Andrew Rannells on 'Black Monday,' Broadway and his new memoir

The actor appeared on "Popcorn With Peter Travers" and talked about the making of his new series, "Blood Monday."
21:05 | 02/20/19

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Transcript for Andrew Rannells on 'Black Monday,' Broadway and his new memoir
Hi everybody I'm Peter Travers welcome to popcorn when we tell you what is pop and in the culture. And I'm thrilled today because Andrew Reynolds my guess is not only in black Monday on showtime you saw him in Boca more men and girls we were just talking about false Sandoz. Your hero mind Amman and Obama. Will and I'm so happy to be here thank you for so look at you'll never get better than not is that there's nothing that this is my final with his kids. This isn't it retiring after this well let's start with what's the newest. Black Monday on showtime so it's just you again. Even though it's that I'm sure before you even drew breath now and it's I mean I was I was. He would do the time many a 77. Was not really aware of the stock market crash of 97 when Alice was that age so on the so was very fixes sort of learn about all that mark repression that. But this story is a it's Don Cheadle and Regina hall and I. And we our district of ragtag group traders are. Lou a lower. Financial firm on Wall Street and they're really trying to make themselves. It's not so professional as you describe it. Well I'm it used to rag tag rag tag these people are basically saying they're pretty nuts yeah. They really don't know they don't know boundaries are I think that the this time. In this world in particular in the financial world eighties New York it was. A lot of access and a lot of celebration access and I think we relate leans into that com. That show it's very strange because your cared to Blair is excuse the expression this straight out of the characters on this job which is really fun to get to deal I mean I really got to do that since the vocal mormons really that was the last time Meister play that up tight. Died. And it's fun I enjoyed doing. I enjoy and we dons characters or is larger than life and accurately. Com to some crazy crazy things. Com and it was it's I really enjoyed getting to be it's the street guy let's just be there to witness all. It's a decent grades up later but we do good jobs are propping ourselves patriots. Are. Because I think so we're leading up to the stock market crash but. It really is about this group of people out there's individuals. Heady greedy actions have these larger this larger effect on the the world of finance minutes but it's about these human interaction it's very messy between these people. Well you sort of discovering things about yourself your character aren't you especially cocaine. It's like smoking cocaine and it it had a major effect on him yeah he really takes to it here instantly. News. Obama. You know we've all kind of salt and there are well you know it's funny IAA. Got to sort of be the I mean Don by far would be the expert because it is Roland and I think he really obviously a lot of pain. But IQ of democracy cocaine as we did I did it off and on girls though. Girls had to what is the fake it's vitamin B power now that's so hard to believe it's counsel I'll I know but if we did as much but can't we actually you wouldn't be here. I. Had a heart attack but I thought actors did everything for their art and mount up up up. You've worked with so many people even Robert De Niro I did work with Robert T in the and I assured that had he been playing this part. I mean yes he probably news he would have doubled. Pilots are down there Bob. While we call them on you want to be called I call him mr. mayor I think wife. Personal choice right. I just I didn't really know how to behave with them and we work together we didn't have excellent scenes together but we are often sat together. And it is never knew how to behave because Nancy Myers the director told me issues like him because Norris career. So don't start asking questions about like region goal though that's not cool. So then you find yourself like next to Robert nearest trying to make small talk and I just out of lighten panic which mr. cursing alliance. Or she will and torture and that. Activist and Mike I turn into like a lunatic and calm and he that was. And I'm sure that just a year geez I'm sure gore it's all well how is like what's that. QB doll looking guide to thinkers is based off yeah. I'm sure he loved it. Before you had done black Monday. Don't she don't. Regina did you know these people know I met Don into the book Mormon but I'm was just huge admire his concern but never worked with and Regina with the same like. We. I've been an effort for there on time that we never crossed paths before so. You know pilots or are we here because you get dropped in to this group of people half to. You you have to bond and create this thing with very quickly. And then see what happens in your sort of still figuring out who of these characters and story in what are we doing. In a way that you don't even really experience in theater although sometimes you get those jobs that are. You know just a couple weeks long or whatever you have to come together very quickly but the stakes are a little lower when you do television Shelley that's usually have to. Just doubled down and hope the year making the right choices but luckily the three of us and Paul sheer and parishioners hands and you know great supporting cast that that really just jumped off the other. But when you're hanging out. It's interesting to me ask people about this from plan because. It's not like to Niro you talking about raging bull but you wouldn't go up to somebody you don't really know yeah like Don Cheadle and today. Loved you. In. Boogie nights now we now know what it should try to keep it professional. It took me awhile to light. Feel it out as he can be as well as you said a lot of actors don't like they don't like to talk there their past work but then we got to a point. I knew that I had and when I was able to ask him about the golden girls and off the golden palace. And which Don within dot net and and what caught your eye out where that out but we're in good shape it is very freely talk about. All of them I'm not in that way dislikes talking the experience and like a pattern and it. It with this the way the gulf impala to go away and Alex was to me that it wasn't hotel Ramada. No that would be two you on the nose is it getting ugly all wrong you gotta go ahead and once that subject routes. It's just you'll Ellen shot illegally shot at Amway now we just don't work and is. Out of the rest of art and eggs that good aren't you are being critical of you. When you watch yourself in black Monday. These eighties. I'm very critical this is my first time as a as a producer on television shows I was receiving the dailies and you know every it would get this the footage of what will have been tremendously people like me you well I mean I think that I just you know the narcissistic and in mis kicked out them when you're looking yourself. From every possible angle it happens OK and when there Poland. When that great either want to like and you're watching your weight fluctuate within the course of the day because of where the cameras setup and it. It sort of drives you nuts a little so ahead to train myself. This did not you know to focus on. Congress must be focusing on just like storytelling and acting and and to sort of trust that all the rest of it was like that it's. What surprised view about you in black Monday. Com. You know it was nice to. And I've gotten to do it a few times on film but this is really the first time because it's. You know you're getting to play out. Longer segment character's life when users like this. Com where I felt like I was a mania. I felt like I got to be a grown man you know liberals. Which I love doing it you know ally in the character play is often serve and atheists drunk guests. Highest sloppy this person in the room that we didn't love him no it was in that was really fun that you but he was sort of at times the most lost which in the anchor characters mostly thanks I think. By with this I feel like even though players sort of even sir he's very green thumb. I felt like I was like well like plan I'm plant in Maine and I think maybe and then like on a more personal level like. I it's. Look like my dad and a lot of these close it reminded me of like my father Bob it was a businessman in the eighty silly. A look at myself in some of these suits with the glasses in the air. Right now eighties but it was that's it it's a tricky. It's a tricky looked aloft on line. Some of these costumes and Monday I think I got used to myself and them and then I would see myself in the air like that. Who is who legally. Where were I would like I try to be cute with somebody turn elect Fuller something you. You care what he can be flirt with these people just go. No way that's just not it's not happening right now you know I'll talk later in Mosul now that your producer and you've done this is this. The next step directly and the next at total control. I'm not only your world domination yeah and but everyone else's mom I love I really our eyes real effort to eat it sure is here I am IE. Enjoy the producing yeah I really I enjoyed this aspect of it and numb. Yeah no I would add I hope to get to continue to do to do more that directing I don't know it's not that's not AM that's ours is. Forefront in my mind is I really like sort of that productions the producing. But in addition to you're noon movement towards world domination. You've also written a memoir book of. S I have book of essays yes what prompted this IU had written. Couple assays for a friend of mine bill clay great writer himself. And you know what I think you should is that submit one to modern love in the times and see what they think. So I thought it was a well that's and that's quite a long shot but he senate today and Jones editor there and very quickly we got a response that they liked him publish it. And then it was published a couple weeks later and and at the time it came out I had you know the sort arm full of other essays that I have written about course you have time question had. Well full of message we all do I was working on these sort of as you know as a little side project. And I was able to write a lot of it. Was working on a movie called a simple favor the policy directed we shot it and Toronto. And I would often have a day off for two days off in the middle of filming so and I didn't know anybody in Toronto so it was very easy to sort of you know. Lock myself from my hotel room and might make myself think I'm. You had friends in Toronto it would who knows should be nothing I don't know weakening we wouldn't know which we know what to do know you need to go to more places where you don't know people yes. Next up Freeport I'm going to solid if tone things down there should. It's just kind of remarkable your trajectory. That hit from Omaha neb brass that's right coming from Oman Nebraska. And now doing all this you've Europe indicate he had. Was a theater it. And how is that in Oman. I found my group really quickly and say act on this group of other kids. He who wanted to do theater who appreciated you know wall watched into the woods on a loop from PBS. And Tom and I found these other kids so I never really. Very fortunate that I I didn't ever feel to. Outside theory about B interest in theater. I mean it can when it came time for colleges to explain to like. My priests. College. Advisor that I was gonna go steady acting in New York I think they did know what to do with them think they're very confused. We can be so that was Terry much I was on my own sort of figuring out but. Most for the most part like say I was pretty. I thought it on my my people how do you make that step then out of Oman into. New York new York College I went to marymount Manhattan on the upper east side here and that would seem sort of the safest way to come to the city because it wasn't common dislike find an apartment start auditioning so college felt like. That was going to be a smoother entry and it was. And I went there for two years and in got a job answer working and I decided that I was in. See how long epic kind of keep that going without Blair easily minutes that you just I'll get a job and you do well no and that's part that's a lot of wire wrote this book to these essays or about these the first seven years and lived in New York. Ending with my first Croatia 2002004. Which is hairspray. Which is still years away from the book of Mormon but you know all of those little wagons and all of those things that happen sort of earlier it early in your career. Before you have larger success that's all what keeps you on the path right like. If I a founder. There's a real need to sort of celebrate those those wins and also because. There's a lot of you know are broadly fan base is like it's a lot of them are very young and very. Variable Il. But you know they'll. Ask it this stage door like if there's what's the shortcut or what's the secret war and there isn't a secret and there isn't a shortcut what you deceptive viewed the works though. Writing about the first job that I really emanated season of summer stock that was very informative and them in the Berkshire's. Com wit which I talk about the book and then from getting my equity card at the Westchester broccoli dinner theater. Into the you have I have brownie sundae aha I used to like parents there and my father really act that. Is dinner. Somebody else the only ethical areas. And let what did you do there grease the musical course you did yes I did remind me which role playing a pivotal role of duty. Oh yes sir definitely saves this court's com and accurately. Yeah I directly to you that's right up my equity card. And that was. You know I have friends who are working on Broadway at that time what Broadway compared to the west Westchester Broadway broadcast wasted it's very confusing name means and how can be a Broadway theater when it's not have dinner and Westchester. County. That would be massive confusion in your life when that's going on. With the way things the way you say that when you you know you coming up in your what you were replacement in hairspray yes it was a pleasant SC came in and do that but win. We know when you do the book of warm. It's not like well isn't that great that he got this show it's a book of more still running and probably go well long. That's. When we're gone yeah it will always be there and you're not in Europe amazing. Tony nomination that's people at your fees and a a and true. Lee. Just protect your life. Friend. Just do something what happens the day. Hit you while the good thing for me was that I was 32 men 18. So IE. A lot of those people were saying in here please be my friend and I had met before and it is to remember. And then all of a sudden they they were meeting me again in this thing the kid from the book of Mormon of an armed man hero. And you know you don't you don't mean ram or action which is fine but it was just like the beer he notes that I'd like a little vindictiveness and it was just it was it was very grounded. If they rounding film yet. Because whatever directors casting directors other actors like all of a sudden there was this new person that pays him dislike dropped from the sky yeah. Conflict not then here are the questions brought I was at there was as early and I than to Broadway shows at that point but like. It didn't really register for anybody that I was around until that show and so. I was able to sort of like. You know not be overly affected and then when I went out to Los Angeles is sort of the same thing that I was like. I felt I felt pretty secured two it was my friends were my friends happen for a very long time then com. You know you get caught up in it you know at little at first. But then there's always something sort of brings you back assistant it is real life but it's not something you know. It's real I mean you look and act and the begun Euro. You have to promise that any. Six more show yes absolutely but and in fact is that even when you follow that up even when you're doing something like five weeks. I'm in part some videos created like Hamilton where you're king Jewelers. And you've been there when Obama Cain pressure was true was absolutely. To a view that was were so close mom it was crazy because his doll. Malia had been and in turn around girls. This summer before so. You know here I am like the new Donnie. In the past that not even because you're also very isolated and show that was on stage with anyone I was taking things so I didn't really care act and people. And everyone's going and the line meeting President Obama and he stop with me it was only work with my daughter and it's and see the rest of the Caspian like. And there. But why is the ten talking to the president. With white teeth sucking up on a tiny hair like chatting. And yeah yeah way to make friends. It's great so we're younger we're gonna make Fred there was no big party thrown after you are that's probably after leveling out west. Everybody with he could do not that. But let that things that you're doing which are great and you had that and to do on. The Broadway revival of Boston I was telling you what a fan. You know and what you did thank you and everybody is doing it. And they. He just did the boys in the band yes with all these guys you couldn't eat in these shows we are people must call on thing. You get me take it it's been very funding it be part of things that. People are excited about people wanna see and yet been very very fortunate very fortunate. This is the first time here on the show items that you do not know that we end in song. I was really starting to like you right now can't Randall's group. I'm really not I think we're going to be friends song is is still purpose I'm ready to do this it's the honey he. No don't we. It's not economies now. I've too much at stake. Lee is why in the world now is that date. Everything what will people say. What it might sound bad and are my livelihood is to be a good thing now that way it became an early on here rail systems that these identifiers. A you know there's so now what do it does badly I'll never work again. What if it's just two sentences but now we're really getting now we're it would be worse at some like reduced it to two sentences. Two sentences from all right okay. Hello. My name is elder price and I would like to share with you the most amazing book. I. Love it. I never expect you. And you this was just the we're charm where are all those people I've just firing me lap got right on that show up partly that's what got released now. Now really what it meant it now scared to look a little terror I was a scared. A pleasure even not let's torture at the end now it's gonna find it really well and the next time you're just gonna come for just cut back together so looks like this right away. I think that what's your show for humanity. And a human because we had moved toward you being world denominator. Everything sold the book that. Item.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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