On this episode of Straight Up With Stassi, Stassi realizes that she and TV sensation Natalie Zea are pretty much the same person. Catch her on her show Detour on TBS, Tuesdays at 10PM — and in one of Stassi’s favorite movies, The Other Guys.
“Everyone should be required to work in the service industry.”
“I moved to New York when I was 18,” Natalie says.
“And that’s where you studied?” Stassi asks.
“Studied-ish. I ended up quitting after the first year because I was a brat,” Natalie says.
“I get being a brat, it’s okay,” Stassi says.
“Girl, I know. We’re two peas in a pod. You’re my daughter, after all,” Natalie jokes. “So yeah, I thought I knew everything there was to know about trying to make it in the big city, and a few months later, I put my tail between my legs and I wrote them a letter, because this was back in the day, you had to write a letter. I had a scholarship, and I said, ‘Look, I was an asshole, I’m sorry I quit. I really want to come back because I don’t know what I’m doing.’ They said, ‘We’re not going to reinstate your scholarship but we’ll let you back in.’ And I’m really glad I did, because I was just so stupid. My balls were huge and just empty. Nothing in them.”
“So you graduated? How’d you pay for it?” Stassi asks.
“I worked at three different places,” Natalie says. “I worked at a restaurant as a waitress, and I worked at another restaurant as a hostess, and I didn’t start bartending until later.”
“I feel like being a successful actor, or the right of passage, is like working at a restaurant and being on CSI once,” Stassi says.
“Or Law and Order. I never got to be on Law and Order. Or CSI because there are like seven of them? Are they still on the air?” Natalie asks.
“I’ll catch them if they’re on but I’m not an avid watcher,” Stassi says. “I just feel like every single successful actor has been on one of those and they’ve also worked at a restaurant.”
“Well, my husband has a theory that, you know, in Israel you’re required to spend either a year or two in the military… everyone, no matter what. His theory is that, here, you should be required to work in the service industry for at least a year,” Natalie says.
“I think that’s a fantastic idea,” Stassi says. “Everyone would be nicer.”
“I think we would be a much more empathetic society,” Natalie says.
“I agree because my biggest turn off, it always ends up being people that haven’t worked in the service industry because of the way that they treat the waitstaff,” Stassi says. “It’s soul-sucking.”
“It’s a deal-breaker,” Natalie says. “You’re like, ‘Well I’m done.'”
“You don’t know anything about life because you don’t know what it’s like… like they’re lesser,” Stassi says.
“Serving is the worst,” Natalie says. “It’s so good though, for your character. It builds so much character.”
“I feel like I’m still an asshole, but…” Stassi laughs.
“It doesn’t matter, we’re all assholes,” Natalie says. “But you’re a complex asshole now because of it.”
“It’s okay to like a movie that’s good spirited.”
“So, did you like, really relate to La La Land?” Stassi asks.
“Okay, let’s talk about La La Land,” Natalie says. “First of all, I want to say for people who don’t like La La Land, I don’t fuckin’ have time. I don’t have time to listen to why…”
“Oh my God. We’re soul mates. Holy shit,” Stassi gasps.
“We’re related. I am your mom, and I’m okay with it,” Natalie jokes. “I understand that there were some very important movies this year and I enjoyed all but one of them. I think that somewhere along the way there came this comparison, this like, ‘You’re on the Moonlight team or you’re on theLa La Land team.’ You can like both movies, and I do. I think they’re both extraordinary movies. They’re very very very different. And to like one is not to betray the other. I don’t know why people are so butthurt aboutLa La Land. I don’t understand why people want to talk so much shit on it.”
“Every time I talk about it, I get chills,” Stassi says.
“I will just say, I may or may not have been on my period, sitting in the front row at the ArcLight, and sobbing during the opening scene,” Natalie says.
“I saw it at the movie theater four times, one of them was Christmas Day,” Stassi says. “I made my whole family go, and sobbed every single time. I listened to the soundtrack and cried … I just feel like anyone who lives in Hollywood, even if you’re not trying to make it as an actress or whatever, you can relate to so much in it.”
“It just feels good,” Natalie says. “Not only is it beautifully executed, but it also just feels good to watch it. And that’s rare. Often, feel-good movies aren’t of the best quality, but this… the acting is so beautiful… It’s okay to like a movie that’s good spirited. It’s okay, guys.”
“It doesn’t make you less interesting or less intelligent,” Stassi says.
“And so I, to the people who say, ‘I don’t likeLa La Land, and let me tell you why,’ I still don’t know, because I won’t listen,” Natalie says. “I don’t know what people’s arguments are. But I’ve had to, several times, say, ‘I’m going to stop you right there and I don’t have time to listen to it.'”
“Yeah, I don’t think anyone will come up to me and actually say that they don’t likeLa La Land. I think they’re scared of me,” Stassi says.
“They shouldn’t,” Natalie says.
“What could you say? What could you fuckin’ say?” Stassi yells.
“Maybe I’ll listen the next time someone has something to say,” Natalie says. “I’ll say, ‘I’ll give you thirty seconds’ because thats about as much as I can put up with.”