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Edward Norton
Question: What do the following four women have in common: Jada Pinkett Smith, Anna Faris, Linda Harrison, and Toni Braxton? Is it: (A) They've all performed in the same porno together. (B) At one time or another they have all dated Mister Bean. (C) They're well known for washing their teeth with sand. Or (D) Something to do with jelly. Answer: Well, to be completely honest with you, dear reader, it's none of these options. The only thing these nice lady's have in common, is that they've all come from Columbia, Maryland, which is the same place that Edward Norton comes from too. Here, he mentions it in this 45 minute interview he had in 2003.

Edward Norton

It's another battle of the beards in this episode of 'Inside the Actors Studio'. Now in the interviewer's corner; is none other than the man with the blue cards himself, James Lipton. Whilst in the interviewee's corner; is the man who looks like a penguin given humanoid form, Edwards Norton.

Yes. That's right. I said 'Edward Norton'. The gent who wanted to become an actor since he was five years old; and comes from a family of humanitarians and erstwhile educators.

But as for Edward on the other hand? Well? He's a good lad really. He was an apt student at both school and college. He obtained a degree in history at Yale University. He's learnt how to speak Japanese. And as for his movies? Here, let's see what he has to say for himself, shall we?

  • On 'Primal Fear' -- I know that a lot of people auditioned for the same role I applied for on this picture (over 2000). I think that I did OK. Over time my audition tape was like a rare rock and roll oddity.
  • On 'Everyone Says I Love You' -- Woody is a very efficient director, which actually surprised quite a lot of people.
  • On 'The People Vs Harry Flynt' -- Milos allowed me to do whatever I wanted on set, and this made me think that this might be the worst film he has ever made. I found out that I was wrong when I went into the editing room later though.
  • On 'Rounders ' -- Just like my character, Worm, Bugs Bunny is basically from Brooklyn.
  • On 'American History X' -- I knew that I had to make this film, or otherwise this opportunity may have never come around again.
  • On 'Fight Club' -- Now this is a movie of mine I might actually watch one day. It has very creative synergy.
  • On 'Keeping the Faith' -- Ben Stiller has great presence as an actor and is very professional too.
  • On 'The Score' -- I just wanted to be on the same poster as Robert De Niro and Marlon Brando.
  • On 'Red Dragon' -- I learned a lot from Anthony Hopkins. I could actually see his brain working whilst he was acting.
  • On Freda -- When Julie came along I did not have to think out of the box. She has no box.

Now Edward concludes this interview by talking about the most recent film he made with Spike Lee -- called '25th Hour' -- as well as his current stage role in the play 'Burn This'. Moreover, when James poses him questions from the Bernard Pivo structured questionnaire, we learn that Edwards likes 'light', and does not like the word 'like'. Before he answers subsequent questions posed to him by the students in attendance, relating to his own 'acting process' and his 'weaknesses' as a performer. 


Listen, I have a very strange confession to make. When I first saw Edward Norton on screen all those many years ago, I did not like the look of him at first. Granted, this did not have anything to do with his acting ability or the film in itself. That was just fine. It was him. Because he looked exactly like an old school 'chum' of mine called Terry Stuart.

You see, Terry was one of those kids that got on my nerves all of the bloody time. He had a chip on his shoulder the size of a small elephant. He was brash. He came from a privileged background. He had a mother who wore tight-fitting leopard-skin clothing. Plus he had a twisted testicle too.


'Twister' was just a pain in the ass with a pain in the front; and he would always try to steal the spotlight from my classmates with an act of strange bravado and pious sympathy. Heck, I remember one time when I tried to straighten him out with a cork-screw and a pair of pliers, and it I who ended up getting a good telling off, whilst he... errr... had an encounter he'll never forget. 

Edward Norton in Fight Club

Still, enough about me and 'Twister', huh? And more about Mr Norton and his facts instead: (1) Edward once dated his co-star in the film, 'The People Vs Harry Flynt' [click here for review], Courtney Love, and played in her band, 'Hole', as well. (2) As an avid non-smoker, Edward has always tried to refuses to smoke in the films he's in. (3) Before he became an actor, Edward was a waiter, a proof-reader, and even a director's assistant. (4) Edward's grandfather, James Rouse, is credited with being the inventor of the modern day shopping mall. Plus his father, Edward Norton Sr., was an attorney for the President of America, Jimmy Carter. (5) Actors, Ron Livingston and Paul Giamatti, became very good friend with Edward when he studied history at Yale University. (6) Edward can speak both Spanish and Japanese. (7) He was considered for the role of Andy Kaufman in the film 'Man on The Moon' [click here for review]. (8) Edward dedicated his directoral debut, 'Keeping the Faith', to his dearly departed mother, Robin. (9) He always gets a kick out of playing characters with multiple personalities; and has done so on such projects as 'Primal Fear', 'Fight Club', 'The Score', 'American History X', 'Death To Smoochy', and 'The Incredible Hulk'. (10) Edward is a comic book fan; and the reason why he turned down the role of Terry Fitzgerald in the film 'Spawn', plus the part of Bruce Banner in the film 'Hulk', was because he did not like the scripts very much. That's why he developed his own role in the 'Incredible Hulk' movie.

Edward Norton Film

Alright, enough of that 'trivia stuff' for the moment, OK? Let me talk a bit about 'Ed' next. Well, after watching this episode of 'Inside the Actors Studio', I have to admit, that my attitude towards Ed has changed an awful lot. I just found that he came across as a really nice guy with a very thoughtful manner, who has a love for his craft and a passion for humanity. In many ways Ed is almost the inverse of my chum 'Twister', because he is both humbling and honest about his station in life, and has a very pleasant way about him that I really warmed up to.

Now one of my most favorite sections within this program; was when Ed talked very openly about how he felt after losing his dearly departed Mother. It was as if this tragedy had somehow focused his mind and outlook on life, allowing him to put his career and his personal life into some sort of perspective. Also, I did like the way that Ed praised nigh on everybody he has worked with in the past, freely admitting that he's the type of actor who has learnt more and more and more, the longer 'he goes along'.

Say Hi to Edward Norton

Honestly, I think that I may re-watch all of Ed's film once again, because now I don't have to spit on the screen whenever he comes on it. Sorry Ed. I'm a bit of a plonka a times, huh? I wished my Granddad invented the shopping mall. Just as I wished that I was more proficient with a cork-screw and a pair of pliers when I was younger.

Twister beware - Edward nice facial hair. 


JAMES LIPTON WITH EDWARD NORTON JAMES LIPTON WITH EDWARD NORTON Reviewed by David Andrews on December 17, 2012 Rating: 5
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