Sorry, I was actually looking for it. I didn't want to paraphrase.
As far as me being an asshole, to the server at the Arclight and the girlfriend of the comedian -- who knows? Sometimes I'm an asshole. Either I'm in a bad mood, or it's a bad day and I'm not handling it well. I'm not sunshine and lollipops all the time. Sometimes I'm freezing rain and pickled beets.
But always keep in mind SOURCE and CONTEXT when you hear these stories. About anyone. Let Ol' Uncle Patton give you two "for instances":
I was working on rewriting a film for these two directors, back in the winter of 2000. One day, while we were taking a break, the two directors start singing the praises of Ben Stiller -- how cooperative he was on an earlier production of theirs, how he was willing to try anything, how he always showed up way early, and stayed late, making sure each scene was as funny as it could be. "He was way more professional than we expected, and way more professional than we were. Never complained, always gracious. We were really blown away."
Then they left to go check out something in the editing room, and one of their assistants -- this dude in his early 40's who'd pretty much worked for these directors all his life -- came over and said, "Ben Stiller's an asshole."
"Really? I work with him a lot, and he's always really nice to me."
"Yeah, well that's a fucking put-on. When we were making that movie? The one he was sooooo cooperative on? So helpful? Check this out. Every night, when we'd wrap around 11, me and the crew'd go out drinking. Lots of booze, strip clubs, and then some coke in the morning before first call so everyone'd be sharp. And we'd always invite Ben, and he's like, (and then he does this mean, baby voice) 'Ewwww, me gotta so sweepy-bye.' Yeah, right. He's too fucking good to hang out with us."
I said, "Well, maybe he had to get up really early the next day, you know, for an early call time, and --"
"I...just...said...we...did...coke...so...everyone...would...be...sharp." says this guy, like I'm two. "Ben's a stuck-up prick."
And that's the story this guy tells about Ben Stiller, every chance he gets. Again, consider the source.
Here's another heartwarming incident that makes me question having an e-mail account accessible to my fans.
I got an e-mail, late last year, from a guy in the Midwest. The guy had his own cable access talk show. Something like 28 hours of episodes, uploaded onto a website.
In his e-mail, he first praised my work in:
Movies I'd never appeared in.
TV shows I'd had no part of.
And my years as an "on air" intern at the Don & Mike show in Washington, D.C.
Which I'd never done.
He was looking forward to me watching all 28 hours of his talk show. Then, he said, I'd be able to contact him, and we could "huddle" on how I was going to help him get his show seen by the "big networks". He was also considering letting me put up some of my money, and maybe "produce, in an executive capacity -- I'd still own the show".
"Let's get your connections working." he wrote. And then, his e-mail ended with: "Let's see what you do for me".
I wrote back, saying I didn't know anything about how talk shows were produced, or even who to pitch them to. Also, it would be unfair of me to say I had time to watch his work, when I was so busy with my own (I was in the throes of editing COMEDIANS OF COMEDY, finishing a script, and getting married). I tried downloading the first episode of the show, but it was a huge file, and it was going to take ten or fifteen minutes. I simply didn't have the time, but I thanked him for considering me, and for being a fan. And I wished him luck.
His e-mail came back: "Well, thanks a LOT, for whatever the fuck THAT was. Good luck yourself."
I'm sure, if you meet this guy? And ask about me? Guess what -- I'm an asshole.
When you're in your twenties, you wonder what everyone's thinking of you. When you're in your thirties, you don't care what people think of you. And when you reach your forties, you find out no one was ever thinking of you in the first place.
(It does bother me that a server at the Arclight thought I was an asshole. I really like eating there, and I used to be a waiter, so I always go out of my way to be nice to waiters and tip them well. It's one of the shittiest jobs on the planet. Oh well. Now I can never order my three favorite Arclight dishes -- the black bean chili, lemonade, or Li'l Cup o' Mayonnaise)