GROSS: By the way, I noticed that when you do your inner voice, when you’re impersonating yourself in telling a story, it’s not your voice. It sounds more like it would be the voice of your father or grandfather.
GRAY: When you listen to yourself on tape – not that you do or should – does it sound like you think you sound?
GROSS: Well, I’ve listened to myself enough that, you know, I’ve learned that that is how I sound. But the first few times I heard myself, I was really just totally embarrassed and thought like that can’t be true.
GRAY: That’s right. So what I’m doing for you is the idiot that I think that I actually am to you. That’s – I’m trying to apply – you know, the opening of “Mean Streets” where Harvey Keitel…
GROSS: In the church?
GRAY: No, it’s when Harvey Keitel sits up in bed. It’s the very beginning of the film.
GROSS: Oh, oh, oh, yeah.
GRAY: Right before that, you hear a voice sing you do it in the streets. And it’s this little bit kind of this pre-film, maybe two- or three-sentence monologue that you hear. And it is supposed to be Harvey Keitel’s inner voice, but it’s voiced by maestro Scorsese. And Scorsese says it’s because you hear your inner voice differently than others hear you. Your inner voice is different. So I thought it was so beautiful. And so maybe that’s part of the reason the inner voice that I have is kind of this idiot voice, you know?
GROSS: James Gray, it’s been so great to talk with you. Thank you so much.
GRAY: Great to talk with you.