Topher Grace on Playing David Duke in BlacKkKlansman

Topher Grace on Playing David Duke in BlacKkKlansman


-It is so lovely to see you.
-What happened, Seth? -I know. Well, we have known
each other for a very long time. -We were hanging out
in our 20s together. -We were.
-And now I look up, and you’re on the cover
of “Time” magazine. It’s like — What happened?
-Yeah, a lot happened. Because we were in our 20s. We weren’t doing much
that you would have thought would be on any magazine.
-No, I was positive you would never be on the
cover of “Time” magazine. -It was like some
police-blotter [bleep], I would say, more than anything.
-Yeah, there was some stuff. -But you —
You hosted “SNL” in 2005. That’s when we got to know
each other. You had a place. You had a really nice apartment
in New York. -Yes, I decided
to move to New York ’cause I had such a great week
hosting “SNL” and I shot a movie here. And then I had —
This is the greatest thing ever. You move to New York.
I invited Seth over. And he said, “Hey,
can I bring some friends?” And it was like
half the cast of “SNL.” -Yeah, when anybody with a nice
apartment invited us over, we had to bring
everybody we knew. -I just couldn’t get —
My first night in New York, and it’s, like, Amy Poehler
is doing impressions. I had, like, a karaoke machine. Horatio Sanz is doing, like,
his Elton John impression. -He was scream-singing
Elton John. -That was like, you know,
“Welcome to New York. This is the dream.” And then like a month or two
later, I saw you at a party, and I was with, like,
a platonic girlfriend of mine. She said, “Oh, my God.
I have the biggest
crush on Seth Meyers.” I’m like, “I know him. I hosted
‘SNL.’ I know this guy.” So we went over
to say hi to you, and you were really nice to her,
and then you said, “By the way, Topher, you were,
like, the greatest host ever.” I was like, “Oh, well,
I mean, maybe for the season, but not for, like, the whole —
Not ever.” And you go, “Oh, my God. No, I
meant at your house that time. [ Laughter ] You were actually not
that good a host at ‘SNL.'” [ Applause ] -I value one so much higher
than the other. By the way, man,
congratulations on this movie. -Thank you.
-It’s fantastic. The reviews are wonderful.
And you had not an easy task. And for those
who haven’t seen this film, there is a strange lightness
to this story. I mean, it’s really told
in a really unique way. But you have to play this, you know, horrifying person,
David Duke. -Yeah.
-And there are times which I would imagine
it’s intimidating enough working with a director
like Spike Lee, but he would give you notes
on how to perform David Duke. -Yeah, just taking the role
and the research I had to do — I mean, I’ve done research
on roles before, but this was, like,
the worst research imaginable. So it was, like, a terrible
month, and then I showed up, and we did all
the Klan rally stuff first. And this is why you
have to work with a great
director like Spike Lee. So, you know,
he kind of takes care of you and makes you feel better,
but every once in a while, he — You know this —
In comedy films, he’ll kind of run in and give you something
to improv at the end. Like, at the end of the scene
or if they have an idea, they’ll kind of whisper
something in your ear and say, “Try throwing that in,”
so none of the actors will know about it, none of the crew
or anything. And on this film, Spike
would run in and say in my ear, like, the most racist thing
I’d ever heard. And I’d go, “Hey, man, like,
no need to whisper it to me. Like, I don’t want the credit
when I say it.” [ Laughter ] The whole crew is like, “Uh,
did Topher come up with that?” So I made him announce it. I was like, “I’ll repeat what
you said to the entire crew.” -And then you —
I know you watched — you listened to early radio
of David Duke, you watched old video. -When I got the call —
Spike Lee called me himself. He said, “You’re my guy.”
It’s great day in your career. I could tell it was just
going to be a great movie. And then I realize, “Oh,
this is going to be
worst month of my life.” I read his autobiography,
which is called “My Awakening.” It’s kind of like
his “Mein Kampf.” It’s, like, horrible. And I watched
old filmed interviews. And there were actually some —
In the early ’80s, he did some episodes
of “Donahue.” -Oh, wow.
-And that was where I really drilled down
on what made him so evil. It was a studio audience like
this, and they all hated him. You know, he was the Grand
Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. So they’re all booing at him. And by the end of — It wasn’t that
he flipped the crowd, but by the end of the show, they had a different
attitude towards him. I thought, “Oh, this guy is
truly evil in a really…” -And he has a charisma
about him. You know, that’s a thing that…
-Yes. -…is the scariest in the hands
of the truly evil, is people are charismatic. But how do you even get your
hands on the David Duke book? -Well — [ Laughs ]
That was, like, terrible. First, I went to Barnes & Noble. I wasn’t even thinking.
I was like… [ Laughter ] “Hey, I need ‘My Awakening’
by David Duke.” And they’re like,
“Sorry. We don’t carry that.” And then I went on Amazon, and, you know,
they ask you a couple times, like, “Did you mean
to order this thing?” And then since then,
I’ve been getting, like, the weirdest
recommendations. -[ Laughs ] Yeah. You were also in a fantastic
Netflix film earlier this year, “War Machine” —
Or I guess last year now. But you got to
work with Brad Pitt. -Yeah, I’m so excited. ‘Cause there is a little bit of
a buzz around “BlacKkKlansman.” And I made a deal
with Brad on the set. By the way, Brad didn’t
want to hang out with me, I’m sure, as much as he had to. But it all took place in the
desert, so it was like… -Yeah. -…”Sorry, man.
Just you and me.” We’d be in
a Black Hawk helicopter for, like, you know,
the whole day. So, anyway,
after a long period of time, I got the courage to ask him
what I wanted, which was at
an Academy Award thing — We don’t go to the same parties,
me and Brad. But I was like, “If I get into
an Academy Award-type movie, I want to be at that
“Vanity Fair” after-party, and I want you to come up to me when I’m talking
to someone important.” He promised me he’d do this. And be like,
“Topher, good to see you.” And I want to be like,
“Brad, not now.” [ Laughter ]
-This is your opportunity. I think “BlacKkKlansman”
is going to be it.

100 Comments on "Topher Grace on Playing David Duke in BlacKkKlansman"


  1. I like him, he seems like a genuinely cool and down to earth dude. He had the same quirkiness you see in Eric Foreman.

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  2. Unbeliebable! and so wrong on soooo many levels. I watched the David Duke interviews. The man is not as evil as topher grace makes him out to be!

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  3. Topher: A well-respected actor who's played countless great and serious roles
    Me: iS that Eric Forman?

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  4. now go and watch David Duke and see what his acting job was like…see what is so horrifying about what Duke says

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  5. I like the idea that Topher actually asked Brad Pitt to do that while on set of one of the Oceans movies.

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  6. Is it me or that the older her gets he may not age much but does resemble Kurtwood Smith (Red) more and more? Now THATS great casting

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  7. He’s so drained talking about his role it makes me feel sad !!! Loved the movie I hope he thinks it was worth it!!

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  8. Just like Hollywood, the daily show , and last week tonight this movie is gaaayyyyyyyy. Eat sheet Hollywood

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  9. OK not find something formal. You don't need to be leading but you need to be serious. even an independent film. But you need to show your candor when serious moments come up. Subtlety and with gesture. You want to be taken serious. I'm just going to say it he should play Truman, President Truman. The good and the bad. His legacy and his fallacy. Eisenhower would be the next president. I think you should try that kind of movie

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  10. Holy crap, how did I not realize that was him!? I loved him on that 70s show! He completely disappeared into that role.

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  11. Topher is most likely lying because after you hear the "left" and "right" tell you not to listen to all these scary White supremacists, White Nationalists, Nazis, kkkers Pro Europeans, Racial Nationalists etc and you do , you realize the content is normal , natural and healthy for humans to think on this natural level. Good / Evil ( morals) is not superior to nature but it can improve a society. These groups along with other honest racial or religions groups is the only type of content I want to listen to because they are HONEST. This garbage on tv, the radio and most of the internet is all CENSORED and a FAKE REALITY. Wake up all people and respect the real people out there.

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  12. That last part how Topher tells Brad to come up to him is the same idea that Don Rickel's told Frank Sinatra to do at a restaurant. That is so classic. If you don't know it watch Don's standup/interviews.

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  13. That bit at the end, where he wants to brush off Brad Pitt…that's actually an old Don Rickles trick he pulled on Frank Sinatra, to try and impress a girl Don was seeing. Whilst at dinner, Frank would approach, & Don would say "Not now Frank, cant you see I'm eating here!?"

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  14. Brilliant actor!!! From playing Eric Forman to playing one of the most appalling human beings on earth.

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  15. I just thought of something, Topher Grace is a big Star Wars fan, and he was doing a movie with one of the stars Adam Driver!

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  16. People of middle Eastern descent play as terrorists all the time, but for some reason this guy is a hero for playing a white villain but oh no, he's the one recognized for it.

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  17. I was surprised to learn that Duke, a white supremacist leader, didn’t actually hate black people

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  18. Topher possesses the most elusive and weighty type of comedic presence. He's a gravity well. His ability to space out his words and remain at a crawl for long periods of crowd silence is almost haunting, and that is his draw. We are so conditioned to the frenetic comedic stylings of talkshow programming that a small anxiety begins to chew on us during those quiet moments. Just when the silence is about to feel uncomfortable, Topher delivers his line. A simple line, yes, but one that is beautiful and refreshing in its truth. The laughter washes away with a small boon of relief, the kind of release you feel when you finally find your car keys in your jacket pocket and think how silly your whole morning has been. He's not there to bring the house down with riotous laughter; he's there to open the gate to the back yard, where stories are being told around the fire and laughing comes about when it needs to, not because it has to. This is the kind of gravitational comedic presence that can snag the attention of the most broken hearted, calloused, and distracted among us. But it's not pulling us into the darkness, it's just letting us sit closer to the fire.

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  19. That prank Topher asked Brad to do, was invented by Don Rickles, he did it to Frank Sinatra😎

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  20. Well, actors do what the Jew-driven Hollywood tells them to do. Otherwise they could suddenly be between jobs.
    But, maybe, if you are not a Jewish supremacist actor yourself, Mr. Grace – you could say thanks, but no. I think this script is distorting the true content of the book and the true character of the main figure into a severe and unpleasant forgery.

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  21. I couldn’t take him seriously on that movie 😂 he’s always gonna be Eric Forman to me

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  22. This is not the man who played Eddie Brock in spider man 3

    He looks so different now

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  23. Two members of the tribe pretending to be guilty whites, nothing to see here move on folks.

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  24. Happy Birthday Topher Grace… May The Peace Be With U. From Harlingen Texas. July 12, 1978
    July 12, 2019 – July 12, 3019 🎂🍰🍰🎂🍰🎂🎂🎂🎂

    Reply

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