Rashida Jones Wonders What Makes Us Human

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For someone who used to ride a school bus with Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian, Rashida Jones is remarkably earthbound. Growing up in Los Angeles, the daughter of the “Mod Squad” actor Peggy Lipton and the legendary music producer Quincy Jones, she was so ensconced in the world of mega-celebrity that it took a while for her to realize that the people surrounding her—Frank Sinatra, Sidney Poitier, Michael Jackson—were as iconic as they were. That heady milieu would cause most young people (say, her bus-mates) to lose themselves in the fame bubble. Instead, Jones did her homework and got into Harvard, where she studied religion and philosophy, before finding fame on her own, on the sitcoms “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation.” In many of her roles, as in her life, she projects a dry, discerning intelligence that cuts through the absurdity surrounding her. She is a very good guide to the world of the famous.

That same sane-in-the-midst-of-insanity quality is on display in her latest project, “Sunny,” a sci-fi series that premières this week, on Apple TV+. Based on a novel by Colin O’Sullivan, the series, which was created by Katie Robbins, follows an American woman named Suzie (Jones) living in Kyoto. After her husband and son are presumed dead in a plane crash, she receives a plucky, eager-to-please homebot named Sunny, who insists on helping her clean up the mess of her life. Suzie begins to realize that her husband wasn’t the simple refrigerator engineer he claimed to be, and Sunny may be the key to finding out who he really was. In the vein of “The Flight Attendant,” the show flings Suzie into a strange, perilous puzzle box, involving artificial intelligence, yakuza assassins, and a condescending Japanese mother-in-law.

“I’ve never gotten the chance to play this kind of role before, somebody who’s propelling a mystery forward and has her own baggage that she’s taking with her,” Jones told me recently. She was Zooming from her home office in Los Angeles, where she lives with her longtime partner, the Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig, and their son. She wore a pink Hasty Pudding hat and aviator frames, and sat in front of bright-green cabinets decorated with hand-painted birds and flora. “I’m in my kooky, middle-aged era, where I’ve decided I want everything to have color, after years of minimalism and mid-century Scandinavian sparseness,” she explained. In our conversation, which has been edited and condensed, we talked about robots, the state of Hollywood, eleventh-century Indian theology, and the time that Michael Jackson’s chimp, Bubbles, bit her on the hand.

You have a lot of scenes with Sunny. How was it to act across from a robot?

The robot was very high-maintenance. It took a lot of people to make it come alive. There was somebody controlling the bigger spatial movements. There was somebody dealing with the software for the screen on the face. Sometimes we had an actor who just had the hands, so they could do more articulation with the fingers. And then we had the great Joanna Sotomura, who plays Sunny. She was in a tent with a giant helmet and a bright light on her face, and she was making all of Sunny’s expressions and saying all the words. So it was translating her expressions, but it meant that I never was in a room with Joanna.

You’ve acted across from Muppets, in the 2011 movie “The Muppets.” Did that give you any experience to draw on?

Yes! I loved working with the Muppets, and I remember having a feeling, like, the fifth day of shooting, that I was having a full-blown conversation with Kermit. I wasn’t looking at his Muppet performer; I was just talking to the hand in the felt puppet. And I was, like, Oh, this is what it’s going to feel like when A.I. becomes a reality. I remember having that thought all those years ago. It doesn’t take much to engage your senses: a little turn of the mouth, a voice, a personality. We’re so simple in that way. So, yes, it was a great training ground, and there were times I really felt the essence of Sunny.

It’s interesting that this show, which is about our relationship with technology, is on Apple TV+. Of course, Apple is the company most intimately involved with most of our lives. I’ve also read that, on Apple shows, the villains can’t use iPhones. Did you have any directives like that?

No, but I had heard that, too. You can’t vilify the phone. You can’t have a broken phone. But it’s funny, because with shows like this and “Severance,” it feels like Apple is working out its own feelings about what they are: “Wait, are we the big, onerous, scary tech overlord? Or are we the ones who have the good intentions, and somebody else comes in and changes the course of the good thing we were supposed to do?” At least they’re in therapy about it, is how I feel. To me, the irony’s not lost about Sunny being this shiny, round, white thing that’s taking over my house and permeating my life. I have one of those—it’s called an iPhone. Obviously, this story is its own thing, because it’s set in the near future and there are villains who aren’t necessarily technology. But there is some coming to terms with the fact that technology is expanding and learning much faster than we had ever imagined, and we’re forced to reckon with this existential question: What does it mean to be human?

It’s a very timely topic, especially in Hollywood. A.I. was at the center of the actors’ and writers’ strikes last year. There’s this Scarlett Johansson dispute with OpenAI. What are your feelings about the role that A.I. might have in entertainment?

I’ve heard people say, “This is so scary. We have no idea how destructive this is going to be to many industries.” And I’ve heard people say, “That’s what they said about every new piece of technology, including the printing press.” But the printing press never learned stuff that we didn’t teach it. That’s the part that I think is scary. Much like the Internet, it’s going to be the Wild West, and at some point it’s going to be destructive enough that it’s going to have to be pulled back into some sort of consent-based operation. I don’t know how they’ll do that. It does feel like the darkest people are in charge of the Internet now—everything from biowarfare to the dark Web. I have always been obsessed with stories about growing technology and the fear of technology.

Well, I would count “The Social Network,” about the birth of Facebook, in which you played one of Mark Zuckerberg’s lawyers. Is that something that drew you to that project, too?

Yes, but specifically because the script took a point of view. We didn’t even know how much [social media] would permeate our lives at the time the movie came out. But all of this stuff had an origin story. This person had a reason, a determination to do something because of his own circumstance. He was rejected. “Let me fix that by controlling the forces that rejected me.” You understand that person. You relate to that person. You might have compassion for that person. And that’s exactly the kind of person who made these things that spiral out of control.

“Sunny” has a lot of elements besides robots: yakuza mobsters, grief. What drew you to it?

I’ve never really played a lead in a series like this, where the story is being told through this one person’s searching. I felt like, I’m old enough, I’m ready for the challenge. I love the sense that this character, unlike me, is isolated. She’s a bit misanthropic. She came to Japan and found her own people, her family—and then she lost that very suddenly. It does feel like a show about figuring out where you belong. And the grief part is interesting to me. Grief has very much shaped my life in the past five years, because I lost my mother five years ago. I became a mother, and then seven months later I lost my mother. That squeeze in both directions forever changed me.

With most people I talk to in Hollywood, there’s a lot of angst about how television is contracting, and yet this show manages to be very idiosyncratic and original. As someone who’s been in TV for a long time, what are you observing about where things are going and the risks that studios are willing to take?

Yeah, it’s real. Coming out of lockdown, there was a giant buying frenzy. There was this misconception about how much TV people watched, because we were all stuck at home for a long time. A lot of these streamers came into a business that had existed long before they showed up, including tech companies that wanted in, and so they paid massive premiums to attract high-level talent. Nobody had ever seen paychecks like that before. They got really enticed. And then the strikes happened, and the business contracted, and now people are losing their deals. The gains from the strikes make it more expensive to make TV, so they’re going to make fewer shows. And the spray-hose content that these streamers had is not capturing the imagination. There is something fundamental to how we engage with entertainment—if you’re being lofty, you can call it art—but you want to feel something months later. You want to feel something the next day. The way the business has become, it’s so rare to watch something and have it live with you, because they’re hoping that you binge it and purge it and move on to something new right away. They’re not actually designing things that are sticky.

I’ve heard people talk about how streamers are actually looking for “second-screen content” that you can half pay attention to while you’re on your phone—speaking of our weird relationship with technology. You’re on two screens at once now.

Sometimes it’s three screens! Listen, phones are addictive. They are created to engage us. They are created to modify our behavior to keep coming back. We all know that. But now everything’s pressed together. You don’t go sit in a dark movie theatre and hold somebody’s hand and eat popcorn. I love that, but we’re struggling to have that be the centerpiece of the business now. And I think the problem is that the people in charge don’t really care about that sticky factor the way that they should. But I also can say that a show like this—it’s original, it’s weird, it’s its own universe—can still exist.

You have a production company, Le Train Train, with your creative partner, Will McCormack. What are you looking to make?

We’re writers, and we want to make things that we write, and we also want to produce things for other writers who have a clear, vibrant world in their heads and just need help pulling it out and being protected from the notes process and getting whatever’s in there to the screen. We’ve been producing for about ten years, and the things we’re usually attracted to are woman-centric and hopefully original. We produced “Claws,” a show about a mafia nail salon, with Niecy Nash. We produced a show called “Kevin Can F**k Himself,” which was about a woman trapped in a sitcom. Things that feel universally thematic but imagine a new world to explore those themes.

Another topic of angst in Hollywood is the feeling that the racial reckoning of four years ago is petering out, and people at these companies are slowly backing away. I’m curious, as a biracial actor and writer, if you’ve been noticing that.

I have. The summer of 2020 seemed to be the thing that was going to change life forever and Hollywood forever. But that immediate pressure to make sure you have diverse representation on every level—directors, producers, writers, people onscreen—is not there anymore. I think this time will be studied, because there were all these social-justice movements, and it changed the way people hired within Hollywood. And then there was a global pandemic. And there’s also this looming thing, which is A.I. and tech companies coming in to make legacy companies feel like they’re not doing enough business and they can’t report to their shareholders and their board in the same way they used to. So Hollywood’s a pressure cooker right now. It’s really unclear who’s going to win the battle. But you do see shows on TV now that are a product of that racial reckoning. There are so many viewers that you’re missing if you don’t actually represent people who want to watch TV.

Even a couple of years before 2020, you and Will left the writing of “Toy Story 4” over “philosophical differences.” You said at the time that Pixar had a “culture where women and people of color do not have an equal creative voice.” What made you feel that way?

That’s in the data. At that time, one movie of the twenty-five that they had made was directed by a woman, and she didn’t make it to the end of the production—Brenda Chapman, who did “Brave.” But this is not just Pixar. This is many, many corporations. A bunch of white dudes got together and started a company, and it got big and popular, and you flash forward and there’s no pressure to change the way you do things. Pixar’s a great company. It was a leadership thing. Those people hadn’t been given the opportunity to direct, to be head of story, to write, and it created a culture there.

Was there something specific that made you feel like it was time to go?

Writers come to work on movies, but the culture there is very story-artist-oriented. Which it should be, because they have crazy-talented story artists. And you work side by side. They do a little bit of the writing, you do a little bit of the writing. There’s this feeling like you don’t ever have ownership over your script. That’s a cultural thing, where you’re, like, O.K., I’m in the service of a larger organization here. There was a huge regime shift there, and that happened after me. But I think it’s a good thing that it changed, is all I’ll say about that.

I’m curious whether being biracial ever makes you feel like a weathervane for how Hollywood is thinking about race. You’ve done projects like “#blackAF,” the Kenya Barris sitcom about a Black family. You’ve done projects where you’re cast across from white people. Do you learn things about where the business is headed based on how you’re used or what you’re offered?

I will just say for the record, I’ve never been whitewashed, meaning I would never let somebody cast me with two white parents. But, to your point, for the first fifteen years of my career, I would go in and read for Black parts, but I just wouldn’t get cast. And there weren’t a ton of biracial people with my hair and my eyes on TV. With “#blackAF,” Kenya wrote that character for me—which I was so happy about, because I’d never gotten to play that side of myself. So maybe it’s about who’s in charge. He sees me, he knows me, and he’s, like, Oh, you know what would be funny for her to play? But that also means that’s one other thing that fills in the spectrum of how people are represented on TV. I do think it’s way better now. TV looks a lot more like reality than it ever has before. But there’s still a lot of work to do. Kenya and I used to talk about this all the time. The best thing would be if there was, like, nothing where you could say, “Oh, that’s what Black people do. That’s what queer people do.” They do all of it!

They’ve got robots!

You’ve got biracial people having robots now! What’s next?

I will never forget that red-carpet correspondent who said you looked “tan,” and you said, “You know, I’m ethnic.”

I was a little grumpy, I’m going to admit. I was, like, Not today, Jesus. Not today.

I thought you handled it with such grace. You could have said, “Have you not heard of my famously Black dad?”

I know. As much as I might feel confused about where I belong at times, I feel comfortable with who I am. I’ve never hidden who I am. I’ve never led with anything that didn’t feel true to me. I don’t want to show up and try to represent something that I’m not.

I read that, when you were seventeen, you got into a tiff with Tupac Shakur. This told me a lot about how being biracial has been so core to your public life from the beginning. Basically, he dissed your father in the hip-hop magazine The Source for having children with white women, and you wrote in to say that this represented “ignorance and lack of respect for his people.” But then he ended up dating your sister Kidada, and you wrote a paper on him in college. Can you describe how that relationship evolved, starting with being furious at him?

Furious! So precocious, so self-righteous. Yeah, I was so mad. It was a new perspective to me. I kind of understand the nuance more now that I’m older. It just felt like a completely unwarranted attack. My dad doesn’t work for the government. He’s a music producer. How he chooses to live his life and who he loves is just his own business, and I’ve always felt that way. I printed it off my word processor and put it in an envelope and sent it to The Source. I was interning at Warner Bros. Records that summer, so I think I wrote it there. Maybe I had the other intern proof it for me. And then my sister was out somewhere in New York, and Tupac came up to apologize to her, because he thought it was me. It resolved itself really nicely, because when I met him, he immediately apologized to me, immediately apologized to my dad. We sat down and had a really good conversation about it, and then he was family.

That is a nice outcome.

It speaks so much to who he was. You can say whatever you’re going to say, and you can mean it. And then, when you meet people, that can change. That was an early lesson for me, because I have been self-righteous in my life, and I really have worked hard to stop looking at things in a binary way. We’re so flawed and so complicated.

How did you feel about having a public life at that age? Obviously, you were in the midst of a very public family and environment.

We didn’t have a public family until my dad won a bunch of Grammys. We definitely went to some events, but he wasn’t super recognizable. And my mom was very famous when she was young, but she gave all that up. So it wasn’t, like, glitzy Hollywood. When we were teens, we were very aware of how successful my dad was by that time. Fame always seemed really weird to me. You’re just skipping over so many steps when you care about somebody’s fame, because you’re having a disproportionate response to them based on what you think you know about them. Being around so many famous people and seeing how people reacted to them was very good for me, because when I finally did have notoriety and that changed how people thought of me, I was, like, I know how this goes. I’m not at all seduced by people being super friendly, because I know none of it is real.

You weren’t even surrounded by run-of-the-mill famous people. We’re talking about people like Frank Sinatra and Ray Charles and Paul McCartney. Of those music greats, who had an important role in your life, if any?

We were very close with Frank Sinatra’s granddaughters—Nancy’s kids. We went to school with them. Sidney Poitier was my godfather, and his daughters are still my friends. They were like our sisters. That’s another component of it: I knew those people first as people and then was, like, Oh, that’s interesting. They’re a totally different thing outside of this room. It took me years and years to really understand how famous those people were.

What role did Michael Jackson have in your childhood?

He was really young. My dad met him on “The Wiz.” He was maybe nineteen. He was like a big kid with lots of animals. [Sighs.] Sorry, I was just sighing, because I was just thinking about how I was bit by his monkey.

You were bit by Bubbles?

Yeah. It was my fault. Well, no, it’s not my fault. I am not the one who put a chimpanzee in overalls and a diaper. But I did antagonize him. I was nine. He was in a cage, and he took my hairband out of my hand. Everybody else had left the room, and I was, like, “Give it back!” He was playing with it and wouldn’t give it back to me. So I opened the cage, and he came out. Then he started running around the room and throwing books. A bit of a nightmare, now that I think about it. I went up to him and was, like, “No! No!”—because I’d seen Michael say “No!” to him. And I slapped him on the head, just a light, little slap. And he took my hand like a sandwich and bit into it.


I know. Traumatic. He’s forty and he lives in Florida now, I think. [Bubbles recently turned forty-one.] He’s retired.

From what?

Biting children? I saw that he’s the alpha male of his group, in whatever chimp retirement home he’s at.

When “Thriller” came out, obviously it conquered the world, but it also came out of your household. What was that like?

I remember we went to the set of the video, in Griffith Park. We were reading the storyboards, and right when we got to the part where he turns around and he’s a werewolf, Michael walked into the trailer with those crazy yellow eyes. Very scary! It changed everything for my dad. I remember watching the Grammys at home, and he won every single Grammy. I had so many “Thriller” T-shirts and memorabilia. I don’t think I have any of that anymore. That’s really sad.

I recently watched the documentary about “We Are the World,” the all-star single that your father produced. It became the best-selling single of all time. What was your vantage point on that moment?

We went to go say hi, I think. There were actually two days in the studio. So everybody left, and then my dad had to deal with the wreckage of all those people and all the tracks. So we went the next day to A&M. I remember my dad being exhausted. But he’s fully nocturnal, so that feeling of “Oh, my God, they were up till four a.m.!”—that was every night in our house. I mean, my dad was a true hero. He pulled it together and made everybody feel good about themselves. That was such a catastrophe waiting to happen had he not been there. They actually recorded something that night and made a video. Like, what? That’s crazy!

It does seem like a logistical miracle.

I know. My dad gave us some U.S.A.-for-Africa sweatshirts for my school choir, when we sang it at school.

I also loved the documentary you made about your father, “Quincy.” As much as people know what Quincy Jones has done, seeing it all in one place really blows your mind. Did it change your relationship with him to be telling his story?

I think it changed my understanding of him. I had never really absorbed the fact that my dad had this pattern of taking himself to the edge every day, having a nervous breakdown, almost dying, working himself beyond repair, and then pulling back. The way that he’s contributed to culture, I don’t know if it happens without that, so it is what it is. Whatever his engine is, what he’s contributed, how he functions—he’s not like anybody else.

Your mother talked in the documentary about how his work composing the score for the movie “The Color Purple” was the last straw for their marriage, because it took so much out of him that he didn’t have anything left for her. Did you realize that that movie was such a turning point for them at the time? Do you have weird feelings about “The Color Purple,” knowing it played this role?

I love that movie, and it reminds me of my childhood. I remember things being a bit tense when we came and my dad was filming, but I didn’t know why. I thought it was just because everybody was in production. And I remember watching the Oscars, because my parents were still together. It was nominated for eleven Oscars and got none. None! We were all so mad. But I think I was too young to tie the whole thing together. I get it. He’s a workaholic.

You’ve talked about how your form of rebellion was being studious and doing crossword puzzles. What were you reacting against?

I’m sure some people frame it as freedom in artistry. I found it a little bit chaotic. I had a nocturnal dad who would go on these jags of working sixteen-hour days. When my mom started working again, same. I liked this idea of being able to control my environment, and the easiest way to do that is that you work on something and then you get a grade. It’s very clear how you’re doing. I think I’m probably pretty academic even in terms of how I approach art now. I wish I was less so. I’m easily embarrassed. When you show up on set and you have to emote, you can’t be embarrassed.

At Harvard, you studied religion and philosophy. What interested you in religion as a topic of academic exploration?

When my parents split, my mom took us to a meditation ashram. I was nine or ten, and I loved it. Other kids would go to camp in the summer, and I would go to an ashram. I lived in India for a little bit in high school. By senior year, I was singing in a church choir, going to this ashram, and still observing Judaism. [Jones’s mother’s side is Jewish.] I would love to go to Buddhist temples. I just loved the spaces and the ritual of religion.

So you were basically the “COEXIST” bumper sticker.

I was the personal embodiment of that. It’s so corny, but in high school I would doodle all the religious symbols, like that bumper sticker.

You wrote your thesis in college about eleventh-century Indian philosophy. What were you writing about?

I was writing about how modern organizations were drawing from archaic and heavily guarded Indian texts, which were always meant to be studied with a guru and only if you were in a certain caste. There were all these modern attempts to distill these very dense, complicated, heavily protected teachings in a simple way. A lot of this stuff is predicated in Tantra or Hinduism or Kashmir Shaivism, and there’s this way of distilling them into very simple ideals for the West.

Was part of this about working out your own roots and all the disparate parts of your upbringing?

For sure. I’ve always felt like I couldn’t exist at any other time. It’s a weird hangup I have, because I’m this mix of Black and Jewish, Eastern European, Western European. I definitely have some enslaved-and-slave-owner relationships in our family tree. It feels very modern and American. I’m always trying to figure out if I could only exist now, or if I can I tie myself back to something ancient.

I saw that you were reading Hannah Arendt during the lockdown. So have you kept up your interest in philosophy?

I have. I will always be interested in what makes us human. Every other species just kind of accepts what they are. They go about their business and they know why they live and die, who to protect, and who is their enemy, and that’s it. We have this weird thing where we have to decode what our existence means and why we’re here and why another person is wrong for thinking we’re here for a different reason. I just reread Viktor Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning” recently, which I hadn’t read since college. That book is so beautifully written. It’s so simply written. After studying religion for four years, I remember sitting and writing my final paper, and I was, like, Oh, it’s all the same thing! But we’re so busy finding the differences. Everybody needs to chill.

That is very “We Are the World.”

I know. And it’s not a very popular sentiment right now. Everybody’s so concerned about everybody else and holding everybody accountable. To me, there’s a lack of personal accountability, of introspective thinking about yourself and how you live in the world.

Michael Schur, the creator of “Parks and Recreation,” was also a philosophy major in your class at Harvard. Is that how you met?

We met doing a play freshman year, called “Love, Sex, and the I.R.S.” It was like an episode of “Three’s Company.” He played my roommate, and he dressed like a woman because the landlord did not want a man and woman living together who were not wedded. It’s super contemporary. Ages so well.

Now I want to know all about your undergraduate theatre career.

I did the female “Odd Couple.” I did “for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf.” I did “H.M.S. Pinafore.” I did a cappella with the Harvard-Radcliffe Opportunes. And I wrote the music for the Hasty Pudding Theatricals show.

When you were studying eleventh-century Indian religion and also doing “The Odd Couple,” did you feel like those were two sides of your personality, or did it feel like the same thing you were exploring?

They were both based in searching. The part of me that felt like I was going to be an academic or a lawyer fell away. I was, like a lot of sophomores—especially Californian sophomores spending their first winters on the East Coast—pretty depressed. Going to rehearsal was the only thing that made me want to get out of bed. Same with religion, where I got to learn from these incredible minds and get deep into whatever corner of whatever subject they were teaching. It was feeling fulfilled by the process of the search, as opposed to the thing I thought I was going to go for, which is being right about stuff.

Is knowing Mike Schur from college part of what steered you into being a sitcom actor?

In a very literal way, yes, because he created “Parks and Rec.” But I had friends who were in the Harvard Lampoon, and Mike left college and immediately started writing for “S.N.L.” I’d go visit him at work. So exposure-wise, yes. I think my sensibilities were probably formed by those friendships and the things that we thought were funny. Mike and I wrote a paper senior year that was, like, two Supreme Court Justices writing each other letters. Finding somebody who thinks like you, who’d want to do something that dumb, does form who you are in the real world, whether you like it or not.

Having grown up among so much fame, was there something that you wanted to do differently when it came to you, for your own work?

I’m not interested in surrounding myself with people who say yes. For me, the recognition is a bit of a by-product, and it’s not my favorite thing. When we did “Parks and Rec,” we had a couple critics who loved it, but it wasn’t a smash hit. The minute it was on Netflix, it got rewritten as this iconic hit—which is amazing, because people love it, but with that comes a fame that has nothing to do with the actual process of making the thing, or even the thing coming out into the world for the first time.

You’re saying that you started getting more recognized for “Parks and Rec” after the fact, because it was on Netflix?

Oh, yeah. We did a ten-year anniversary at the Paley Center about five years ago, and all of us started crying when we walked onstage, because of the reception. We had never had that in real life. Every season, the show was on the bubble. One time, we were even cancelled, and the head of the network changed his mind and uncancelled us. We had never all been together and received that way. It was so emotional.

You’re now married to Ezra Koenig, of Vampire Weekend, and have a kid with him. At what point did you get married? I feel like that went under the radar.

Oh, we’re not married. We just kind of call each other that. But we are what we are, in the eyes of God! My parents only got married when my dad had his first brain aneurysm and my sister was six months old, because of rights stuff. I’m sure we’ll get married at some point, but we basically are.

Did you embrace the role of the rock-star girlfriend?

Like, vintage fur coats and bus life? No. Too old for bus life. But I’m extremely proud. He takes a very long time to make his albums, which is so lucky for me, because it means he’s home a lot of the time. This is our second tour cycle really, so we’ll see how far I go with rock wife.

Now that you’re raising a child in the world of music and Hollywood and celebrity, are there things you’re doing differently or the same compared to how you came of age?

My parents did a great job. People say, “Oh, you’re so normal, considering the circumstances of how you grew up.” And that’s because they prioritized the right things. We weren’t overly spoiled, indulged, coddled. They were super loving. We travelled a ton, and that’s something I want to give my son. I want him to feel like he’s his own person. My parents were very encouraging about that. My dad wanted me to have my own life and career and not to live in his shadow. He’s got a big, big, big shadow. But he managed to give me the space and the love to be my own person. And that’s why I was able to do it. ♦

Sourse: newyorker.com

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