Every seven years since 1964, in what’s known as the Up series, Granada Television has caught us up on the lives of 14 everyday people. The subjects of the documentary series were 7 years old when it began; in the latest installment, 56 Up, they are well into middle age.
Apted on what this experience has been like for him
“What can I say? I mean, it’s the favorite thing I’ve ever done, the thing I’m most proud of. It’s nerve-wracking, because you think you’re always going to blow it and you’ll wreck the whole thing. It seems fragile, and I’ve learned a lot of lessons about it. I’ve made mistakes on it and had to correct those mistakes. You know, particularly I got into a situation, I think, early on where I became judgmental about people — that if they didn’t agree with my standards of success, failure, happiness, whatever, then I would feel they were the lesser for it. And also I try to play God. I try to predict what might happen to people, and sort of set it all up for that. And I did that, and that was an embarrassing mistake. And I think what I’ve learned all the way through is the less I do, the better.”
GROSS: You know, you’re about the facts. You’re about using logic to try to solve this murder, and you’re unwilling to accept any supernatural explanation. Do you relate to that as a person? And ever – have you ever had an experience that couldn’t be explained by rational thinking?
MENDELSOHN: Yeah, I do relate to it as a person. I’m a son of a scientist. And I think in a lot of ways, I’ve had many things that are hard to explain in a mathematical or – in a way that I’m aware of, that are mystical to me. In fact, I think that we – you know, what happened in the scientific revolution, if you like, is that we actually locked off a lot of our mystical faculties and that we, as a being, probably do a lot better with some more of our mystical faculty doors open. So yes, I’ve had many things – you know, like that thing where you’re just thinking about someone and they call you. You know, that one? I mean, I’m sure you’ve had that, right?
GROSS: Yeah, I’ve kind of had that.
MENDELSOHN: I’ve had that so many times, and I get it with certain people. I’ve had situations in my life where, inexplicably, you know, someone’s just there when you just need them. And I don’t know whether we do that as a way of reverse engineering, you know, like, miracle or whether there’s something else operating out there. We can’t explain it all yet by science. That’s my – that would be my point.
‘Outsider’ Actor Ben Mendelsohn On Australian Machismo And Mastering Accents
Note – in the interview Mendelsohn says Scorsese is in Taxi Driver in two places. I know the famous one: “What a 44 magnum would do to a woman’s”… He left the other one for the listeners. Stumped me.
SEPTEMBER 25, 1987
Issac Asimov [a.k.a. Paul French], the dean of science fiction writers. Asimov is arguably one of the most widely published authors ever.
from the Fresh Air archives – https://freshairarchive.org/