September 9, 2021
EP. 75 — Zoe Lister-Jones
Actor, writer, director, and producer Zoe Lister-Jones joins Jameela this week to discuss being a late bloomer in high school, her mental health and anxiety around not being texted back, her work as a filmmaker and the vulnerability of putting your work out there, Zoe’s decision to have an all-female crew on her film Band-aid, and writing/filming her new film How It Ends in a pandemic.
75 — Zoe Lister-Jones
Jameela [00:00:00] Hello and welcome to another episode of I Weigh with Jameela Jamil, I hope you’re well, I’m great. This week I have a guest that I have wanted to not just have on my podcast. I’ve just wanted to kind of properly, properly meet her and chat to her. And I selfishly used all of you as an excuse to do that. Her name is Zoe Lister Jones. She is an actress, a writer, a producer. She’s just one of the funniest and coolest and and most unique people on television. And I’m completely obsessed. I have been for years since I was much younger than I am now. And I’ve just kind of grown up alongside her, watching her career and just kind of marveling at how different and wonderful she is. And so I asked her to come onto my podcast to talk about her film, how it ends, because I thought it was a very poignant story for what’s happening in the world right now. I mean, she literally shot it mid pandemic. It’s not about the pandemic. It’s about a kind of alternative version of the world ending. And I think there was a large period of time in which we all kind of felt like that was happening. I think there are still days now where it feels that way when we’re, you know, watching the news and learning about the climate. And this film is about what you do if you found out you had one day left on Earth and it’s so introspective and relatable and such an interesting idea, and it kind of just led to a really big conversation, not just about the film and about, you know, how much of that came from Zoe in and of herself, but also her life as a filmmaker, what it was like to shoot in the middle of a pandemic, what it’s like to be able to use your role as a woman empowered to usher in other women to to build your team around as a on a film set. But we also talked a lot about her mental health, something that she’s been very open about and was especially candid, I think more so than on some other podcasts she’s done. So I felt very honored that she was open with me where we talked a little bit about eating disorders, anxiety, depression. She does. I just want to trigger warning you all. She does mention suicidal ideation, but we talk about it for truly about three seconds, though. So I just want to give you that head’s up, if that’s something that you don’t feel ready for. But generally, we’re just kind of talking about overall mental health neediness. What pathetic teenagers we both were. It was very bonding. You kind of get to hear us fall in love. It happens sometimes on this podcast where you hear my inner child meet someone else’s inner child and become best friends and want to eat together in the cafeteria at lunch every day. I totally adore her. I thought I thought I would. And I adore her way more than I even thought I would. And just for an update, shortly after we had this chat, Zoe did text me. And this will make sense later when you listen to the episode, we both have anxiety about not being texted back. I immediately texted back and then she invited me out to hang out and I texted back and, uh, I, I went and hung out with her. So it happened. We actually met in IRL and hung out in real life, texted each other back and started a friendship. So that’s weird you get to hear the beginning of that on this podcast. But, yeah, she’s a joy. She’s so, so wonderful. Follow her online, follow her career, watch all of her work. All of it has got such an important message. And just enjoy this chat with a delightful human. This is Zoe Lister Jones. Zoe Lister Jones. I can’t believe you’re here. Hello and welcome to I Weigh.
Zoe [00:03:44] Thank you for having me.
Jameela [00:03:46] I was just we were taking our picture together just now for the podcast. And I was thinking back to 10 years ago to the first time I ever saw you on television where I developed an immediate comedy crush because I, I you know, and I’ve said this to you before whilst gushing at you, but I was just like, she’s so hot and weird. She’s so hot and brilliantly weird and has the most unusual delivery and comic timing. I just zoned in on you from that moment. So this is my my obsession with you may not even be taking this picture with you and having this chat is just like I’m just a little nerdy who gets starstruck.
Zoe [00:04:26] Oh, yeah, right.
Jameela [00:04:28] I’m serious.
Zoe [00:04:29] Oh, my God. I mean, I’ve been a fan of yours for so long, so I’m equally starstruck and nervy and.
Jameela [00:04:38] So funny. And you’ve only gotten hotter and weirder over the ten years.
Zoe [00:04:40] Thank you so much.
Jameela [00:04:42] It’s all a fan could live for.
Zoe [00:04:42] Maybe weirder than hotter, but but I think that that’s good. I think that’s the way it should be.
Jameela [00:04:51] Untrue. How has your mental health been your whole life?
Zoe [00:04:58] Is this an hour long podcast? OK, well, my birthing experience was no I’m kidding. When I was born, it was pretty intense. It was intense, though. I will say that.
Jameela [00:05:13] Wait why? What happened?
Zoe [00:05:15] Well, it was my mom went through twenty eight hours of labor, but the woman next to her was like just this is such a heavy way to like, kick it off. But the woman, she was sharing a hospital room. I was I was born in New York at Lenox Hill Hospital and she was sharing a hospital room with a woman who lost her baby. So it was I think obviously just I don’t think I was cognizant of that. But energetically, it’s a strange way to be brought to the world because there’s a lot of mourning and grief amidst the celebration.
Zoe [00:05:49] Oh, my goodness.
Jameela [00:05:49] So we’ll start there. But then, you know, it’s gotten better since then. And, you know, like I think I’ve just always been an anxious I was a really anxious kid. And I think I put a lot of my feelings around, like lack of control in my in my life as a kid, like around my parents separation or feeling unsafe in the neighborhood that I grew up in Brooklyn or
Jameela [00:06:18] This was also before Brooklyn was not to age us both out of the youth. But, you know, this was before Brooklyn was like chic and full of sourdough and bros you know what I mean, it was a whole different New York.
Zoe [00:06:32] It was, yeah. Brooklyn in the eighties was a little rough. And and so I think all of those all of that, the lack of a sense of control that I had, I definitely developed a lot of just overwhelming anxiety from a young age, I think I I directed a lot of that need for control around food from a pretty young age, like from and I know that’s, you know, a through line of this podcast. I’m so, so grateful for all the work that you do in this space. But, yeah, from like a very I would say from around like seven, I started to I cut out all sugar from my diet and I started to like, just be super hyper disciplined around what I was eating.
Jameela [00:07:27] Where did the idea even to give up sugar at seven years? Because I feel like sugar was my childhood, like it’s the last thing I would have given up. I hate something when you talk about your birthday. So I remember the fact that my mine was like a three hour labor for my mother and they were like, oh, we’re going to have to use forceps. And as soon as they said the word forceps, I shot out. I shot out I hate discomfort. So I can’t imagine a small a single digit child voluntarily knowing to give up sugar, knowing that sugar, that giving up sugar is a discipline. Where did you learn that?
Zoe [00:08:00] Well, I think I was raised in like a very health conscious household. So I understood like I had a lot of I had like a lot of congestion issues. And so my mom cut out cow’s milk from a young age. I was like on soy milk. This was also the eighties. It was like, you know, my mom is like and dad came of age in the 60s. So, you know, there was like a lot of sort of hippie culture around natural foods. And moving away from processed foods and stuff. So I think I
Jameela [00:08:34] Soy milk tasted like ass in the 80s.
Zoe [00:08:35] It was it really was actual ass. I said ass because I like the way it sounds. I think both of my parents had struggled with their weight. And I think as kids, do you just sort of absorb those things cellularly, you know, like unconsciously. And I my my mom, her family put a lot of focus on the thinness of the women in in the family. And those who weren’t thin or didn’t fit into that sort of archetype were like bullied and made fun of. And I witnessed that happen to my mom a lot. And I witnessed it happened to me as a kid. And I wasn’t like overweight, but I, I was called fat and stuff and in school, too. So I think I don’t know where the sugar thing came from specifically, but I just remember that then, you know, at a really young age. And I was so small, I lost quite a bit of weight, but I wasn’t like, starving myself, you know, I was like I was still eating. I was just really disciplined.
Jameela [00:09:41] But did it did that lead to like a kind of because I had a very, very similar journey. I come from a family of lots of larger people and then some very, very thin people. It’s a real just roll of the dice genetically. And to see the bigger people so ostracized from such a young age kind of gave me an immediate understanding of correlating weight with social status.
Zoe [00:10:01] Yes.
Jameela [00:10:02] And then that only gets reinforced by magazines, only gets reinforced at an all girls school. And then again, similarly bullied at school over my size when I was no you know, no one at any size should but I was by no means I didn’t look as though I looked like every other child. Am I you know I look back
Zoe [00:10:19] Yeah, same yeah
Jameela [00:10:20] you mentioned that like school bullying and stuff kind of carried on in different ways. Was that related to your image or was that related to. I remember reading that you’d kind of been quite androgynous looking at some point when you were younger. And so people used to misgender, you and and etc. like you otherized at school.
Zoe [00:10:40] Yeah, yeah, I, I shaved my head when I was eleven and I hadn’t gone through puberty yet, so I was really androgynous and I was constantly misgendered. And that was right when I started a new school, I was in public school and then for seventh and eighth grade, even though my mom couldn’t afford it, she asked her friend to help her out to put me in a private school just for those two years because it felt like she thought, that’s where I would get the best education. And so I went to this sort of, Tony, private school with this shaved head. And I was just like targeted just every day. And it was awful. I really wanted to not be there, but my friends were a lot more like, as I mentioned, you know, two to three years older. And they were in this cool public high school in Brooklyn. And so I ended up like escaping after two years of torture. And I spent most of my time with them. But but yeah, like at that point, I was getting like both an interesting amount of like negative attention and positive attention, because kids my age are give me a lot of negative attention. But older kids thought I was really cool. So I had this like this sort of dichotomy, these two worlds that I was living in, but at that point, yeah, I was
Jameela [00:11:58] It’s so funny to hear this just because I, I look at your your Instagram more than I care to admit, no I’m kidding, but I no when looking at your Instagram, you often like kind of post throwbacks like in the last year and a half, I don’t know if it’s because you can go back through old photographs. I seen a bunch and I’ve kept on thinking and imagining what I thought because we all do this, we all project what we imagine someone’s life is like and you just look so cool and all the fucking photographs, like everything looks like a Nirvana video and just like all your friends look really cool. I like, ugh, she had the best fucking time. No wonder she’s funny and bubbly. And it’s so funny to hear you talk and within ten minutes just recognize that it’s so easy to project an idea of someone else’s, I don’t know, like success at popularity or success it being.
Zoe [00:12:45] Oh totally. Or like yeah I was I was thinking this like today where I project like that everyone is more well-adjusted than me. I’m just like, oh, that person has it figured out. I think we all do it. And childhood is such a Yeah. Like I’m always really interested in people’s childhoods because I, I always think about like I didn’t have a boyfriend ever until I was in college and and I felt really invisible and like kind of repulsive in many ways because I was this, this, like weirdo, you know. And I think about people who did have boyfriends in high school who they could have like, who they explored intimacy with in a way that might have felt safe and like how that impacts their relationship to intimacy as adults. It’s like one of the second I see a person, I’m like, wonder what they’re relationship is to intimacy, and what kind of relationships they had and not just like the straight relationships, but, you know, girls having girlfriends and having those explorations too and.
Jameela [00:13:58] Everything everything. I’m terrified of girls in a way that I’m kind of like slowly but surely starting to get better with past the point of the age of 30, you know, but that’s how traumatized I was by secondary school and all of my poor listeners about to hear many, many of childhood bullying story. Also, I had my first kiss at 21, so I feel you. And so so it made me, um, it I had a similar feeling of like am I am, by the way, lots of people who listen to this podcast are sort of getting into their 30s and they have not yet lost their virginity. And they write in about things. And I just want everyone to not feel alone in this. Um, but I hated myself the whole time leading up to that. But but then when I actually came to it, I felt glad that I had waited that long and that the person that at least I got lucky enough to kiss for the first time was much more experienced than me and a friend and someone I’d chosen a really trusted. And so hopefully that’ll be everyone else’s experience if these are things you haven’t done yet. What was your sort of college experience like with that? Because this is a buildup, because it’s been so fucking long and everyone’s like seven years ahead of you.
Zoe [00:15:06] Such a buildup. I mean, I had a really I think because I felt so much, again, like an outsider, especially in terms of like where I should be in terms of sexual intimacy. I’m sure you had those same sort of anxieties of like, I’m going to look like such a fool, you know, because I don’t
Jameela [00:15:27] My friends all gave me a copy of the 40 Year Old Virgin. So, I mean, wasn’t like subtle, it wasn’t just like in my head, but yeah.
Zoe [00:15:38] Yeah I didn’t have so I guess like before I got a boyfriend. I was. I think I was. I was trying to catch up in a way that was not safe. And that, I think, definitely amplified some intimacy issues and trust issues, and I think I just was looking like. I felt that sex should be transactional just so I could kind of get it over with. And and so then, yeah, there wasn’t like a safe space to explore, really. And I also just like generally, you know, I’m attracted to witholding people who are kind of mean to me, so.
Jameela [00:16:27] Oh my God. Same by the way, big same. We have way more in common than I first realized that is hysterical. I was so bad at being around people that I found attractive when I was younger that I would panic. And if I ever was invited to a house party, which would normally happen via some sort of error where someone sent a group message to the school, no one ever specifically was like, you must be there. But I would panic and I would give myself jobs at the parties. So I would.
Zoe [00:16:59] Like clean up crew.
Jameela [00:17:00] With a yeah clean up crew by myself. So crew of one where I would find a trash bag or anything I could and I would be taking it empty cups and plates and throwing them away and just tottering around, giving my just cleaning up after everyone like cleaning up anything. I like puke. I think I one time cleaned up wasn’t mine, horrifying. And then another big one to go to was coat check. So that is just like that is a level of sad that I will never I will never come back from. When people make fun of me on the Internet, I’m always like, you don’t even know. It’s like you think I’m pathetic. You don’t even know how pathetic I am. I was like, this is not a serve what you’re telling you’re making fun of me. It’s like you don’t even know you. I have so much more ammunition for you you can’t possibly think I’m as sad as. I think I was I would start a coat check house parties where I would not even for money or anything. It wasn’t like a hustle that at least would have like then I could have bought myself something afterwards, but I would I would set up like a place and I would take the coats to the to the bed and I would wait to the very end of the party in case anyone needed their coats, you know, and these are drunk people that fourteen year old me is contending with and being like the green the green coat. OK, great. And I would really like I’d work really fucking hard. Some people would tip me. It was insane.
Zoe [00:18:21] Wow.
Jameela [00:18:22] Yeah. So uh so yeah I didn’t have my first kiss til I was twenty one Zoe. Because I was busy working.
Zoe [00:18:26] You’re invited to any party you’re invited to any party I throw J ameela. I always love a clean up crew of one or a coat check girl. I will say that in when I was in high school I would go to parties with like my like three other like weirdo girlfriends and we would bring our own mix tape and we’d find a room like usually like a parents office and close the door. And it would just be the four of us where we dance to our own music in a room where none of the other people were
Jameela [00:19:01] Oh fuck you don’t relate to my story with something that’s a scene out of Euphoria, how dare you?
Zoe [00:19:04] no Jameela that is not cool
Jameela [00:19:08] That’s the coolest thing I’ve ever head. You are not in touch with Gen Z. You are not in touch with Gen Z at all. That is exactly the kind of behavior they promote. Marching to the beat of your own drum with your fucking cool side shave’s that I saw you had when you were younger. And your dyed hair dancing to your probably probably the Smiths
Zoe [00:19:23] The elder
Jameela [00:19:25] How dare you try and relate to, to my labor, my house party labor with your extremely cool individualist like self autonomous story that you went like the fact that you went with the fact that you had friends how bloody dare you?
Zoe [00:19:39] Just three. I only had three. And I’ll say this though and I’m sorry, but for us elder millennials, that was not cool yet. It was we should have been socializing so that we could have been relating to other people, you know, our age. But instead because we were so like made fun of we were like, let’s just avoid them altogether and we’ll just go. But we did go but like same as you like. We knew that it was a mistake, that we were invited, but we would go and then we’d protect ourselves by, like, locking ourselves in a room.
Jameela [00:20:12] Yeah sure. OK, well,.
Zoe [00:20:12] OK.
Jameela [00:20:13] Yeah, that’s really traumatic. I think that’s so cool that’s literally all I wanted to do. I wanted to go and listen to Nirvana with some
Zoe [00:20:22] Let’s do it. We can still do it.
Jameela [00:20:23] But instead I was, we’re gonna do it.
Zoe [00:20:24] This is what our children are asking for.
Jameela [00:20:35] We both have anxiety about not being texted back.
Zoe [00:20:38] Ooof
Jameela [00:20:40] Big anxiety, right? You have this.
Zoe [00:20:42] It’s it’s so big. In fact, I was talking to my therapist about it just like a couple of days ago because, like. The feelings are so big and I don’t know if they come like this to you and like and I like to joke about it, but it’s actually like I’m like fucking devastated and and for, like, the waiting period for the twenty four hours or 36 hours or however many ungodly hours people make, you wait in 2021 for a text back like I go so dark. I’m just like I mean, also dependent on who that person is to me, but generally I’m just like I go to such a young place of rejection.
Jameela [00:21:21] Yeah, I immediately think everyone’s angry with me. I know I’ve done something wrong. I’ve annoyed someone.
Zoe [00:21:26] Yeah.
Jameela [00:21:26] I, I like I worry this is so and so just like so over the top but I sometimes think did I slag them off to someone and then it got back to them even though I probably haven’t because I really don’t a shit on people that I know. But in my head I’m like did I have a lapse of judgment? And I, I shat on them to someone and then that person I like, I just start panicking.
Zoe [00:21:47] I know.
Jameela [00:21:48] And then I got this extra layer of panic that’s really deep because one time a friend didn’t text me back all day and she was supposed to meet me and I couldn’t get hold of her. And then finally I called her house phone and got through. Someone picked up the phone and I just started ranting about how, like my whole day had been wasted by my friend and I was told that they were dead. So.
Zoe [00:22:07] Oh my God.
Jameela [00:22:07] Now that is a new yeah yeah pretty fucking intense. So now I have two layers of rejection and death, both of which I’m certain is happening all the while, just to call myself out here, not being exceptional at texting people back in the last year. So, the like, the the layers of hypocrisy, the narcissism, the like that it must be about me.
Zoe [00:22:30] The abandonment issue yeah.
Jameela [00:22:32] You are always busy and then death. As the most extreme possible reason
Zoe [00:22:37] Oh my god I’m so sorry about happened to you. Yeah I know.
Jameela [00:22:40] Well, I’m hopefully I can now infect everyone who is listening to this with that same thing. You’re welcome.
Zoe [00:22:46] Yes. Well that is the ultimate it’s not personal.
Jameela [00:22:52] Oh god.
Zoe [00:22:53] Sorry.
Jameela [00:22:54] Oh my God. No, no no it’s fine. But true.
Zoe [00:22:57] And that is like the big lesson that I, I am trying so desperately to learn just in life.
Jameela [00:23:04] Well what do you do? Do you spiral? I spiral.
Zoe [00:23:06] Yes I spiral
Jameela [00:23:07] You’re getting nine texts in a row from me publicly apologizing for something I don’t even know I’ve done like.
Zoe [00:23:12] Oh, same like I was just in my head about a text that I haven’t received back for like four hours that I was going to be like, listen, if you don’t want to be a part of this friendship anymore, that’s OK. Just be honest with me. Just communicate it, you know, like that. And I’m like, I’m drafting it. You know, it’s absolute lunacy. It’s like it’s but then
Jameela [00:23:39] it’s so nice to talk to someone as unhinged as I am.
Zoe [00:23:42] Oh, my God, I’m so unhinged. And there’s this girl and I like I really have a friend crush on her. And I ran into her the other week and and she’s like, let’s hang out. And I was like, oh my God, I’d love to. And so I texted her the next day, like, that was so lovely running into you let’s hang out. And she never texted me back. And this entire week I was just like, same as you like, what did I do? Did I write did I write too quickly? You know was I was I overeager or did I did did someone get to her and say, I’m a terrible person? And then today she DMed me and it was like as though nothing happened and there was no there was not.
Jameela [00:24:20] She doesn’t even know about this entire existential crisis that she led you to. Were you super breezy?
Zoe [00:24:25] Super breezy. I was like, hey, girl,.
Jameela [00:24:29] Oh forgot I texted you.
Zoe [00:24:34] It’s a night. It’s a nightmare prison. I don’t know how to escape that.
Jameela [00:24:38] It’s so tricky. And then are you the same in kind of like bigger interpersonal relationships where you would just sort of like read instant rejection to people?
Zoe [00:24:45] Absolutely. And I’ve been like talking about it so much to this one friend of mine who who’s similar. I’m sure everyone has shades of this to varying degrees. But yeah, like my first assumption is always that everyone hates me just like.
Jameela [00:25:07] Well, I don’t.
Zoe [00:25:08] Thank you and thank you.
Jameela [00:25:09] I like you very much.
Zoe [00:25:11] Thank you so much.
Jameela [00:25:11] We’re going to have to keep each other in check.
Zoe [00:25:13] Yes, that would be great.
Jameela [00:25:14] I think that’s important. Yeah. It’s just school shit is all school shit. It just never leaves, never goes away. I’m still I’m so quickly reduced to my 12 year old self.
Zoe [00:25:24] Yeah. Oh yeah. And I mean, it’s not I think in the last
Jameela [00:25:27] and I’ve done a lot of work on myself, sorry go on.
Zoe [00:25:33] Same. Doing the work. But yeah. I mean I was just saying that in the last year and a half I think our younger selves have been under and even I don’t know.
Jameela [00:25:47] A magnifying glass.
Zoe [00:25:47] Yeah a bigger magnifying glass that that has made them and they’re screaming for our attention. So I think there’s been a lot of that work to be done. But also, once you start digging, it’s like then you really uncover just how loud those voices are.
Jameela [00:26:06] And is that what inspired because one of the things I wanted to talk to you about today is your wonderful movie, How It Ends, and which I enjoyed the themes of so much. It was such a moving film. I have 900 questions about it but a large part of that film I would say your kind of your costar in that film is metaphysical. It’s your younger self. Was that inspired by what rose up within the pandemic?
Zoe [00:26:32] Yeah, Darryl Wine and I wrote it together and we it was about like two months into the pandemic that we started writing it to quarantine that we started writing it. And it was, yeah, I think a way to process how loudly those voices were echoing the sort of like.
Jameela [00:26:55] That was quick.
Zoe [00:26:56] It was quick. Yeah.
Jameela [00:26:57] Not just quick to write it, but also quick for that to surface.
Zoe [00:27:01] Yeah. Well, you know what’s interesting? I think a lot of people pre quarantine were like already coming up against, I don’t know, a lot of shit. I mean, everyone’s always coming up against shit, but I just feel like there were like big life things for a lot of the people that I know that then were like compounded by suddenly this new normal that made all of those things just that much more.
Jameela [00:27:27] Yeah I feel as though that might be partially because there’s been like a kind of reckoning of mainstream conversations and like de-stigmatization of mental health issues. People probably realized only for the first time, maybe in the last four or five years that they were abused, that they have depression or anxiety. It took a lot of a lot of very big conversations, often with some very famous people talking about it in a way that de-stigmatize it. That made us all realize, oh, maybe that’s me.
Zoe [00:27:51] Yes, totally. And to be able to just name it. And I think it’s so tangential, but I feel like Gen Z is it’s exciting.
Jameela [00:28:01] So clued up.
Zoe [00:28:02] Yeah like because they just know how to name, name it, you know. And that’s like just that is half the battle. But but anyway, yeah, we started, we started writing it, I was doing a lot of inner child work with my therapist and I was like being like tasked with therapy homework of like writing letters to my inner child. And I did not know how to do it. So I, I think I tried to do it in the form of a screenplay and try to figure out what I needed to say to her in order to sort of assuage her fears.
Jameela [00:28:35] Yeah. Will you break down what the film is about?
Zoe [00:28:39] It’s it takes place on the last day on Earth, a meteor is going to hit Earth at like 2:00 a.m. and it’s something that we’ve all in the film been preparing for for months. So it’s an apocalyptic comedy that is like very self reflective. There’s no zombies. There’s no violent mayhem. It’s really just like sort of a zen a zen take on the last day on Earth during which my character is on like a journey with her younger self across Los Angeles to make it to the final party hosted by Whitney Cummings. And along the way, she runs into some kooky characters, some of whom are like parents, ex best friend’s ex lovers to sort of have her, to say her peace before we all explode.
Jameela [00:29:32] And you shot it during the pandemic, and I found that to be one of the things that moved me the most while watching it is just it’s so funny how far apart all the characters are standing, because obviously this is the very beginning. We didn’t we really didn’t know anything. So everyone’s standing sort of 10 to 20 feet away from each other and so cleverly shot in a way that it also doesn’t feel odd for the movie because it’s like the end of the world. Everyone’s like it’s everything’s very kind of deserted. And a lot of these people are strangers in these scenes who you’re coming up against and and I I wonder what that was like. It’s such a wild time stamp of this period that we will now always have. You will always have the document of that. And also you had fucking everyone in this film. I have never seen more cameos in any film.
Zoe [00:30:21] I know.
Jameela [00:30:22] Every single comedy person I love was in it. It was such a joy to behold the sort of every five minutes someone else I adore pops up in this film. Well done for getting everyone out of the house in a pandemic.
Zoe [00:30:35] Yeah it was, it was quite early so that there were challenges there too. Like those conversations were interesting. I luckily have like a lot of very talented friends, but the conversations were like less about covid safety because I think we felt very confident, even though it was early, that the entire film was being shot outdoors and at least six feet apart. And it was a crew of three people and everyone was doing their own hair and makeup and their own wardrobe. And it was a really intimate, you know, creative experience in that way. But I think in terms of emotional safety, there were a lot of other questions that came up, like because it was like it is it’s poignant as a film tonally, but it is a comedy. And I think for a lot of my very funny friends, the question was like, can I show up and be funny right now as the world is so bleak and as I’m facing my own demons every morning. And I think because of like the nature of the narrative, which is that it was already the end of the world, which we didn’t want to make a covid centered movie, but we want to make something that was sort of adjacent in terms of the emotional landscape that we were just like, you can show up in whatever state you’re in and that is your character. And you should feel no pressure to perform something that doesn’t feel authentic to your to your real life self. And I think that was actually really cathartic for all of us at that time because there was so little sense of play. I mean, it was such a scary and uncertain time and
Jameela [00:32:08] A time that felt like it could be the end of the world as well.
Zoe [00:32:10] Very much so. And I think that was like part of the inspiration, too, because it felt like the end of the world. But like for those of us who weren’t front line workers, like we were watching Netflix in sweatpants, you know, and it was like this strange dichotomy of like the end of the world meeting this very banal existence, you know? And I think we wanted to sort of capture that that that strange intersection and and also, like you said, have it serve as a time capsule.
Jameela [00:32:42] Yeah, and also it was very thought provoking in that, you know, your character makes a decision early on in the film to kind of she makes a kind of checklist of everything she’s going to do that day. And some of that is, you know, making amends. And then some of it is also bearing grudges and carrying those grudges through to the apocalypse, which I think I felt that scene really personally that felt more me and making it amends. I am from a tribe called we’re called Paton’s. And and my my lineage is from there. And like one of the things that is most known about us, according to my family, not just my family, but all the Patons that we live for revenge. So it’s like in my DNA.
Zoe [00:33:25] That’s amazing.
Jameela [00:33:25] I fucking love a grudge. Like I’m not about being the bigger person, I’m about being the smallest person.
Zoe [00:33:30] When they go low, you go lower.
Jameela [00:33:34] A hundred percent. A hundred literally my my my political slogan. I’m just I stink because I’m always in the gutter. I’m just fighting in the gutter. I respond to individuals on Twitter. You know. Yeah, they’re 11. So what? Let’s get in the gutter together person young enough to be my child.
Zoe [00:33:55] Yeah you have agency at 11.
Jameela [00:33:57] Yeah. So I so I felt yeah. I felt very seen by that and it kind of it led me to think about what I would actually do if it was the last day on Earth. So are those things that you would actually do if it was the last day on Earth?
Zoe [00:34:12] I want to know I want to know what you would do.
Jameela [00:34:17] What would like you know what what would your actual last day be like? Was that reflective? Yeah. Like, are there people you want to make amends with?
Zoe [00:34:23] Yeah, I think it was definitely reflective. I don’t think my character is too dissimilar from ZLJ, but. I think it would be about human connection, and that was at the time what we were all like so starved for. What are you laughing for?
Jameela [00:34:40] I would take a shit on the doorstep of every person who bullied me in school while you were saying that incredibly emotional and like just sort of
Zoe [00:34:49] Well, you know what Jameela
Jameela [00:34:52] Buddhist enlightened thing I was imagining myself taking a shit on the doorstep of people who I haven’t seen in 10 years.
Zoe [00:34:58] That is also human connection. That is that is that is human connection. That is so aspirational, really. I’ve talked to my friends who, like I have one friend who grew up in Miami and she would like like she would shit on people’s doorsteps as pranks, like as a kid. And I was like, that’s a thing
Jameela [00:35:20] That’s very Jared Leto.
Zoe [00:35:23] So I think it’s time to reclaim that prank. Yeah, I think I would I don’t know. And I’d like to, like, celebrate in some way, like dance, fuck, eat, all the things.
Jameela [00:35:37] Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Eating would be huge on my list. I know I’m allergic to gluten so I would just have all the gluten. Just I think of this all the time. Yeah. I think of all only like last day on Earth. Yeah. What gluten am I going to eat? Because it doesn’t make a damned. It’s we’re talking bagels, we’re talking big ol bagels. Big ol’ fucking bagels full of cream cheese. Cows milk cream cheese. Yeah. It’s all all of the the rye bread.
Zoe [00:36:06] Really you’d go, you’d go rye?
Jameela [00:36:09] It’s a big Jewish big Jewish gluten fan. Matzo balls.
Zoe [00:36:13] You’re not going pizza or pasta. I love that you’re just like deli. Straight deli.
Jameela [00:36:17] I’m going straight straight to the deli. Yeah.
Zoe [00:36:20] I love that for you. I would do the same.
Jameela [00:36:23] Straight to Canter’s. Yeah. 100 percent. And obviously there’d be some donuts and it would be a big day. And also I would need that to be able to shit on the doors steps of my enemies. Do you do you have and none of my business. But nor is anything I’ve asked you about today, uh, do you have do you have a significant amount of people that you feel like you haven’t made amends with in your life?
Zoe [00:36:44] No. But.
Jameela [00:36:47] So short Apocalypse Day for you
Zoe [00:36:51] No, but there are there are people that I haven’t said what I wanted to say to. Do you know what I mean? Like so I think there are some people that like and it’s not even amends. I think there are there are some people that I have unfinished business with.
Jameela [00:37:06] Right. Oh, God. You really said that with all of your teeth and your tits like you.
Zoe [00:37:12] You got to say it with your tits Jameela.
Jameela [00:37:15] If I know anything it’s that. So that’s so interesting. You so I mean, we got how far back are we going.
Zoe [00:37:23] Oh let’s go all the way back like I want to go, I go, I go to Junior. I’m one wonder if I go to junior high school. And that’s a long list. We only have one day? No. I’d go to I’d go to college. I’d start start with college. There’s too many people.
Jameela [00:37:41] Right. I think yeah. I think I’m going I’m going all the way back. Going all the way back. Do you do you still again, none of my business. But do you still have any kind of restrictive eating practices now?
Zoe [00:37:53] Oh yeah. Major, major, major, major.
Jameela [00:37:57] So what are you eating on the last day of Earth?
Zoe [00:38:01] I think it would be similar bagels and in the film I eat pancakes. That would be big. I love a Challa French toast. We’re going.
Jameela [00:38:12] Love a challah French toast. So we’re going to the deli together. That’s so exciting.
Zoe [00:38:15] We are. We really are. No I. I don’t eat gluten or dairy or soy or corn. I have so many things because like my, my gut is so frickin sensitive and of course those things are confusing. What where that becomes also. Yeah.
Jameela [00:38:33] Control.
Zoe [00:38:34] Control and disorder one hundred percent. The thing is I’ll let myself like I’ll smoke a joint and then I’ll be like let’s party. But then my stomach hurts so much and then I’m like, that sucks. Is it worth it, you know. And so this is sort of my struggle generally speaking.
Jameela [00:38:53] Are you are you sort of seeking to find a way out of the psychological aspect of that, where you at that kind of journey of your kind of body?
Zoe [00:39:02] Yeah, I would love I would love a way out. Yeah. And I think when the patterns are so old, as you know, it’s like a it’s a difficult thing to shift gears on, especially because there’s so much like around stuff that that is confirmed by like doctors in terms of like, yeah, you have these sensitivities to these things. Like they will make you feel crummy.
Jameela [00:39:29] Totally. And I never want to delegitimize those because I certainly have a lot of sensitivities myself or allergies, like down straight up allergies. But I also know that some of these things are so, again, like fully. Not just our industry, but I feel like our entire world, like social media has very much so democratized this. But I also feel as though restrictions are, again, hyper normalized in a way that I think is fantastic because we’ve really given people with allergies a fucking hard time. I’ve been one of those people who everyone just sort of rolls their eyes when I tell them I have an allergy to gluten and they think I’m doing it because it’s trendy, as if anyone’s ever had fun eating what was essentially just sort of buttered bark back in the 90s.
Zoe [00:40:16] You can’t even have matzo. You know.
Jameela [00:40:22] I have. It’s been years. It’s been years. I had the first 12 years of my life to just pass out and not know why whilst enjoying.
Zoe [00:40:26] Oh my God.
Jameela [00:40:26] Predominantly, I was eating like a challa of like an entire challa loaf a day every day.
Zoe [00:40:32] Wow.
Jameela [00:40:33] Yeah, they were large as well, poppy seed covered. And then just fainting and farting constantly.
Zoe [00:40:40] That’s a really
Jameela [00:40:41] It maybe explains a bit more about why no one wanted to sit next to me at secondary school.
Zoe [00:40:44] It’s a thrilling combo.
Jameela [00:40:48] And and with your mental health journey, do you feel as though the film helped you process any of the things that you had been struggling with is also a time capsule of any have you found any recovery in the last year and a half, or is it more that everything’s just surfaced and you’re kind of still sifting through it?
Zoe [00:41:06] No, I have found some recovery for sure. And I think the film was a really important way for me to process a lot of the things that I was that came into sharper focus, I think, over the last year and a half. And there was like a scene in the film between my younger self. And I was played by Cailee Spaeny, who’s amazing.
Jameela [00:41:27] She’s so great. So fucking great in this film.
Zoe [00:41:29] Yeah. Where like she talks about like remember when this all started, like when life didn’t feel worth living. And I think it is like that thing for anyone who’s had suicidal ideations or has attempted suicide or any of those things or sort of just has a errs towards despondency. I think those conversations with one’s younger self are really important. Like when did those feelings really start to kick up and how do we talk to that person? Because when you’re young, they can feel even more overwhelming. But then that young person who’s so overwhelmed is still traveling with us every day on these journeys. So it was it was incredibly cathartic. I mean, it’s obviously a life long journey, but. But yeah, I do feel that I’m I’m on a path.
Jameela [00:42:22] Is is there a particular thing that you want your younger self to know, like having done all this investigation, is there like a thing you most want to grab skinhead Zoe Lister Jones at 11 years old and tell her,
Zoe [00:42:36] oh, gosh, you know, like, I guess that you don’t have to be perfect to be worthy of love. Which is sort of a cliche, but I think that’s kind of what it all boils down to. It’s like,
Jameela [00:42:54] well, I don’t think she would have been able to know that that, you know, 20 years from then she would be able to, in the middle of a pandemic, wrangle all of these beloved people, not just beloved to her personally, beloved by everyone who would come out in the middle of a global pandemic and take a risk, even though it’s a small risk to just being a thing that you made. I mean, you you wrote this film and co-directed it and star in it and and you have all of these people in your life and everyone I know, you’re just like so beloved by anyone that I meet. And that’s so not. No, but it’s so nice. It’s so nice to hear your kind of journey, because I think a lot of us have gone through times or maybe someone right now is still going through that time. I get messages like this all the time in my DMS, especially when I bring on like a therapist on the show, someone saying, you know what, I and they’re not just teenagers, they’re people in their 20s saying that, you know, I’ve kind of lost all my friends and am I ever going to have friends again or I’ve never really had great friendships. Do you think that’s ever going to be something for me? There’s people who just so at the edge of like a level of loneliness that they can cope with. And I, I just want to reach through my phone and grab them and tell them I felt that way so many times in my life and the right people come along I think when you have the right attitude towards yourself. That’s no way blaming anyone for their circumstance. I do think that’s also like a big undertone of your film, is that the most, however many relationships you try to fix throughout this film, it’s the one with yourself that just like it just keeps coming back to that. And I think that that’s a really important allegory, I guess, for everyone. And and it’s nice to hear of someone feeling so otherized in their family and in their community and in school growing up to being able to to have this sort of happy surroundings, even if you’re not perfectly happy all the time. Do you know what I mean?
Zoe [00:44:44] Yeah yeah. Even if these motherfuckers don’t text me back. Yeah, I know.
Jameela [00:44:48] Within five minutes.
Zoe [00:44:50] Thank you for saying all of that. It’s yeah. I think it is it it’s so easy to feel alone and alienated in, in those feelings and it is so helpful. And I’m so grateful again to you for using your platform to talk about all of these issues because it’s so helpful, you know, to to just know that like so many people, most people are struggling with,
Jameela [00:45:16] I know they’re not alone in their loneliness. It’s this oddly like, completely formative and bonding thing that we can all relate to.
Zoe [00:45:26] Yeah. Yeah totally.
Jameela [00:45:26] Is supreme levels of that, especially in the last year and a half. I think so many people have reckoned with that. Yeah, you are not alone. And we are here with you really with a lot of experience. Talk to me about being a filmmaker. This is not your first film, you have been making your own films. You’ve been using a lot of stuff within your relationship or your your experience as a woman in all of the content you’ve yourself made. Have you did you always want to be a film maker?
Zoe [00:46:03] Well, my mom is a video artist. Her name is Ardele Lister. I’ll give her a shout out because I don’t think she’s ever gotten the recognition she deserves. And she’s a really brilliant. So I was raised in a household in which, you know, I was witnessing I was a she was exposing me to a lot of incredible filmmaking, but also by many people. But also I was watching her really like delve into that intersection of, like personal and political in her work that I think really inspired me from a young age. But I didn’t know specifically that I wanted to be a filmmaker for actually a while. Like I I didn’t even know I wanted to be an actor. I think I knew I wanted to write because I always felt like a lifeline for me out of the sort of sludge of my depression and anxiety. But but then I got a scholarship to to Tisch Drama School at NYU. And so I ended up going to acting school. And then from there, I when I met Darryl, we started making films together, but he was always the director. So I was like, I guess it’s a loose term of what a filmmaker is. But we were co writing and I was producing and I was starring. But he was the director and it took me, I think, until, yeah. Like my early thirties, to really feel that I could be a director, too. And I think it is a testament in many ways to that same like lesson that I wanted to teach my younger self of like you don’t that I think I I felt that I needed to be perfect, which I think is a barrier to entry for a lot of women in in many industries that you like, I felt like I needed to know so much more before I could start. But then you’re never going to know all the things and everything.
Jameela [00:47:56] You also meet the men and realize how much not to discredit them at all, like, you know, but you realize how much of them are just making it up as they go along.
Zoe [00:48:04] Absolutely.
Jameela [00:48:04] I’ve met some of the the creators of the biggest franchises in the world, and they’re really just like, you know, when you break it down with them, you’re like, you know, how did you come up with this? Oh, I didn’t. It was by accident. I’ve no idea what’s happening. I don’t know what I’m doing I’m a mess.
Zoe [00:48:16] Yeah.
Jameela [00:48:16] And you’re like, oh, shit. You’re just and this isn’t you know, this isn’t a new conversation. We’ve seen statistics based on like how many men will go up for jobs that women don’t even go up for. And those men are less qualified and the women who don’t even try. So I think that’s definitely a definitely a thing. But I’m thrilled that you’re now at the like, kind of, you know at the helm of this and with people that you trust and with people who give you that space to do that, I think that’s really cool.
Zoe [00:48:43] Thank you.
Jameela [00:48:43] Um, but I but I also know that that’s incredibly brave, especially considering the fact that, you know, I’d read that you’d grown up with with two artist parents who, as you referenced, like one, fully realized for that talent. And so sometimes that can drive people. I have people I know in my life who has driven them forward to be like, I’m going to succeed not just for me, but for my parents but also some people just become terrified because they see the heartache that comes with not being acknowledged for the thing that you’ve poured your heart and soul into, especially something as meaningful as what your mother was making.
Zoe [00:49:19] Yeah, yeah. And my dad, Bill Jones shout out, is also an amazing artist. And I think I witnessed that heartache that you just mentioned just so consistently throughout my childhood.
Jameela [00:49:37] How did you overcome the fear then?
Zoe [00:49:39] Well, my mom encouraged me to go to drama school because I was like, I should not do that, because that sounds like, you know, it sounds like I’m just I will it will be a life of pain, which I wasn’t wrong. But she was like, no, you should do it, because I think she understood that it was something that I loved to do I just I was very pragmatic, you know, I was like, I don’t and I think I wanted to avoid just like our financial circumstances, we were always broke. And the emotional circumstances when they were always heartbroken. And there’s so
Jameela [00:50:17] much. There’s so much there’s so much more rejection than there is acceptance in an industry like this in any kind of when you pursue any kind of passion of art, it’s the same of sports, but plenty of things where something means the world to you, the whatever that may be, it may be biology, but there’s more space for your heart to be broken. And so I, I wonder, I, I come from a whole family of people who really wanted to be performers and I was the only one who didn’t.
Zoe [00:50:48] Wow.
Jameela [00:50:48] Like that hasn’t gone very well. But that’s alright it’s fair. But you know, so I, you know, very reticent, I was very reticent to get into this and just kind of had to look at it as OK, I’m not qualified. Have fun. Have fun. Let’s see what I can get away with and see how much shit I can take with me when I leave. And the bigger disaster it is. And the more I humiliate myself, the funnier that story will be at the pub with my friends. And so that’s been my survival.
Zoe [00:51:20] That’s such a good way. I would love a little bit of that. I’d like I’d like to borrow some of that from you. Yeah, I guess I didn’t. I think I’m a person who I’m a hyper productive person and I think that’s probably how I that’s my my protective mechanism to like, make things, finish things, get things out into the world that I don’t have to. There’s heartache no matter what.
Jameela [00:51:50] I was going to ask you about that, because I’ve never I’ve never actually made something and put something out to the world, everything I do is fairly low risk because it’s always just me making a fucking tit out of myself. And I think for me, like comedy, even the comedy is hard. Comedy is my safe space. But you’re putting a fully packaged you’re like a musician making an album. It’s a proper body of work. So what’s the emotional journey of that? When you put that out in the world and you take that risk and I don’t know, it’s always mixed results for everyone, no matter how big they are.
Zoe [00:52:21] Yeah, it’s harrowing. It’s just it’s there’s no there’s just no way for your heart not to be broken a thousand times along the way. And it’s happened every time. I don’t have children, but I my friends who have children talk about like after the first labor, they’re like, I’m never fucking doing that again. That was insane. And then like a year later, they forget and they’re like, we should get pregnant again, you know? And that’s what it feels like every time. I mean, because it is it’s it’s pretty brutal. And I think sharing it is so vulnerable from across every stage of the process, like sharing a script that you’ve written is so vulnerable because for I think for every screenwriter, there’s going to be personal infusions but for me especially I like, I really do, just like I use my my screenplays as ways to process sort of my deepest existential queries. So so that’s really vulnerable. And then and then making it and releasing it into the world is, you know, it’s it’s hard because it’s hard for many reasons. But critics can be very cruel and
Jameela [00:53:32] Well it’s because it’s not as good as the incredible body of work that they’ve put out.
Zoe [00:53:40] Exactly. And and so and all of that. So all of that is just even just like the first film that Daryl and I made was called Breaking Upwards, and no producer wanted to make it. And so that we made it guerrilla style out of sheer necessity. And then that opened a lot of doors. But but then like a lot of success stories, even Band Aid, which was my directorial debut, which, you know, was fairly successful for an indie film, nobody wanted to make it. I sent that script to everyone nobody wanted to make it. And so then I just went and decided to make it on my own. And so, like every step of the way, even things that might look like successes in retrospect, there’s so much rejection and there’s just so much heartache. And I guess it’s always learning how to navigate or like toe the line of learning from that rejection but also like also defying the gatekeepers. And saying, OK, well, like rather than just going like, OK, well, this one, this one, they didn’t like so I want to shelve it. I was like this when I didn’t like. I’m going to make it. It’s like.
Jameela [00:54:50] I love that though. I think that’s so important. This is especially important for for women to do that. I think that’s like when we’re never told that we’re allowed to do that. We’re not allowed to learn. We’re not allowed to grow. I love it when I hear of someone who just who defies that, that it’s not just an inner voice. It’s the it’s an out. It’s the voice. It’s the loudest voice is one of don’t try again. Or don’t do this. You’ll embarrass yourself and shunning that embarrassment because I know shame is a big thing for you and.
Zoe [00:55:20] Huge yeah.
Jameela [00:55:21] Did you say shame and embarrassment like two of the biggest. I think I’ve heard you say that before. Someone like mine is guilt and fear. I have no shame which is the problem.
Zoe [00:55:30] Oh, yes. Oh no. I would say shame and guilt or shame and embarrassment feel like they’re sort of intertwined with shame and guilt are yeah, I would say they’re my driving factors.
Jameela [00:55:42] But then to go, to go against that, that shame and to do anyway so and I also just, I love the things that you make.
Zoe [00:55:49] Oh thank you so much.
Jameela [00:55:50] I mean they’re full of so much vulnerability and they’re all so unusual. I also love the fact it was Band Aid wasn’t it where you hired like an all female crew.
Zoe [00:55:57] Yeah. Yeah.
Jameela [00:55:59] Which I think is such a cool thing to be able to do. And I would love to know what that experience was like.
Zoe [00:56:05] The experience was so earth shattering. It was amazing. It was it exceeded all of my expectations in many ways. It was sort of multifactorial in terms of why I decided to hire all women on that film, but. I think one of the reasons was because it was my directorial debut and I had witnessed women behind the camera be treated differently and and sort of the questioning and condescension and and doubt that I had witnessed women directors sort of contend with I wanted to protect myself from. And it doesn’t mean that there aren’t women who do that to other women. But but I just felt that this was going to give me better odds. So that was one selfish reason. But then. A bigger reason was that, you know, I had witnessed also just the growth in equity on film and television crews and how just deeply underrepresented women were especially in like camera grip and electric departments and so and I I knew the reason outside of just like general misogyny was also because of this sort of cycle, because this was pre metoo. But I think there was already some talk around gender equity in in this arena. But there was like very little walk. And I felt that the reason why there was very little walk was because, you know, making films on television is such a high stakes sort of pressure cooker in which those who are in charge of hiring are going to hire the people that they either know or that have an insane amount of credits. And those are generally white men because of the way that the decks have been stacked against everyone else. So so I felt that I had to, like, draw a line in the sand because I knew if I just said, let’s try to hire more women, it just wouldn’t happen. And I would have to actually, like, mandate that it had to be all women because and even my female department heads, you know, there was like pushback because they were like but I’ve been working with this dude for ten years and he’s my dude and he’s awesome. And he’s an amazing person. And they didn’t take away from any of those things. But I was like, I know, but you have to you have to work with someone new. And part of that was just me seeing if this was actually in the realm of possibility where where mentorship and taking, quote unquote, risks on people with less experience could could work. And it not only worked, but it like was such a revelatory, creative environment for all of us that I think it shifted how a lot a lot of people, including the male actors on the set, like Adam Pally, who starred in it opposite me many days, was the only man on set. And that’s the complete inverse of what generally he’s the environments he’s been in. And yeah, there was just a there was a marked shift in just the energy that I think was a really amazing space to create within. Of course, that was a space where I could have an entire control over hiring practices. And then I went on to work within the studio system. And that’s a different there are different road blocks in doing such things. But but I’ve tried my best to continue to really push up against those roadblocks.
Jameela [00:59:57] It’s amazing. It’s like, oh, God, I don’t know if this is going to come out right, but very few things I say ever do. It’s like watering a plant honestly sometimes when I like all of the people now on my team, is it ninety nine percent women. I’m kind of over the. Yeah. So I have like everyone around me, anyone who works with me in my company or works with me in this industry, there’s there’s one guy.
Zoe [01:00:23] That’s amazing.
Jameela [01:00:26] And, and that’s not from any kind of like hatred of men. It’s just it’s a particular desire to understand that I have a certain element of power and I am aware as to how much it’s healed me to have people nurture my confidence and make me feel like, you know, maybe not necessarily I can, but I might. And people being willing to, like, take a gamble on me.
Zoe [01:00:49] Yes.
Jameela [01:00:51] Has you know, even if I don’t perform perfectly, it has completely changed me as a human being for someone just to give me a fucking chance to say, oh, someone believes that I have some potential somewhere. Oh, that makes me want to find, like I found so many parts of myself I would never have ever known existed had it not been for other people. And so now I would like to be that for everyone else and kind of pay that forward. And so I especially love working with women. It’s so true what you say, that sometimes they can be extremely toxic. I mean, we all have internalized misogyny, that we’re all in men and women. Patriarchy can exist and everyone can harm everyone. It really harms men. You and I both, I think, quite, quite strongly about that. But it’s incredible to watch someone blossom, someone who has clearly been told you can’t. You shouldn’t their whole life to just say maybe you could maybe you should. Why don’t you try? You know what? It’s my bad if this goes wrong. I’m going to I’m going to gamble on you and I’m going to take the fall and then almost every time they just exceed not just your expectations, but theirs more importantly and that is a lot like witnessing a miracle.
Zoe [01:01:59] Yes. Yeah.
Jameela [01:02:00] And it’s like seeing that in a child, you know, back to that. Like, you get to see it when they see that they pulled something off at the end of that filming, I imagine everyone like what was that wrap party?
Zoe [01:02:11] The wrap party was amazing. It was amazing. I mean, the whole thing was just so amazing, but I do think oftentimes those those people who might have less experience or who you’re taking the quote unquote risk on are going to be that much hungrier to perform. And and like those those miracles that you see. But you have so-called miracles. It’s like it is really it’s so amazing to watch someone sort of embody their own creative agency because they’re given the room to make a mistake or to just get off the bench. You know, and and I think that is such an important lesson for us all. Like it took a woman named Alex Maddigan to say to me, I think you should direct a film. I didn’t I didn’t think that I could until it literally just took one person. She didn’t produce the film. She just was like, I believe in you. And I was like, oh, OK.
Jameela [01:03:06] Just sprinkled some fairy dust on you and then fucked off.
Zoe [01:03:08] yeah, exactly. And like and sometimes I think those sorts of even just mini mentorships, you know, are so essential. And I hope that more and more people. Yeah, take them on because because that’s the only way we shift the paradigm and sort of start to subvert all of the fucked up institutionalized practices that are still very much at play.
Jameela [01:03:36] Well, thank you for actually walking the walk. Definitely, it definitely inspires me to continue to try harder and do better in that area and and to encourage others to do the same. And and you have such an interesting life story and you’ve been through so many different complex emotional things and you’ve come out of it, someone who, you know, certainly wears a vulnerabilities and still, you know, you still participate in healing. It’s an ongoing journey for you, but such a kind person. And it’s very easy to just become a bit of a twisted asshole when you’re in pain, you know. And so I it’s so nice to also find out that someone you really admire who’s nice to you and like sort of two minute drips when you see them out at events you never know what someone’s really like. It’s been so eye-opening to get to know you.
Zoe [01:04:28] Oh I feel the same way. And I’m so grateful to have gotten to know you this much more because I’ve always felt the same way of like every time I see you, I’m like, I want more of her.
Jameela [01:04:37] No the same. And also the funniest thing is that you and I realized yesterday we’ve had each other’s number for three years. This whole time we’ve just been sort of tiptoeing near DMs once every six months. I’ve had your fucking phone number. We’ve sent each of heart emojis. That’s that’s big shit.
Zoe [01:04:53] Big shit.
Jameela [01:04:54] We sent each other a big fucking shit.
Zoe [01:04:57] We were taken we were taking big shits on each other’s doorsteps.
Jameela [01:05:00] I’m telling you we’re responding to each other within minutes. It was a great how much time is wasted so we shall we shall remedy that.
Zoe [01:05:10] I can’t wait.
Jameela [01:05:10] And before you go, I have to ask you, what do you weigh?
Zoe [01:05:14] This one so tough for me Jameela. I know it’s tough for everyone. It’s tough for everyone. Can I say something like kindness?
Jameela [01:05:23] Yeah, you can say whatever you want.
Zoe [01:05:25] OK, well, you
Jameela [01:05:26] can weigh your favorite sex toy. I don’t care. It just has to be. No, it can be the deepest or the least deep thing in the world.
Zoe [01:05:34] You know, I have a lot of favorite sex toys, but I will say. Yeah, like I. I would hope to look back and say like that, that I was worth my weight in kindness.
Jameela [01:05:51] That’s lovely. Well you’ve been very kind today.
Zoe [01:05:54] So have you.
Jameela [01:05:54] And hopefully I will see you soon. I’m going to text you immediately.
Zoe [01:05:59] Please do.
Jameela [01:05:59] Text me back straight away. Thank you. Thank you so much for listening to this week’s episode. I Weigh with Jameela Jamil is produced and research by myself, Jameela Jamil, Erin Finnegan and Kimmie Gregory. It is edited by Andrew Carson. And the beautiful music you are 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. We also have a bonus series exclusively on Stitcher Premium called Ask Jameela Anything check it out. You can get a free month of Stitcher Premium by going to stitcher.com/premium and using the promo code I Weigh. Lastly, over 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. And now we would love to pass the mic to one of our fabulous listeners.
Listener [01:06:55] I weigh being a good friend to the people in my life and being a kind stranger to those that I do not know. I weigh my eating disorder recovery, my healthy boundaries, my strength, and removing myself from abusive relationships. I weigh my intelligence and my empathy. I weigh being a psychology major so that I can be a therapist. And I weigh my love for my dog.
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