Bill Murray In A Bathtub Offers A Strong Argument For Wearing A Mask

Screen icon Bill Murray says he’s wearing a mask when he goes out, but most of the younger people he sees aren’t. 

“Most young people do not wear masks at all,” he told Jimmy Kimmel during a remote appearance from his bathtub in South Carolina. “They don’t.” 

Murray said some arguments simply don’t work, even in the middle of a deadly coronavirus pandemic. 

“You could argue, ‘Oh you’re being socially irresponsible, you’re risking your life and the lives of others,’” he said. “Eh, maybe. Who cares?” 

Then he offered up a better line of logic.

“You’re missing a real opportunity to say, ‘I’m on the side of law and order,’” he said. “If I weren’t on the side of law and order, wouldn’t I have walked in with my guns drawn?” 

Murray and Guy Fieri will hold a showdown over nachos on Friday on the Food Network’s Facebook page to raise money for the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund, which was started by Fieri.

See more of Murray’s bathtub interview with Kimmel below:  

A HuffPost Guide To Coronavirus

Papa John’s Founder Shows Off ‘Papa Castle,’ And It’s Got A Giant Mating Eagles Clock

Giant spinning mating eagles clock? Check. Moat? Check.

Papa John’s founder John Schnatter gave an “MTV Cribs”-style tour of his mansion on TikTok, and it’s pretty much as eccentric as you’d expect from the controversial former CEO of the pizza empire.

Schnatter ― who resigned as board chairman of the pizza chain in 2018 after reports that he used a racial slur in a conference call ― gave followers a peek at his self-named “Papa Castle” on Tuesday after recently joining the video platform.

The $11 million mansion is the most expensive home in Louisville, Kentucky, USA Today reported last December. In other videos shared on the platform last month, Schnatter showed off what appears to be a vintage car collection and also a private helicopter. It all sits on a nearly 16-acre block of land, People reported.

“Howdy. Papa John. Welcome to my crib,” Schnatter says at the start of the 55-second video. Viewers then see a shot of the mansion’s exterior ― complete with turrets and a moat.

Then, as he backs into the entryway of his home, he gives a quick rundown of eagles’ mating techniques as he introduces the giant sculpture recreating just that. “This isn’t just a sculpture, it’s a clock!” the caption reads. Schnatter says the clock spins four times an hour.

Schnatter then teases his library, where he says he makes videos and writes letters, but he’s saving that tour for part 2. 

Forbes reported that the pizza mogul’s net worth was briefly $1 billion in 2017. However, Schnatter’s wealth reportedly declined following a string of controversies. Prior to his ouster from the Papa John’s board, he had already stepped down as CEO in late 2017 after he attempted to blame declining pizza sales on the NFL’s handling of its players’ protests against police brutality.

The video clocked 1.2 million views on TikTok, where some commenters pointed out the tasteless timing of the extreme display of wealth while the nation faces economic distress. It then made its way to Twitter, where it got the treatment:

Someone Came For Chrissy Teigen About A Stolen Recipe And She Clapped Back

Chrissy Teigen is many things ― a cookbook author, ordained Quibi judge and, despite recent drama, still very pro-shallot ― but don’t call her a thief. 

The former model is nothing if not forthcoming with her opinions, so when someone on social media accused her of ripping off a popular recipe for her “Cravings” cookbook, she flexed those famous clapback muscles and got to work. 

“You can’t cook or not copy someone’s idea from their cookbook! It’s copying even tho you changed one thing! Come up with your own shit! Ya fucking bum!” a follower tweeted at her on Tuesday.

The user added that someone named “Chef Mike” was pursuing legal action against Teigen, whom they rudely told to “stick with your Phillipino shit.”

Teigen replied, “No idea who chef mike is but he probably wouldn’t be happy to learn that you, a friend of his worthy of calling, is outing him about his impending lawsuit.”

The troll wasn’t done just yet, alleging that the chef in question has actually cooked for Teigen and her family before.

The person wrote, “Chrissy, just use YOUR talents and not others. That’s all I’m saying! I guess you pissed off a lot of people who have worked their whole lives in the field, and you step in and use their ideas as your own. At least credit the person or persons the idea came from friends?”

They continued, “Oh and he called me because his NY restaurant is closed and was reading the article about you and that sparked his rage. Yes, he cooked for your family too. I told him he should do a virtual restaurant show, to show the cooking to table and how things work.”

Chrissy Teigen at the premiere of Netflix's "Between Two Ferns: The Movie" in 2019.



Axelle/Bauer-Griffin via Getty Images

Chrissy Teigen at the premiere of Netflix’s “Between Two Ferns: The Movie” in 2019.

The “Chrissy’s Court” host flat out denied every accusation, and even asked to get in contact with the aforementioned chef. 

“Please tell me who this chef mike is? so I can speak to him? I have never stolen a recipe from anyone and I actively talk about the restaurants I love. imagine the ego to think someone is copying you when they haven’t heard of you?” she tweeted back.

While Teigen seemed to take the claims seriously, many of her fans chimed dismissing the person as a troll and encouraging her to pay them no mind.

But the TV host’s reaction is understandable, as she’s been on the defense as of late against out-of-nowhere attacks. 

Teigen just recently made peace with New York Times food writer Alison Roman, who had essentially accused her of being a sellout along with saying her omnipresence in the culinary sphere “horrifies me.”

While Teigen called the ordeal a “huge bummer,” she accepted a follow-up apology from Roman ― famed for her shallot pasta ― in stride.

“Thank you for this,” Teigen tweeted to Roman on Monday. “To be clear, it never once crossed my mind for you to apologize for what you genuinely thought! The comments stung, but they moreso stung because they came from you! It wasn’t my usual news break of some random person hating everything about me!”

Kylie Jenner’s Cake Cutting Skills ‘Disturbed’ People, So She Got Revenge

Kylie Jenner is quickly becoming the queen of the quarantine clapback. 

While her sisters are busy laughing over ill-timed toilet paper pranks, the billionaire beauty mogul has come for people critiquing her hair and skewered those who thought she looked “better” before she had a baby. 

And now, Jenner is trolling followers who said she sliced her cake in a “disturbed” way. To that, we say: Cut her a break. 

The 22-year-old showed off her slicing skills ― or lack thereof, depending on which side you’re on ― on her Instagram stories on Sunday. Jenner revealed that she’d gotten an olive oil cake for Mother’s Day, and cut a piece for herself. 

But people weren’t happy with the way she cut it, as the slice appeared very small and pretty off center, compared to the rest of the cake:

Fans couldn't handle the way Kylie sliced up her cake. 



Kylie Jenner/Instagram

Fans couldn’t handle the way Kylie sliced up her cake. 

Twitter, of course, had some thoughts: 

The reaction on social media got Jenner’s attention, so she took to her Instagram stories once again to cut her cake a second time and really spice things up. 

“People were very disturbed I cut my cake how I did so this is for those people,” Jenner wrote over a video she posted.

In the clip, the reality star cuts a circle in the middle of the cake. She then puts the circular bite on a little plate for all to see as if to say: Let them eat cake. 

The horror! 



Instagram

The horror! 

It’s almost like that Marie Antoinette shoot that Jenner did for the March issue of Harper’s Bazaar is rubbing off: 

Angelina Jolie Throws Subtle Dig At Jon Voight In Powerful Tribute To Her Mother

In case you forgot that Donald Trump’s favorite movie star, Jon Voight, is Angelina Jolie’s father, she’s here to remind you in a powerful essay about her memories of her parents.

The “Maleficent” star wrote a revealing op-ed for The New York Times on Sunday in tribute to her late mother, Marcheline Bertrand, who died in 2007 after a battle with ovarian cancer.

Angelina Jolie and Jon Voight at the premiere of "In the Land of Blood and Honey" in 2011. 



Lester Cohen via Getty Images

Angelina Jolie and Jon Voight at the premiere of “In the Land of Blood and Honey” in 2011. 

Jolie reflected on the life-altering event and how it shaped her own understanding of the world, especially on Mother’s Day. 

“I lost my mother in my thirties,” Jolie writes. “When I look back to that time, I can see how much her death changed me. It was not sudden, but so much shifted inside. Losing a mother’s love and warm, soft embrace is like having someone rip away a protective blanket.”

In praising her mother, Jolie also reveals a thinly veiled disdain for her estranged father, with whom she was not on speaking terms for many years. She shares that Voight caused tremendous pain by being unfaithful to Bertrand and that his dreams overshadowed her ambitions.

“When my father had an affair, it changed [my mother’s] life. It set her dream of family life ablaze,” Jolie wrote. “But she still loved being a mother. Her dreams of being an actor faded as she found herself, at the age of 26, raising two children with a famous ex who would cast a long shadow on her life.

“After she died, I found a video of her acting in a short film. She was good. It was all possible for her,” Jolie added. 

The “Midnight Cowboy” star and Bertrand officially divorced in 1980 after nearly a decade of marriage. 

Jolie, no stranger to the toll marital issues can take, seemingly connects her mother’s struggles to her own. The actor and ex-husband Brad Pitt currently co-parent their six children ― Maddox, 18; Pax, 16; Zahara, 15; Shiloh, 13; and 11-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne ― who Jolie says will “forever come first.”

“Life has taken many turns. I’ve had my own loss and seen my life take a different direction. And it hurt more than I imagined it ever would,” she continued. “But now, with my girls growing up and being the ages I remember so well as a daughter, I am rediscovering my mother and her spirit.”

Angelina Jolie, right, and her mother Marcheline Bertrand, at a film premiere in Los Angeles in 2001.



ASSOCIATED PRESS

Angelina Jolie, right, and her mother Marcheline Bertrand, at a film premiere in Los Angeles in 2001.

As an advocate for children around the world, Jolie urged protection for young people suffering amid the coronavirus pandemic in an essay for Time magazine last month. 

“We were underprepared for this moment because we have yet to take the protection of children seriously enough as a society,” Jolie wrote. “The profound, lasting health impacts of trauma on children are poorly understood and often minimized.”

Voight, meanwhile, hailed Trump as “hero” and a “magnificent soul” for his response to the COVID-19 health crisis in a recent video message. 

But Jolie has revealed that she and Voight have found a way to communicate for the benefit of her children. 

“Jon and I have gotten to know each other — through grandchildren now,” Jolie told The Hollywood Reporter in 2017. “We’re finding a new relationship. … We’ve had some difficulties, [but] through art we’ve been able to talk. It’s the common language.”

“We don’t really talk politics well,” she added. “We talk art very well.”

Cara Delevingne And Ashley Benson Break Up After Almost 2 Years of Dating

It’s over for Cara Delevingne and Ashley Benson.

The “Carnival Row” star and the “Pretty Little Liars” alum have split after nearly two years of dating, multiple outlets reported on Wednesday. 

People was the first to break the news, citing an unnamed source who told the outlet that the couple called it quits in early April.

“Cara and Ashley always had their ups and down before but it’s over now,” the source told People. “Their relationship just ran its course.”

Cara Delevingne and Ashley Benson attend the Boss fashion show in February 2020.



Jacopo Raule via Getty Images

Cara Delevingne and Ashley Benson attend the Boss fashion show in February 2020.

The source added that the supermodel is currently spending time with friends Kaia Gerber and Margaret Qualley in self-isolation during the coronavirus outbreak. 

But as recently as early March, Delevingne and Benson were posting Kardashian-inspired TikTok videos together, giving fans the impression that the state of their romance was as strong as ever. 

The couple, who were first spotted kissing back in August 2018, confirmed their relationship in June 2019 with an Instagram video of their characters from the film “Her Smell” making out in celebration of LGBTQ pride month. 

Days later, Delevingne gave Benson a special shoutout during her acceptance speech at the TrevorLIVE gala. 

“I also have another very special woman in this room to thank and you know who you are,” she said on stage at the time. “She’s one of the people who helped me love myself when I needed it most and I really needed it. She showed me what real love is and how to accept it, which is a lot harder than I thought.” 

They’ve been nearly inseparable ever since, reportedly moving in together and attending a slew of high-profile fashion shows, including Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty lingerie show in September. 

Delevingne also shared a lovey post of the two in February to ring in Valentine’s Day.

Benson, meanwhile, has been considerably more private about their relationship.

“I think [privacy is] the best way in any relationship,” she told People in August 2018. “I’ve always been very private about them, and I think it’s just better.”

“I mean it’s hard, I don’t know, you kind of can’t get away from that if you’re in the public eye,” she added. “I just kinda try to keep myself as private as possible.”

Sarah Jessica Parker And Andy Cohen Mark Met Gala Monday With Masked Selfie

Andy Cohen and Sarah Jessica Parker didn’t let lockdown stop them from acknowledging one of their most beloved traditions this week.

On Monday, the longtime pals posed a safe distance apart from each other on the steps of Parker’s New York townhouse with their faces obscured by colorful masks to honor what would have been the 2020 Met Gala.

Parker included the photo alongside a series showing details of her 2013 Met Gala ensemble, including a Giles Deacon gown and a mohawk-style headdress designed by Philip Treacy.

“Now And Then,” she wrote in a caption.

“We’re ready,” quipped Cohen as he shared a similar photo.

Cohen and Parker have been fixtures at the Met Gala for years. Most recently, they turned up in fittingly outré looks for 2018’s Catholic Church-themed fete.

In March, organizers announced that the starry fundraising event for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute would be postponed indefinitely this year amid the coronavirus crisis.

Longtime attendees like Blake Lively and Katy Perry, however, decided to mark the occasion anyway with social media posts sharing planned or previous looks.

Cohen was among the first celebrities to come forward after testing positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. The Bravo personality has since recovered, resuming his duties as “Watch What Happens Live” host, albeit remotely.

Parker, meanwhile, was due to begin performances in a Broadway revival of Neil Simon’s “Plaza Suite” with husband Matthew Broderick. The comedy was slated for an April 13 opening but has been postponed indefinitely, as all Broadway theaters remain closed through at least June 8.

A HuffPost Guide To Coronavirus

François Clemmons Knows How To Look For The Helpers

This article is part of a series called “How to Human,” interviews with memoirists that explore how we tackle life’s alarms, marvels and bombshells.  

Mister Rogers was famous for telling children to look for the helpers in times of crisis, and here we are in a bona fide crisis, a pandemic. Though Mister Rogers is no longer with us, François S. Clemmons, who played Officer Clemmons for 25 years and acted as a unifying force amid racial inequality, is. Clemmons has a new memoir, “Officer Clemmons: A Memoir,” coming out Tuesday.

He writes in beautiful spare prose about a deeply traumatic upbringing experiencing domestic violence and racism that almost held him back from pursuing the study of music. He describes his struggle with coming out as homosexual, as well as what it meant to have a deep friendship with Fred Rogers. Clemmons sat down with HuffPost via Zoom in April to discuss his life and what Mister Rogers would think about this moment in history.

Today is your 75th birthday. Happy birthday! It’s a big one.

Yes, it is! It is 75, and I’ve had so many. Huh? I’m having a lot of mixed emotions about it because Fred Rogers died at 74. He didn’t make it to 75. So it’s like I’m older than my surrogate daddy. I used to think of his age as patience, kindness, wisdom, a certain kind of understanding and insight.  

What are your days looking like these days?

Well, to be really frank, I haven’t had a hug in almost two months.

Oh, oh, that’s heartbreaking!

Oh, yeah. It is! It’s heartbreaking to me, too. I had a moment about two weeks ago when I literally panicked. I was thinking, “I’m never going to hug anybody again.” I did. I live alone. I see people on the street, but they chase me back in the house. “Stay in the house, and stay safe!” I know they’re doing what they feel is best for me. The big question, from my perspective, is what do we do to ourselves as a culture, as a society, when we isolate ourselves? We’re gregarious. We’re social people, and also, when there’s a problem, we come together — we sit, we talk about it. Everyone has some commentary, and you make certain kinds of decisions.

Yeah, that’s what makes quarantine so hard. 

Everyone is isolated. Thank God for Andrew Cuomo, the governor. Someone has stepped into that rank and has given us some real analytical understanding and thinking, adult thinking, about this virus. It has stirred up our society to the very core.

The other part of that is when we grieve, when someone dies, we like to hold their hand. We like to rub their shoulders and maybe get a couple last kisses. There’s an intimacy, a hugging that we, as human beings, our species requires that. 

There’s no consolation now because we cut that step out. So you can’t touch. You can’t be in the same room. You have to have a glass separating you or a mask and all that stuff. So you don’t get to hold the hands of your beloved who is dying. We need that as a human being, as a species.

We really do.

People who have partners, this is again just my opinion, they don’t quite get the desperation of the single person because they literally don’t have to deal with it. Even when you’re in a marriage or with a partner whom you don’t talk to very much, you don’t feel alone. You’ve got that other body that moves around, doing its thing. So that is a catch, and there are lots of single people in this society. That’s the other thing I’m really aware of, and they’re not all over 75. 



Catapult

How do you think Fred Rogers would respond to this moment?

A few people have asked me that. I don’t think this is something that Fred should be dealing with. It’s something we need to be dealing with, and asking what he would do is OK, but what it boils down to is you and I are in charge now. Fred’s not in charge anymore. He’s not instructing us the same way. He’s left us in charge. He knows that he did his job, what he imparted to us is so special. Now it’s your turn to show that you are worthy of sitting in that driver’s seat, and that would be an adult. We adults have to talk with each other and decide what’s best.

“Sesame Street” did a Zoom version of their show a couple of weeks ago. If “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” was still running, what kind of show would he try to put on, let’s say, working from home?

Well, that’s a very interesting question, because Mister Rogers had a retreat place that he used to go to. So he didn’t really work in a certain way, like at a computer and stuff at home. So I’m sure he would make the adjustment. And from the standpoint that he’s an introvert, and he very often went away to write scripts and to think. So he would be thinking about, “What are we doing to our children by making these decisions right now? What do the children do? How do they respond?”   

Let’s talk about your book. The cover shows that famous scene of you and Mister Rogers dunking your feet in a kiddie pool. Could you talk about that? 

Yes. We were re-creating a scene we did early on in the show years before where I came by the house on a sunny day, and we put our feet in the water to cool off. The real reason we did that was because Southern people who were discriminating against Black people did not want them to use the swimming pools. So they threw chemicals in that water. It was so mean-spirited.

Atlanta and Memphis, Nashville, all of those Southern capitals, all of these white people saying you cannot come and swim in this pool because you’re Black. Well, are you serious? I was so pissed at them, and I had to do something. So I didn’t feel like I could do it, so I said, “Fred, what can you do?” And that was his answer to come up with a solution where we’d sit down, two friends, and put our feet in the water. It also has a physical reference to Peter, who in the Last Supper, in the upper room, he did not want Jesus to wash his feet. Now some of that we just couldn’t help. The meaning, the implication, that’s what I mean. We couldn’t help the implication that Fred was the leader of the movement or some people consider him a contemporary holy man.

In the beginning of the memoir, you started with a scene, a very dramatic scene of murder, between old Master Sanders, Laura Mae and Noah Leon. I was wondering, you had many places, I think, that you could have started your memoir, why did you pick this scene to begin?

OK. I think people are very interested in my relationship with Mister Rogers. So that’ll take a total of 15 pages getting to that time, when they understand that it’s a memoir or autobiographical approach that I’m taking. So I felt that people would wait a couple of pages to get to the Mister Rogers stuff and I could give them some biographical stuff. I feel like they need to know who this man is that’s talking about Fred Rogers. And why I am the way I am, and notice some of the things that I notice. I looked at a number of books that have been written about Fred. I read them, and I liked a lot of them, but what I felt was there was a certain perspective that they wrote from that I would not have written from the same perspective. And I think I was the only person with my perspective, this perspective, and that is one of them is I’m gay. And I want to say that to people so they understand that there’s a gay person working on “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.”

It’s also just as important to me that I wanted people to know that I came from a matriarchy. In my opinion, that’s part of what I’m saying. I did not come from a patriarchy. And that matriarchy was from my great-grandmother, my grandmother, my mother down to me. And I think that’s where a lot of my feminine identification came from. The men were around, but they went off to work and they left… The children were the woman’s work, and they helped me to understand who I am. My creativity comes from my connection. They sang the spirituals before I was born. My great-grandmother, my grandmother, my mother, all of them sang.

So that’s what I was trying to do in those opening chapters, get people’s attention to the fact that I’m a Black fellow from the ghetto, and women raised me, not men. So that in order to understand who I am now and what I became, what I committed myself to, I think they have to have that backstory.

This interview was condensed and edited for clarity. 

Meghan Markle Loses First Round In Tabloid Privacy Case

A judge on Friday struck down parts of Meghan Markle’s claim against the Associated Newspapers, giving the publisher the first win in the Duchess of Sussex’s ongoing privacy case against it. 

Meghan is suing Associated Newspapers, the parent company of the Mail on Sunday, for publishing articles last year that contained parts of a private letter she wrote to her estranged father, Thomas Markle.

After a preliminary hearing in London’s High Court last week, Mr Justice Warby on Friday threw out parts of Meghan’s claim that claimed the publisher acted dishonestly, intentionally caused conflict between Meghan and her father, and had an organized agenda against the duchess. The central issues of the case are privacy, copyright infringement and the breach of the Data Protection Act 2018.

“I do not consider the allegations in question go to the ‘heart’ of the case, which at its core concerns the publication of five articles disclosing the words of, and information drawn from, the letter written by the claimant to her father in August in 2018,” the judge said. 

Meghan will not be appealing the decision. Some of the aspects of what was thrown out can come up later in the case, according to Warby. 

A spokesperson for Schillings, the duchesses’ law firm, said they were “surprised” to hear “dishonest behaviour is not relevant” but that they respected the judge’s decision.

“The Duchess’ rights were violated; the legal boundaries around privacy were crossed. As part of this process, the extremes to which The Mail on Sunday used distortive, manipulative, and dishonest tactics to target The Duchess of Sussex have been put on full display,” the spokesperson said. 

Up next in the case is another procedural hearing. A date for the trial has not been set. 

Prince Harry is involved in a separate privacy lawsuit, as he is suing owners of the Mirror and the Sun over alleged phone hacking.

Better With Age: The Holland Taylor Story

Holland Taylor is known for her imperious composure. Over her five-decade career, she has been cast almost exclusively in roles that demand significant degrees of sass and brass, which she somehow delivers without showboating. Any tally of Taylor’s highlights would feel incomplete, but here goes: “Bosom Buddies,” “Romancing the Stone,” “To Die For,” “The Practice,” “Legally Blonde,” “The L Word,” “Two and a Half Men” and a number of acclaimed stage parts, including a play she wrote about former Texas Gov. Ann Richards.

It was only a matter of time before Taylor landed in a Ryan Murphy show, considering that most female characters in Murphy’s oeuvre ooze sass and brass. Plus, she’s in a relationship with the “American Horror Story” maestro’s longtime muse Sarah Paulson.

That’s where “Hollywood” comes in. Murphy’s seven-episode Netflix series, which premieres May 1, is set during the 1940s when the titular industry was still largely segregated. Queer people had to conceal their sexuality, and people of color were considered unbankable. Fusing fact and rosy fiction, “Hollywood” charts the development of a movie based on British actor Peg Entwistle, who in 1932 took her own life by jumping off the Hollywood sign

Taylor plays Ellen Kincaid, an articulate, open-minded talent manager in a town run by obstinate blowhards. Ellen champions the Entwistle film even though it’s written by — gasp! — a Black man (Jeremy Pope). She also witnesses the early days of Rock Hudson’s career as agents mold the young upstart (Jake Picking) into the era’s notion of an archetypal leading lad (toned, white, heterosexual). Taylor’s other co-stars include Darren Criss, Jim Parsons, Laura Harrier, Dylan McDermott and a scene-stealing Patti LuPone

When I got on the phone with Taylor earlier this month, she couldn’t have been more enthusiastic about the series. Her career, unlike those of many other women in Hollywood, has aged exceptionally well. She won her first Emmy at 56 and has since received six more nominations. Now 77, Taylor works steadily, no longer hustling for gigs the way she did three decades ago (see: “Saved by the Bell: The College Years” and “Cop and a Half”). But she’s also concerned about the coronavirus and its implications for her ability to work in the near future. In the meantime, she’s quarantining with a new puppy and trying to figure out how to operate her vacuum cleaner.

During a lively conversation, Taylor and I discussed “Hollywood,” pandemic fears, meeting Hudson, LuPone’s on-set musical performances, the arc of her own career, and the time she was forbidden from saying “blow job” on TV. 

Holland Taylor in an episode of "Hollywood."



Netflix

Holland Taylor in an episode of “Hollywood.”

What have you been doing to compensate during the quarantine? Have you been watching or reading anything that’s provided a decent distraction?

Well, I’ve not been watching so many things. It’s funny how much busyness is created around this. I mean, I’m down to a system now, but the first weeks were just figuring out how to get food properly since I’m not supposed to go into stores because of my age, and also how to take care of my garden and my house. It’s an education. And I literally did not know how to work my vacuum cleaner, which literally almost ran me over and dragged me out of the house. My housekeeper who comes for three hours a week, she’s a tiny little woman. I don’t know how she runs this thing and I’m terrified of it. Then Sarah got a puppy.

Yes. That’s between bouts of being really depressed and wondering how long this will go on. Also, we can’t work. When the go-back-to-work notice comes, it’s not going to be for actors at all. In a movie, you’re cheek by jowl with about a hundred people all the time. How are they going to do that? So it might really be a long time before we’re back at work, and that makes me really terribly, terribly sad. I wasn’t planning on spending this time in my life not being able to work.

Has the dog been a fun diversion at least?

Oh, she’s wonderful. Sarah really picked a winner. She’s 6 months old. She weighs about 6 or 7 pounds. She’s part papillon, we think, and part, I don’t know, she has this spaniel face. I must say, Sarah is much better at it than I am. The last dog I had was a rescue who had really been hurt in her little life. She was very afraid, and nobody could walk her but me and nobody could take care of her but me. This is a very healthy, well-rounded, aggressive little dog. It’s a wonderful contrast to the really dark mystery that we’re living in. In the midst of all this sunshine, we’re actually living in a cloud of fear and disinformation and insane chaos coming from the top. 

Tom Hanks, Holland Taylor and Peter Scolari in the "Bosom Buddies" pilot.



ABC Photo Archives via Getty Images

Tom Hanks, Holland Taylor and Peter Scolari in the “Bosom Buddies” pilot.

Just think: You have this tiny creature who has no idea what’s going on. He doesn’t know who the president is.

No. A state devoutly to be missed. People talk about, “Well, this is the perfect time to pick up some big project, Holland.” And maybe I will turn my hand to something, but I have not been able to turn away from it as much as I would like to.

Sarah and I do watch some things, and we had “Hollywood” to watch, actually, which was great fun. And now her show just started, “Mrs. America,” and I want to watch that because I remember when she was making it. She does not want to watch herself, but she seems to have a wonderful role in it. All those actresses had the most wonderful time together. They all were friends and they were shooting these big scenes together and they were all hanging out and having big dinner parties. It was really enviable because the fact is actors really do have a good time together.

Sarah is a longtime company player within the Ryan Murphy universe. Did she give you any advice on working with him? He’s known for running fairly kinetic sets.

She gave me advice I didn’t need. She said, “Take that job!” I said, “I’m way ahead of you, lady.” I just always think of Sarah being in all of Ryan’s shows, so it never occurred to me that I would do a Ryan Murphy show. I wouldn’t want to be in a show that Sarah was in. That wouldn’t be right. That wouldn’t feel comfortable to me. Then this came up and he said, “No, this is a one-off thing that we’re doing. We’re creating the part for you. It’s going to be wonderful.” He’s a great storyteller, but more than that, he just has a feel for people and what they can do that maybe they don’t even know. And he wasn’t lying. It’s a wonderful role. It’s actually one of my most favorite roles.

As the rare female power player in the ’40s, how did you want Ellen to look and sound?

I had a very specific image for her, a very specific kind of voice for her and a very specific body for her. Not that anyone would ever notice these things, but I had a definite feeling when I was playing her of who she was. I really liked her. She’s somebody I would love to know and somebody really congenial and smart and wise, and a person with real character and substance. You don’t often play parts like that. There was one point where we talked about making 10 episodes, and [Netflix] said seven. And I wish to God we had three more to make. We all were so sad when it was over.

Holland Taylor, Dustin Diamond, Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Anne Tremko in an episode of "Saved by the Bell: The College Years."



NBC via Getty Images

Holland Taylor, Dustin Diamond, Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Anne Tremko in an episode of “Saved by the Bell: The College Years.”

The show takes place before your time in Hollywood, but have you often interacted with the same sort of cutthroat, self-aggrandizing producers and executives depicted?

Oh, absolutely. I’ve worked a gamut.

Norman Lear, I’ve known him for many, many years, and you couldn’t find a bigger mogul than that — and he is a kind and civilized gentleman who has the most impeccable manners and graciousness. I’m sure he’s had to do plenty of tough things, and I’m sure he’s had to fire some people. But he is not a person who is capable of demeaning someone or attacking someone or vilifying them in some personal way.

And yet I’ve worked with the absolute other side of the coin. I’ve worked for people who were absolutely monstrously cruel and also tremendously talented. Believe me, both types are everywhere.

This is a show about image-making. At the time, actors’ personas were created in boardrooms. It’s a different era now, but have you ever been asked to alter your voice or appearance in a way that made you feel uncomfortable or manipulated?

I have not been, but then I was brought up in such a way so that my particular style would have been the desirable one to emulate. Do you know what I mean? I don’t know what it would have been like had I been told my manner would not fly. I think it would have been very hard.

On the other hand, it’s like finishing school. There’s nothing wrong with that in the sense that you want to be polished. In the ’30s and ’40s, Hollywood learned from Europe the finer ways to behave and good manners in the deepest sense. The real motive of fine manners is not to demean people or make people feel of a different class, but quite the opposite: to make people feel comfortable in thoughtful surroundings. And we’re still a young country. We certainly learned a lot in the ’40s and ’50s from Hollywood.

From left: Holland Taylor in "Ann," "The Practice" and "Bosom Buddies."



Katie Mulligan for HuffPost

From left: Holland Taylor in “Ann,” “The Practice” and “Bosom Buddies.”

Have you ever wished you could hear what casting directors or producers say about you after you leave an audition?

I wouldn’t because it can be very rough. When a casting director would say, “She just doesn’t have a feel for this role, she really can’t play this kind of part,” that doesn’t mean she isn’t a great actress. But you don’t need to actually hear those assessments, because actors are using their own bodies, their voices, their sensibilities, their manner. Finding an actor lacking is something they don’t need to know the details of. It’s too hard. Actors are necessarily pretty sensitive. Why wouldn’t they be? 

Did you ever cross paths with Rock Hudson before he died of AIDS in 1985?

Yes, I did. I met Rock Hudson a couple of times. He was a very nice guy and, of course, met a pretty tragic end. In his heyday, he was such a glorious creature. And you can really understand why he had such an enormous appeal. In the Doris Day movies, he has a lot of charm. I don’t think acting was something that was a deep experience for him, but it’s something he got the feel for. There was a case of somebody who was really created by [Hollywood agent] Henry Willson. 

"The Practice" co-stars Michael Badalucco and Holland Taylor at the Emmys on Sept. 12, 1999.



Scott Nelson via Getty Images

“The Practice” co-stars Michael Badalucco and Holland Taylor at the Emmys on Sept. 12, 1999.

Do you think the same type of carefully calculated star-making that’s seen on the show still happens today in Hollywood?

I certainly know a lot of managers are really hands-on. I’m thinking of an actress I know who’s very, very smart intellectually who was very guided by a manager who said, “You have to dress a certain way in public. You don’t wear jeans. You don’t hang out. You dress up. You are always on.” And other managers wouldn’t even dream of messing at that level.

But I think that, back in those days, when there was really no way that the public would really know anything about an actor, it was very different. They really could have created a whole illusion of a persona — not to deceive the public, but rather to just make a great star image. And you can’t create an illusion anymore. 

We are far savvier and more information-driven when it comes to public figures.

Yeah. There’s just too much access.

Surely you had met Patti LuPone before this series?

Oh, I’ve met her many times and I’ve been backstage a number of times to congratulate her. It was really wild to work with her. I remember our first day of work, I said, “I just can’t believe this.” She breaks into song constantly. She is a musical person and she comments on things in song, just in jest. She’s humming something as she’s walking down the corridor or when she’s in the makeup chair. My head was constantly whipping around saying, “What’s Patti LuPone singing over there?” When she’s in the trailer next to mine and I hear her warming up and I’m speaking on the phone with somebody, I’ll say, “Patti LuPone is warming up next door. Sorry, I got distracted.”

Holland Taylor and Charlie Sheen in an episode of "Two and a Half Men."



CBS Photo Archive via Getty Images

Holland Taylor and Charlie Sheen in an episode of “Two and a Half Men.”

Give me an example of something Patti sang.

She’ll do a whole number from “Evita” if she gets in a certain mood, and you just sit there with your jaw going slack. She does “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” full out. The whole deal. All of it. And what’s more, she did it in a very jazzy, scatty kind of way once when we were all in a van. Of course everybody whipped their phone out and recorded her. Also, she has tremendous performance energy. She loves to be on. She’s really fabulous and also a consummate professional. She would always know her lines before anybody and always very, very on point. She’s like a Marine commander.

It seems like you’ve had the opposite experience from a lot of women in Hollywood. You spent quite some time taking whatever came your way, but your roles have grown richer and more plentiful as the years go by. Was there a specific point when you realized that you no longer had to hustle the way you maybe once did?

I hustled when I was very young because I did not go to Yale or Juilliard, so I had no society when I came to New York. I knew no one. I just came blind and I had no idea what to do or how to make my way. And I was lucky. I had small roles in a number of off-Broadway shows and a number of Broadway shows. I worked fairly steadily, but it is true that I’ve gotten some really fantastic roles later in my career.

I did a number of character roles in movies like “Romancing the Stone.” I would’ve thought they would’ve led to something, but then I went through a period where I didn’t get any roles in New York. Certainly, when David Kelley put me in “The Practice” in that very, very, very, very striking role, that was really groundbreaking for its time. I mean, it’s nothing now, the kinds of things that character did, but in the day it was really stunning.

In terms of her sexual liberation?

Sexual liberation, and also the combination of her being a really good, smart judge and a difficult judge who could really singe your hair in a courtroom. That was fun to play. To put that in combination with a woman who was also having a dalliance with her clerk, who then had the nerve to sue her for firing him and tried to say the affair was at her instigation when it was not. He was the one who was hooked on her. I mean, it was a great reverse story, and it really gave the woman so much more credit and power and agency.

When I got that part, I had done a couple of smaller scenes in “The Practice,” and when I got the one that had the extraordinary scene that was so attention-getting, I lived in a house up on Hollyridge [in Los Angeles]. The scripts would be delivered, sort of thrown over the gate. I got home very late one night, and the script had come at 2 in the morning. Well, who could resist? I immediately opened it to read what would be next for that character, and I read these shearing scenes that were so stunning. I wanted to call up somebody because it was a scene in which I actually said, I think the word was “blow job,” but they had to change it to “fellatio.” “I gave the greatest blow job known to mankind” was the original line. My mind was so blown. I thought, “I’ve got to call up somebody.” Of course everybody was asleep, so I called an actress friend in London. It was early morning for her. I said, “Listen to what I’m going to do on national television!”

Holland Taylor during the opening-night curtain call for "Ann" at the Vivian Beaumont Theater in New York.



Walter McBride via Getty Images

Holland Taylor during the opening-night curtain call for “Ann” at the Vivian Beaumont Theater in New York.

And you won an Emmy for the role. That had to be a turning point in your career.

That was a big thing. And of course I wrote my play, “Ann,” which did have much success in New York. PBS is going to be broadcasting that nationally in June, which is very, very exciting. And then to play the Great Leader in the new “Bill & Ted” movie that’s coming out sometime this summer. It’s like horseshit at the rodeo. I’m really going great guns here. At my age, it’s really a treat. I was getting ready to do “Ann” again at the Pasadena Playhouse, and by God, I will do “Ann” again because I want to do it one last time. But we can’t do that until it’s safe to do it.

Talk about range right there: “Ann” and “Bill & Ted.”

Yes, well, if you don’t have range when you’re my age, you better quit.

That is good advice, actually. I’m at the age where the first time I remember seeing you onscreen was “Saved by the Bell.” Now, looking back on it, I don’t think there’s a less Holland Taylor role than “Saved by the Bell.” 

Oh my god, I couldn’t agree with you more. I had to work. I just simply had to have a job.

It was a paycheck.

I’ve always supported myself since I arrived in New York right out of school, and never had any source of income other than what I made from acting. So I took the job.

I think that was possibly right after I did a show for Norman Lear, which was one of the things I’m proudest of, called “The Powers That Be.” It was a satire about government and Washington, and it had an incredible cast. John Forsythe was the senator, and I was his wife. It was not a success, as satires so often aren’t. It wasn’t promoted well and the network actually really didn’t know what they had and they canceled it. The people who saw it were rabidly crazy about it, and working for Norman was certainly one of the highlights of my career. It really should run on the Comedy Channel. It’s in some basement at NBC. And I’ve often said to Norman, “Norman, get it out!” Very few shows disappear like that, and I don’t know why it did. 

Sarah Paulson and Holland Taylor at the Vanity Fair Oscar party on Feb. 9, 2020.



Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Sarah Paulson and Holland Taylor at the Vanity Fair Oscar party on Feb. 9, 2020.

Going back to the David E. Kelley connection, he is married to Michelle Pfeiffer, whose mom you played in “One Fine Day.” But you and Michelle are only 15 years apart. Did the two of you talk about that at the time?

No. In fact, I never even thought of that because I think it’s so often been true. Even when I was young, I never played young people. And now that I’m old, I play roles that are absurd at my age to play. Even Ellen Kincaid, in actuality, was written as though she were 50 or 55 or so, although I’m sure I don’t look it. But no, I didn’t think about that.

But that is why I got that role in “The Practice.” I remember David telling me that there was a moment where I was making clear that I found George [Clooney, Pfeiffer’s romantic interest in “One Fine Day”] very attractive. David said, “You could give Michelle a run for her money going after George.” He was very flattering, and that’s really why he thought of me when he thought of this judge who would be legitimate as a judge but also kind of a racy woman behind the scenes.

Playing Michelle Pfeiffer’s mother is nice work if you can get it. And now I’ve played Julianne Moore’s mother [in “Gloria Bell”]. I’ve played Nicole Kidman’s mother [in “To Die For”]. I’ve played a number of fabulous people’s mothers.

In “Hollywood,” your character teaches a group of aspiring actresses how to speak with the mid-Atlantic affectation that was popular at the time. When people talk about your own speaking voice, they tend to see it as a sort of modern mid-Atlantic intonation. Are you conscious of that?

I wasn’t ever instructed in it formally, and in fact, I spoke to a dialect person on Ryan’s recommendation who gave me some defining lines for it because I don’t have a perfect mid-Atlantic accent. But my parents were very well-spoken and very well-educated. I received a very good education on the East Coast and I was, as a young person, a very big reader of fine literature. I think I just come by it by exposure. In fact, I have to try to get rid of some of it for certain roles. I’ve even had a director say, “You’re too formal.” And I do have a formal way of speaking. It’s probably my generation. I’ve been around a long time, and I was brought up when people behaved a certain way and spoke a certain way. And, as I say, my parents were very well-spoken.

This interview has been edited and condensed.