Interview: Bryan Greenberg Talks "How To Make It In America", Netflix Backlash & Working With Kid Cudi

Interview: Bryan Greenberg Talks "How To Make It In America", Netflix Backlash & Working With Kid CudiPhotography by Eric Liebowitz/HBO.

Who’s behind the "New York Eats Its Young" shirts your character designs? I see them all the time.
Yeah, it’s cool, right? Eli Gessner, who started Zoo York, is a consultant on the show. He does all the designs, and he’s got a lot more designs this season. I see the “New York Eats Its Young” shirts all over the city, but now we’ve got a bunch of new Crisp designs, which are really cool. I feel like it should be a real brand.
 
Being in the movie business, how do you feel about Netflix's price hike and subsequent backlash?
I withdrew my subscription. It’s like, “That’s what you get.” They fucked themselves so bad. It was amazing to watch that happen. You think in this economy you can do that to the consumer? I love that the consumers spoke up.
 
Your Twitter account makes it seem like you have a serious love affair with New York.
I do, man. I just made the decision, I’m moving back here. I lived here. I went to NYU, but I couldn’t work. There wasn’t enough work to go around. So I moved to LA, but all the jobs took me here. So I’ve been living here half the year, but I’m living out of hotels, and suitcases, and friends’ places.
 

I could care less about being the lead in something that’s OK. I would rather be a supporting part in something that’s great.

 

Do you dislike L.A.?
I’m not giving up on L.A. I actually like L.A. It’s good for me to re-focus. I work out, I get healthy, I ride my motorcycles, I ride my bicycles, I take meetings, I work on music, I stay home, I watch movies, but in New York, I’m much more social. And I’m a social person. I don’t have to make plans in New York as much, I just step out my house. I like not being around the business so much. It’s nice to sit down at a coffee shop and not overhear someone’s pitch for a TV show. You need a little bit of a break from that. Especially since I’m in it all the time. If it wasn’t for L.A., I wouldn’t be here right now. So I don’t hate L.A., I just prefer New York.

You’ve expressed interest in writing and other aspects of the business. Still interested?
Yes, but I had a couple of projects that fell through, to tell you the truth. It’s a long story and I don’t want to get into it, but it was a bad thing that went down. I’m taking a backseat on the writing thing at the moment. I’ve been offered things to produce, but I don’t want to just do it to do it. I want to believe in it. It’s got to be right if I’m going to put my name on it and really put that kind of time and investment in it. I’ve got to love it. It’s not something I’m closing the door on, but the project that I was working on wasn’t right.

Surely there are plenty of acting offers on the table, though?
Well, I've been neglecting the studio world, because I haven’t really been feeling the game. I appreciate filmmakers for doing it for a pure cause. With the studio thing, in my experience, there’s a lot of cooks in the kitchen, which is a difficult process for me. But now that I’ve re-thought my approach to making films, my goal is to work on studio films. I could care less about being the lead in something that’s OK. I would rather be a supporting part in something that’s great. I don’t limit myself to what type of role it should be. Right now, I’m just interested in working with really talented filmmakers. I’m putting it out in the world, so we'll see what happens.

Interview by Ernest Baker (@newbornrodeo)

Tags: how-to-make-it-in-america, hbo, bryan-greenberg, kid-cudi
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