John Cusack

February 17, 2014

Hey, it's John Cusack. You can ask me anything.

Hey Reddit, I did one of these before. It was so fun that I'm back for round two.

I have a movie out in theaters now (Adult World) and another coming out in two weeks (Bag Man).

I'm also a board member at Freedom of the Press Foundation. We're doing some amazing work restoring and defending the First and Fourth Amendments, helping to protect journalists and build a movement to restore our rights to privacy and free speech. Edward Snowden just joined our board.

I just put up a $5K matching grant for all the orgs we support. Our latest crowd-funding effort is for encryption tools for journalists. Go here to help our efforts, or spread the word:

But I'm here so you can ask me anything. Have at it.

Proof it's me:

Thanks for doing this John! And thank you for FPF! Excellent foundation.

High Fidelity has always been my favorite movie of all time, can you tell us a little bit about your experiences off camera with Jack Black and Tim Robbins? That movie sounded so fun to make!

Old friends.. Jack I didn't know as well as Tim... but we were all banging around LA together.. great guys

What exactly do you not like about Better Off Dead? It's gotten better with age as a send-up of eighties movie tropes, and is entertaining from beginning to end as far as I can tell.

It's kind of been blown way out of proportion... I feel bad people think I hate it, I don't.. I'm glad people are so fond of it. I gave a interview where someone sort of misquoted me...

There was a piece in EW about the movie when it came on Blu-ray not too long ago, the account that 'Savage' Steve Holland gives doesn't paint a pretty picture.

I was like 17...I don't even remember it all that well. It was an awesome script...did my best..all good

Now that's a real shame when folks be misquotin' a perfectly good white boy like that...

Agree.. I wish Steve Holland nothing but the best and am sorry he feels bad after all these years..truly. I'm sure he's fine of course, and when people love your movie after many years he should take satisfaction in that, as I'm sure he does.

How are your kickboxing skills going? You still train martial arts?

And what was it like training with the amazing Benny "The Jet" Urquidez? Im sure you have seen that fight scene with him and Jackie Chan in wheels on meals?

Benny is grandmaster... the best of the best an honor to be with him always. That fight scene is amazing

How many games will the Cubs win this year?

85? I'm hoping..

How was working with Scott Coffey?

Terrific guy and a talented man...was so fun working with him. A real artist.

By "Edward Snowden just joined our board." You mean what exactly? Have you been in communication with him and has he actually been helping with the Freedom of the Press Foundation or is he involved as a supporting name only? Sorry if my question is confusing.

He's going to help us spread the gospel about journalists protecting their sources with encryption. No one knows better than him.

We will be communicating with him of course. Still have to figure out how to hold secure board meetings though...

Ed is very interested in building a broad based movement to restore and defend our civil liberties.. the 1st and the 4th Amendments are under siege, he knows this and has sacrificed so much for this. It will be an honer to work with him.

High Fidelity is one of my most favourite movies of all time! How was your experience working on it with Jack Black?

I love Jack, one of the sweetest, funniest guys I've ever met.. I'm only pissed I can't figure out how to work with him again.. but I'm stubborn!

Hey John, I know previously you spoke out about your feelings towards the war in Iraq, and the Bush administration. It's wonderful how open you are about your political views. What are you feelings about how much progress has been made, and the steps being taken by today's government to end it?

Complicated many ways we have not righted the wrongs on the power grab made after the tragedy of 9/11...Obama took an oath to restore and defend the Constitution that was not written in a way the nation security state and the neocons and Dick Cheney would openly prefer. He's failed miserably in that regard. We don't live in the country our fathers did..

The Bill of Rights is not written for the convenience or aspirations of presidents or their subordinates. It is meant to help us defend our freedoms from them: to prevent them from “doing their job” (even if they see that as “protecting us”) or from serving their own interests (consciously or not) in ways that impinge on our core freedoms.

Its good to see someone in the public eye not afraid to speak negatively about the Obama administration. It still bothers me to see people blindly supporting him when he's done so much harmful shit.

Is democracy even possible, with the existence of these mass surveillance programs te the authority executive branch and government has claimed since 9-11? it was a power grab

can people really say “I have nothing to hide, so why should I worry?” are we that far gone that intdocrinated to defer to power? Do they, or care about, what their representatives in Congress might have to hide? Or judges? Or in particular, journalists and their sources?

Without investigative journalism, there is little or no chance of remaining a constitutional, democratic rights. Without anonymity of sources, there will be little or no investigative reporting.
lawyer client privilege? good luck ..not if its all collected at the servers. as dan ellsberg reiterated time and time again to us at FPF

Given the current capabilities and practices of NSA, FBI, CIA—no reporter can promise, in good faith, anonymity to any sources. With the destruction of the Fourth Amendment (as it applies to sources and journalists) the First Amendment protection of freedom of the press (and even, speech and freedom of assembly) is fatally undermined: and with it, the prospects of democracy.

thanks to FPF board member ed snowden we are in a constitutional crises -- and we finally all know it-- people know its a fight.. we had a mission creep Executive coup that occurred after 9-11, with the full complicity of Congress. there’s a chance,now that Snowden’s awakened us to how far down our democracy has fallen and we have an opportunity to rise to the challenge .

The First or Fourth Amendments need to be guarded as much as the second if we are to have any hope..

The difference is that he's not obviously for or against any one party. You can speak poorly of the Obama administration, you just need to use specifics and can't say "abuse of power using the Constitution as toilet paper" etc...

lets start with the checks and balances and the hustle there--The secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which approves the government's requests for phone logs and other metadata, is a "kangaroo court" that has been "used and abused since the tragedy of 9/11 … to spy on perhaps every human being on the planet

lets start with the checks and balances and the hustle there--The secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which approves the government's requests for phone logs and other metadata, is a "kangaroo court" that has been "used and abused since the tragedy of 9/11 … to spy on perhaps every human being on the planet

on civil liberties and surveillance, On these issues, we have had the fourth term of Bush/Cheney.

Its good to see someone in the public eye not afraid to speak negatively about the Obama administration. It still bothers me to see people blindly supporting him when he's done so much harmful shit.

I didn’t really expect Obama actually to expand Bush’s practices of secrecy (after promising unprecedented transparency): multiple prosecutions of leakers, expanded use of state secrets privilege, greater authority of government operations in national and homeland security field ,expansion of surveillance state. i dont think anyone saw that comming, really..or to the extent which he went all in with the bush cheny version of constitution not the one they all swore an oath too.. Obama speaks of trusting NSA and himself, he says nothing of the historic record in the 60’s under LBJ& Nixon,actions against antiwar groups including the Quakers and Catholics, black activists, civil liberties groups, any critics of the FBI including those who wrote letters to newspapers. Along with the FBI, CIA and Army. All done by family men, in the FBI largely churchgoing Catholics from Catholic universities like Fordham and Notre Dame and Georgetown. (nobody denys this history,)

That was exposed and ended by antiwar activists in Media, Pa., in an act as courageous as Snowden’s own civil disobedience, and Manning’s; by reporters leaks (to Hersh and others); strong investigations by Church and Pike, leading to legislative reforms.

Without leaks, we would know nothing of the latter crimes.

IF torture is not going on right now ) that is solely because of leaks. Is there any reason to believe that Obama or Bush would have stopped any of these without public awareness from leaks? Just on the basis of internal investigation, and yet we are asked t trust officials - one who has already lied to congress-- about the dangers,and harm to Americans or others on a vast scale? Should we trust them?

In the matter of judgment as to what the public should know and needs to know about NSA or DOD, yes, the judgment of Snowden has proven more reliable than that of, say Diane Feinstein, or Clapper or Alexander

What was it like watching that Mustang drug through the watch tower in Con Air? Or was it a Stingray...


Are we gonna see you at any Cubs games this year?

As many as I can.

Thank you for this John. I have two questions: 1) given that you are a HUGE supporter of journalistic freedom and restoration of privacy, how would you handle those that continue to invade our privacy online (read: criminals) and 2) can you give us a personal anecdote, or tipping point that led you to bring your voice to this cause?

Interesting what Ed Snowden revealed was criminal activity at the highest levels of government.. Remember the hysteria and the slurs? They threw everything at him to discredit him and render him harmless. In a way the hysteria is a very reliable indicator of state abuse...who is abusing privacy the most? Now it's the state.

How long have you known Daniel Ellsberg ?

It's been my great pleasure to learn from Dan and become his friend ever since we started FPF a year and a half ago.

John, you were a big supporter of Obama before he was elected, and I believe even attended his inauguration. Considering how disappointing he has been on so many levels (prosecution of whistleblowers, "most transparent administration ever" etc), do you think the political process in this country is irreparably broken? Do you think a President has the power to keep the promises that Obama made pre-election?

Our constitutional system, with its checks and balances and protection of rights, has been under attack since 9/11... The Fourth Amendment is near death; and President Obama’s remedies in his speech, are no better than band-aids and aspirin, are in reality even less than that. His speeches seem to be designed and intended only to improve the public’s mood about the way things are and will remain, to restore confidence in a system that does not deserve trust.

The president is showing no signs of being in control of the intelligence community; either it controls him, or they simply are in sync, and in full agreement-- he ended up rejecting even the recommendations of his own hand-picked panels. He gives lip service to the problems in his speeches but we know by now the vast difference between his rhetocic and policy..


been on it for years probably

I loved the movie "1408." You were great! Very suspenseful. Will you and Samuel L. Jackson ever do another scary movie together?

Working on The Cell right now! Stephen King.

Don't listen to him Mr. Cusack; I think he might be Satan.

or the raggedy man

Praying your warm .& Safe & Good & Awesome :)) your fans love you . Praying Edgar Cayce goes into depth of healing or lost atlantis or just anything . Dream Prophet . Climb into the deep waters. Creator God or Annunaki or Book of Enoch So excited about this could be a Mystical Journey for you . God Bless.

im very hopeful ill be making an american prophet -film about edgar cayce this year. fingers crossed

What book or movie do you find inspiring?

Right now, I'm very into Edward Dahlberg.

If you watched porn, what kind would you watch? (BE HONEST)

umm with girls..

Can you tell us how you came to join the Freedom of Press Board ?

I think my friends JP Barlow and Xeni Jardin first got in contact with me and told me about the amazing idea behind FPF a few weeks before we ended up launching. We all similar political interests, and I either knew most of the people on the board or admired their work.

I've been writing and doing advocacy work around the same issues for a while. See these interviews I did with Constitutional law scholar and my friend Jon Turley:

And the interview with Naomi Klein on the Shock Doctrine while I was doing the satire film War Inc.:

I was also tight with Hunter S Thompson, so I've known writers and journalists most of my life.

Xeni Jardin is a sweetheart and a good person to follow on Twitter.

one of my favorite humans;)

Have you ever kept any of the props from your movies? If so, which ones?

I have a few trinkets here and there but I'm not a collector type.. I love the idea but I seem to want to get rid of old stuff..

Have you ever voted for a Republican?

no... the system is so badly broken that at this point I think all the pressure has to come from outside the sytem...its interesting to realize that the left is now (as far as domestic policy is concerned) far to the right of Richard Nixon..

What is the real story between Piven and you?

Grew up together in chicago. Old friend...

still feuding?

no way man nothing but love

Favourite moment of filming Hot Tub Time Machine?

Finishing the cut in the studio alone with my producing partner...Fighting and winning and getting all the things in the film that the audiences liked -- and being 100% right...

Does it bother you (like it bothers us) that you have never been in serious consideration for an Oscar?

No.. not at all--there a lot of politics to awards stuff... I've been very lucky to be kind of in Hollywood and outside it at same time. I don't know how but it's seems to work. I'm very grateful...

Also: How did you get Edward Snowden to join your organization? I imagine he's a hard guy to get a hold of. Do you guys support The Tor Project? Thanks!

Yes we do support Tor, check it out:

As far as talking to ed, our board has on it the two reporters who broke his stories, Laura and Glenn..

John I have nothing to ask but would like to say I am a fan and enjoy your acting. I hope your IAMA goes well. Oh, I particularly like the encryption for journalists!

Many thanks! I just put up $5,000 in matching funds to support these great encryption tools for journalists. If you want to help, you can go here:

Do you believe in conspiracies? I know you are political but I wonder about your conspiracy views.

I believe in these types -- open conspiracies to smear patriot whistleblowers and criminalize journalism

You are President Obama for a day, tomorrow let's say. What are your priorities?

End assassination programs and end the mass surveillance programs by executive order, bring home our troops from Afghanistan, pass an infrastructure bill to rebuild public works and put people to work... to name a few things.

How did you feel about The Jack Bull? I really enjoyed it.

I loved it. My dad wrote it, so was a very special film for me.

What kinds of changes would you like to see made to US law to protect journalists?

First thing we need to do is repeal the Espionage Act. It's a law intended for spies being used against journalists' sources. And as my friend Dan Ellsberg says (he was the first source prosecuted under the Act), it's blatantly unconstitutional. Here's something we wrote explaining why the law is inherently unfair:

Another thing we need to do is guarantee the rights of journalists crossing the border. Right now, my two fellow board members, Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, both US citizens, don't think it's safe to return to the US because they could be detained or arrested crossing the border. This is unacceptable, just as it's unacceptable for all the Muslim Americans that are unjustifiably detained every year. There's a great HuffPost piece on this, by one of their journalists who is regularly stopped for the crime of being Muslim:

Here's something I wrote for the Guardian about how Eric Holder needs to guarantee these journalists safe passage back to the US:

Do you think Hollywood cares more about the Democratic platform than true liberal ideals?

I don't think Hollywood thinks in a group and I certainly don't know what that group would think if it did ... we are in a free fall

How did you get involved with Freedom of the Press Foundation? Can you talk about something you're proud of as a result of your involvement?

I'm proud of everything we've done. It was pretty awesome to get professional stenographers into the Chelsea Manning trial when the government refused to release their own transcripts. We forced transparency where there wasn't any before. We funded Alexa O'Brien to cover that trial too, who is amazing. Xeni and Rainey did amazing work for us to make it all happen too.

If you were to stand outside my bedroom window holding up a boom box, what song would you play for me?

I probably wouldn't do that..cause I did that in a movie you know..

High Fidelity or Grosse Pointe Blank?

I wrote on them equally

First, Grosse Point Blank. One of my "must see" movies - so many threads through the movie... and hilarious. Second, what do you see as the biggest change coming to Hollywood & consumer viewing? Are you ready for those changes?

Yes, I kind of love them. The ability to directly tell people who want to see your stuff that didn't exist before. The film business is not what it was...big tent pole cartoons in place of adult film studios following Madison Ave. in creating a youth fetish vibe where everything has to be about 20 year olds. TV's taking that space film used to, and I love the idea of giving a film directly to audience. I'm going to do that soon with a small film I made call Dictablonda.

I'm all for change. And think we will always need stories and myths..

Yes, I kind of love them. The ability to directly tell people who want to see your stuff that didn't exist before. The film business is not what it was...big tent pole cartoons in place of adult film studios following Madison Ave. in creating a youth fetish vibe where everything has to be about 20 year olds. TV's taking that space film used to, and I love the idea of giving a film directly to audience. I'm going to do that soon with a small film I made call Dictablonda.

I'm all for change. And think we will always need stories and myths..

For example, Adult World, a very small little film that has no backing or muscle can get directly bought because Emma Roberts and I can tell anyone interested where to get it. When I was a kid no one saw those films. Now you can always find your audience.

Given your fearlessness regarding third rail subjects and your passion for social justice issues - do you have any documentary projects planned or see them as a part of your filmmaking future?

yes working on some idea with trevor timm..

Have you ever thought about entering the political scene ?.

You could be one of the few that is not corrupted.

fpf is political.. im working on it now not as an elected official

Why do you hate on Savage Steve Holland and Better Off was one of the funniest moves ever and really contributed to your success. People love you for it, but you act like he did you a disservice with the final cut.

i awsered that i dont hate in anybody.. truly..

John, I respect your support and work on the right to privacy and journalistic freedom. Does your organization extend its views on privacy rights to health and health care? And how do you, or do you see any similarities in terms of policy solutions?

We're promoting a bunch of great encryption tools as a way for journalists and sources to talk safely to each other, but it's important to remember the tools can and should be used by everyone. Mass surveillance means everyone's communications are being collected. Doctor-Client privilege, lawyer-client privilege, and others are all being trampled. We focus on protecting press freedom, but we fight for the privacy rights of everyone.

Whoa. Just yesterday I was thinking john causack needs to do a AMA. I must know details of the night with hunter S Thompson, Johnny depp, a blow up doll and you

Also big fan!

Just an average night with the doctor of journalism

Were you approached at all or did you have any desire to be part of Spike Jonze's Her?

Would love to work with Spike again. I think he had in mind Mr. Phoenix from start..

John... Been a fan since the best movie ever.... Better Off Dead. What is more important to... the fact that your celebrity status lends peoples ears to you... or being one of many voices with FPF to bring about change. Also, do you ever think the administration will change to the point were we can bring Snowden home and give clemency to Chelsea / Bradley Manning?

Yes, if the movement grows large enough. Remember, Snowden was not the first...Drake, Kiriakou, Tice, Ellsberg, there were many others. There's been a war on whistleblowers and journalism. The rights that have been taken away can be brought back, but can only happen if everyone sacrifices like these people did.

Who would win in a fight, you or jack black? Here's the kicker: he's in his nacho libre costume

I'd take nacho man

Does John Malkovich hang out with you?

Yes actually! Old friends from before the film and I loved him as a stage and film actor and one of the funniest, smartest guys i know.. one of my favorite dinner companions

Yes actually! Old friends from before the film and I loved him as a stage and film actor and one of the funniest, smartest guys i know.. one of my favorite dinner companions

He's in Chicago often and just saw him in Puerto Rico

John, how do I get back my Great White Buffalo?

dream another dream brother

What did you do to prepare portraying a serial killer in The Frozen Ground?

Lots of real research available and eyewitness accounts...

Why would you opt out of being in the sequel to your best movie in ages? (Hot tub time machine)

Wasn't asked... gonna do a tv show of it..and if they do another, depending on a few things, I'd be game. But I'd like to do it as a netflix series next and get really really really weird with it...

Hey John, nice to meet you.

How did you meet Hunter s. Thompson? what was he like?

southern gentleman, dangerous character, hilarious, and always the smartest guy in the room.

Thank you for doing this.

Do you have any comment or response to Chuck Klosterman's essay asserting that the characters you portray and the culture you foster are at least partially responsible for him never being able to find true love?

a summary: “I once loved a girl who almost loved me, but not as much as she loved John Cusack. Under certain circumstances, this would have been fine; Cusack is relatively good-looking, he seems like a pretty cool guy (he likes the Clash and the Who, at least), and he undoubtedly has millions of bones in the bank. If Cusack and I were competing for the same woman, I could easily accept losing. However, I don't really feel like John and I were "competing" for the girl I'm referring to, inasmuch as her relationship to Cusack was confined to watching him as a two-dimensional projection, pretending to be characters who don't actually exist. Now, there was a time when I would have thought that detachment would have given me a huge advantage over Johnny C., inasmuch as my relationship with this woman included things like "talking on the phone" and "nuzzling under umbrellas" and "eating pancakes." However, I have come to realize that I perceived this competition completely backward; it was definitely an unfair battle, but not in my favor. It was unfair in Cusack's favor. I never had a chance.

It appears that countless women born between the years of 1965 and 1978 are in love with John Cusack. I cannot fathom how he isn't the number-one box-office star in America, because every straight girl I know would sell her soul to share a milkshake with that motherfucker. For upwardly mobile women in their twenties and thirties, John Cusack is the neo-Elvis. But here's what none of these upwardly mobile women seem to realize: They don't love John Cusack. They love Lloyd Dobler. When they see Mr. Cusack, they are still seeing the optimistic, charmingly loquacious teenager he played in Say Anything, a movie that came out more than a decade ago. That's the guy they think he is; when Cusack played Eddie Thomas in America's Sweethearts or the sensitive hit man in Grosse Pointe Blank, all his female fans knew he was only acting...but they assume when the camera stopped rolling, he went back to his genuine self...which was someone like Lloyd Dobler...which was, in fact, someone who is Lloyd Dobler, and someone who continues to have a storybook romance with Diane Court (or with Ione Skye, depending on how you look at it). And these upwardly mobile women are not alone. We all convince ourselves of things like this — not necessarily about Say Anything, but about any fictionalized portrayals of romance that happen to hit us in the right place, at the right time. This is why I will never be completely satisfied by a woman, and this is why the kind of woman I tend to find attractive will never be satisfied by me. We will both measure our relationship against the prospect of fake love."


What's it like hanging out with David Choe? Also who taught you to bomb? Was it something you just picked up or something that someone taught you and decided to work on?

Started graffiti art with Robbie Conal...always loved it.

Hi John!

I have a dear friend named Jimmy Ambrose who is hopelessly obsessed with your entire career. He respects you tremendously and hasn't shut up about it for the decade and a half I've known him. I think it would make his year if you acknowledged him somehow. I hope that you read this through the deluge of comments you're likely to receive.


Hello Jimmy Ambrose, I wish you the best. Follow me @johncusack and I'll say hi

I like to believe you are just like some of the characters you have played. It worries me sometimes your public persona is so serious. Which character are you most like and what is the most fun you've had in last 7days?

Man, I've been hanging out with Sam Jackson in Atlanta having a ball.. perception is not always reality when talking about serious things. I may have a serious tone, but I'm pretty silly with my friends

Hi John - I'm a big fan of your work and I find your political side fascinating. Do you think the US will ever find peace, the value of citizenship, and have true change leadership in your lifetime?

always good to remember how much CAN CHANGE FOR GOOD OR ILL. A casual reading of history proves it again and again...Yes I'm always hopeful.

Where is the strangest place that someone has asked you for an autograph?



pulled over for too many speeding tickets as a kid and they locked me up for a few hours. Was chained to a bench with a guy who wanted my autograph..

Describe how you see your primarily role/s at FPF. Thanks.

Apocalyptic shit disturber and elephant trainer --- general bon vivant. I basically think out loud, write and talk to people smarter than me, and pick fights with all the right people.

Hey John.

I've watched room 1408 soo many times because it's an awesome movie.

Do you ever wonder if you're still trapped in there?

every day

Hi, John! Loved you in Hot Tub Time Machine.

If you could go visit any point in human history, where/when would you go?

I'll show you when we do the TV show

What movie role would you accept in a heartbeat if it's offered to you?

Doctor Sleep

Considering you're here to promote freedom for journalists I was wondering what your thoughts on the work of reporters like Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill is?

Glenn and Jeremy are both friends who I admire very much, and Glenn and I sit on the Freedom of the Press Foundation board together

Glenn and Jeremy are both friends who I admire very much, and Glenn and I sit on the Freedom of the Press Foundation board together

I think they exemplify what adversarial journalist should be as a check to power..

They understood as HST did--- that the root of all corruption comes for journalism adopting a clubby country club insider type relationship with the individuals and institutions they cover...that's bad for democracy.

Do you smoke cannabis? and or support legalization?

support legalization but don't like the drug personally

support legalization but don't like the drug personally

The war on drugs is an abysmal failure and does more harm then good and feeds the privatized prison industry and produces more addiction, not less.

Read Gabor Mate's excellent "In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts" for more info on that..

How do you feel about the JohnCusackNews twitter? It makes me laugh a lot. Why do you think they picked you?

don't even know what it is

I don't know if this will get answered....but there is an interview of JC with Howard Stern that you can find on youtube where he answers this question in depth.

Yeah I'm good.. Don't regret movies

Hey John, I hope I'm not too late!

I heard that you had a big hand in picking the (awesome) soundtrack for High Fidelity. Are you a big music/record guy? How did you go about picking the songs, knowing that they had to be "snob-approved"?

It was no problem as I'm a snob..

Hey John,

Were you playing the same character in War, Inc. as you were in Gross Pointe Blank?

If so, will there be a third installment in this series? Maybe one focused on Snowden-themed intelligence issues?

Thanks man! I've been a fan for many years, and look forward to catching all of your future releases.

edit:: Loved Ice harvest, just saw it a few days ago for the first time. Well done.

I think two were good ... but who knows


What's the deal with your characters being so bad at picking hotel/motel accommodations?


How was Minnie Driver?

a very special girl, one of my faves

Is Kate Beckinsale as hot in real life as she is in the movies?

she's a stunner, no doubt

Can you name a moderate or conservative fellow celebrity for whom you have great respect?

I don't really know or follow celebrity politics

What do you miss most about Hunter Thompson?

his mind, clarity, balls, vision, sense of humor

Peyton Manning was talking recently about "The Greatest Quarterback of All Time," and he said something I like (my paraphrasing).

"I'm not sure there is a G.O.A.T. I think it's more like, you'd take Brett Favre's durability, Dan Marino's arm/throw, Michael Vick's legs, etc..."

So, if you were constructing the best actor of all time, what traits would you incorporate from those you've worked with? IE- "I'd want Gene Hackman's skill with props and Dan Ackroyd's ability to improvise..."

that sounds pretty good right there

Can I have 5 thousand dollars? pretty please?


Why do you have a face?

I don't know why I'm in this body at all..

Mr. Cusack, if you are being 100% honest to yourself, how many five year olds do you think you could beat in a fight? Like, say you had to face one at a time, there were no breaks between contender, and it was hand to hand. Edit: Thanks John Cusack for the gold!!!

like 400 totally..

Why are you a bad guy in every movie now? You're pissing off my wife.

I got some good guys coming next year

What was it that first sparked your interest in political issues, and more specifically fourth amendment policy? Additionally, how does one go about creating such an organization and making it successful?

President Obama admits our system is not based on trust; but says in effect, “except me.” Trust me.. which is bullshit, even if it were true -- what about the next guy?

No, I don’t trust Obama, his NSA, private contractors the department of homeland security, the CIA, the Pentagon etc. with the power to collect all data at the source and to use this knowledge and power-- any more than GWB, or Hillary, or Chris Christie, or Rand Paul or you, or me.... I wouldn’t trust myself with those temptations: to use such power secretly for my—“idealistic”—purposes, and to stay in office, and to satisfy all those who want me to do so.

Obama says that recent disclosures have not uncovered illegalities or abuses. This is legaleeze --the very collection and storage of this mass, indiscriminate, suspicion less surveillance data is a major abuse, a violation of the Fourth Amendment, no matter where it’s stored..

Might it be even further abused? as Dan Ellsberg says "Might water flow downhill?"

Just as the secret surveillance by FBI, CIA and NSA was under LBJ and Nixon was used against the civil rights and antiwar movements? Obama assures us that his subordinates in the intelligence community are sensitive to the possibilities of abuse. “After all, the folks at NSA and other intelligence agencies are our neighbors. They're our friends and family. They’ve got electronic bank and medical records like everybody else. They have kids on Facebook and Instagram…”

As Dan Ellsberg suggested to me:

Were not the FBI special agents who conducted COINTELPRO—suggesting suicide to Martin Luther King, Jr. to avoid their leaking their warrantless tapes of his sex life, or setting up the police murder of Fred Hampton—any less good family men than our neighbors and friends in NSA?

J. Edgar Hoover was one of the most popular and trusted of officials. And why? Because he controlled information and his press image and had freedom from Congressional investigation by his blackmail power, based on his surveillance and personal files. Presidents, on all of whom he had blackmail leverage, were afraid to force him to resign.

What is the most surprising part of the NSA leaks to you?

the way we are winning with the revelations out...people know they have a right to know what there government is doing in their names

What is in the bag?

the cats in the bag.. feb 28th

Why do I hate you so much?

you just hate...i love you hate

John... you are one of my movie idols. I remember you in Sixteen Candles. Still think that Better Off Dead is one of the best 80s movies ever... and one of my all time favorites. Grifters with Angelica Houston was amazing. OMG, Gross Pointe Blanc was so damned funny. I could list them all and say good things. When you did 2012 followed by Hot Tub Time Machine one of our local tv news people (who is also a fan) laughingly asked "John Cusack, what happened to you? One of my actor friends says that there are three explanations. 1) Rent is due but jobs are not coming. 2) Favors for friends. 3) Sometimes it looks better on paper. So, two questions on that. First, what do you do to try not to get that Nick Cage / bad movie choices reputation? Second, do you ever feel pigeonholed with casting directors?

Lastly, you and Joan seem to work wonderfully well together. As siblings do you have as much fun on set as you do off?

Hard to respond to that but I would say one man's success is another man's failure...I like failure... I aspired to fail..

What are your thoughts on working with Spike Jonze?

loved it...

John - I'm a true long time fan. I've seen all your movies and will continue to do so. You're a hell of an actor and I appreciate your dedication, intelligence, and great community work. Keep it up.

No questions. Just wanted to say Thank You.

thanks sir

What's the story behind the picture with you, Johnny depp, hunter s Thompson, and the blowup doll?

it think it self evident, no?

Why did you unfollow me on Twitter? I'm a journalist who covers Internet freedom/tech politics, things that are right up your ally. You used to follow me. One day I went to DM you, and poof! You were gone. Like a thief in the night. Like a man who breaks hearts.

i follow and unfollow randomly kind of to get new voices..nothing personal..:)

5k? isn't that more like a dollar for you compared to the average income on reddit? And you're asking us to donate. Why don't you and your rich friends just pay for the entire deal yourselves? 100,000 is what you all pay for just on a summer vacation. Actors are overpaid, actually it is criminal the amount of money you all make while we have coal miners putting their lives in danger and barely being able to put food on the table for their families. Criminal compared to what teachers make and in my opinion a great teacher is MUCH MORE important than an actor/actress. Crikey it is so fucking weird when actors and the other rich [promoting themselves] come on reddit and try to "reach out" to the masses like you really know what us regular folk go through day to day. People stop worshipping to the Hollywood golden calves.

maybe youll read up on the foundation and change your mind...

How do you feel about Noam Chomsky?

one of the all time greats.. a leading tireless voice for morality ethics and intellectual honesty..a public intellectual of the highest order..

Can you talk about the movie Identity- were you aware of the entire premise the whole time, or was it a surprise at all? Any thoughts or recollections you wish to share would be appreciated!
Also a huge fan of 1408 and many of your other works.
Which comic book hero would you want to play in an Avengers style film?
What role would you want in a Star Wars film?

great director producer cast was fun i loved making it

[No question]

ok guys thanks for having me and ill take a few more then gotta go eat!

[No question]

you can follow me @johncusack on twitter

If you could only pick one movie that you have starred in; which movie would you suggest to a stranger to see? Why would that be the one that you choose?

depends on you mood

Where's my two dollars?

i don't know

Hey John, why do you continue to ignore my engagement proposals?

i guess im shy

Do you still keep in contact with Cameron Crowe? You still had chemistry whem you did the Say Anything commentary and would like to see you two working together again.

yes saw cameron not to long ago had a ball with him would love to work with him again

Hey John. You were in Louisville I believe in 2012 and took a picture of the Moon outside of a place called The Silver Dollar and posted it to twitter. I think you were on a road trip riding a 3 wheeled motorcycle type thing further south. How was the rest of that trip, and any plans to return for the Derby in the future?

Anyway, big fan. Can't wait to see Grand Piano!!!

yeah man as soon as it warns up ill be riding again

John, if you're still around, there has been some... unsettling rumors about your allegiance to Chicago's MLB teams. In particular, you have been spotted a time or two actually acknowledging that those heathens on the south side actually have a baseball team. How do you respond to these troubling allegations?

gulity love them both i did a white sox movie wore the colors..i get massive shit in chicago but i dont care..

Hey John! If I wanted to have a fun weekend in Chicago with friends, where should I go?

how drunk do you want to get, if at all?

How tall are you, actually?

62 ish

Were you really offered the part of Walter White on Breaking Bad? If so, do you regret your decision turning down the role?

never offered it but glad i didn't do it as the man who did was born to do it!

Why did you hate Better Off Dead? It was really funny.

i dont

Hey John thanks for taking the time to do this AMA.

How was it working on Love & Mercy? What was it like to meet Brian Wilson?

Thanks again.

majic all around.. he such a wonderful man.. really hjonered to get to know him and his wife.. very excited about the film

Hey John,

Thoughts on the movie, "The Butler"?

loved playing Nixon especially as i was getting to know and work with Daniel Ellsberg!

Are you sure you're not doing graffiti?


Cusack Shakur, when's the next Dave Choe collab?

next time i see him probably

hey John, Thanks for doing an AMA. I have a question I have wanted to ask you for 10 years... I got to meet you once. I was at the Democratic National Convention in 2004 in Boston. I saw you outside of the event. I was nervous, but I walked right up to you and told you I was a big fan and that Serendipity was one of my favorite movies of all time. (I was a 19 year old female college student) You rolled your eyes and walked away from me. It really upset me, and changed my opinion of you ever since. What gives? Do hate you that movie or something? Why be so rude to a young fan? It took a ton of courage for me to tell you that, and you squashed me.

it's hard to explain to someone that it's hard to be approached all the time and have patience all the time-- sometimes you're in public and in the middle of a thought and it's hard to be gracious... if i was rude i apologize.. hope you're well.

How many women have you slept with? (+/-10)

that would be telling ..

Awww, I thought you were John krasinski. Nevermind, fuck this AMA.

he's awesome

I'm a starting journalist, what rocks should I turn over?


You were freaking amazing in The Raven, you really captured the essence of Poe..


[No question]

hey this was fun gotta follow me on @johncusack on twitter... if a good time was had by all i'll come back and do it again... happy monday to all jc

This interview was transcribed from an "ask me anything" question and answer session with John Cusack conducted on Reddit on 2014-02-17. The Reddit AMA can be found here.