October 23, 2020
EP. 29 — Busy Philipps
Actor, host, and instagram icon Busy Philipps joins Jameela this week to talk about hollywood’s fat-shaming culture, being the perfect movie best friend, Busy’s magical intuition, why Busy chose to tell her abortion story, and why the fight for reproductive rights is so critical right now.
29 — Busy Philipps
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:00:00] Hello and welcome to another episode of “I Weigh” with Jameela Jamil. I, as always, hope you’re well, wouldn’t it be amazing if one of these times I’m just like, I hope you’re shit. I hate you. But no, I hope you’re well and I, I am OK. Had a bit of an odd stressful emotional week, just not only because of what’s going on in the world, but also just some personal frustrations with being a woman. I, I found myself yesterday morning having a big old cry, which I never do because I’m English and also just a very damaged robot. But I had a big old cry for almost an hour about just how much I hate being a woman sometimes. Obviously, that’s just a passing moment and not one I encourage because I love women. I think women are magical. But also I think it’s OK to talk about. I think we should be able to talk about it. But sometimes it just gets too much. The double standards, the misogyny, the rampant hypocrisy, like just the unkindness, the traps that are built to set us up. You know, like just how much extra homework we’re given. All the lies that we’re told. All the information that’s held back from us. All the blame. The shame, just, [sighs] just take a second, to just [sighs]. ‘Cause it’s a lot. And, and I, I know it’s not positive thinking to bring that up. But I also think sometimes we need to look at it in order to be galvanized, to fight it and to change it. And it’s OK to sometimes just be really fucked off with all of it. And just really like, how is this poss-? How is this still happening? But also, my life would be so much easier if I had been a man. Not to say that men don’t have their own things. And the patriarchy hasn’t done a number on them, and it must be awful to not be able to ever express yourself and have all these different types of weird pressures and shame. But it’s definitely an easier ride. So I don’t know why I’ve told you that. But I think it’s really important to not present myself, as, you know, having it together now. You know, I know I talk a lot about my past and all the troubles I’ve had, but I don’t know if I often open up to you about my kind of moments of struggle these days. And so I thought I’d just tell you that if you ever feel like that, you’re not a bad feminist. You’re not a bad person. You’re not losing the fight. You know, sometimes it’s OK to just be a bit worn down. And so take some time. I took a day off from feminism and just sat in my bed, basically completed Netflix, ate a rice bowl and recovered. And I think taking time to recover from patriarchy, it’s really important because we spend so much time fighting it, even when we’re not intentionally doing so. Just surviving in this world is fighting patriarchy. So well done to you. And have a much needed break. One of the ways in which I was frustrated this week was because I was included in this wonderful exhibition of feminists throughout history at the British Library, which is a huge honor. It’s such an extraordinary historical institution in England. And I was there, you know, amongst some of the all time greats. But I was there, obviously as a newcomer, especially considering I’m not dead. So we don’t yet know what I will go on to achieve. And a couple of sort of intellectuals online with verified blue ticks on Twitter questioned my ability to be there, especially because, you know, they see me as more of a, an, I don’t know, like a pop culture figure rather than someone who’s actually made any meaningful efforts towards women and who’s actually achieved anything. And these people obviously have never actually investigated what I’ve done. They’ve read a couple of Daily Mail headlines or they see how many followers I have or what I wear on the red carpet. And they’ve just made an assumption. And so I did something I haven’t really done before, you know, because I’ve naturally been quite an apologetic person and because I have made mistakes, I always accept people dismissing me and undermining me as well, oh, it’s because I made that mistake that time. So I’ve misrepresented myself. This is my fault. You know, or I just have to prove myself more. And finally this week, I was just a bit like, fuck it. I’ve done some really great shit that I’m really proud of. And I’ve never said that. And, you know, I don’t even know if I can feel actual pride, but I, you know, I’ve done things that are important and helpful. I’m working on a bunch of bills for the United States of America. I just spoke in Congress. I changed a global policy on Facebook and Instagram to protect minors from being able to see diet and detox ads and cosmetic surgery ads like I have created a mainstream global conversation around the dangers of eating disorder rhetoric and products and irresponsible celebrities. Like I, I know I am imperfect and I know I make mistakes and I know I can be clumsy and I don’t have a clean past, but I’m fucking trying and I’m doing something. And I am so sick of people who aren’t doing anything near as much as I am just critiquing me. You know, as Dr. Ibram Kendi said, armchair experts, you know, sitting there critiquing my efforts. We do this so much to women and then we teach women to do it to themselves. We, we erase all of the good they do because of the minor mistakes that they make. We just kind of erase their history and we do it to discourage them from ever fulfilling their potential. And I’m damned if I’m going to continue to let that happen, the amount of times I’ve questioned whether I should keep going because have I made too many mistakes to keep going, have I have I run out? No, I haven’t. Until we’re dead, we have not run out of time to change, to become better, to learn more, to help people. Don’t ever let someone discourage you from your journey while you are still alive. You always have time. And they don’t want us to become powerful. They don’t want us, a lot of these people are men or misogynist women who are questioning my, my ability to be in this exhibition. I’m only 34. I’m not even done yet. You don’t even know what I’m capable of. And you’re trying to diminish my existence and my achievement before I’ve even completed the task. Is this helpful? We do this all the time. We do this to ourselves and we mostly do it to other women, either in the public eye or in activism spaces. What’s the goal here? What do we think we’re going to achieve by telling everyone not to bother unless they make no mistakes? So just, I ended up doing a big old brag on Instagram and Twitter about the reasons that I have been included in that exhibition, in spite of the fact that I have made mistakes before. And it led to a huge online reaction. And so many people saying, wow, it’s amazing to see a woman actually sort of stand up for herself, but mostly just talk about the good things that she’s done to brag a little bit. And it made me remember something that Shonda Rhimes once said on stage, in front of, you know, all of us, which is that women don’t brag enough. We are taught to never brag, we just sort of, you know, wait for other people to notice what is great about us and accept it if they don’t. And that’s bullshit. And it’s damaging to the jobs that we get. We don’t put ourselves up for jobs that men put themselves up for, even though we’re both sometimes under-qualified. It changes the promotions that we might get. It harms our self, self image, our self esteem. So it’s vital that we start to brag a little bit. She then went on to brag that she, in spite of being a black woman who is, you know, in her 40s, is the highest paid show runner in the world. Now, it doesn’t matter. I’m aware that that’s not everyone’s goal. But the point is, is that is an incredible and historical achievement that she has made there and she’s bragging about it. So I hope today you will take a little opportunity after you’ve listened to this podcast to have a little brag. Write something down. It doesn’t have to be an award. It doesn’t, you don’t have to have made history. You might have just survived something. You might just have not murdered anyone this year, even though you’ve wanted to, because it’s been really hard to be in lockdown since March. It might be something you’ve overcome or are continuing to overcome, even though it’s really hard. It might be just getting out of bed or brushing your teeth. But congratulate yourself. ‘Cause patriarchy sure as shit isn’t going to. And I don’t want that to lead the way that we think, and think about and value ourselves. So have a brag. I did a brag. I don’t feel bad about it. I actually feel really good about it. It’s actually really nice to write down the things that are that you have done that are admirable, that you would admire in another person, and things you feel proud about yourself for. Anyway, I’m ran-, I’m ranting. I’m on a rant. But sometimes my feelings just get the better of me. And this is one of those weeks. Now, a woman who is in the public eye, who I really admire and like, is on this podcast today. And I think she’s a real beacon of hope and has been for a long time of being a realist, of owning what is good and interesting and cool about you, but not in any kind of way that puts people’s backs up. She’s very frank. She’s very open, incredibly transparent. In fact, she has a book that she released called “This Will Only Hurt A Little”, in which she goes into such tremendous detail about her life, the good and the bad moments. I’ve looked up to her for a really long time, ’cause she was, for, for ages, one of the only women who felt real and relatable and frank and just unwilling to make herself seem dumb or shallow. She’d never played by the rules. And I, I guess that’s probably why I wanted her to come onto this podcast. I’m talking about Busy Philipps. You will know her as an actress throughout all of Hollywood, as a lot of people’s fave. She also had her own late night talk show on E! As I said, she is the author of “This Will Only Hurt A Little”. And now she has her own podcast called “Busy Philipps is Doing Her Best”. I’ve been watching her for the longest time and she did not disappoint in just being a transparent, self-assured and sturdy human being. And she doesn’t pretend to be perfect. She doesn’t pretend to be unshakable, but she feels really real. And there’s this, this feeling of strength you get from around her. This, this self acceptance that she’s been working on and building her whole life. That makes you want more of that for yourself. She’s one of the most unapologetic people I’ve met in this industry. And I hope you will find it interesting to hear about her life and what she’s been through in this industry and, and also about the massive fight that she took on very publicly around abortion. She’s someone who advocates for pro choice and she is someone who herself has had an abortion and just has taken on such a risk and a huge amount of stress in order to fight for our rights in that area. She’s spoken at Congress before. She’s just, she’s a good egg. So please enjoy the excellent busy Philipps. It’s only one of my favorite people, I’ve grown up loving her so much. Busy Philipps, welcome to “I Weigh”.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:10:57] Hi!
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:10:57] This is crazy.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:10:58] Jameela, it’s so good to see you on Zoom.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:10:59] It’s so good to see you. And even though I know you and we’re friends and we text, it’s still wild to me that you’re on my podcast. Because-.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:11:08] Is it?
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:11:08] It is. It is. No, because you don’t understand. Because I think I probably played it down when we first, you know, we got to know each other, I think we were shooting like a campaign together or something, but, but I grew up, like, obsessed with you. Legitimately.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:11:20] Really?
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:11:21] Totally. I used to, I, ’cause I. Because you’re so funny and you were one of like, in the 90s, very few funny actresses. One of the few women allowed to just be goofy and funny and sarcastic and, and real. And so I gravitated towards you for such a long time in all of your movies. And so yeah, I was a big fan and I tried to play that down when we met. But now it’s coming out.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:11:47] Well, you nailed it. I had no idea. So I. I, thank you, though. That’s really, that’s really sweet. It’s always nice. Isn’t it funny? I’m sure people come up to you and they’re like, oh, my gosh, you know, whatever. Effusive. “I love you on ‘The Good Place’. Like, you’re my favorite”. Whatever. And people always ask, is that weird?
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:12:06] Yeah.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:12:07] And I was like, no, I have a hole in my soul. It’s why I got into this. Please tell me.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:12:14] Well, I’m glad to have deposited some droplets of love into that, into your hole.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:12:19] Thank God.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:12:19] Let’s let that-.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:12:20] I needed it. I needed it.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:12:21] The sound bite filling Busy’s hole at the beginning of my podcast. Oh, fuck, you’ve had a life. I mean-.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:12:31] I know, it’s true.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:12:32] I knew it. And I’ve been kind of witnessing it along because we’re not far apart in age, but really just reading about you. And when you just see it all written down, paragraph upon paragraph, you realize everything that you have been through, everything you’ve had to stand up for, everything you’ve had to, every kind of glass ceiling that you’ve had to smash. Are you tired? I’m tired from reading it. You all right?
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:12:54] I think that people really live up to their names. I do. I think, I think that, I think that when you name people things, it means something. I swear to God. And I think my parents named me Busy and I think that I just am not going to fuckin’ stop until I’m dead, you know?
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:13:15] Mmhmm. Have you always been, have you always just been this kind of vibrant and confident and vivacious and courageous?
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:13:24] I mean, in a, in some senses, yes. In other ways, no. And like many people, I’ve lost it and had to find it again. At times. Do you know what I mean? And have, you know, and I wrote it, I wrote a bit about that in my book. But, you know, I think that my driving force and where I exist in sort of the best version of myself is that. Is like going, doing, what can we do? How can I do more? What do, you know, what do you need?
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:14:00] Yeah.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:14:00] It’s not necessarily, although I do love a lying down on a beach, you know, moment.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:14:05] Well, though we mostly know you sweating into the camera during yoga sessions online.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:14:10] My Lekfit. It’s called Lekfit. And it’s a trampoline workout that I jump on a trampoline and then I do a bunch of leg lifts and arm weights, small weights with things. But I was never like a worky-outy person, is that’s what they’re called, I believe.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:14:27] Yeah. That’s a technical scientific term.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:14:31] And in fact, you know, early in my career as an actor, I was sort of routinely told to lose weight. And-.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:14:42] Like were you explicitly told to lose weight?
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:14:46] I have been explicitly told to lose weight by network before.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:14:49] Really?
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:14:50] Yeah.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:14:51] How does that conversation-? I’ve always wanted to know how that conversation goes.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:14:52] Your manager calls you, or your agent.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:14:55] I was told by my agent and obviously, like I mean an agent that I had. I’m no longer actually with them ’cause they moved to another agency. But I remember when I got here and I got the part in “The Good Place”, I was like, am I going to have to be really thin, like are they gonna expect me to be thin now? And he was, no, thin isn’t funny, which isn’t true. I mean lots of thin people are very funny and, you know.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:15:15] Right.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:15:15] Plenty. But the point is, is that I got here in 2016 where I think that they got the memo that you don’t really allowed to say that out loud to people anymore.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:15:23] Right. I think what they always, it was always code, you know what I mean? Like, like all of these things, like the way that, you know, the current president has his code to white supremacists, you know?
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:15:38] Yeah.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:15:38] The way that it’s, and, and, and those codes are the things that uphold these systems of oppression. Right? So, like, things were said, like, you know what? Everyone just wants you to feel your best. Everyone-.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:15:54] Bastards.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:15:55] Right? That was one thing that was said to me once. Everybody just wants you to feel your best. So, you know, I think that it could be like some more training maybe. Or do you, have you done like a meal delivery service?
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:16:09] Yeah.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:16:11] Like that kind of stuff. But then the one time I was explicitly told, I had booked a pilot, I was super excited. I even, this is, I always do this on my podcast. I do like a Hollywood break for listeners when I’m like, I’m about to tell you something that this is how people get jobs. I had done the test at the network and, the studio, and then the network test, which is where you’re up against another actor and you go in and audition in front of all the executives and then they decide who gets the part. And at the network test, they sent the rest of the girls home, I think it was two other girls that were there and then brought me back in and told me in the room, which like, it rarely happens. And I was so excited. And then I got back to my apartment, 30 minutes later, the phone rang. My agents and managers congratulating me. And then they’re like, so Bus, we did talk to, I can’t remember who now, at the network. And the feeling was like you’re gre-, that you look great. They love you. You’re great. And, you know, I think that, it was my manager, actually, my agent wasn’t on this call. I think that it would be probably advantageous for you before we do the pilot to lose some weight. And I was like, oh, oh, shit, this is the call. Oh, OK. Because I had been, like, sneakily told, told in code for years, for several years before that. But this was like the actual “you’re losing weight”. And I said, well, I need a number. I don’t know why, I was like, how, how much? What are we talking?
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:17:49] Yeah. Fuck.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:17:50] And he’s like, I don’t know. I don’t know, Busy. And I was like, well, tell them I need a number. Tell them that if they want me to lose 10 pounds, I need to know. If they want me to lose 20 pounds. I need to know. And like it wasn’t even at the time, Jameela, this is like in retrospect. So I was-.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:18:05] Yeah, It’s such a wild response, isn’t it? It’s like a jump. How high, how many times? But that’s what we were conditioned to think our responsibility was. Yeah.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:18:14] Totally. Oh my God. I never for one second was like, well, this is super fucked up. I mean, I obviously was thinking that. But I was, but my, but what I was saying to my representation was, OK. So how much? What do I have? Well, I have got, I think we’re shooting the pilot in three weeks or four weeks, so I just need to know what I have to do. And I was like, will they pay for, will they pay for a trainer or are they going to pay for meal delivery? Like, what’s, what’s the deal?
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:18:41] Yeah, I mean, look, at, we were all normalized to think that that was a correct conversation. And anytime we weren’t having that conversation, it was a miracle and we’d fool people into thinking we’re thin enough to be allowed to live. And I remember whenever I would have photo shoots, I would think it was completely normal. And by the way, other people would applaud this and nod as if it wasn’t problematic, I would start starving myself two or three weeks before any given like photo shoot or cover shoot. And I just thought that was normal. I’ve destroyed my metabolism because of this like yo-yoing for a job. And in fact, like I’ve had conversations with some of the most famous actresses in the world who told me that they still starve themselves before every single press tour, because if you don’t, you can’t wear nice designer clothes that are going to get you press for the film. And so you have to starve yourself for like two months before. I mean, you and I both know what it’s like before award season.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:19:34] I know.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:19:35] Everyone stops eating in October. The awards are in like late January.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:19:37] I know.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:19:39] Everyone is so hungry by the time we get to the Golden Globes, they’re so angry and hungry.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:19:44] I think every time that, I mean, that is true. Like people are just, they are really, they really take it seriously. Getting in those dresses.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:19:52] I think it’s why they cry so much when they win. It’s like, oh, my God, it’s over. I can eat. Just sob through their In ‘N Out afterwards. And it’s funny, but it’s also not funny because it’s also the reality of this is what bleeds out into our culture and into our society. Yeah. That’s insane.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:20:09] Yeah.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:20:09] Did they ever come back to you with a number?
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:20:11] I don’t know if he ever, I can’t remember that part. I remember just being like, OK. I was devastated. I mean-.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:20:16] Yeah.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:20:16] I remember hanging up and like sob, sobbing.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:20:20] Of course.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:20:21] Into my sofa, My beautiful red and gold sofa that I loved so much.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:20:27] Did you have eating disorder issues or body image issues like in your early career?
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:20:34] I mean, you know, it’s interesting. I feel like for all the messages I was being given. I sort of, I don’t know. Jameela, I was born in 1979, so I don’t know one woman who was born between 7-, you know, between like whatever 1975 and 1990 that didn’t have some sort of bizarro messed up idea of food. Women’s bodies, what you’re worth being tied to your body, what it meant if you were not and, you know, quote unquote, “ideal body”. Oh. You want to hear a crazy full circle moment?
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:21:21] Mmhmm. Always.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:21:21] Speaking of, we did that Airy thing together. I love the brands that I work with. And, and I’m really specific about the brands that I work with, because just even posting on Instagram or, you know, the campaigns, I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of. And I’ve worked with Olay for two years and I love Olay and they have a no airbrushing policy on. It’s the Olay skin promise and they don’t airbrush us at all. Of course, I’m getting like maskne, you know, like how everyone’s getting zits from their masks.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:21:52] Oh yeah. Yeah.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:21:54] I was like of course I’m going to like do this new campaign with maskne. But listen guys, it’s my skin.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:22:00] It is what it is.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:22:00] You know what I mean? And I do. I use that Olay SBF, I use the moisturizer. So anyway but we were sitting on set and I was like, this is so empowering. Like I love that they, that you’ve instituted this. This was last year. I love that you guys have made this commitment. And I love all of the women that you choose to represent your brand because it’s so diverse and it’s women of all, you know, every different kind of woman represented, person represented, really, in their campaigns. And I was like, this stuff is just really refreshing. I was talking to the woman who runs the ad agency who is in charge of this, and she’s like a brilliant creative. I was like, everything about this is so empowering, especially for me with my two girls. You know, when I was little, I had, when I was a teenager, I had the Calvin Klein Kate Moss ad taped up in my bedroom. And I was like, I’ll never look, like I, that’s what I want. That was my aspiration. And I just hated that my stomach didn’t do that. That my stomach, like, wasn’t flat. It never could get it to look like that. My hips. I was like, what are these hips? I can’t wear the boy underwear. And it was like the thing that wormed into my head so much so that my husband at one point, in the last several years was like, “You’re so obsessed with your stomach”. He’s like “Babe, like your stomach’s incredible. You birthed our two kids like come on”. You know, whatever.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:23:29] Yeah.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:23:30] And I was like, oh, yeah, I got to let the stomach thing go. I think it’s from Kate Moss from those ads. And the woman looked at me like sort of sheepishly and she’s like, that was my agency at the time. We did those ads. And I was like, oh, wow. OK, well, full circle for you too. Like, we all do better. You know what I mean?
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:23:52] Yeah.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:23:52] Like, we all work toward doing better at all of it. And-.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:23:57] Yeah.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:23:58] And we realized the impact of the stuff that we put into the world, whether it’s ads or the television that were on or whatever, you know?
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:24:07] Yeah. I talk about this a lot when it comes to airbrushing that it’s not just about the fact that actresses and influencers are mostly advertisers. The fact that people sell makeup and anti-aging cream and, and skincare products and anti-stretch marks, etc. blah, blah, blah. And they airbrushed those things. That is literally false advertising. I can’t believe it’s even legal. So that’s disgusting. I think when those of us with privilege and with big platforms participate in it, it’s problematic. I understand that it’s also born from the fact that we are so scrutinized, so I can understand the desire to not want to be bullied the way that we tend to bully, in particular women, who show off any, quote unquote, “imperfection”. But then-.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:24:46] Oh my God, I’ve posted photos before and people have commented like, “You think that’s hot”? Or like that’s, oh, that’s your best pick? Or whatever. I’m like, fuck you.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:24:56] I know. Exactly. So I understand like the urge to Photoshop, but it doesn’t change the fact that it is problematic. It is irresponsible. It is better to show, if we are the standard, we should show what the standard actually is rather than make people live up to unrealistic ideals. But then also you have people who are airbrushing themselves and that is harming them.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:25:17] Right.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:25:17] Because when we live up to, it’s not just about who’s seeing your Photoshop images or your airbrushed image, it’s about what you are seeing when you look in the mirror. You are now comparing yourself to an A.I. image, to a digitally enhanced image, which none of us can live up to.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:25:31] No.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:25:31] None of us can live up to a fucking filter. And so we harm ourselves when we participate in it. And that’s why there’s this boom of Botox and like surgery and threading and, and all these painful and potentially quite dangerous things that we’re doing to try and look like a fucking computerized image. It’s insane.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:25:49] It’s insane.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:25:50] Yeah, it is.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:25:51] It’s also, by the way, in my contact.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:25:53] Yeah.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:25:54] In my contract with Olay that I can’t have Botox or filler or anything which I’ve never, not done ever, any way.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:26:02] I’m very excited to see your maskne Olay campaign. I think it’s gonna be really revolutionary.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:26:09] Thanks. To be honest, though, I am like, I am so, you know, I’m so hard on myself. Right? It’s literally one, it’s like a pimple. It’s like tiny little-.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:26:17] OK.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:26:17] There’s not, I mean, you’re going to look at and be like, fuck you, like, Busy, shut up. You know? Fine, I get it. But-.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:26:23] We’re taught to over scrutinize ourselves. I understand.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:26:26] I see it.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:26:27] So. OK. So. So within this industry, in spite the fact that you are being constantly sort of like, what is the equivalent of dog whistling? Fat whistled? Like you were being fat whistled, thin whistled, but you were whistled generally, so you were able to maintain a fairly sturdy relationship with food, with your body.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:26:46] I think that’s, I think that’s a question probably for the people that live with me, or had to live with me at the time. I mean, I don’t know. No, I think I’ve gone through periods of time. I think that like. I think. OK. OK. I think it’s really complicated, obviously. But I think my overall confidence and, and self-assuredness is, stands alone with, from my body.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:27:17] Amazing.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:27:17] And that like my, my own self worth is not necessarily tied to my body. However, I will say that if I have had, and when I have had moments of feeling, either, I’ve been fat shamed by a job or, you know, right after I had my daughter, my first daughter, and it was that I lost a job because the networks that I was too big.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:27:51] Fuck off, after you’d given birth?
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:27:54] Yeah, it was, it was literally like devastating. It was devastating. I like, I can’t even. So that’s in my book too. But I just, you know, was so like, welp, you know, that’s it. I guess I’m never, never gonna work again. I have, I have had, like, the body thing affect me and my self-esteem. But I think that honestly, the, through the lens of having these two girls and raising these two girls in the last 12 years, which is wild that I’ve been a mother for 12 years. I made early on with Birdie, I realized and noticed that the things that the moms would say about themselves to each other around the little girls was really, like they’re always listening to you, and especially Birdie was, Birdie was like this, like preternaturally verbal. No shit. She’s my kid. But she was like incredibly verbal and very astute. She still is.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:29:06] Yeah.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:29:07] She’s like 12. You, she could be on your podcast like, you know? But I just realized, like, the things that women were saying even in, even to, even joking about themselves. Pool parties in the summer for kids birthday parties like, oh, you can’t get me in a bikini. Oh, no. Like, I, oh, I don’t swim, you know, like that kind of stuff.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:29:27] Yeah, if I eat this cake, I’ll have to run ten miles tomorrow, etc., etc. Yeah.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:29:31] Oh, I’m not even kidding you. Jameela, my friend called me because her daughter’s in a younger grade than my daughter and she had taken her to a birthday party. This was like a year ago, pre-COVID, the before times, had taken her daughter to a birthday party and the mom brought out, the pizzas all came for the lunch, for the little, for the little girls. And my friend went to go get the pizza. And she’s like, oh, no, no, there’s salad for the moms.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:29:56] Oh, fuck’s sake.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:29:58] I mean, what year is this? What?
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:30:01] I know.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:30:02] And my friend was like, actually, moms eat pizza too, right? You know, like-.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:30:07] As loud as possible for the kid hear.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:30:09] Yes.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:30:09] Yeah. That’s damaging. It’s so amazing how much we forget that they are just sponges. They’re sponges with heart beats. That’s all they are until they’re about 13.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:30:17] So even if I can, am, can be a bit of a hypocrite myself. Internally.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:30:24] You do it privately. Like a real mother. Yeah.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:30:27] I do it privately.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:30:27] That’s right. Private, like private hypocrisy is the best kind.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:30:32] Because I, ’cause I can’t. I can’t do that to them.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:30:36] No. It’s so irresponsible. Also, is it also like a motivation for you to heal from the inside out?
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:30:42] Yes.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:30:42] So that, it even, like so that you walk the walk so that it doesn’t even accidentally slip out of you.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:30:46] Correct.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:30:46] So if they see you panicking in Spanx before an event or something and think that fat is worth panicking over.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:30:52] I’ve let that go. Yeah. Yeah, right. I, and I actually have to say, you know, I do think a lot of times fake it till you make it is, is dangerous because I, OK. But I think that in, in this instance when we’ve been so conditioned and so trained, fake it till you make it has actually worked for me. Which was that I consciously made a decision based on not wanting to do the same mind fuckery to my little people. And, and I told the person I live with, my partner, Marc, I need you to hold me accountable to this thing. And if I, if we’re in our bedroom at night together and I want to fucking cry about it, like, that’s one thing. But if you ever, like if we’re in front of the girls, if I’m in front of a mirror or if, like-.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:31:42] You need a safe word. Yeah.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:31:44] Yes.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:31:45] 100 percent.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:31:45] Yeah.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:31:45] Yeah. Yeah.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:31:45] Yes.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:31:45] Yeah. I think that’s really great. That’s such a great thing to say to your partner or to your flatmate or whoever you live with, just to hold me accountable. I’m definitely-.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:31:53] Just hold me accountable.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:31:55] Yeah, I did that with my boyfriend when I first met him. I was just like, you see me weighing my-, this before I had thrown my scale out. But like, if you see weighing myself-.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:32:02] I threw my scales out, yeah.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:32:02] Yeah, but I you know, I told him that I have an issue and that I tend to snack rather than eat meals. And like, if I have a big job coming out, just like, just, just look out for, these are the signs that I’ve developed an issue and this is what I’ll need you to do. And so it helped us.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:32:22] It helps everything to, and to have somebody who understands. But now here’s the thing. Like, it has to be the right partner, obviously, right?
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:32:29] Agreed. Yeah.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:32:31] Like you can’t have. Like, it’s, this is, this is where everything is dicey. And, like, you have to do your own therapy and you have to know what works for you. But, you know, I feel like the fake it till you make it has really wormed its way into my brain so well that I really do, I do sort of move through the world with, I am starting a new TV show, which is wild because I never thought I was going to act again. But I’m doing this show. I mean, not because I, I just didn’t want to. I didn’t think I was like, I don’t want to do that.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:33:06] No.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:33:08] But now I’m doing it because I, it’s hilarious and I’m excited about it. And I went to my wardrobe fitting and the woman, you know, we’re playing like 90s pop stars and people in the like, current day. And she’s putting like the 90s pop star outfit on me.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:33:23] Oh, like hipsters and like cami vests.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:33:28] And the whole thing, yes, the whole thing. And I know that previously in my life, this kind of fitting would have caused me to have like a throw up panic attack, you know, like, like what mean thing is going to happen, how everything’s going to not fit. They’re going to look at me and scrutinize me and whatever. And I sort of was like, oh, that’s too small. Nope. These jeans aren’t even gettin’-, you know, like not in a, not in like-.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:33:57] No, you’re factual now.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:33:59] I was just like, this is fine. I’m fine. I have nothing attached to the fact that those jeans are too small. You know what I mean? Because also there was a pair of workout pants that were too big. Like, I just, I had more of an ability to regulate my brain in terms of what that, what it all meant, whereas like-.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:34:18] Also, it comes with time and wisdom, the ability that, like, the world needs to fit me, clothes need to fit me. I don’t always have to fit the world and I don’t have to fit all clothes.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:34:28] Correct.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:34:28] Like the idea of it, like the idea that material is supposed to be our boss, or our leader, is fucking insane.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:34:35] It’s so weird.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:34:36] I’m so much better than material. Apart from cashmere. Cashmere is better than me. But it’s stretchy, so it’s fine. But yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s so odd. You, I don’t think, you know, you’ve spoken about this before. You’ve even, you know, you’ve mentioned it multiple times. But, you know, you were known, especially when I was growing up, as the kind of the best friend in everything. And I think that’s why I loved you so much, because I felt so like I could relate to you. You were the one who got to be funny, like when the main, you know, whatever the ingenue, you had to kind of be cute or the, I don’t know, I guess like a man, the patriarchal gay is what, like a woman is supposed to be, the best friend characters are always able to be like smart, sassy, cool one with like an interesting backstory whose life isn’t dominated by a man or trying to please a man or get a man or throw a man away. You know, you’re the voice of sense. And so, you know, even when I go into Hollywood, my agents have all just been, like, consistently trying to put me up for the main role in everything. And I’m like, please, I just want to be the best friend. I just want to be, my dream is to just be the best friend for the rest of my life. I never want to be the main star. I want to be the, because I, I’ve always felt like that was the most interesting, cool role. And so I think because of that, I got to see how smart and funny you were from the second you came out into Hollywood.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:36:01] That’s nice.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:36:02] But was that, was that ever frustrating to you being in that role? Because it’s the role I love the most. But I, I just wonder.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:36:10] I mean, Jameela, how old, how, I’m like, how old are, how old were you when you like came? You’re, you’re.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:36:18] When I came here?
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:36:19] Yeah.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:36:19] I was 30. I was like a fucking dinosaur compared to everyone else.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:36:23] Right. Well I mean, yes and no.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:36:26] No, I mean, compared to women starting out.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:36:28] Right.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:36:29] Like men start out in their 30s but women rarely get to. Yeah.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:36:34] For sure. I was 19. So, you know, I think, I think everything that you’re saying makes sense in terms of, you know, all of life, life, life is just perspective and experience. So.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:36:45] 100 percent. Yeah.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:36:46] So I think when I was starting out in 1998. ’99. I had different, yeah, ideas about the things I wanted to do. But that was, that was informed by the parameters of the industry that I was working in at the time. If that makes any sense.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:37:10] Yeah.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:37:10] So like, and I didn’t, I couldn’t imagine anything other than just being an actor for hire and be, and a woman, an actress for hire, a young woman. And so I felt really like hemmed in by what was available to me.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:37:36] Yeah.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:37:37] And, you know, I, yeah. I think that there was a part of me that really wanted to be Rachel McAdams. You know, like I remember, like I auditioned for “The Notebook”, like I remember auditioning for “The Notebook”. Or-.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:37:48] You would have been great. By the way.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:37:51] I mean. Would have been a totally different fuckin’ movie. That’s for sure. I really thought I was gonna be a dramatic actress. That’s the like, great, greatest, that’s the greatest thing.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:38:03] Surprise.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:38:03] Of all time.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:38:03] Yeah.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:38:03] Surprise of my career. I didn’t really know. I didn’t really understand that I was funny. I have to be honest. I just, I thought I was just, like, destined for movie stardom and like, and the Oscars, you know?
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:38:19] Yeah. The Erin Brockovich role is gonna-.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:38:22] When I was a teenager.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:38:22] Yeah.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:38:22] Yeah.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:38:22] The Academy Award winning performance.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:38:25] Yeah. So, I mean, you know, I remember getting “White Chicks” and being bummed out that when I got the script that my character, they had sort of Xed it out in the sides for the audition. But my character was like their overweight friend. And I was like what? And I didn’t know, I thought that, it was probably why I got the part. I thought I was just like a cute girl.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:38:54] A human, yeah.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:38:55] I didn’t know that that was part of the thing. And then they were like, well, that’s not, I mean, you know. That was just. I was like, well, I mean, OK. So I remember, you know, like, yes, I definitely. And then, you know, once I started getting, like, offered pilots for TV shows that where I was sort of more, where I was the lead and none of those went to series, and then, and then I had Birdie and I lost that part, the lead, like it, which was the, the, the love interest and the lead of a show, opposite a dude. But whatever. And because I was too overweight for the network. And then I was just devastated. And I was 29 years old and I went into my agency and I had, they, like there was like a big meeting of all the television agents or whatever. And I said pilot season was coming up, you know. And I said, I just want to be number two on a call sheet. I just wanna be someone’s best friend. And just like, and I want it to be, I want number one to be some, like a big star. And the show’s definitely gonna get picked up because I need money and I need to fucking work. And, and then they start sending scripts, when they started coming in and I read “Cougar Town” and it was Courteney Cox was starring in it and was like, great. This is a show I’m gonna get. I’m going to get this show. And I went in to audition. I had to audition for it. And I went in and went to the network and studio and everything. And I, and I got it. And the night actually, like the night I read the script, I hadn’t even auditioned yet. And we went, Marc and I went out to dinner and we saw the guy who was then the head of ABC. I can’t remember his name. And I was like, oh, should I go over? I didn’t know him. I was like, oh, should I go over and tell him that I’m going to be cast in “Cougar Town”? So he should and Marc was like, no, don’t, what? You haven’t even, honey, calm down. You haven’t even, I don’t want you to get crushed. Like he was, like, trying to protect me. And I was like, oh, you’re so annoying. You don’t believe in my magical thinking. But this is the show I’m gonna do. It’s gonna be great. And I was right. You know?
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:41:18] Yeah. Do you have magical thinking?
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:41:20] Oh, yeah, for sure.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:41:20] Tell me about your magical thinking.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:41:23] I mean, I just have like, I have like when I can tap into a thing, I just like fucking know. I just have, I just, I just know.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:41:31] Wait, what is thing though? Is this a lottery ticket thing? Can I have it? Can I have one?
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:41:35] It’s, it’s your intuition. It’s just like, it’s like being, it’s like being the most open you can be to like whatever the next move is in the universe for you. For instance.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:41:46] Yeah.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:41:47] Jameela. We were in Los Angeles. In August and I was like, this is not right. I’m feeling really uncomfortable, like we’re not, we shouldn’t be here. We just shouldn’t be here. And Marc was like, well, where do you wanna go? Like, I don’t know. Let’s try to rent a house in Malibu. Well, they’re really expensive. By the way. And, and also, and so we kept, like, trying to offer less money and no one would take it. And then the fires started. And I was just fe-, I don’t even know how to describe it. I just was like, I can’t, we can’t stay here. We just can’t stay here. And we, the fire started. I was having a hard time like on Friday, on a Friday at 6:00 p.m., I said to him, I was like it’s New York. We have to go to New York. Right? Like we have to go to New York. Immediately. And he looked and he found this, and he is like, OK, but what? A place that can take a dog. And she’s never flown. I’m like, it’s gonna be fine. We’re gonna go to New York. It’s gonna be fine for three weeks. We got to get to New York. And he’s like, OK. He knows me well enough now at those point, where he’s like, if you feel this strongly about something, we have to see this through because-.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:42:56] I’m like that.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:42:56] Like, you don’t know. Yeah.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:42:57] I’m like that with my boyfriend. I feel like I’m dating Lassie. Like, whenever he says he has a feeling about something, I’m like, OK, we’re off. We’re going.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:43:04] Oh, OK. So right.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:43:05] You want to go to the moon right now, I’m with you. I’m packing up. I’m putting my shoes on and my underpants right now.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:43:11] I mean credit to Marc Silverstein, my husband, he like fully found this apartment to rent for three weeks. And like got us a flight and 48 hours later we were in New York City and I felt, immediately felt better and like the girls were really excited to be here and week two, Tina Fey was a guest on my podcast. It hasn’t aired yet, but she was like, what are you doing here? Why are you here? Because she was an executive producer on my talk show, on my late night show and I had done a failed pilot for her, for NBC, the year before, a comedy pilot that didn’t get picked up. And so we’ve worked together and we’re friends. So she’s like, why are you here? I was like, I don’t know, dude, I just had to get out. I just felt like L.A. was not for us right now. And we’re here and kind of looking at houses upstate. Like, just I don’t know what it is. I just can’t be there. And two days later, she called me and she’s like, this is gonna sound so crazy. We’re starting a TV show on October 19th. Honestly, we always talked about you for this part, but because you live in L.A. and it’s COVID and your kids are in school, it didn’t seem feasible for you to come here to do it. But you’re here. I would never have offered this to you. But you’re here. Do you want to do this? And I was like, what is it? And she’s like, oh, oh. It’s, um, it’s about a 90s girl group who decides to try to stage a comeback in their 40s. And I was like, you mean like my dream in life? And she’s like, I was like, Am I, am I Baby Spice because if I’m fucking Baby Spice, I’m gonna pass out. And she’s like, Yeah. I mean, yes, that’s like essentially who you are in the group. And it’s Sara Bareilles and Renée Elise Goldsberry from “Hamilton”. And I was like, I know who she is. And I was like, oh, my God. Oh, my God. And she’s like, and if you want to do it. Yeah. We start shooting. It’s picked up for eight episodes. It’ll take us through the end of February. It’s here, we’re, I was like, are you out, what? And I went home and like literally Marc was like, see, I don’t know, you did it. Like, this is what you do. OK, we’re here.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:45:22] That’s amazing.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:45:24] Yeah.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:45:24] That’s amazing.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:45:25] So that’s what I’m saying.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:45:25] Yeah.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:45:27] And it was the same thing with “Cougar Town”. I read the script and I was like, I’m doing this. I’m doing this show. This is a show I’m doing. And Marc was like, OK. Hold your horses. And I was like, no, no, no, it’s good. We’re gonna be good.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:45:36] Does it only work for you? Or like, I don’t know, if, just asking for friend. If I was to call you and I need some advice, would you be, would you be able to help?
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:45:47] I think that the help that I can offer anyone truly is that you have to really start to get good at listening to yourself.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:45:57] Yeah.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:45:57] And to like what it is that you want and what it is that you need and those two things not to be reductive, but, you know, they can often be different.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:46:07] One hundred percent. Yeah. I mean, yeah, I’ve, I’ve definitely had big moments like that. I mean leaving England at 29 and starting a career in America was an insane thing to do and everyone was like, no you’re too old and you’re too fat and too South Asian. Don’t, don’t go there, they won’t want you. And I went anyway and then you know life has gone just fine for the last four years.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:46:27] Exactly.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:46:27] Yeah.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:46:27] That’s right. Exactly.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:46:29] I don’t listen to myself enough. I definitely do that more, maybe I stop meditating. Maybe that’ll help.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:46:32] And I don’t even know, like I mean, Jameela, I don’t know. People are like, meditate. OK, fine. I tried it for like three weeks. I got bored, I can’t do it. You know?
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:46:39] I’m the same. I’m the same. I’ve got too much A.D.D. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t focus. All right. OK. So I haven’t got you for long, so I need to just power through so much about you. So, but I love that story and I agree. And while not everyone, of course, has the money to move from England to Los Angeles or moved from Los Angeles to New York, we are very lucky to be able to do that. But I think the lesson there is follow your gut, and especially as a woman, understand that our intuition is so strong because it’s been designed to keep us safe. So please feel free to listen to it, even if it means you are daring to be self preservational.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:47:15] Yeah.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:47:16] How dare you?
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:47:16] And if even that someone might think you’re rude.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:47:18] Exactly. That’s what I mean.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:47:19] Or, or. Right. No. But like. Yes. Or you know-.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:47:22] Demanding or whatever.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:47:23] Demanding. Right. I think that-.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:47:25] Demand. Be safe. Be happy. Demand.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:47:27] And also, I mean it also just like this comes into play with health stuff too. Like, you know, in this country, women, especially women of color, are just not taken seriously in hospitals. That’s why the maternal mortality rate is abysmal. It’s, it, and one of the things that I just know for certain from all of the work that I’ve done is that advocating for yourself is really difficult, especially for American women and especially for all women. And, but if you have that feeling, you have to just keep at it like to the point where someone has to like. You know, hold you back, you know, because you can’t ignore that. You can’t allow that feeling to be suppressed.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:48:16] Yeah.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:48:16] And that’s the thing the patriarchy like does to all of us. Right? Since we were born. Is tell you like what you’re feeling and what you’re thinking is not valid.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:48:31] Speaking of patriarchy and following your instincts, you and I, last year, not together, separately decided to speak out about having had abortions when we were younger. And it’s something that put both of us in quite, quite, quite a few big firing lines. I was on the cover of Breitbart from about six months, I feel like, and I was being trolled heavily. But you made an incredibly brave decision to talk about it. And you talked about it on your own show, your own late night show. And you spoke about it in the press. And you went to Congress and you fought for reproductive rights of people in America. And I wanted to ask you, first of all, thank you for that. But I also wanted to ask you about it, if you don’t mind. I know you’ve spoken about it a million times, but with everything being so under threat right now and in jeopardy, I feel like it’s such an important time to keep having this conversation and normalize this conversation. And, you know, as we’ve seen, people are just doubling down on misinformation about abortions and telling people that, you know, depression and anxiety are normally the side effects of having an abortion, whereas statistically, overwhelmingly, it is relief. And so I love that you’re willing to talk about it. And I would love to know what happened.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:49:48] I mean, listen, I think that, unfortunately, the, abortion in this country has become a thing that the right has taken as a thing to, like, glom on to in order to really activate people emotionally, in order to pass a bunch of other really shitty stuff as well. And not that it’s not shitty, but I think that for them to try to take away our autonomy and women’s right to choose. But the fact of the matter is they’re manipulating the narrative consistently and they have been for over 20 years now in order to pass all kinds of other agendas that uphold white supremacy and patriarchy.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:50:53] Like what?
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:50:53] Well, just, you know, to get people elected that are not progressive.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:50:57] Also anti-gay. Yeah. Yeah.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:51:00] I mean, it’s like, it’s like anti-LGBTQIA. It’s like, you know-.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:51:05] Anti-immigrant.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:51:05] Anti-immigrant. It’s all of these things, it’s racist. Basically. Any like, actually, there’s a really interesting article in Politico, I think from like 2013. And it’s about how Jerry Falwell and the religious right used abortion to try to sneak in their racist segregation agenda. You have to read this article. I’m going to send it to you.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:51:33] OK.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:51:33] And.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:51:34] I’ll link to it in this episode.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:51:34] And, you have to link to it.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:51:36] Yeah.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:51:36] And then after, after Roe is passed. Like Jerry Falwell was also seeing that, like being overtly racist was falling out of favor. And so he was like, but how do we get these people into office? How do we continue our agenda? And he was like, abortion. That’s it. And we’re going to appeal to people and babies. We’re going to make it about babies. And they fucking did it, man. Listen. My daughter and I talk a lot about what happens in terms of the dissemination of information and where it’s coming from. Especially now with like Tik Tok. And, you know, everything. And she is really aware, my 12 year old. My 7 year old, I don’t even know when she knows, no, I’m kidding. But.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:52:24] She’s on drugs. She’s on some drugs. Yeah.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:52:26] I don’t know what she’s doing. No. But, but I will say, in terms of abortion, the messaging from the other side has been so consistent and scary and loud and intimidating for so long. And this is really the point. That they had been, have been able to get people into offices on the local level, on the statewide level, on, you know, in the Senate and sneak these people in. And they started, they have, they began chipping away at women’s rights. 15 years ago, while we were all just like Roe is not in question, there’s no way. And bit by bit started passing these trap laws in different cities and countries and counties around this country and started eliminating women’s health care altogether. And people become very reductive when they talk about abortion and they talk about, you know, unwanted pregnancies. And that is definitely, that was what my abortion was. I know that’s what your abortion was as well.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:53:49] Yeah. How old are you? How old were you when you had those yours? You were a teenager?
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:53:54] I was 15.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:53:56] Yeah.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:53:57] But I know women who’ve had abortions because they didn’t wanna have a baby at 34.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:54:02] I was 26. Yeah.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:54:03] Yeah. I’m just saying, like, I, a lot of times people are like, well, you were a teenager, so. And I was like, well, OK. But, but still. Like, you can make a decision at any point in your life about your own life and your body and when you want to become a parent, or not become a parent. But that, but to me, part of the problem is that, like we’ve all been so shamed about this issue because the other side is so loud, so scary. So everybody sort of, we didn’t talk about it, you know, no one was open and talking about it. And, you know, statistically, we know one in four women will have an abortion before the age of 40. But there are so many. It is a legitimate medical procedure. It is a part of women’s whole health care. It is, it is a thing that keeps women alive. It is a thing that keeps them maternal mortality rate down. It is the thing that saves lives. And it’s a thing that helps women get out of poverty, helps people improve the lives of their chil-, of their existing children, of, that helps them improve the lives of the children that they haven’t yet had, but that they will have. And to be so reductive. And what’s the word?
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:55:21] It’s pro-birth, it’s not pro-life.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:55:22] Yes.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:55:22] It’s the biggest argument about it. It’s not, like you’re fucking on your own, as soon as you are out of that womb. God help you, especially if you are then of color or black or if you are gay or trans or you are an immigrant crossing over this country. Like we have people in fucking cages at the border. We have a homeless humanitarian crisis.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:55:43] Yes.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:55:43] We have now health care being threatened. And it was already a fucking shit show in this country. And now they don’t even want you to be able to get any kind of health care.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:55:51] But chil-, I mean, children are literally starving in this country.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:55:53] Literally. Yeah.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:55:55] And it is-.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:55:55] So they don’t care about life.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:55:58] No.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:55:58] And what about the mother’s life? What about the mental health of the mother? And like, what about the father? Like what? I don’t know. It’s a lot.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:56:04] It’s really, it’s, so for me, the. So for me, I had written about my abortion in my book. I had thought that was sort of like the beginning, middle and end of me talking about my abortion. And then all of these extreme abortion bans started to pass throughout the United States, statewide. And I, all of a sudden, yeah. You know what? You want to accuse me of living in my liberal bubble on the left coast at the time? You’re right. I fully did because I thought that there was no way that Roe would fall. And I didn’t, I wasn’t aware of what was happening, truly, what was happening to women in our country, who many times are in the most rural areas, the poorest communities, communities of color where, you know, women’s health care clinics are being just taken out, being completely defunded. You know, women aren’t being able to get mammograms checks and they’re not allowed, they’re not able to have access to safe abortion care and affordable abortion care. So the extreme abortion bans started passing. And I just said to Caissie St. Onge, who was my showrunner on “Busy Tonight”, like, I just want to, I have to talk about my abortion on the show. And she’s like, I totally support that. Who should we chat with? I like, I just like went to all of the organizations and I asked what they, what the messaging they wanted, what was important to them and how I could be of service, because this was a thing that I felt like I wanted to do. And ultimately, they all were like, I think speaking from the heart is the best, is the best way for you to go. That’s how you connect with people. That’s how they will connect with you. And we, I wrote like a very long thing. And then we, Caissie was like, I think we keep it short, you know? And we edited it and thought about it. And we were thinking about the timing as well, like, when did I want to do it? Because I wanted to sort of tie it to something. And I believe it was Elise that said, well, you know, Governor Kemp has until May 14th to sign the bill into law in Georgia. So you could wait until then and now, I already knew that my show had been canceled and we were like going off the air May 16th. And I was like, perfect. So I’m gonna get it in under the wire. You know what I mean? Like.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:58:47] Wow.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:58:48] Good. So. So that was the plan. And then the day that he signed it into law, I had the statement, like I had it ready to go and, and yeah, and we did it. And I just wanted, I had never really particularly connected with the way abortion had ever been talked about in the media. I, I wasn’t per-, like I like I, you and I are like different in the way that we talk about it too, even. I mean, I wasn’t really like shout your abortion person. I was just like, this is a thing that I had. And it makes me no better, no worse than anyone else. I don’t, like I just, I want to just take, I just wanted to take away the stigma of it.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:59:31] I just.
BUSY PHILIPPS [00:59:31] Right.
JAMEELA JAMIL [00:59:32] It saved my fucking life. I was 26 years old and I was mentally ill. And I didn’t have enough money. I didn’t have the familial support. I didn’t have any support. And I wasn’t ready. And I didn’t want a child. And I had dreams of my own and I just didn’t want it. And so, you know what I said, which was worded in my typical callous, loose way, is that my abortion was the best decision I’ve ever made. And then I doubled down by saying it’s actually the second best decision I ever made. Cutting bangs was the best decision I ever made. Obviously, I’ve got into some trouble with the people who are pro-birth. But everyone else celebrated it. And I don’t know if you feel the same way. But I feel like it was such a bonding moment between me and women around the world. As you said, or not just women, people around the world, one in four women will have an abortion before the age of 40. That’s a huge amount of people to be able to connect with. And I just deliberately came out with not an element of like reticence or apology. Similar to you. I wasn’t like, sorry, I did it because I had to.
BUSY PHILIPPS [01:00:36] Right.
JAMEELA JAMIL [01:00:36] It was just like, I wanted to.
BUSY PHILIPPS [01:00:37] No. I just feel like.
JAMEELA JAMIL [01:00:38] Yeah.
BUSY PHILIPPS [01:00:38] I just feel like previously I had never felt like I wanted to, you know, the other campaigns I had ever seen were like, shout your abortion or like be loud. And I was like, I don’t, I just, I’m like so sick of-.
JAMEELA JAMIL [01:00:55] Yeah.
BUSY PHILIPPS [01:00:55] I’m just sick of it even having to be a thing. Like we, I know so many people who have had to, had to have abortions because for med-, for legitimate medical reasons.
JAMEELA JAMIL [01:01:06] Yeah.
BUSY PHILIPPS [01:01:06] I’ve had friends who’d like have had very wanted babies that they have had to, you know, that, that, they’ve lost, you know, like have lost and have had an abortion because like it was going to be them or, you know, the fetus. This, and I just feel like it’s so reductive for people on the anti-abortion side, to make it like, oh, you’re a selfish actress who, like, just it wasn’t convenient for you because you had dreams or, where it’s like, by the way, I’m allowed to have fucking dreams and women are allowed to live their lives.
JAMEELA JAMIL [01:01:43] That was my point, by the way. Yeah. Exactly. I think it was important. I agree that we need to A, remind people that abortions exist sometimes to save the life of the mother, but also not just the technical life. It saved my life in a different way.
BUSY PHILIPPS [01:01:56] Right. It saved my life too. But like also it does even fucking matter. It doesn’t matter that I was 15. It doesn’t matter that you were 26. It doesn’t matter the medical circumstances surrounding either of our abortions.
JAMEELA JAMIL [01:02:07] Exactly. Yeah.
BUSY PHILIPPS [01:02:07] Or the reason why we chose it. It’s like this is a part of women’s health care. And that, being, unless we have bodily autonomy, we will, we do not have equality. That’s it. Full stop. Like, you cannot, you cannot tell me, sir, that I am equal to you.
JAMEELA JAMIL [01:02:29] Yeah.
BUSY PHILIPPS [01:02:29] If you do not think I should be able to decide what happens within my own person and my own body. Like that just because God, you, let’s, let’s talk about what they, what they say when you suggest, OK, well. All right. OK. I guess. Yeah. Sure. Let’s make abortions obsolete. So when boys turn 14, 13, maybe, they get a reversible vasectomy, that’s government-mandated vasectomy. That can be reversed when they’re older. So but that’s just mandated. Every boy has to do that when they’re, when they’re 12 or 13 years old. How’s, how does that sound, sir? And they’ll laugh at you and oh, you’re fucking ridiculous. I’m, I’m ridiculous. Why? There’s all those little babies swimming in there that could just come right on out and just meet, and just become a baby. Wow. How am I ridiculous that I would tell you that that’s what you have to do to your body in order to prevent this thing that you just say is unacceptable? If it’s not a form of oppression, then what is it? Do you really, are you really trying to? You really are, you’re all about the babies? Like, they just can’t, their messaging is not.
JAMEELA JAMIL [01:03:49] No, I know. And these same people also, when I eventually banned birth control, do you know what I mean? Like there’s just like, it’s such a twisted, sick cycle.
BUSY PHILIPPS [01:03:57] It’s just a cycle of oppression. It’s just a different, it’s just any way to-.
JAMEELA JAMIL [01:04:02] Dismantle our rights. Thank you so much for coming on and talking to me so frankly about that subject and also just kind of informing me on the system at play and how it affects other legislation. ‘Cause I didn’t know that because I’m still new to America and learning how the system works over here. I really appreciate that. And I loved hearing your stories from Hollywood. There was so much more to cover. I might even need to get you to come back someday because there’s so many more things for us to discuss.
BUSY PHILIPPS [01:04:34] I would love to. I know.
JAMEELA JAMIL [01:04:35] I would love that as well. Maybe you can come back again and we can talk about all the other stuff we were gonna chat about. But I loved this and I adore you. And I think you’re such a breath of fresh air in this industry and in this world. And I really, I really aspire to maintain authenticity the way that you have throughout your career. And I feel like you’ve been such a straight shooter for such a long time. And that doesn’t go missed by many of us who look up to you because of that. So we’re going to have another chat. That’s it. I’ve got it on tape now. You’ve said you’re coming back. I will let you go.
BUSY PHILIPPS [01:05:07] I will.
JAMEELA JAMIL [01:05:07] But before you go, will you tell me, Busy Philipps, what do you weigh?
BUSY PHILIPPS [01:05:12] I mean, I am a good friend, best friend, a good best friend. I-.
JAMEELA JAMIL [01:05:23] On and off screen.
BUSY PHILIPPS [01:05:25] On and off screen. Yeah, I’m a fighter and a survivor and mother, I’m going to start rhyming. I’m about to start rhyming, Jameela.
JAMEELA JAMIL [01:05:39] Are you rapping on my show?
BUSY PHILIPPS [01:05:40] I was, like a mother and a lover. I mean, what is wrong with me? I can’t, I am, you know, I like, like so, I’m just multitudes. Like, there are just so many multitudes. Very sensitive and, you know, also very goofy and very fired up about so much all the time, and I’m very busy.
JAMEELA JAMIL [01:06:11] Very busy. The busiest of all the Busys. And you weigh your magical intuition.
BUSY PHILIPPS [01:06:20] I weigh my magical intuition, for sure. I mean, maybe that’s the, I mean, maybe that’s the thing I weigh the most. Really. That was how I had my children. I mean, I just really, I just lean into that.
JAMEELA JAMIL [01:06:34] You just sort of jump, you jumped on that dick? You just had the, you had the magical intuition. You were like, tonight.
BUSY PHILIPPS [01:06:40] I just. Well, I mean, I went off the pill.
JAMEELA JAMIL [01:06:46] OK.
BUSY PHILIPPS [01:06:47] First. No, but I was just like, this is the time, you know?
JAMEELA JAMIL [01:06:51] Yeah.
BUSY PHILIPPS [01:06:51] I just knew. And yeah, I just, I just like, yeah, I just, like, knew that, you know, when, you know how when women are trying to have babies or whatever and, or they’re pregnant newly and they’re, they don’t tell people until after the first trimester because they’re like, what if something happens, blah, blah, blah, blah?
JAMEELA JAMIL [01:07:10] Yeah.
BUSY PHILIPPS [01:07:10] I started telling people when I was like legit two weeks pregnant with Birdie. And Marc was like, is that, are you supposed to do that? I feel like nobody ever does that. And I was like, oh, no, this, this kid? Oh, no, this kid’s getting born. Like I, this kid’s fine. Like, so good. And she’s gonna be something else. I was right. Magical intuition.
JAMEELA JAMIL [01:07:34] Magic. May we all strive to have your magical intuition and sense of self. I will, I’m going to go home and think about it and try and work on mine, and find mine.
BUSY PHILIPPS [01:07:43] Just have to think about like, you got to get, and I do think eating is part of it. You got to get in touch with that too, because it’s like, what is it that I want? What is it that I need? How much is enough? Like what? Like it all ties together, right? Like.
JAMEELA JAMIL [01:07:56] But I just want cake. And I’ve been told that that’s not good for me. I’m telling you, it’s what I need and what I want. And whenever I try to tune in and I’m like, ummmm, cake.
BUSY PHILIPPS [01:08:05] It’s cake.
JAMEELA JAMIL [01:08:07] It’s cake.
BUSY PHILIPPS [01:08:09] Jameela, is that what you go for? You’re a cake.
JAMEELA JAMIL [01:08:10] I’m a big fucking cake. I’m a cake and donuts girl.
BUSY PHILIPPS [01:08:13] I’m cookies. I’m cookies.
JAMEELA JAMIL [01:08:13] Oh, I don’t like the crunch. I want the, I want the smoosh.
BUSY PHILIPPS [01:08:18] Oh, interesting.
JAMEELA JAMIL [01:08:18] I’m into the smoosh. Yeah. Pizza and donuts and cake is, that’s what my intuition is telling me.
BUSY PHILIPPS [01:08:21] But you have celiac.
JAMEELA JAMIL [01:08:23] Oh no, but it’s gluten free. It’s Los Angeles.
BUSY PHILIPPS [01:08:26] Well, that’s true. That’s true. Yeah, yeah. Sure, sure, sure.
JAMEELA JAMIL [01:08:28] No, I like that face. I saw that judgmental face of like wel, that’s not real cake, is it? It is real cake. Actually.
BUSY PHILIPPS [01:08:34] Oh no, are you kidding? I love, no, I actually there are some gluten free, like my husband makes the best gluten free chocolate chip cookies of all time.
JAMEELA JAMIL [01:08:43] Well, I’ll send you my address. That’s great. .
BUSY PHILIPPS [01:08:47] Yeah, I’ll send them to you. And also gluten free waffles that are incredible.
JAMEELA JAMIL [01:08:54] Yeah. Well, that’s now what I’m gonna go home and eat. ‘Cause you said that. Yeah, I will. I will have full on, some sort of full on diabetes later. But you know, that’s what my intuition, intuition is telling me. So I’m going to trust it, the same way that it worked out for me in America. Cake is gonna work out for me in my life. I’m sure of it.
BUSY PHILIPPS [01:09:13] It kind of, I think it does though.
JAMEELA JAMIL [01:09:15] I agree.
BUSY PHILIPPS [01:09:16] You know what I mean?
JAMEELA JAMIL [01:09:16] It makes me a nicer person. I’m a nice, I’m a nice guy because of all the cake.
BUSY PHILIPPS [01:09:20] Yeah. I’m just saying, I don’t know, like you want some cake, eat some cake. You know, it’s like-.
JAMEELA JAMIL [01:09:26] Marie Antoinette. Anyway. I love you loads and I will-.
BUSY PHILIPPS [01:09:33] Thank you.
JAMEELA JAMIL [01:09:33] I’m going to see you so soon. Sooner than any of my other guests.
BUSY PHILIPPS [01:09:36] OK. Great. I’m excited.
JAMEELA JAMIL [01:09:39] Thank you so much for listening to this week’s episode. “I Weigh with Jameela Jamil” is produced and researched by myself, Jameela Jamil, Erin Finnegan and Kimmie Gregory. It is edited by Andrew Carson. And the beautiful music that you’re hearing now is made by my boyfriend, James Blake. If you haven’t already, please rate, review and subscribe to the show. It’s a great way to show your support. I really appreciate it and it amps me up to bring on better and better guests. Lastly, at “I Weigh” we would love to hear from you and share what you weigh at the end of this podcast. You can leave us a voicemail at 1-818-660-5543. Or email us what you weigh at IWeighPodcast@gmail.com. It’s not pounds and kilos, so please don’t send that. It’s all about your, just, you know, you’ve been on the Instagram, anyway, and now we would love to pass the mic to one of our listeners.
I WEIGH COMMUNITY MEMBER [01:10:32] I weigh my journey to becoming more intuitive.
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