Five Questions: Jeff Goldblum

You know you’ve made it in life when you get introduced to Jeff Goldblum and the first thing he says is, “Oh, NYLON! That’s a cool magazine.” To be honest, I considered just walking out of my interview with Goldblum about his new film The Grand Budabest Hotel right then and there, because how could it get any better than that?! But it did, guys. It got so much better. Turns out Jeff Goldblum IRL is just as awesome as the dude you know and love from Jurassic Park, Independence Day, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, and Portlandia–every bit as offbeat as the characters he plays with the panache of a true iconoclast.

After chatting with Goldblum about his role in Wes Anderson’s latest flick, which he describes as a “landmark-inspiring war cry for a new and larger generation of heroes and lovers,” I asked him some fun questions about his piano playing, Breaking Bad addiction, and where you can find him on Wednesday nights. Trust me, you’re going to want to take notes on this because Jeff Goldblum is awesome.

What was the first album you ever bought?
When I went to New York at 17, and I had a record player of my own, I’ll bet I bought Crosby, Stills and Nash. And then I might have bought Weather Report, you know, the early fusion band? Those things come to mind. I think I remember that in my New York apartment, I was playing those things.

Where was your first apartment in New York?
My first apartment in New York was on Sutton Place! 57th between 1st and 2nd because my parents set me up there. It was a little place, it cost like, $250 a month. It was a little small place, but on that block, that was near the Neighborhood Playhouse on 54th between 2nd and 3rd. So I could walk there and go to my Sanford Meisner acting classes at the Neighborhood Playhouse. And then the next one I got–a fell into a job, Two Gents, a musical–and went down to the West Village, so then my second apartment was on Morton Street between Bleecker and Seventh. Well, I was between Bleecker and Seventh and would walk to the subway at the Waverly Theater there, I love that part of Bleecker. Love that. And then I went and got another apartment on St Luke’s place, Leroy St and Seventh avenue, just a couple blocks south of that.

What’s your favorite TV show to watch?
Well, you know, I just finished Breaking Bad. Up to that last episode, I was thrilled by every episode of Breaking Bad. Now, after that…. I watch Colbert, which I’m going to be on Thursday. I’ve done three appearances, where I’ve done skits. This time, I’m going to be a guest! They’re funny, they write good stuff.

If you weren’t this amazing actor, what would you want to do?
Well, I play the piano. So if you find yourself in Los Angeles- do you, ever?

Sometimes. Every now and then.
Well, currently, if I’m not working, it seems these days, and next month for instance, I’ll be–every week, Wednesday nights–at this place called Rockwell, in Los Feliz from 9 PM to midnight. I like to play the piano with these other musicians. Whenever I’m not working, they’ll have us. My parents gave us piano lessons, all us kids, and it kind of stuck with me. Especially when I started to play jazz a little bit. In my adult life, I’ve always had pianos, and kept playing.

If you could work with anyone who you haven’t worked with yet, who would you want to work with?
Oh, that’s a good question. I love the Coen brothers, I love Paul Thomas Anderson. Last year, I loved The Master. I liked There Will Be Blood, very much. And I also like this movie from last year, The Great Beauty. And I was thrilled to be in Le Week-End this year.

– STEFF YOTKA