Weeds star Justin Kirk appeared with a smirky grin as he slowly opened the door to invite me and photog Nina Brav into his Hollywood Hills home. First off: Even cuter in person. Second: Not too skinny, which I’d incorrectly assumed. Immediately and without request he launched into an enthused grand tour, as if we were from Architectural Digest not Gold Label Goods. Personable, sweet, quick-witted, Justin has a way of making you feel totally at home while keeping you a lil’ on edge; playing coy while playing entertainer. In the end, the package deal churned him into the veritable host.
Our tour began in the retro-modern kitchen with space-cow bar stools and artsy tiled walls; the comfortable living room/dining room/lounge (cozy seating with lots of left-over room to wrestle); the outside patio that would keep any acrophobic girl from dating him (he lives on stilts perched over a cliff for cryin’ out loud). Next the bachelor master bedroom was?bachelor-y, the master bath divine, and finally a second bedroom that smelled like the white socks and sneakers on the floor. Everything organized and neat ? he’s a Gemini not a Virgo! As a matter of fact, everything was clean and sparse to the point of making me wonder if he stayed there much, or lived there long; but he’s lived there six years, continually remodeling from the ground up. The small guest bath had photo/art of a girl peeing on herself, that said something to the effect of “Cool girls pee on themselves.” It was a piece by and starring his ex-girlfriend, of whom he mentioned a few times ? not sure if it was because he missed her or because she had decorated herself quite nicely into every nook and cranny of the house.
He offered us drinks, alcohol or water, and since it was the afternoon on one of those dreadfully scorching hot summer days in LA, we partook in the later. Once rehydrated I checked out the fridge to see if something might go with his Kettle One but besides random condiments and Starbucks coffee drinks?let’s just say he probably eats out more often than not.
He took the KISS-with-no-make-up LP off the turntable ? which he admitted was a horrible album that he liked to play every once in a while. I strolled through his selection (you guys remember records, right?), a mix of power pop/punk mostly circa late ’70s to early ’90s and had him pick one out ? a Husker Du 12″, nice choice.
We are under strict orders not to reveal to the droves (how many are in a drove?) of pot-lovin’ fans whether or not Justin and crew partake in da herb. The Marijuana Mafia ?with Jenji Kohen as their leader? are actually behind the show getting on Showtime and are seriously bully about censoring such top-secret information and guarding the actors (until they off ’em). He did mention that smoking the herbal “weed” they partake in on the show “makes a nice sensorial memory” ? mmm hmm. We can add that there was a bong in Justin’s house; an award from High Times magazine. What we can not tell you is if there was any particular ganja aroma coming out of said trophy. We do know Justin, at least on the clock, is a crackerjack at memorizing his lines, so pot might not be conducive to his craft. Still, who knows what this guy is up to on his off-time.
The whole premise of our coming over was to shoot him with the black velvet painting of his character as a kinder, gentler “coyote” (smuggling Mexicans across the border); idolized by his clients who called him “El Andy”. That was another money-making scheme gone awry on last season on Weeds, but to this day fans of the show are hard-pressed not to refer to him as El Andy. Even a Google search that brings up possible options for Justin Kirk has one that says “Justin Kirk El Andy.”
I was actually complemented that he remembered Ben Is Dead Magazine and our I Hate Brenda Newsletter but was taken aback when he said it made him a little nervous about my coming over. Huh? I’m a kitten, really. But it might explain why he preferred to do the interview over email. We were here for the photoshoot and he was a friggin’ supermodel. When Nina tried to direct he quickly assured her something to the effect of, “I’m going; take what you can get”, as he paused between his poses which he maneuvered through like the professional he is. Considering his resumé includes a serious collection of nude scenes (from Weeds exploits to a sort of side-frontal in Angels in America), he was surprisingly shy when we asked him to take off his clothes. “Why, you do it all the time,” I inconsiderately egged him on. “They pay me.” Still, once the concept was presented we couldn’t relent (we were thinking of you, dear readers) and El Andy got naked with?El Andy. Ahhh, te quiero, El Andy?.
Interview by Darby
Where do you get your inspiration behind playing the character Andy?
The scripts. It’s all in there for me…
In what ways are you similar?
Same color hair.
Are you, like Andy, ready to sow your seed?
I get confused about sowing of seed and sowing of oats; can’t keep them straight.
You’ve had some of the most amazing love/sex interests: The crazy girl Zooey Deschanel, the hard-core Israeli Meital Dohan, baby doc Alanis Morissette, Mary Louise Parker and her “sis” Jennifer Jason Leigh… When you first signed up for the show, did you ever imagine Andy would get so lucky?
This is a topic for which i just bow my head and smile shyly.
Which of these characters…actresses… do you think Andy is most compatible with? Who is Justin Kirk most compatible with? (Did Justin start fallin’ for any of them?)
How was it doing Jennifer Jason Leigh?
Ahem. Working with JJL was a dream come true and she politely endured my Fast Times references.
Think you initially mentioned some hesitation about the writers making Nancy Andy’s luv interest – how do you feel about it now?
I like where it lives now and hope we get to do some more.
Are there moments when Andy is yearning for Nancy that you find yourself curious for some Mary-Louise Parker?
My favorite part of that question is the word CURIOUS.
Your character has had so many weird sexual encounters, tell us one (cummon just one) from Justin Kirk’s life.
I once blew a whole room of producers to get a part on a hit premium cable comedy.
Are you comfortable with all the scenes you do on Weeds? or have there been a few that have irked you… challenged you… changed you even?
I am comforted, challenged and changed every day at Weeds. rarely irked.
Have you ever gone to work on the show intoxicated in any way (and how did that work out?) (Don’t worry, we won’t tell anyone.)
Never. We are very serious about our responsibility to bring you top-level televised entertainment on Weeds. I find it satisfactory to be intoxicated every waking moment AFTER work.
Do u have a favorite Andy quote?
“Nobody puts baby in the coroner”. Wait…was that Andy?
What do you think of Nancy this season? There are times she gets lil? bit victimized that seems to be hard on some of the female fans (okay, my sister and her friends). Is there big retribution coming in the end?
Hmm, I’m not sure. I think it’s fair to say that bad things don’t always get punished. There’s a little bit of Telenovela in us this year, which I like a lot. I just try to ride it like a water slide.
Is there a fun kind of racism that exists for Jewish boys growing up on Indian Reservations? What are some of the unknown Jewish/Native American cultural similarities?
I’m not sure I knew I was Jewish when I went to school on the res. This would probably be a good place for a joke about headdresses with payis or “I can get those beads for you wholesale!”.
What shows on TV do you like to watch? Or are you too busy?
I try not to miss DAILY SHOW and COLBERT. I’m digging this new show HUNG ? some great acting on that.
Do you have upcoming movies you?re working on?
A few things in the can that I hope are out soon (see IMDb) and I’m about to go do a play in New York. Come see it!
Do you write?
Mostly responses to awesome questions from fans on blogs.
What makes up an enjoyable “day off” for Mr. Kirk?
Getting called in to work.
Has El Andy stayed in touch with some of the people he helped across the border? Do fans still refer to you as El Andy? (I mean, we all do but…)
My charges are always with me. They say my name on the wind and…
Do you guys have any room for ad lib?
I suppose but it’s always more fun for me to try and make a perfectly crafted scene on paper SEEM spontaneous but hit every “the”, “and” or “but”.
Has a girl ever said that to you, in other words?. “You’re a frozen Margarita Justin, and I’m a doctor.”
Is it true what they say about men with two first names?
Yr goddamn right it is.
So, (c from your email) you’re Mac not PC?
Let me touch your dog…how?z the University of Andy going???!
Good news for all U of A fans: We’re gonna do round 2!!
Okay, that’s it.
Thanks everybody! I feel very lucky to be Andy and we’ll try to keep it comin’ proper…
If you’re living East coast you’d be amiss to miss Justin as the lead in Theresa Rebeck’s play The Understudy (“The Understudy takes place behind the scenes during the Broadway run of a long lost Kafka play?”) co-staring Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Julie White. Starts October 2009; Off-Broadway. Otherwise, if you haven’t seen the HBO mini-series Angels in America (with the likes of Mary-Louise Parker, Al Pacino and Meryl Streep), in which Mr. Kirk received an Emmy nomination, check it out on YouTube.
Of course, don’t forget to check out the mean selection of Weeds merchandise (including t-shirts, hoodies, totes and more) at Gold Label Goods, official licensee for the best Weeds designs. Coming soon: El Andy on black velvet!