Zach Braff

March 7, 2013

I Am Zach Braff, Ask Me Anything

What's your favorite Scrubs episode?

I'm biased; I like the bigger scale ones I directed. "My Way Home" (the Wizard of Oz) one, the Fairy Tale one, the one where Donald and I go on a quest to find Molly to give her the note that says I can have sex with her from Sarah. - That's probably my uber fave, cause it was a HUGE episode and the first I directed. (And the macking with Heather, was a bonus...)

Tell us more about the macking with Heather!

Mmmm. Heathery...

Aw yiss.


Heather actually lives above me in NYC and just had a fire in her place. So my Heather-boner is somewhat curtailed by the fact that my apartment is semi-fucked. Not to worry though, a Heather boner never disappears for too long.

What happened?

Heather is so hot, she came fire.

How was your off screen relationship with John C. McGinley while doing Scrubs?

He is really that intense. I love him to death. He's pretty much that guy, but a giant teddy bear and the best Dad in the WORLD!


Neil is hilarious. He made up most of his lines. Sometimes a script would show up and when Neil enters it would just say (Neil makes up something and then exits.) A true genius improvisor.

More importantly... did The Janitor really want to kill you?

After 8.5 years everyday together, we all wanted to kill each other sometimes. There's full episodes where Sarah and I or Donald and I were in a fight and not even talking to each other.

How can you act like you're OK with them then? (While on set)

I'm sure you've had to go out with your signifigant other when you've just had a fight and you're both acting like everything's fine... When they called action Sarah and I would hug and make out or whatever and then when they called cut we'd ignore each other like boxers after a bell.

I swear I would watch anything you two do together again!

I dream that one day we'll do a "buddy-cop" movie together. Maybe Bill Lawrence would write it. Something about Donald and I as truly inept cops makes me giggle.


BTW, Neil wasn't even supposed to have such a big part in the show. He was so genius in the pilot that Bill added him permanently.

That needed to happen. He was such a big part. I always felt that the relationship between JD and Janitor was the most entertaining.

We had so much fun riffing together. If you watch the bloopers on youtube you'll see how hard he made me laugh. The scene where he's trying to get me the scrubs shorts his fingerless wife made me. Never laughed so hard.

Bloopers from that scene, for the lazy


I believe she has down syndrome. If you notice in the show he's always wearing an awareness bracelet.

It's his son, Max. And John is very involved with Down Syndrome Awareness and all related issues.

I have no idea how to phrase this question blob in my head, so here goes:

I’ve always wondered about the everyday lives of the actors behind very likeable relatable characters. When you meet someone for the first time, do they treat you like your on screen alter-egos? Is it hard for someone to get to know the real you? Or, do you put enough of yourself into your characters that the two overlap?

And, do you actively try to find a balance of people that are star-struck around you (because ego stroking is nice) and people you can be a, for lack of a better term, ‘normal person’ around? Do you think it takes longer for a person to be themselves around you?

I'm super comfortable around anyone who's comfortable around me. I get geeked-out around people I'm a fan of as well though. Hung out with Howard Stern a few times and the entire time I just kept repeating "act normal, act normal."

What is your favorite tv show that is on air at the minute?

Love: Homeland, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, The Daily Show, Rachel Maddow, Extreme RV's, Bill Maher, (and the ultimate guilty pleasure, no judgements, but I'm a theater geek: Smash)

Is Hooch really crazy?

Hooch is in-fucking-sane. This is not a joke. Hooch is out of his mind. If you ever see Hooch... run.

Have you seen that last episode? Hooch is crazy.

That wasn't a costume. He was actually delivered to set in a straight jacket.

Do you actually like Appletinis?

I'm so sorry, but no. Not at all. It's sugar. Sugar makes you hungover. Don't be mad at me...

Its Season 9 all over again

Haha. Sorry about 9. We tried to keep it going...

Do you ever sit back and watch an episode of Scrubs?

Not really. Sometimes on Twitter when someone sends me a funny quick clip that says like "my favorite Scrubs moment" I'll check it out and laugh out loud at the memories. But I don't click on it when I see it on the guide or anything.

There was an AskReddit thread yesterday discussing emotional episodes that catch you unawares in a sitcom. Scrubs was mentioned again and again, mostly for the episodes where Dr. Cox loses 3 patients, and the one where Ben Frasier dies.

My question, in a show that had alot of episodes that had serious meaning, which meant the most to you?

I love the one where Frasier dies, but my favorite was the third episode we ever did; the one where we each lose our first patient. Thought the writing was insanely good and really set the tone early for what the show could be; have you laughing one second and crying the next.

im a 28 year old manly man, full beard, hairy chest, love sports, a connoisseur of fine vaginas, etc.. but fuck me if i don't cry like a toddler when i watch the episode where carla has to say goodbye to laverne. right in the goddamn feels, er' time.

EDIT: 'my old lady' is also one that can reduce me to a blubbering idiot.

I got hard until you talked about crying.

Garden state is my favorite movie ever. How awesome was it to kiss Natalie Portman?

If you ever get the chance, I highly recommend it.

I would like to ask if you are going to make another film soon. Garden State is one of my favorite movies and would love to see you direct something again.

YES! Working hard on this. It's been hard to pull something together that I could get financed. Even after the success of Garden State, people just want you to make the same thing over and over. (And keep in mind everyone in Hollywood- EVERYONE - passed on GS. Eventually I found an ex-mortgage broker who took a risk on me.) I'm trying to hard to only do movies I'd wanna see myself. Which means one has to be patient and work even harder to get stuff made you believe in. I have a new screenplay I've written with my brother, Adam, and the response has been amazing. We're praying (oops sorry Reddit) we're hoping, that it goes into production this summer. I'll star and direct.

Awesome! Garden State is one of the most therapeutic films I've ever watched, the scene when it starts raining is just pure magic.

Any director/writer that you would consider to have inspired you the most in your career?

Hal Ashby.

Why not try Kickstarter or similar sources of crowd funding?

You can't really raise enough money on Kickstarter yet. There are some new sites starting that will eventually allow anyone and everyone to own a piece of a movie; invest in it like a stock. But you can imagine the amount of legal issues this raises. So look for it sometime around 3012.

Damn, I love the integrity you have with your work. I know that anything I see with you starring/involved in is going to be top-notch. You're the best. Loved the High Cost of Living, by the way.

Thanks. That's the kind of movie I wanna make. The smaller personal movies are the ones I love most.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but weren't you working on an Open Hearts remake a few years back? What ever happened to that project? I would love to see it.

Still working on this. Hopefully gonna make it with Franco and Amanda Seyfried (who both wanna do it...) but it's all about timing and schedules and most importantly: money. These darker, sad films don't have the audience very often to even break even. So it's very hard to find investors who'll take a gamble.

How did Garden State do financially?

It made a lot of money. Mostly for my investor; the sole person who was willing to gamble on me. So I am happy for him.

Garden State 2: Garden harder.

This time, it's personal.

Garden State 2: Garden harder.

Revenge of The Fast Food Knight (Jim Parsons)

Hey Zach, I was on /r/gonewild just after you posted about it on Facebook and got it it flooded with dozens of beautiful women dedicating their posts to you. I didn't know you had posted about it on Facebook and assumed you were some sort of international sex God.

Are you an international sex God?

No. That gonewild day was insane though. I definitely think as I'm headed towards the white light on my deathbed I'll remember a full day of reddit boobies dedicated to me.

This is probably how you felt during.

This is exactly how I felt. Could not have said it better myself.

Well, sex god or not, you got a lot of women to show the world their boobs.

And for that, we thank you.

Edit: OK, so yeah, as people keep pointing out, I accidentally used a Tosh.0 tagline. I am, in fact, not Daniel Tosh.

Boobs are the best. They make everyone smile.

The conversation you and Chris Hardwick had on Nerdist podcast was quite amazing. Also, stay cool homeslice !

Thanks. I really like Chris. He's one of the good ones.

He's pretty good at screwing fans.

That was the silliest, dumbest joke I ever thought of, and I think it's the single most viral thing I've ever done. Next to "Eeeeeaaaaaaaaglllleeee!!!!"

So in Arrested Development, your character wasn't too much of a stretch!

Ha! That was sposed to be Joe Francis. So...... no!


Nobody hates boobs. Even gay dudes love boobs. Boobs are God's way of saying, "Cheer up, here's a boob."

So you came up with "EEEAAAAAGGGGLLLLLLEEEEE"? That wasn't written in?

How did Donald not burst out laughing when you did that??

I improvised it when Frasier picked me up and spun me. I thought it would be funny if even though JD hated it at first, he suddenly felt like a glorious Eagle. People lost their shit over it, so we started doing it as a recurring thing. My "whatchoo talking bout Willis?" if you will...

How do you feel about people constantly screencapping things you've said and making them go viral?

Always makes me laugh.

Did you and Sarah Chalke ever actually have sex? Be honest, man.

Not vaginally.

just anal then?


Did you feel that Scrubs Season 9 was definitely not needed?

I thought it was worth it to try to keep it going. It works on some shows like ER or House. You never know. But it turns out... y'all hated it!

Only because of the drastic shift in characters/pov. The main reason I watched scrubs in the later seasons was the web of amazing characters. From the main players all the way down to Beardface and Snoop Dogg Intern/Resident/Attending, the characters were magnificent. I grew to love them after getting to know them for so many seasons. The side stories, the recurring jokes and occasional appearances of the 'other characters' were so well-done it was hard to not grow to like them.

Season nine felt...forced. I know it had troubles between Bill Lawrence and NBC, but it felt like the new batch of characters were being thrust into my face--there was no time to grow to love them and learn their stories gradually. It was just BAM! HERE ARE THE CHARACTERS YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO LOVE. I would've grown accustomed to it much better if it was titled as a spin-off or an independent show instead of an awkward transition to a new era of scrubs.

There were all new writers. No Bill, no me, on a set instead of the real hospital and like 8 new characters. So it was bound to be... different.

A friend of mine is interviewing Donald Faison next week--any fun suggestions for how to screw with him?

Ask him what he likes more, weed or animating Legos?

animating legos...on weed

Donald is happiest in his man-cave animating Star Wars Legos with a fresh batch of God's Lettuce.

Who has a nicer bong, you or Faison?

I love smoking Donald's brown bong.

There are literally dozens of them!

I loved it! I wanted to be involved somehow with Tobias in this new season/movie, but my phone hasn't rung. How great would it be to see Tobias at a never-nude convention?

After all those years of JD pining over Elliot did you ever have romantic feelings for Sarah Chalke?

Of course. But we've all moved on. She is engaged. And I have Donald.

You two can ride off into the sunset together.

This should be upvoted more. That had us on separate bikes and Donald and I decided "No... we should be on the same bike."

1. I know your career started with you doing Shakespeare, so if you could star in one big production of any Shakespearian play, which of his works would you pick, and which character would you play? Why that character?

2. What one role do you regret turning down?

3. What one role did you apply for (and weren’t picked for) that you really wanted?

4. What is the most ridiculous, insane reaction you have ever gotten from someone who recognized you in public?

1) Love to do Midsummers or one of the comedies... As You Like It perhaps. 2) None. 3) I was up for the role that Joaquin Phoenix got as the kid in Parenthood when I was a kid. I wanted it so badly. But he crushed it better than I could have. Also up for the role of young Tom Hanks in Big, wanted that one too. 4) Dax?!?!? I love you in that prison movie!

I went to Columbia high! I saw your freshman year video for Mr. Mullens Class, The sneaker thief, I SAW YOUR MULLET!

Great TV production teacher. That was probably my first film assignment ever.

How emotional were you during the Scrubs Season 8 finale?

Very sad. That scene where I walk down the hallway passed all of the supporting characters. I cried. And then watching that video projected on the sheet... I lost it. Most people don't know this, but the janitor who pulls the sheet down and says goodbye is Bill Lawrence. (the show's creator)

Was there actually a projection there?

Yeah. My idea. I stole it from my film school movie. Projecting images onto faces.

Did you and Donald create the "guy love" song?

No. Genius writers.

Zach, the scene with you and Michael J. Fox is one of my favorites from scrubs. Which character played via celebrity cameo was your favorite?

Love this one and of course the late John Ritter. He was/is a hero of mine. When I was a kid, "Threes Company" was my introduction into physical comedy. He was a master. True story: I sat down at the dinner table as a little boy and said, "Dad, why does my penis get hard when I look at Chrissy from Three's Company?"

I am sorry that I edited your Wikipedia page once to say you were the Anti-Christ.

You're not the first or the last to fuck with me on the web. Mazel tov.

Hey Zach,

Congrats on Oz coming out soon!

I live in the Detroit area. I was wondering what you thought of the area when you were here filming the movie? Got any good stories of you exploring the city or what not?

Loved Detroit. Felt really bad that the government ditched the tax credit. These investors built this incredible state of the art studios in Pontiac, I think we were the only ones to ever film there. Now there lying dormant, I believe as Michigan decides if they want to lure film production with a competitive tax incentive.


You know everyone on this site hates you, right? Just checking.

Have you ever had any significant homosexual experiences?

Do prison gang bangs count?

When you were on Punk'd, were you really that pissed?

Yes. Wouldn't you have been? First week with your dream car it gets tagged by teenagers? I punched that little fucker. (they edited that part out.)

If you read a little further down in the thread, he actually answers the OP:


Zach, I just wanted to thank you for, well, just everything. A few months ago I was eating brunch with my gf at Eveleigh on Sunset Blvd. in Los Angeles and you came in and sat at the table next to us. In the months leading up to that day, I had been going through some tough stuff, but had found solace in "Scrubs", which I watched religiously on Netflix every night. When you walked in, my stomach sank, and to my GF's chagrin, I knew I had to take this once in a lifetime opportunity to say something. As we left, I turned around to say thank you. You were so friendly, humble, and appreciative, and it meant the world to me that you would take a moment to shake my hand and let me say thanks. So here I am again, saying thank you, and hoping our paths cross again someday.

Thank you. Nothing makes me happier in life than hearing I cheered someone up when they were down. May sound cheesy, but I'm 37 years in, and nothing makes me feel better than that.

whats the stupidest thing you have bought with your wealth?

An airplane. Got my pilots license and I love flying. But unless you have the time to use it a lot. The bills get ludicrous for something that's sitting in a hangar.

I'd say they're pretty tight.

Please upvote this picture. Shouldn't we have been the new Crocket and Tubbs?

[No question]

Ok, that's a solid 2 hours. Thank you guys so much for your support. Even those of you that hit downvote the second you saw my name; I shall continue to seek your approval in the most mentally unhealthy way possible. Love and snuggles, ZB

This interview was transcribed from an "ask me anything" question and answer session with Zach Braff conducted on Reddit on 2013-03-07. The Reddit AMA can be found here.