years and how it wove into his portrayal. “It was about breaking the third wall. The level of tension that Adam created with the comet coming in a specific time frame. As a scientist that I play, to be sitting on this pulpit not being listened to or heard. I’ve spoken to a lot of scientists like Michael, the character I play, who feel like everything they say is marginalized, they’re not listened to. That’s one of the big reasons I wanted to do the movie. I felt I had too. To all those people out there who are speaking the truth. And yet there are all these alternative facts, we don’t know how to deal with bad news. That’s the amazing hat trick Adam pulled off here with the tone of this movie. He encapsulated all of that. As ridiculous as some of this stuff seems. We were shooting riots the same day they were storming the capital. As absurd as some of this seems, it is reality.”
Lawrence: “It was cathartic, watching this play out in real time was so emotional. I don’t recall ever making a movie that was so important, fulfilling and devastating.
Jonah paid tribute to his friend Leo’s talent, which then Adam shot back, “Well Jonah, if Meryl is the goat is Leo the llama?” To which Jonah so quick on his comedic feet said, “likely to love acting more awesomely. “!
Meryl said she enjoyed working with McKay. She said: “Adam is funny and deft and has a humanistic ambition that’s big and willing to go out on a limb and risk being earnest about something, which is so not cool. And I love him for that. It’s the other step that the artist takes if he wants too. He doesn’t step back. I felt honored to be there. And Jonah, well he made it his job to try and make me break up and ruin my takes and he succeeded. I kept laughing through the movie it was all so unprofessional which just added to my anxiety that I just retire and get the fuck out of the business! So that was it!“
Jonah then chimed in again, “I was so grateful to her for accepting all this psychotic stuff. Adam allowed us to have the kind of freedom to bring all of this in. “
DiCaprio raved about working with Lawrence. “There is a once in a generation talent that defines their craft and she’s it. After I saw her in Winter’s Bone, I couldn’t’ wait to see her legacy, there is nothing that she does on screen that isn’t truthful and amazing.” (Meryl agreed and said, “you’re the beating heart of this movie.”) DiCaprio continued, “I remember us speaking early on and I told you, ‘remember you are the Meryl Streep of your generation.” Jonah of course added, “Jenn can do anything and you still love her. That’s so fucking hard to achieve. She can tell the truth and you just want her to win.”
Lawrence was having none of the praise. Hearing all this mushy stuff, she joked: “That was worth every penny. I had to mortgage my house, but it was worth it!”