Synopsis : Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence), an astronomy grad student, and her professor Dr. Randall Mindy (Leonardo DiCaprio) make an astounding discovery of a comet orbiting within the solar system. The problem: it’s on a direct collision course with Earth. The other problem? No one really seems to care. Turns out warning mankind about a planet-killer the size of Mount Everest is an inconvenient fact to navigate. With the help of Dr. Oglethorpe (Rob Morgan), Kate and Randall embark on a media tour that takes them from the office of an indifferent President Orlean (Meryl Streep) and her sycophantic son and Chief of Staff, Jason (Jonah Hill), to the airwaves of The Daily Rip, an upbeat morning show hosted by Brie (Cate Blanchett) and Jack (Tyler Perry). With only six months until the comet makes impact, managing the 24-hour news cycle and gaining the attention of the social media obsessed public before it’s too late proves shockingly comical — what will it take to get the world to just look up?!
AMY MAINZER: I’m an astronomer and planetary scientist, and I have the great pleasure of working with this incredibly talented cast and crew on the movie I also served as the science advisor on the film. We have Scott Mescudi, Tyler Perry, Jonah Hill, Meryl Streep, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, and writer/director/producer, Adam McKay.
TYLER PERRY: What a lineup, man.
AMY MAINZER: Leo, now that, Dr. Dibiasky over here… Oh, sorry, not quite Dr. Dibiasky. Now that she’s contributed all this to science, we need to get her defense scheduled. When would you like to schedule her defense? The committee needs at least three months to plan [LAUGHS]
LEONARDO DICAPRIO: I think three months is a proper amount of time.
AMY MAINZER: Okay, great. Will you be ready for your PhD defense?
JENNIFER LAWRENCE: Oh, yes.
MERYL STREEP: I just broke out in a sweat.
JENNIFER LAWRENCE: I was so afraid she was going to look at me and say something. I was like, don’t do it.
TYLER PERRY: They really call it a defense?
AMY MAINZER: Not like Harry Potter Defense Against the Dark Arts, but sort of.
TYLER PERRY: You’re a real astronomer?
MERYL STREEP: She discovered a comet.
AMY MAINZER: It’s not hitting the Earth, though, don’t worry.
TYLER PERRY: Really? Oh, wow. Okay, good. That’s awesome.
ADAM MCKAY: She’s the real deal.
TYLER PERRY: I’m blown away. I’ve never met an astronomer.
LEONARDO DICAPRIO: And she was imperative in the narrative of this movie, was our advisor and an unbelievable help. So thank you very much.
AMY MAINZER: Thanks for making the movie. The public perception of scientists has really taken a beating in recent times. As people who portrayed scientists in the movie, do you hope that this movie changes the public’s perception of science and the people who practice science?
LEONARDO DICAPRIO: Well, obviously, that they’re heard. Adam created this film, which was about the climate crisis, but he created a sense of urgency with it by making it about a comet that’s gonna hit Earth within six months’ time and how science has become politicized. It’s there’s alternative facts. I was just thankful to play a character who is solely based on so many of the people that I’ve met from the scientific community, and in particular, climate scientists who’ve been trying to communicate the urgency of this issue and feeling like they’re, subjected to the-the last page on-on the newspaper.
There’s too many other things that we’re inundated with. I love the way he portrayed these two different characters. One that is incredibly outspoken, like a Greta Thunberg type of character in Jen’s, and mine that’s trying to play within the system. I also love the way he was just incredibly truthful about how we’re so immensely distracted from the truth nowadays. And then, of course, COVID hit and there was a whole new scientific argument going on there. And it was-it’s just such an important film to be a part of at this particular time.
AMY MAINZER: Jen, what do you think about that? You portrayed PhD candidate Kate Dibiasky.
JENNIFER LAWRENCE: I think Leo said it perfectly. It’s just so sad and frustrating to watch people who have dedicated their lives to learning the truth, be turned away because people don’t like what the truth has to say.
AMY MAINZER: I really appreciate that and think that really resonated with me and with a lot of my colleagues in the science community. Adam, what is the mindset going into a film that’s viewing such a serious, real life issue, through the lens of comedy? How do you pull that off?
ADAM MCKAY: I think we were talking about the idea we wanted to deal with, this subject, the climate crisis, which is so overwhelming and it’s arguably the greatest threat to life in the history of mankind. We just felt like you can get… that can almost be like an animal attacking you. It can just be overwhelming. But if you’re able to laugh, that means you have some distance, and I actually think that’s really important. You can feel urgency and you can feel sadness and you can feel loss, while also having a sense of humor.
And that was really the intention with this movie. After the crazy last five, ten years, we’ve all had across the planet, was that God, wouldn’t it be nice to laugh at some of this and feel the other feelings? So that was kind of the approach, ’cause I think we get hit with sort of the thumping doomsday talk quite a bit. Which, by the way, is totally legit when it comes to climate change. But,I did think it was important that-that people be allowed to laugh and have some distance. It’s also a great unifier too. You can’t really fake laughter. It’s not a political thing.
They’ve tried, but it never really works whenever you try and fake that. So, yeah, that was kind of the thinking behind it.
AMY MAINZER: Leo, you’ve done actions towards protecting biodiversity and climate change. What encouraged you to take part in a movie that tackles these issues through comedy?
LEONARDO DICAPRIO: Well, I’ve been looking for a movie that was about this subject for decades now. But it’s like I said earlier, this is an issue where everyone feels ultimately like what kind of difference can we make?
How can we contribute to this cause? Adam really cracked the code with this-with this narrative. There’s so many comparisons that we can make to the climate crisis with this storyline. And, you know, as a whole, It’s probably the most important issue all of us could be talking about on a regular basis. It takes artists like this to change the narrative, you know? To create conversation and it’s just an honor to be a part of it, really.
AMY MAINZER: They say science brings us the facts, but art is what allows us to process the emotions and the feelings about it. What was the most important aspect or interesting aspect that you all learned from working together on this-on this film?
JENNIFER LAWRENCE: Jonah, I think you should take it. What have you learned?
JONAH HILL: Well, this is the first time we’ve met, so I haven’t learned that much from you yet, except that you’re nice, you’re charming. Honestly, I’ve been friends with Leo for a long time. I’ve always had mad respect for how much he puts his money and time where his mouth is in regards to this issue. So not only as a friend, but someone who just is out there talking a big game, but actually walks the walk is-I respect really heavy.
Also, for me, I’ve just learned how everyone was so bummed the past two years. When I got in a room with all these people that are geniuses, some of whom are friends of mine, some of whom I didn’t know, but all of whom I respect. It was just amazing to laugh and think and create something in a time where everyone’s been stuck in their houses. It was really emotionally meaningful to me.
SCOTT MESCUDI: I came into this project very nervous, because if you can imagine, just like the weight of it and who the cast is. So like the first day it was the first moment was really nerve-racking. But watching Adam, watching Tyler, watching Cate, watching Ariana, and seeing how everyone was kind of just like in the element, so laid back and so in tune and, like, comfortable, it made me comfortable. You know what I mean? It felt like even though I was there for, what, three days, it felt like a family setting, and everybody embraced me. You know, it was my first time meeting Tyler who I’m a fan of, and it was so cool. I didn’t know he was so tall, but, I just learned that, sometimes you’ve just got to relax and just go with the flow and just be in your space and be comfortable with shit, you know?
I was just ready for… I heard before when I talked to Kathryn Hahn, who’s a friend of mine, and she was telling me about Adam. She was like, “Just be ready for him to throw you anything,” And I was just like, okay, that makes me even more nervous. But no, it was great. It was a great experience.
AMY MAINZER: It’s really fun to see it all come together. Adam, what about from your perspective, working with everybody?
JENNIFER LAWRENCE: What did you learn from me?
ADAM MCKAY: Jen taught me that as much as we all think we’re a big deal, there’s still a beating heart of a child inside each one of us. And Jen also taught me about justice, true justice.
JENNIFER LAWRENCE: Where are you going with that?
ADAM MCKAY: You can’t just put on a mask and go out and topple crime at the end of the day. Honestly, the thing that is beautiful about this movie was that it highlighted just how special collaboration is for me, because we’re in the middle of a pandemic, there’s no vaccine, and we all come to the… At that time. There is definitely a vaccine now, and everyone should be getting it. But at that time, there was no vaccine, and we all had to wear crazy masks and stay away and have zones and everything. But everyone did it and found a way to be creative, in a way that was genuinely moving and touching.
As for me, I feel like the whole time I’ve been working in movies or theater or TV or whatever, that’s the thing that I love the most. And, uh, and seeing this group do that was just, like, one of the more special experiences I’ve ever had. Should I be looking at that camera when I answer?
LEONARDO DICAPRIO: I didn’t even…
JONAH HILL: You’re talking about us, you should look at us…
ADAM MCKAY: I should have looked at you. Sorry, I should have looked at them while I was saying it.
JONAH HILL: It’s [not performative?] Say it to the people that you’re talking about.
MERYL STREEP: Otherwise you don’t believe it. Yeah.
JONAH HILL: It just felt like you were performing. Did you actually learn anything through the course of this movie?
ADAM MCKAY: [No?] They wanted me to talk about Subway, which apparently has a new 5.99 sandwich.
AMY MAINZER: Okay, so the comet in the movie is named after your character. How did this make you feel?
JENNIFER LAWRENCE: I never thought about it. I think at first it’s very exciting, until it becomes, you know, a catastrophe, and then you’re named after…
TYLER PERRY: Something that’s [terrifying?]
MERYL STREEP: The end of civilization.
JENNIFER LAWRENCE: Something that people are really not happy about.
AMY MAINZER: Do you think that your character would have been proud of this, or mostly pissed off, or both?
JENNIFER LAWRENCE: I think there was probably an evolution. I think at first she was very, very proud of this, and then I’m sure resentment started to build up as people started fearing Comet Dibiasky.
MERYL STREEP: Yes. I often think about that. How does Mr. Alzheimer feel?
ADAM MCKAY: His name is Chuck, by the way. Chuck Alzheimer.
MERYL STREEP: Yes. But scientists want to name the achievement after themselves…
AMY MAINZER: Sometimes it’s not always a good thing. Fortunately, in real life, with the asteroids, uh, we would not name one that’s actually hazardous after a living person. That’s not allowed.
JENNIFER LAWRENCE: That’s nice.
AMY MAINZER: Who was the inspiration for your character, and did you try to emulate anyone?
MERYL STREEP: My character? [LAUGH] There were so many places to take things from, because there’s so many preposterous people who’ve put themselves in public, uh, places recently. And shamelessly. It was fun to put together this character that was in just pure id, just what her appetite w-wanted. And about amassing power, money, more power, and more money, and that’s pretty much- and nice hair and nails,To top it off. But there wasn’t any…
TYLER PERRY: And the Birkin [bag].
SCOTT MESCUDI: And amazing suits.
MERYL STREEP: [LAUGH] Amazing suits. But no fellow feeling, and unfortunately, that is the cost of being a public servant now, that you really have to make a big sacrifice. Your family makes a sacrifice, and you have to be willing to do that. it’s amazing that we get good people to do it [SIGH]. We need them right now more than ever.
AMY MAINZER: For Jonah and Leo, having developed a friendship and now on your third film together, how do you feel your chemistry affects the production? As you can see, the chemistry is clearly affecting this press conference.
LEONARDO DICAPRIO: That’s right, Django two.
JENNIFER LAWRENCE: Django. I was like, that was gonna drive me nuts.
LEONARDO DICAPRIO: Look, I’ll just start right out of the gate and say he is an absolute genius, this young man, this friend of mine. [CLEARS THROAT] His ability to improvise and take control of a scene and have the narrative be shifted in the most amazing, colorful ways is a sight to witness and something truly remarkable to experience. He’s absolutely a genius. I’d love to work with him on a hundred more films.
MERYL STREEP: Amen. Really fun.
JONAH HILL: Thanks, buddy. Well, my time to answer. I agree with what he said. Real talk like, I’ve worked with pretty much all the best actors in the world, a lot of whom are up here right now. And there’s been no more loyal friend or anything I’ve ever made in show business Then aside from that, put all those feelings aside. What you see when they yell action and what he does, truly, no disrespect to anyone, nothing I’ve ever seen like it. That’s all I got to say, hands down.
AMY MAINZER: You two had some of the funniest scenes like the scene in the president’s office, when there’s this sort of ping ponging back and forth about probability. As a scientist, this is the first time I’ve seen probability so extensively debated in a movie. And you just completely trashed it in the most amazing, funny way which at the same time is horrifying.
JONAH HILL: Yeah. Look, I don’t like nerds, and I have always been harsh on it. [LAUGH] No, dude, he’s the best. I mean, I’m sitting up here with a lot of other of the best, and I genuinely feel that way. But having made a few movies
with Leo… And lived with him.
He’s the best person. Shuffle that all aside, if I didn’t know him and I had to be like what’s it like to work with another actor that’s like who’s the best actor, to me, I’d choose him every time.
LEONARDO DICAPRIO: Thank you, Jonah.
AMY MAINZER: This is for Tyler… In 2012, you co-hosted Live with Kelly when the show was in between hosts. Did you use that experience in crafting your character, and, uh, or any other talk show hosts or friends in the process? Who did you model your character after?
TYLER PERRY: Okay, as fun as that was in that moment, I actually made a couple phone calls to a couple of people who are on morning shows right now, that I admire. Joe Scarborough is one, and Michael Strahan is the other. So I asked them, I actually sent them part of the script. I said, “Why don’t you read this and send it back to me on your iPhone? Just tape it.” And they did, and I was like, okay, I got some bits here, I got some bits there. Those guys are professional journalists. This guy — is the guy I played. So they were very helpful in pulling that off and helping me to pull it off. I appreciate that.
ADAM MCKAY: Tyler is being very humble, by the way. Because the big trick with him and Cate Blanchett was that they had to have real chemistry. It was so remarkable to see the two of you within five minutes. It was like you guys had been on a show together for 10 years.
TYLER PERRY: That happens when there’s sexual chemistry. She wants me.
ADAM MCKAY: That was it.
TYLER PERRY: Yeah, she wants me. That was obvious.from day one, I’d say, “Oh, okay, I just have to flirt. I get it.” She’s gonna kill me.
AMY MAINZER: Jen, how long did it take you to learn the lyrics to the Wu Tang song at the beginning?
JENNIFER: I keep meaning to tell you, I only just recently… The song came back on my phone and I was like, “All right, it’s been enough time, I’ll listen to it.” It took a while, it took a couple weeks. And then, of course like it was… Because something happened with COVID where that ended up being my very first scene at work in the movie. And it was horrifying, ’cause I’m in this huge hanger, and it’s so quiet. I don’t know anybody. And I had to rap for the Wu-Tang Clan. And it was just horrendous. What’s in the movie is like five seconds. I really wish I had known that. If I could have foreseen what you would have used. It was the worst day of my life.
AMY MAINZER: That had to have been a really strange experience of being in there in the middle of COVID. I can’t even imagine.
JENNIFER LAWRENCE: Yeah, it was. And everybody’s behind masks, so I’m just… It was very embarrassing.
ADAM MCKAY: You did a good job though.
JENNIFER LAWRENCE: Hey, I knew my assignment. I did know every word, I still do.
ADAM MCKAY: And you did it very casually, like you heard it.
JENNIFER LAWRENCE: There’s no place to hide, Dr. Doom prepares for the boom. [LAUGH]
AMY MAINZER: Speaking of music here… I personally loved the ballad. I loved the song. As a scientist, how often do we get a song from Scott and Ariana Grande about science and the end of the world? There’s a killer line in there. [LAUGHS]
SCOTT MESCUDI: It doesn’t happen often, no.
AMY MAINZER: No, I loved it. So what was it like for you to work with Ariana and to just go through this experience of writing music about the end of the world?
SCOTT MESCUDI: I met up with Nick Britell and he played me the song. I immediately was like, holy shit, Where do I fit? Do you even need me? How do I approach this? And, he had something written for me. We tried, but it just wasn’t working, I was just like, “Maybe it would be better if I approached this like doin’ my flavor, and kinda taking that approach.” Another thing was really like, okay, this is not me writing a song from the Kid Cudi perspective; this is from DJ Chello’s perspective… And they just linked back up. So he’s pretty much just confessing and expressing his love to her. He’s forgetting about the importance of the song in general and just kind of like, “Oh I’m just happy to be with my baby. You know?” So I just took this approach of just like, you’re on the stage with this girl, you’re making this love song, Not a love song, but you’re making this song with the love of your life, and it’s your time to… You guys just had a huge fallout and everyone around the world knew about it.
And now you guys are comin’ together. So it was like this kind of the reunion moment for me. It was intense at first because Ariana is such an incredible artist. And you know, her vocal performance is just stellar. It’s like her voice is just amazing. I’m sure everybody can agree.
TYLER PERRY: Oh, 100 percent, yeah.
JENNIFER LAWRENCE: I disagree. [LAUGH]
SCOTT MESCUDI: [LAUGH] I’m just really happy that we were able to figure it out, and it worked man. I’m really proud of it.
AMY MAINZER: All right, can you do a whole album of science songs?
SCOTT MESCUDI: [LAUGH] We can figure this out.We can figure this out. We can do a NASA mixtape and NASA mixtape Platinum. [LAUGH]
AMY MAINZER: I can play this for all my classes.
SCOTT MESCUDI: Yeah yeah yeah, but y’all gotta cut a check though. And y’all gotta talk. [LAUGHS]
AMY MAINZER: A science album. [LAUGHS]
TYLER PERRY: We were just talking about this, what I find fascinating about this movie and him writing it, it seems so prophetic to see where we are right now with, uh, NASA sending a rocket to try and knock a comet off of course. I don’t know the language, we’re astronomers. I thought that was absolutely fascinating that that is happening in real life today, right now as we sit here. Did I dream that? That’s really happening, right?
SCOTT MESCUDI: They said it’s not life-threatening.
TYLER PERRY: Just to see if we can do it, if we can move one off-off course.
AMY MAINZER: Yeah, it was a test to see whether or not an asteroid can have its orbit deliberately changed in a slight way.
TYLER PERRY: And when do we know?
AMY MAINZER: About a year from now, roughly a year. It’s pretty fast.
MERYL STREEP: Because it’s 2.1 million miles away or something.
AMY MAINZER: Something like that. It’s pretty far. But we still have to find the asteroids first, so we like to work on that.
LEONARDO DICAPRIO: What kind of explosive device are we talking about here?
AMY MAINZER: In this case this thing is just gonna bump into the asteroid. So nothing too complicated. It really is just a bump into the asteroid and try to slightly push it just a little bit.
JENNIFER LAWRENCE: Not to fracture it.
AMY MAINZER: Yeah, not to break it.
ADAM MCKAY: You guys want to hear the craziest thing? I didn’t learn this from Amy until an interview the other day. There’s actually an asteroid that’s about the size of the comet in our movie named after Amy that’s in a harmless orbit. But it’s something like nine kilometers wide, right, it might
AMY MAINZER: There are some large asteroids out there. Mine is perfectly harmless though. It is totally harmless. [LAUGHS]
TYLER PERRY: That’s scary.
ADAM MCKAY: But it’s about the size of our movie’s comet, right?
AMY MAINZER: Yeah, it’s pretty big but perfectly harmless, totally.
JONAH HILL: Everyone thinks their comet is harmless. [LAUGHS]
SCOTT MESCUDI: That’s great. That’s great. [LAUGHS]
JONAH HILL: Look in the mirror for a second. Understand your comet’s a danger call.
AMY MAINZER: Leo, in real life you’re very active in trying to bring awareness to environmental problems. did this make it easier to tap into Dr. Mindy’s speech? He’s got that really fiery speech in the movie. How did this inform your approach for it?
LEONARDO DICAPRIO: Very much so. I just have to articulate again, and you know, this climate isn’t your field of expertise, but I spoke to you as if you were a climate scientist through the lens of an astronomer. And you were so incredibly helpful in the convergence of these two worlds, which is what Adam was trying to do, in-in creating this character and this entire movie.
So, we worked on that speech probably 50 times together. And what I really wanted to do was to try to articulate the frustration of the scientific community, how-how one is sitting there on a pulpit speaking the truth. And Adam wrote so brilliantly, you know, all these other noises sort of drown out the main message.
And, uh, so we worked a lot together on, you know, trying to understand the frustration of the scientific community and how one would be in a situation like that of ultimate frustration realizing the world is falling apart. And how do you, you know, take off this sort of professional jacket to cut straight to the chase about the-the truth of this issue. So again, I wanted to thank you for all the great conversations we had. Cause you were really the convergence of those two things for me.
AMY MAINZER: It felt really cathartic watching that speech, uh, especially we had a screening in LA with other scientists, and they were cheering. [LAUGHS] Jen you mentioned that you fan-girled so hard when you saw Ariana Grande. [LAUGH] Can you tell us a little bit about what it was like to meet her?
JENNIFER LAWRENCE: I mean it was shocking. She’s so tiny. I’m a huge fan of her music and Scott’s.
JENNIFER LAWRENCE: It’s just like, you know, like overwhelming. ‘Cause our worlds don’t normally collide. Um, and yeah, I just felt like a radio contest winner. I just didn’t know how to talk to her. So I just did my best. [LAUGH]
AMY MAINZER: Oh, she was great. I think she’s really…
JENNIFER LAWRENCE: Yeah, she was terrific.
AMY MAINZER: The two of you together were hilarious.
SCOTT MESCUDI: Awe, thank you.
AMY MAINZER: To everybody here, which scenes in the movie felt uncomfortably real to all of you? Tyler I want to start with you. Which were the ones that really made you uncomfortable?
TYLER PERRY: You know, just, uh, when they were in the Oval Office, and-and Meryl’s character’s there with her son and just talking about, eh, just dismissing the facts and science, that to me was just very much ringing true because of what’s happening especially at the time, and the country where we were with the pandemic and things just being dismissed. And everybody who says anything counter to what the truth is, uh, everybody’s saying things counter to what the truth is. So for a narrative, and people are dying, that was-that was pretty right down the road there scary.
AMY MAINZER: How about you Jonah, what did you feel was uncomfortable?
JONAH HILL: I agree. I just also wanna say, like, Adam walked the craziest tightrope in this movie, which I think is almost impossible and he pulled off, which is like taking things that are terrifying and-and using comedy to maybe make them digestible in some way or palatable in some way or entertaining in some way. So I found the whole movie to just be like the truth and terrifying and hilarious.
Like, you know, when they’re-the pop stars are on the show while the person’s, uh, talking about the world ending and they’re the same weight, if not one being more important than the other, it’s all the same and we’re all guilty of it too. So it’s not like I’m any better. You know what I’m saying? So I think there’s something deeply human that he tapped into. And is also terrifying but also, like, the truth.
AMY MAINZER: That’s how we connect. How about for you Meryl?
MERYL STREEP: There are a lot of chilling moments. One just — I don’t know why — but it really hit me was the scene in the bar with Tyler and Cate when everything’s going to shit outside. And she says, “I just want, you know, to get drunk and talk shit about people.
It’s like, I know lots of people [LAUGH] like, that’s not an unusual… reaction. But it kinda chilled my bones. And then the one where they’re in the car and Timothée Chalamet … I don’t want spoilers, but he proposes an idea to Jen and she goes, yeah. And it’s so clear, there’s just no way it’s ever gonna happen. You know, but it’s just that glimmer of the human dream where we hope something good….is going to happen, even though we know something bad is. And that’s sort of the kernel of truth of this is that we push this information away. Smart people, people who don’t have a scientific background, everyone pushes it away, because it’s just too painful.
I said to Adam when we first talked about promoting it, that you’ve got to give people three things that they can do [LAUGH] so they want to kill themselves at the end. Because it would be great to have three things, if it were only that simple. But one of them is obviously devoted… For people who believe and understand the imminence of this threat to all of our lives, rich people, poor people, everybody, everything flows from this, every issue of injustice, inequity, everything. If we don’t survive, none of it matters.
AMY MAINZER: We gotta make science-based decisions… I think that it’s core. That’s what this movie is really about. It’s important to do that. Science is happening whether we like it or not. Right? [LAUGHS]
That’s just what happens. So, okay, so let’s go to Jovem Nerd from Brazil for the group. And, uh, you know, in one scene, kinda continuing on this theme a little bit, uh, Leo’s character says that not everything has to be positive all the time. Is this a criticism of our current way of life, the way that we think, our-our media right now? I mean how do you all feel about that?
ADAM MCKAY: I mean he says that line, he says not everything has to be charming or clever… not necessarily positive, but I do think there’s this demand, because there’s so much money behind the media with advertising and clicks and apps that there has to be some engagement happening on some level, or people have to have a hot take or be clever. And I love the way… And this was — we must have re-written that speech like 20 times, and it’s one of my favorite moments when you say that. Some things-sometimes we just have to be able to say things to each other.
And that seems to be the basic line that’s been corrupted, that we profitize the very way that we speak to each other through social media, through phones, commercials, shows, everything is… You know, they know… It’s crazy to think about it. I mean they now call it… They don’t call it TV shows or songs, they call it content.
It’s literally a word from a boardroom. That’s how much we’ve prophesied the way we talk to each other. So yeah, I think sometimes you do just have to be able to hear things. There has to be a neutral playing field occasionally that is not brightly lit with sound effects and-and great looking people that in-that have, you know, high focus group test numbers. So that’s one of my favorite moments in the movie for sure. And-and what Leo did with that speech was incredible. And you worked so… He just was tireless with that. We just kept going back and back. And your sense of that speech was so spot-on that it was gonna be that moment. And you can feel the release when you…
MERYL STREEP: And my favorite thing is that you think it’s over, and then it regenerates even bigger. It’s just-it’s just like, he’s goin’ on way too on this. Way too long.
ADAM MCKAY: Do you guys feel like we’re so hungry for someone to express real emotion?
MERYL STREEP: Yes, we’re mad as hell. And we’re not gonna take it anymore. [LAUGH] ‘
ADAM MCKAY: Yeah, like, I mean you just see these politicians’ speeches in that same cadence every single time. And it’s like, will someone be angry or afraid or sad? Like, you’re kind of missing it. It’s so satisfying when both you guys have your moments. It just feels like, ah, I’m dying for that.
MERYL STREEP: Well, yes, I love Jen’s righteous anger. I mean it’s just – and her despair.
JENNIFER LAWRENCE: You don’t have to compliment me just ‘because you guys complemented Leo. [LAUGH]
MERYL STREEP: Oh, well I don’t like Leo, so I’m complimenting you. [LAUGH]
ADAM MCKAY: It all really compliments Meryl, so don’t worry about it.
JENNIFER LAWRENCE: I really liked Meryl’s incompetence as a President.
MERYL STREEP: And my shoes. but it is a question. How do you make that-how do you make it penetrate? And the thing about music, this song is so great. Because music goes in, it’s just in your head. It’s not even something that’s at a distance now. We have it in here and carry it around. Kids carry it around.
AMY MAINZER: So it’s fun to actually have something that speaks to science through music. I mean how many songs are there about geometry?
SCOTT MESCUDI: Well if you consider Cardi B, I mean she’s got… No, I’m kidding.
AMY MAINZER: That’s true. It is really powerful. It’s a way of communicating that maybe is a different way into the material. Which is sometimes really complicated and dense. And also too, not all that happy, right? how do we take it and process it? As an astronomer working on this subject, there is no comet or asteroid that’s heading our way, but hypothetically if there were one, what would be your most immediate action? What would you do if it were the last day on Earth?
SCOTT MESCUDI: I would definitely try to get to my daughter wherever she’s at. Now of course, I wanna see my mom, and my sister. But my daughter I gotta get to her, definitely.
TYLER PERRY: What I love is at one point in the movie there’s some people sitting around the table, and I think that that is just so powerful. And I think that’s exactly what I would do, sit around the table with people that I love and care about, and-and have some wine, have a great meal. And give everybody cyanide right before it happens
SCOTT MESCUDI: That’s a great plan. I’m comin’ to your house. [LAUGHS]
JONAH HILL: I would tweet to make sure that people knew the cool thoughts that I had to say and my opinions on different stuff like movies and stars. how the stars live their lives and what they look like and who they are dating and stuff.
TYLER PERRY: That’s brilliant.
ADAM MCKAY: That’s so different too, that would be cool to hear about that.
JONAH HILL: Yeah, I think people in their last moments would wanna read that.
ADAM MCKAY: You know, I’ve always wanted…
JENNIFER LAWRENCE: He’s not wrong. In my last moments I would die commenting on TikTok.
JONAH HILL: I mean it goes without saying for me, surfing, girlfriend, dog, family, love, all that matters. I also wanna give Jen Lawrence props because she’s my friend. Sometimes I don’t say how amazing and brilliant it was to watch her work. And like, we joke around so much, but Jen, you’re a boss. I think you’re…
TYLER PERRY: I agree. Even with that wig you were wearing was amazing.
MERYL STREEP: I loved that wig.
SCOTT MESCUDI: What in the world?
JENNIFER LAWRENCE: Thank you.
MERYL STREEP: I loved that look.
JENNIFER LAWRENCE: Thank you, I did too.
ADAM MCKAY: It was a really cool look.
JENNIFER LAWRENCE: It was seamless. I put it on and I was like, there she is.
MERYL STREEP: There she is.
ADAM MCKAY: And your clothes too were incredible. Did you keep some of those clothes?
JENNIFER LAWRENCE: I did. Yeah.
SCOTT MESCUDI: Did you keep the wig?
JENNIFER LAWRENCE: I didn’t keep the wig. I don’t know where that thing is.
AMY MAINZER: All right, I really appreciate everybody’s time here.
JONAH HILL: Don’t you want to know what Meryl would do if the world was ending? She is Meryl Streep, I’m curious to know what…
AMY MAINZER: Yeah, she is Meryl Streep. So Meryl, what would you do if the world was ending?
MERYL STREEP: I’m sure I would just try to find my grandchildren and be with them. Yeah, my kids, they’ve had enough of me. [LAUGHS]
Here’s the trailer of the film.