For part one of our exclusive interview with Brian Austin Green, click here.
In Part 2 we talk music, life in Malibu, and a possible “90210” reboot!
Katie: So do you have a favourite band or musician?
Brian: That’s a tough one, my favourite band. One of my favourite bands I think of all the time — well, I have a bunch. The Beatles, The Stones, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Nirvana is one. I’ve listen to a lot of music. I grew up really loving Steve Miller and the Eagles, The Doobie Brothers, that’s my era, that was my time. My dad had a van that was a conversion van sort of, but it was like wood panelling inside and there were actual speakers. My grandparents lived in Vegas so we used to drive to Vegas like once a month and my dad is – I love my dad – but he drives like at the speed limit or below so it took like 6 hours to drive to Vegas, but I was in the conversion van listening to cassettes of everything. My dad’s a drummer so he played with Glen Campbell when he was young, he played with Sinatra, he played with a lot of people so I listened to some really good stuff during the 6 hour drive.
Speaking of things I don’t appreciate, I opened for Michael Jackson in Hawaii. I was like “oh, whatever.” A, I was on a stage behind his which was fucking cool, like, I opened for Michael Jackson and B, I saw Michael perform in Hawaii. I was there with my three friends, and the whole thing was paid for and it was awesome. And I didn’t appreciate it at the time, so I was stupid. I was talking to somebody — somebody asked me what concerts are I saw, I saw George Michael, not only did I see Michael Jackson, I opened up for him and they were like, “what?”
Katie: That’s amazing!
Brian: I was like, “yeah, I opened for Michael Jackson.” No one will ever be able to say that now.
Katie: Do you play music now?
Brian: I still play, I still produce. I’ll do it for the rest of my life it’s just part of my DNA, it’s who I am. It’s the one thing that, I was saying before, acting is – and I would tell Ryan – it’s such a small piece of the pie, like, pre-production, post-production and shooting, there’s so many things that’s go into it. Acting is such a small piece, but music is all mine. I sit in the studio and make some thing start to finish. You don’t experience that other than like in other creative pieces like painting or writing or you look at something finished and you go “I’m responsible for this start to finish. This page was blank until I wrote. This track was nothing until I created something.” And there’s something fulfilling about that that you don’t get from… I love my career and I’m fulfilled as an actor, but just as an actor.
It’s more fulfilling as an actor to direct something or to help someone out in a scene and that’s really full feeling, but sitting in the studio and making music – it’s so cool. I think it’s like I grew up in it and I’ve listened to so much music. There’s that part of me that as a kid you feel like I created a person with it also it’s like magic. Other kids are on the TV or other people are making music, but you can’t just make music, you can’t just get on TV, but you can, but you don’t realize that you can and so there’s something that magical about doing that thing. Megan and I talked about it now, being older now and, being 32 now — no, 31, she’s 31 – she is designing clothes with Frederick’s of Hollywood, so she’s doing like lingerie and stuff. They sent a bunch of sample stuff and it had tags with her name, like, “By Megan Fox” and she was like, “as a kid, I wouldn’t have appreciated this but it’s so cool. I have a tag and no matter what, my name is on a tag.” But that’s something at 31 that you don’t appreciate at 21. At 21, you go, “that’s a tag,” you rip it off and throw it away, “yeah, whatever,” but at 31 you’re like, “That’s my fucking name printed on a tag.”
When you see your name it’s like these little things. I’s like Megan now has an understanding of not everyone in life will ever get to design lingerie, but being a tag it’s amazing, it’s so fucking cool. It’s so cool that I get to travel around and talk to you and do all this stuff for a short film. It’s so fucking cool.
Katie: Yeah, that is cool! I’ve seen the billboards for the film around, too.
Brian: I’ve done a million short films. People ask me “What was it like on this one?” It’s like, this has been bigger than most movies – being on a billboard. The magazines, the reporters, people seeing it. We did this Q&A and the screen for Deadline magazine, it’s amazing. You’re sitting on a stage in front of people and you have a microphone and you’re like, “holy shit!”
As an actor, I know you guys, I know your site. It’s like Deadline, Hollywood Reporter, Variety that’s it, that’s like the end I’ll be on. Here I am and you’re listening to me and you care about what I’m saying. It’s crazy.
Katie: That’s true and even me as a writer, the fact that I even get to sit here and interview you is awesome for me. It’s so cool, I get to meet Brian Austin Green and talk to him about his art, music and everything like that – to me that’s cool.
Brian: You sort of have to — I think you just have to appreciate life and the things that are thrown at you. Even if it’s missing a flight, being stuck in an airport you have to appreciate being in the airport, the restaurants… I got spend six hours in a place I wouldn’t normally spend six hours in. If you’re stuck there for six hours, you might have well need the best of it. But as a kid you’re like, “I spend six hours in a fucking airport…”
The weather here is amazing. The people, especially outside of Hollywood…that’s why we moved to Malibu. We live on a private street where we can walk with our kids and everyone waves and smiles and it’s amazing.
Katie: Yeah, that is good.
Brian: Here, it’s like I see all these people, I’ll probably never ever see these people again. In Malibu, everyone knows everyone. Everyone knows your business. I show up at places and paparazzi show up somewhere and people yell at them, “what the fuck is wrong with you, man? Leave me alone.” It’s like they pick fights with guys, it’s crazy. People are so protective of their space and their neighbourhood and people…
For the kids, I put up Halloween decorations and the neighbors were like, “Hey, Halloween decorations!” They’re all supportive and they’re like, “You have the best decorations on the street,” it’s like, “ah, thanks. I don’t know what that means. I bought them all, but thanks. I didn’t bake anything, but thank you.” It’s just neighborhoody and friendly. Santa Monica is the same way.
Katie: Santa Monica is beautiful. Have you got any projects on the go at the moment?
Brian: I’m trying to really be…So, I love acting, but the problem is with that – as if that’s a problem – I will act in literally anything. Friends send me short forms and I’m like, “when do we shoot?” And they’re like, “that’s easy.” I say, “I’ll be there next weekend.” I just act in anything. So now I’m trying to – as per my wife, because she’s smarter than me – I’m trying to really be picky about the things I do and spend time with the kids when can which is impossible. I love spending time with them. I love taking them to school and doing school projects and jumping on trampolines. These times you don’t ever get back. Kids are only kids for so long. I don’t want to turn down something that’s really good, but it may take me away, I may have to travel and I don’t want to travel because I do everything. I’ve made a rule of like I’m not going to travel, I’m only going to do stuff here in town, but the problem is that when you only do stuff here in town it limits what you do, so in being pickier I know that I might travel this day out of the country, who knows, for something that’s really good, but I’ll be picky until then and only pick things that I really love, not things that just give me the opportunity to act which is what I’m used to doing.
I love acting so to me, it’s like my dad always told me if you picked something that you like doing you’ll never work a day in your life, and that’s true. I love acting, but I need to pick and choose the things that I do to really have a career. I guess Michael Caine is one of the people that I look up to the most and he went through a period where he was like “I had so little money as a kid, so I might as well.” So he did everything, and he got really lucky because people didn’t judge him for what he did, but he literally did everything and I did everything. I’ll have a long career and just do things that I should do which is fine, I’m learning, it’s a learning experience for me because I find the positives in every. I can read something and go, “okay, well, the script sucks but it will be fun to do this,” then I was like “no, make sure you love the whole thing” so it’s hard.
I think since I’m getting older, you know, when I was younger I was a bit pessimistic and now I’m more optimistic about life and about experiences and people. Megan is much more pessimistic about people; you have to be careful of this person or that person; I’m much more like everyone is a friend until they’ve proven me wrong, which is a blessing and a curse at the same time. I had a lot of people take advantage of me because of that, and again, my wife is smarter than me, but I’m really at a place where I easily admit now when my wife is smarter. You go through that stage when you’re younger of like you want to compete for everything, you want to win, you want to be smarter than everyone; it’s like, it’s not possible. Now, I’m in a place like I want to learn from everyone, I want to learn from everyone I meet and their experiences and who they are, I want to really listen and take things in, but you have to slow down to really listen.
But you have to listen, you have to not just hear people, you have to really listen to who people are and what made them who they are and what their experiences are. You might not like everything, you might feel like I already know what so and so is going to say, but until you really listen, you learn from everyone. Even people that you feel like “I have nothing to learn from you,” you have something to learn from everyone.
Katie: So with “Chasing Titles” are you still just doing promotional trail for that?
Brian: Yeah, Ryan was like, “You’re nominated for this best actor in the Milan film festival,” and I sent him a text and I was like, “We’re really going to go to Milan? He was like, “Yeah, I’ve never been.” I was like, “All right, going to Milan for a show.” I’m trying to enjoy all of this. If this is the thing that takes me there and accomplishes that, then awesome. I’m doing these random interviews and the screenings and Q& A’s and it’s like, “All right, I’ll do it.”
I did this before I didn’t really experience it so no at 44 I’m really… I know 44 is not old but it feels old especially with 4 kids, but I’m just trying to pay attention to the things that are supposed to be on that bucket list and it’s like traveling to Milan should be one of them – it’s amazing, beautiful. I’ve been to Milan. I went to Milan with Megan for Fashion Week in Milan. We were at the Giorgio Armani event and I was there with George Clooney, it was amazing. I didn’t totally take in everything. I can’t wait to go back and take in, like, little things, like, really small experiences. I can’t wait.
Katie: What sort of TV shows do you watch? Do you get the chance to?
Brian: Boring answer, I don’t really watch TV. Megan watches — she records “Bill Maher” and “The Daily Show” and I watch “CNN” in the morning and the night because I’m up at like 5 with the baby, so that’s the only news I get. That’s like the only stuff, and the “CNN” international, not “CNN” just in the States. So I try and watch International so I know other things that are going on, because otherwise — we’re so stupid in this country, I don’t say it out loud because I don’t want to offend people, but people forget that there are other countries in this world and there’s other shit going on: there’s other elections, there’s other news. But in this country, they watch everything is local, everything is like “CNN” – “CNN” local, “CNN” to LA or New York, Washington. It’s like, there’s more than just Trump.
Katie: It’s really a digital world, as well. Lots of news we will get on our phones.
Brian: I’m on my phone like answering ever text and email ever picture in every email immediately, it’s like, you don’t have to answer right away and people expect you to because you can, but if you tell people “My phone stays home. If you really need to reach me you can call me, otherwise, I’ll text you or email you when I can,” but people don’t really work that way, people don’t expect that, they expect immediate responses from text messages or emails. I want to have an actual camera so I got a little compact camera and I want to make calls. I don’t talk on the phone a lot, I text message, I email, nobody calls me. I see my phone ring I’m like “oh shit, the phone’s ringing.”
People ask me like what’s Megan’s phone number that I’m like, “I don’t know, it’s in my phone,” so don’t lose your phone you lose everything, every contact, everything. I don’t know anyone’s number, I know my mom and dad’s. It’s the same house phone I guess from when I was a kid. I don’t know anything else, it’s crazy. I
Katie: So would you ever do a “90210” reboot?
Brian: I totally would if the script was interesting, if it was really well thought out. I don’t want to do one just to do it. I don’t wanna do another show if everyone is just doing it for no reason… give me a real good reason why these characters reunite that makes sense, I’d totally do it. I’d love to see everyone and hook up for the fans especially. I feel like if you make something that’s really fun to watch, then there’s a reason for it; if it’s not fun to watch, fuck it, don’t do it.
Katie: I think a lot of fans fall victim to that – rebooting it for the sake of it.
Brian: Reboot to reboot.
Katie: To me that means the networks have run out of ideas.
Brian: That’s true. I mean, we did 10 years of our show so if you haven’t gotten enough in 10 years….some of it was all right, some of it was poor, but enough. We did 10 years we did that.
Katie: That’s a long time.
Brian: That’s a long time. Nothing lasts for 10 years anymore, especially now. 10 years is a long time. I mean, 10 years there was Fox and CBS and NBC and ABC; that was it. But now it’s like everything is on Netflix or Hulu or Crackle, there’s all these — especially with like satellite and cable there so many shows. Renewal season is like 130 shows in a year. Renewal season when I was a kid – there were five shows canceled. There were like 12 kid actors; we all knew each other. It was me and Seth Green and Leo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, we would all go to the teen things together, we all knew each other because there was literally a handful of us doing shows, and now there are so many shows and so many channels, it’s all changed.
What’s funny is like even Fox at the time I think they had “Married with Children”, “The Simpsons”, “Tracey Ullman Show” and “The Garry Shandling Show”; it wasn’t even like a real network, you had to have cable to get it. It was one of the first cable, Fox.. And the only reason it blew up is because our show, all the kids wanted to watch it and couldn’t get it and they petitioned and it was a big deal to get Fox. Fox is huge. Fox is like one of the major channels. Fox was nothing. Fox had like five shows, that was it. We used to do press for our show, for “90210”, nobody cared. You go to like the Strawberry Festival and Orange County at the festivals, like, these little things to promote, and now it’s like promoting in Australia, Japan. It’s grown so much, it’s crazy. Someone and I went and did promotion for “Sarah Connor Chronicles” in Japan and it was the biggest Blu-ray they’d ever had in Japan. And they were like featured Billboards for the Blu-ray for the show, but the show was huge in Japan and we were major stars in Japan. it’s like, “All right, awesome.” We were like on the cover of everything in Japan, they loved us in Japan, the show is big in Japan, everything was tagged in Japan. Now we hashtag it in Japan. We didn’t even have the internet doing that show; we had it a little bit.
Katie: It was fairly new.
Brian: Yeah, it was kinda new. Everyone was like, “Oh, yeah, the show is big online,” I was like, “Oh, online, what does that mean?” I think I feel my age now because everything has changed so much.
Katie: Does Megan travel a lot for work or is she home mostly right now with the kids being there?
Brian: With the kids, we don’t travel a lot. We try and stay home as much as we can. But we’re a little more open to it now, probably. I get that feeling of like you sort of have to experience life for the kids. It sucks, but we travel; we work out of town and they get to see cool things and experience things, we try and make it the best we can for them. We went through a period of like we’re not gonna travel, we’re just gonna do whatever we can here but it’s limited. Now it’s like the project sometimes [inaudible] people. You get such a small slice of life not travelling. We’re trying to travel more now. It’s hard because you don’t want to travel and you want to only travel for really great things but it’s hard. It’s hard because sometimes you travel and you’re like “why did I travel?” and then other times you travel and you go “that was awesome!” So you sort of have to just make the best of whatever situation, hope that it’s great, if it’s not…
Katie: That’s it. Everything’s a lesson learned.
Brian: I mean, whoever would have told me like, “You’re going to go to Florida and do a short film and people are going to like it,” it’s like, “No way, I’m not going to Florida for a short time, no way.” And I ended up doing it and look at all this, it’s amazing. Look at the people I’m meeting, the places I’m travelling, and what I’m doing.
I was there for a week, total. It went fast. The weather was crazy, but overall it was a really, really great experience. I can’t complain. It was good. Ryan was awesome, he made it great. We stayed in a nice hotel, had a nice trailer. The service like the lunch was good. I can’t complain.