“Hey, you want to be taken seriously? Take things seriously. Do the work. Don’t coast.” – Edward Norton
This episode, I sit down with Edward Norton (@EdwardNorton). Edward is an actor, filmmaker and activist. He has been nominated for three Academy Awards for his work in Primal Fear, American History X, and Birdman. He has starred in scores of other films, including Fight Club, The Illusionist, and Moonrise Kingdom.
Unbeknownst to most people, Edward is also a serial startup founder (e.g. CrowdRise; here’s my current campaign), a UN ambassador for biodiversity, a massively successful investor (e.g. early Uber), a pilot, and deeply involved with wilderness conservation.
In this conversation, we cover a lot of ground, including:
- His beginnings in acting, and what early mentors taught him
- What separates great actors from mediocre actors, as illustrated through an early Marlon Brando story
- Edward’s physical preparation for American History X (and camera trickery)
- The importance of surfing
- His favorite books, documentaries, underrated films and filmmakers, and essays (The Catastrophe of Success, etc.)
- His advice to his 20- and 30-year old self
- And much more…
And here’s a bonus, another favorite book he remembered after we stopped recording: Buddhism Without Beliefs.
- Listen to it on iTunes.
- Stream by clicking here.
- Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as.”
Want to hear another podcast related to the importance of entheogen research? — Listen to my conversation with Martin Polanco, M.D. and Dan Engle M.D. In this episode, we discuss the possibility that psychedelic drugs are the next medical breakthrough (stream below or right-click here to download):
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QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What cause(s) do you care about that could benefit from the attention/resources of a platform like CrowdRise? Please let me know in the comments.
Scroll below for links and show notes…
Selected Links from the Episode
- Go to CrowdRise.com/timferriss to see what I’m doing to tackle treatment-resistant depression.
- Films mentioned starring Edward Norton:
- Other films mentioned:
- Some of Edward Norton’s favorite documentaries and recent films:
- Check out the documentary Choke about Rickson Gracie
- Shogun by James Clavell
- The Search for Modern China by Jonathan Spence
- Check out Humans of New York
- Learn more about CrowdRise
- Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville (Free Audiobook Version)
- Wind, Sand and Stars by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
- The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
- The Catastrophe of Success by Tennessee Williams
- Learn more about Friedrich Nietzsche and self-overcoming
- Buddhism Without Beliefs by Stephen Batchelor
- The role of surfing in Edward Norton’s life: injury recovery, mindfulness, effectiveness [6:41]
- Morning rituals [11:54]
- Edward Norton’s eating habits and physical preparation for his role in American History X [13:19]
- How Edward Norton was introduced to acting [18:49]
- First acting mentors [20:37]
- Advice for adults planning to study acting [25:49]
- Thoughts on helping a novice actor to act more natural [36:44]
- Impressions and/or recollections of Rickson Gracie [38:44]
- Time spent in Osaka, his attraction to Asian culture, and deciding to major in history [42:19]
- The story behind CrowdRise, Humans of New York, and Syrian refugees [45:34]
- CrowdFunding entheogen research [54:14]
- When you think of the word successful, who is the first person who comes to mind and why? [1:05:02]
- Most gifted books [1:09:49]
- Edward Norton’s favorite documentaries and movies [1:13:34]
- If you could have a billboard anywhere saying anything, what would you put on it? [1:17:29]
- Advice to Edward Norton’s younger self [1:18:49]
- An ask or request of the audience [1:20:39]
- Toby Orenstein
- Terry Schreiber
- Marlon Brando
- Jeremy Irons
- Meryl Streep
- Rickson Gracie
- Royce Gracie
- Studs Terkel
- Brandon Stanton
- Adam Curtis
- Jacques Audiard