Evan Handler is an American actor who is best known for playing Charlie Runkle, Hank Moody's comically bumbling friend and agent, on Californication and Harry Goldenblatt, a divorce attorney and later husband of Charlotte York on Sex and the City.
• Ana Gasteyer (Ana Kristina Gasteyer is an American actress of stage, film, and television. She is best known as...)
• Simon Pegg (Simon John Pegg is an English actor, comedian, screenwriter, and film producer. He is best known ...)
• Jack Noseworthy (John E. "Jack" Noseworthy, Jr. is an American actor, whose most visible movie roles were in Event...)» All Actor Interviews
Evan Handler is one of the stars of HBO's "Sex and the City" (Harry Goldenblatt), Showtime's "Californication" (Charlie Runkle), Alan Dershowitz in FX's current "The People v. OJ Simpson," and Lloyd Blankfein in HBO's "Too Big to Fail." (Not to mention Ron Howard's "Ransom," Oliver Stone's "Natural Born Killers," "It's Like, You know...," and oodles and oodles of other delicacies. Also the author of two books, "Time On Fire: My Comedy of Terrors," and "It's Only Temporary: The Good News and the Bad News of Being Alive," each outlining different aspects of his 30+ year survival past a supposedly incurable leukemia. Handler, premiering as Alan Dershowitz in People v. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story on Feb. 16, was also a co-star with OJ Simpson in the infamous "Frogmen" pilot, filmed just 5 weeks before Simpson's arrest in 1994. Go ahead, AMA...
Proof (Ye nonbelievers): https://twitter.com/EvanHandler/status/699997827921907712
BOOK SALES: http://www.amazon.com/Its-Only-Temporary-Being-Alive-ebook/dp/B00AHGF9BM/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1455723478&sr=8-2&keywords=evan+handler
TWITTER (but you have me right here already): https://twitter.com/EvanHandler
What would it take for you to get a butterfly tattoo on your lower back?
A needle, and some sedative, I suppose.
Did you try to keep positive during your fight with leukemia? How did you get yourself to keep fighting such a terrifying disease?
Well, there are a couple of books worth of answers to these very complex questions. Positivity was a challenge. My prognosis was rather bleak. But I also embraced negativity, and anger, and fueled my determination with rage toward those who I felt weren't performing their medical duties properly. I don't think people should be so condemning of those emotions. They can be energizing. Revenge is a strong motivator.
Me and my housemates pretty much just binged watched all 7 seasons of Californication and it was brilliant, my friends however think I am unfortunately am turning in to Runkle.
My question is...Do you have any advice on how to avoid this?
Also what was your favourite scene to shoot on Californiation? Our favourite is the montage of masturbation shots you did in Season 1
Advice on how to avoid turning into Runkle? Well, I always saw Runkle as an example of what could happen when sexuality is stifled, as opposed to Hank's overindulgence. Charlie's seemed, to me, to be how things blast out of a kinked hose (excuse the expression). They tend to splatter out, in a huge, awkward rush. So, maybe less secret behavior, and more openness?
I dunno...maybe a future in Dr. Phil's business for me?
Do you have to wear sunscreen whenever you're outside?
And....we're off! First question up gets first response. Hats! I have had to curate a collection of hats. Which get dirty inside, on the headband, and I don’t know how to clean them.
Tomorrow you are completely free but you have the chance to spend the day with your 12-year-old self from the past. What do you do together?
This is a fascinating question, and difficult, because I don't know whether I'm supposed to indulge the 12 yr old, or show him the wisdom of his older self. Approached either way, we have sex with the lifeguard at the lake down the road. Preferably before my seventeen year old brother does/did.
That squirting scene in Californication is burned into my frontal lobe. What was filming it like?
Hysterical, and awkward. It was my first, and only, MMF threesome, either fictional, or actual. The first takes, the squirting mechanism (the mechanical one) kept spraying Pamela and Natascha, as they opened the door. Extra creepy fun for them.
I've been a fan of yours for a long time, loved you in Sex and the City and Californication and being a fellow cancer survivor I love your books, when do you plan to have another one out? If so I would love to see you have a book signing here in OKC so I can finally meet you. :)
I've begun work on a new book proposal. Which is, essentially, like a job application. About trying to get to know Italy, where I became a citizen three years ago, even though I have little reason (other than marriage) to consider myself a citizen.
First, I just want to thank you for your books. While Time on Fire was a really hard read because of the things you were going through, It's Only Temporary really helped me when I was diagnosed with U.C. - although that's nothing compared to what you went through.
Do you plan on writing any more?
Do you have anything else coming up acting wise?
What was the most memorable scene you filmed on Californication?
Do you and David still hang out?
That's a lot of questions!
I'm working on a new book proposal (see above).
I see David sometimes. Not often.
I loved David and my long night out in Venice episode (with the store hold up, and the tramp stamp)
I was a little shocked, then pleasantly surprised, that our darling Harry Goldenblatt had taken a turn for the risque as Charlie Runkle. Did your role on Californication pose any big challenges for you as an actor or did you feel like you actually got to be more like yourself as opposed to playing a sweeter character on SATC?
Huge challenges. How to be funny, when you feel ridiculous and humiliated. How to separate yourself, from the awkwardness of the character. But it was a blast, and I feel/felt very proud of how I pushed through inhibitions to create a character that still makes me laugh.
If you weren't an actor, what else do you think you would have done as a career? And you can't say Broadway star or author, because you do those things too!
You tellin' me what I can and what I can't say? I did used to say, "If I couldn't be an actor, I'd be a writer," and I said it long before I'd written anything. So, it was interesting that I had some notion that I'd be able to pick that up. Other than that, I'm really not sure in which direction I might have gone. You know, as a kid I wanted to be an athlete, but that wasn't realistic in the least. I was always interested in the sciences. I married a scientist. She's an artistic scientist, and I'm a scientific artist.
Ha! Loved you in Californication. You and DD had such great on screen chemistry, whether you were kissing or not. ;-)
You should have seen what was going on out of frame.
What made you decide to jump into the undertaking that is writing a book? How different was the process the first time versus the second time around?
I wrote the story that became Time On Fire specifically because I'd never seen the illness journey that I took described the way I experienced it. I felt I had an urgent story to tell, that couldn't be mine alone, but that no one was telling.
It's Only Temporary was a bit more difficult, as anything less urgent than survival itself will tend to feel like a less urgent story. But the motivation was similar. I'd never seen someone write about the cost of survival. The feeling of loss that can accompany the apparent victory, and staving off of the largest loss. I thought they were important things to write about, and make available to others.
What's up, muthafuckkkkkaaaaaaaaa?
Can you rephrase the question?
What was your favorite scene to shoot in Sex and the City?
None of your business! Next question...
(That was a joke. She's a moderator, who's teaching me.)
But really though - what was it? :)
Favorite? I'm not sure I have a favorite. I tell me nine year old daughter that I don't do favorites. I was extremely self conscious during the whole Harry Naked episode. I couldn't believe it when I read the script...Harry, naked...over and over. And singing! But it was a real test (and preparation for roles to come), and lesson, in overcoming inhibition.
What was it like working with OJ Simpson? I didn't realize you had worked with him so close to the time of the murders/arrest, which to be honest, is a little cool (and also creepy...).
OJ was the most famous guy I’d ever been around, to that point in my life. When we flew to Puerto Rico, we were told to follow him into a special room at the airport. It was the 1st class lounge, which I’d never known existed before. I thought, “Wow. They have a whole secret airport for OJ Simpson.”
He was very friendly (to me)…hugely popular…very large…very jockish. And, you know, a wife beater, and (future) murderer.
Evan, what was your experience on SATC? to go through that phenomenon when it was happening, the movies? It must have been one hell of a roller coaster ride.
It definitely was…I met and married my own non American, non Jewish, non Show biz, non English as a first language wife during that time. Our first date, we could hardly get to the theater we were going to in Times Square because so many people were swarming me. Women yelling, “Harry, I love you!” This had never happened to me before. I wanted to ask the woman that I already knew I wanted to marry, “Could we part ways, and pick this up again in six months or so?”
I really enjoy your facebook posts. Huge fan of your work. You are stellar in every role. As Harry Goldenblatt you were such an inspiration and unlikely sex symbol. Four years ago I was lucky enough to find my own real life Harry Goldenblatt. I've recently began suggesting that he take style tips from you, because you are quite the sharp dresser. Have you always been a nice dresser or does someone put your look together for you? You have such a European flair. Does that come from your wife? ~Teri/Beatloaf
So, whattaya mean, “Unlikely” sex symbol?
I’ve always liked snappy clothes. But, I’m also lazy about getting dressed, much less ironing, etc. I can be glimpsed in rags around town. But, the enjoyment for clothes, and some degree of taste was mine. Then, access to Italy, and the rest of Europe (and a few shekels), certainly helped in terms of exposure to nicely styled stuff.
Your wife is Italian. Does she happen to support a football club in Italy?
Ha. No. She cares nothing about it. She is fascinated by how Americans sing the national anthem before sporting events, and say "God Bless America" at the end of political speeches. It seems insanely fascistic and theocratic to her (and Italy is actually a Christian nation).
Charlie Runkle is one of my favorite characters ever, so thank you for your work! I have two questions:
Did you enjoy working with Stephen Tobolowsky? he tells such great stories on podcasts, I imagine he must be a fun person to work with.
What would your tramp stamp say?
Stephen is truly a legend, and a wonderful, kind, thoughtful man. As to my own trampstamp, I've never thought about it before. But, maybe one of those "wide turn" illustrations that trucks have on the back?
has making the show changed your views on the oj story?
Well, it has immersed me a bit more in the examination of why he was acquitted...what forces came into play. And, from the defense attorney's point of view (Dershowitz, anyway), why he believes even guilty people must go free if certain rights are trampled upon, or procedures not followed.
Loved you as Runkle.
Also your part on that Miami Vice episode with the fro!
My question, as a bald guy myself, what do you do to keep a clean-shaved look?
I shave my head. It gives the most clean-shaved look I know.
Hi mr. Handler (That sounds a bit dirty). How do you mentally prepare yourself to play some of the more risqué scene, such as the assgasm on the plane-scene from Californication?
Well, I'd had several years of preparation in prior seasons for that one. But, really...the risque nature of Californication was an acting challenge. I remember one night, about two a.m., when I was alone with the crew (about fifteen mostly guys...?), having to do the first Runkle office masturbation montage. It was just, here we go...I need to be funny, no matter how uncomfortable I might feel. Find a way to block out inhibition, and do your thing (so to speak).
Do you hate Jägermeister as much as Runkle?
Also what was your favourite scene to shoot with Duchovny?
And what was Duchovny like as a director?
No Jager for me, thanks. I loved a lot of Californication. David as a director was always extremely low key, and in command. And, I would say, fertile with ideas. He's an actor, so he'd have a lot of suggestions for behavior.
In your opinion which is better, Godfather 1 or Godfather 2?
As long as I don't have to ever watch #3 again, I'm good.
I think #2 has some deeper psychological, relationship dynamics, but also some greater flaws. The story is harder to follow, and I'm not a big Lee Strasberg as an actor fan.
Just a quicky (you're used to quick ones, right?😂), if there was one thing you would have been able to change about Runkle's character in Californication, what would it have been? Also, what was your favourite memory of working with David?
David and I laughed a lot (a lot a lot). There was a dorm room scene, where he blows a shotgun, smoking a joint, that was just so silly we both collapsed laughing.
What would I change? I don't know. Tom Kapinos beats me on the wisdom of storytelling score in every way. I did make jokes. A character once asked Hank, about Charlie, "Is he retarded?" And I would always answer, "Only since season three."
Hi Evan! I loved your performance in the califiornication you and David's,my question is how was it working with David and the crew from Cali,what was your experience there?Did you evolve from that roll and if you did how did you do it?
It was the most pleasant atmosphere of any I've worked in. So, I was glad that the longest lasting was also the most fun.
Who's your most memorable on-screen kiss?
This is a trap question, if not a trick question. The easy answer would be to say D. Duchovny.
Is there anything that you appreciate about NYC now that you didn't when you were younger, and do you miss the ferry?
I do not miss the ferry. I don't know if it's coincidental, but I wrote a story about the ferry in the book "It's Only Temporary" that makes it less than appealing.
I miss a lot about NY now that I don't live there. I have a spectacular time whenever I'm back, and really feel like I come alive in that city.
Ugh I'm going through all of those emotions now with an illness much less serious than leukemia, but one that's causing me emotional, mental, and physical pain. I've also focused my anger into dealing with certain underwhelming/underperforming medical professionals and advocating for my own care!
You ought to take a read. Each of the books addresses a lot of those issues, from different time periods, and perspectives.
What do you feel about surviving leukemia?
This is a very vaguely worded question. I'm happy to be alive. There was a high cost to the journey. I've written two books about it, because it's not easy to summarize such large events in brief messages. Why? What would you imagine someone might feel?
I'm imagining Marvin the Paranoid Android's response to that question. R.I.P. Alan Rickman, R.I.P. Douglas Adams.
Alan I knew. He was a good man, and a good friend. I didn't know he was ill. It's very sad.
In real life, did you ever make it to 100?
I stopped counting long ago. I do not know.
In Simpson's criminal trial, the prosecution claimed that during the filming of Frogmen, OJ might have received some combat training with a knife from some Navy Seal vets who were employed as on-set advisers, though this was never proven. Did you by chance witness this happening?
Not really. I heard about it, like anyone else. You can read a pretty good summary of some of that info here:
I'm sorry for the loss of your friend. I can only imagine your pain. Just as a fan, his death hit me hard. I'm not ashamed to admit I cried.
He was a closer friend to other friends of mine. But he was also kind to me.
Do you and David Duchovny still keep in touch?
Yes. We don't see each other often, though I did go to his Hollywood Walk of Fame dedication last month.
Hi Evan! Thanks for doing this.
What is something that still weird's you out about showbiz?
A lot of things. I think one of the most frustrating, to me, is the lack of transparency. You know, the discussions that happen prior to being granted a meeting, or audition. The negotiation process. It's all outside your view. In other businesses, people submit their own applications, and negotiate their own terms with their bosses. Actors are kept away from those things, for some good reason, but I'm not sure it's always for the best.