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TODAY   |  December 05, 2013

John Goodman talks new film ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’

The veteran actor talks to Matt about the unique character roles he has played in the past and why he frequently collaborates with filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen, with whom he worked on the new film “Inside Llewyn Davis.”

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> john goodman probably the most beloved character actors in the new movie, he plays a surly musician who takes a roadtrip. let's say this is not a guy you want to spend a lot of i'm in a car with. take a look.

>> solo act.

>> yeah, i know.

>> now, used to what, work with a cat? every time you play a c major with a major hairball?

>> what happened?

>> threw himself off the george washington bridge .

>> well, i don't blame him. i couldn't take it either if i had to play jimmy crack corn every night.

>> john goodman . welcome back. good to see you.

>> thank you.

>> sixth time you worked with the cohn brothers?

>> there were five fake news reels.

>> so did it take a lot of convincing when they called you or e-mailed you on this one?

>> they had me at hey, john.

>> i think what they said is hey, madman.

>> that's what ethan calls me.

>> why is there such a connection? i was reading you said everything they write resonates with you?

>> yeah, it's just the writing is so good, it acts itself almost. it's just all there on the page. they write such terrific characters.

>> you say it's all there on the page. this is a little different. this guy roland turner when they came to you the back story was encomplete. they left a lot up to your discretion.

>> i filled in a lot of it for myself just i am a loving breathing guy in the back seat and a lot of us don't know his business.

>> here's what you say about it. you say he seems to me, he seems to a lot of people he's weird and way out there, to me he seems normal him you go on to say let's say he's a jazz musician that has a problem going with rec yaeshl drugs that's gotten a little more than recreational.

>> he's a junkie. so many of us are.

>> is he an unlikable character?

>> very unlikable. very angry at the world and it's just a device for the stick in a car, in a miserable car trip to chicago.

>> music plays a big role in this movie. you were very impressed that the cohn brothers allowed the music to have a presence in the film.

>> music is a huge presence in the film and thank god for oscar isaac because he's a very talented guitarist and singer and when he finally sings, he comes alive. you can see who this guy is. he's not struggling but why he's an artist.

>> i think a lot of people here at work know i think the world of you as an actor. i loved your starring roles. but it's your move into these character roles i think has shown your genius. how do you approach these roles when you are not the title character ?

>> well, i never thought about that even when i was a title character . you are all a part of the ensemble. you are there to serve the script and the story and your fellow actors.

>> somebody wrote about you one time that said have you an indefinable your ra that makes audiences louf even when you are playing revolting people . which is about the nicest thing you can say about anybody i think.

>> i'm a pretty revolting guy.

>> no, when you play revolting people .

>> sucker.

>> somebody bought into that?

>> dwrae.

>> you are very busy. you got another show you are starring in only a fa house. this is on amazon. so it's a little new wave here in terms of production. how is it different from doing a show for a major network or production company ?

>> it's the same exact thing. we shot at a wonderful studio out in queens, terrific new york actors and withere is no difference, yeah, just doing a normal show.

>> i was reading somewhere you made a comment you were thinking in the not too distant future of slowing down a bit. i hope you don't slow down too much. you make every project better. i really do.

>> if you look at "the sound of music" i'll be in the background. it's a wonderful show.

>> we look forward to that. hustle over there. john goodman ,