Fresh Blood Podcast Episode Guest - Larry Hankin
Larry talks about learning to live life his own way, experiencing homelessness and what he learned from working with Clint Eastwood, sometimes you need to stand up for yourself.
Larry Hankin is an American character actor, performer, director, comedian and producer. Larry’s face has been showing up in well known movies and TV series since 1969. He has worked in more than 100 films. Larry is known for his major film roles as Charley Butts in Escape from Alcatraz (1979), Ace in Running Scared(1986), and Carl Alphonse in Billy Madison (1995). He has also appeared in everything from Planes Trains & Automobiles Home Alone, Friends, Breaking Bad, Pretty Woman, Seinfeld, the movie Annie and so much more. Larry also does work with comedy improvisation groups.
Larry talks about learning to live life his own way, experiencing homelessness and what he learned from working with Clint Eastwood, sometimes you need to stand up for yourself.
Larry Hankin is an American character actor, performer, director, comedian and producer. Larry’s face has been showing up in well known movies and TV series since 1969. He has worked in more than 100 films. Larry is known for his major film roles as Charley Butts in Escape from Alcatraz (1979), Ace in Running Scared(1986), and Carl Alphonse in Billy Madison (1995). He has also appeared in everything from Planes Trains & Automobiles Home Alone, Friends, Breaking Bad, Pretty Woman, Seinfeld, the movie Annie and so much more. Larry also does work with comedy improvisation groups.
Larry Hankin – The Face You Swear You’ve Seen Before – Character Actor, Director, Comedian and Producer
Jolie Downs: [00:00:00] Today we are speaking with Larry Hankin. Larry is an American character actor, performer, director, comedian and producer. Larry has been acting in well-known movies and TV series since 1969. He is known for his major film roles as Charlie Butts in Escape from Alcatraz ACE in Running Scared and Carl Alphonse and Billy Madison.
[00:00:24] He has also appeared in everything from Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, Home Alone, Friends, Breaking Bad, Pretty Woman, Seinfeld, my goodness, the movie, Annie, and so much more. And Larry also does work With comedy improvisation groups. I am excited to learn more. Larry, could you tell us a little bit about your path to becoming actor, director, producer, comedian, and also what came first to.
[00:00:53] Larry Hankin: [00:00:53] Okay. Basically Though. I don't think I have it. I have an OCD personality.
[00:00:59] Jolie Downs: [00:00:59] Okay.
[00:01:00]Larry Hankin: [00:01:00] But I didn't know that. And ADHD and I'm dyslexic, so that all added to a bunch of good things and bad things, which I didn't know when I was born and growing up dyslexia, ADHD and OCD weren't invented yet. Nobody knew that nobody knew what the hell.
[00:01:20]Either a kid was, wow, he's quirky and crazy mean or the kids normal and normal and when I was growing up was like Norman Rockwell, which didn't exist at all. I had no,
[00:01:35] Jolie Downs: [00:01:35] no. That's really hard. How did you deal with that as a kid? Cause, it's.
[00:01:38] Larry Hankin: [00:01:38] It was very hard. I was beat up a lot. I was an outsider and so I just grew accustomed to that and I just adjusted to it and started to fight back.
[00:01:47]But it didn't cure me of anything I still was. And it still to this day. So yeah, I have to have mental work arounds about it. At least I realize I'm dyslexic and OCD, but it does help. There's certain things like art, why I'm doing all those things. I'm a Sagittarius and I'm just,
[00:02:04] Jolie Downs: [00:02:04] So you're dealing with a lot of different things. How do you deal with all of these different things?
[00:02:08] Larry Hankin: [00:02:08] a lot of time it's very hard and I don't, it's very simple.
[00:02:11] Jolie Downs: [00:02:11] you go.
[00:02:13] Larry Hankin: [00:02:13] I've learned to walk away and not look back, I just, but because of my mental situation and I'm also, smart. So that doesn't mean. At all,
[00:02:21]When we have those kinds of things, cause you're always like, why is it off or trying to work around in the wrong way or just talking when you shouldn't and all those things, a constant being 50 years, 15 years old your mind is constantly 15 years old.
[00:02:37] It's all. Oh, Hey, what's that? Oh, let's do that. I'm tired of doing this now. So I had to work around it. So that's my baggage. Everybody has some kind of baggage, but you either deal with it or you don't, that's the difference.
[00:02:52]Jolie Downs: [00:02:52] You were able to deal with all that and become
[00:02:54] Larry Hankin: [00:02:54] I tried to deal and I wasn't able to all the time, I wasn't, but I tried to, and I began to realize that I had these things and that's the first thing, so that, admit to it by.
[00:03:07] Own it is the word. So if you own it you're ahead of the game or any, and I did own it. That was the only, that was the good part. that.
[00:03:16] was the start, but here's, it was an epiphany. It actually was an epiphany moment. I was watching. I'm not an actor, I'm an, I'm a standup comedian. If you want to ask me what I am, I'm a comedian.
[00:03:29] That's what I am, I can act, but I'm not an actor because there are certain things I just can't do. Yeah.
[00:03:37] not because I'm dyslexic, I just, it's beyond my w they call it beyond my capabilities,
[00:03:44] Jolie Downs: [00:03:44] Your expertise.
[00:03:45] Larry Hankin: [00:03:45] my beyond my expertise and beyond my desire, which is very important. I just didn't want to do certain things.
[00:03:53] So even if I could do them well, like I I was an excellent I'm a very good swimmer, like in races and championships stuff, which is what I was doing in high school. I was on the rifle team and I was on the swimming team,
[00:04:09] Jolie Downs: [00:04:09] Nice.
[00:04:09] Larry Hankin: [00:04:09] I had no idea and a desire to be a marksman or a swimmer.
[00:04:14] So it doesn't matter whether I could do them really good or not. I just had no interest. Anybody who would want to push me, like the coaches towards that, Hey, why don't stay on the rifle team or why don't you stay at swimming? Did no good. You can't convince somebody if they have no desire, you can't, but you're doing it so well, big deal.
[00:04:34]In other words, what I guess I'm saying because of what your program is trying to maintain is that you can't push people into things they don't want to do. And.
[00:04:45] Jolie Downs: [00:04:45] No.
[00:04:47] Larry Hankin: [00:04:47] Problem with my youth was I didn't go the way they were pushing and that brought push back so already I'm in trouble.
[00:04:56] Jolie Downs: [00:04:56] and that's a
[00:04:57] Larry Hankin: [00:04:57] But I think I did the right thing, even though it was a long haul because to go where they were pushing me out, I would just go insane.
[00:05:06]Jolie Downs: [00:05:06] I give you big props for not going the way they pushed you because a lot of people do just go with the way they're being pushed
[00:05:13] Larry Hankin: [00:05:13] and you can't do that. You shouldn't do, Hey, whatever, it just doesn't work out.
[00:05:18] Jolie Downs: [00:05:18] Yeah. But how did you figure out
[00:05:20] Larry Hankin: [00:05:20] Okay. So here's the moment I was watching television and I was in the committee. I was just wondering around, I graduated high school. I graduated college as an industrial designer just because my parents pushed me into it. I was a young kid and you look up to your parents who weren't very good parents.
[00:05:42]They'll even admit that from the grave.
[00:05:45] Jolie Downs: [00:05:45] Yeah.
[00:05:45] Larry Hankin: [00:05:45] Like they just weren't. Here's how bad it was. I was disinherited. You can't get me better than that.
[00:05:51] Jolie Downs: [00:05:51] no. Ah, God, I'm
[00:05:53] Larry Hankin: [00:05:53] So that's that reads the tension right there. Okay. So I try to be a good son because I don't know. I think you're born with that, listen to your parents, it's like ducks do it.
[00:06:07] Jolie Downs: [00:06:07] everybody.
[00:06:08] Larry Hankin: [00:06:08] Why don't we
[00:06:08] Jolie Downs: [00:06:08] want that love and attention and acceptance from your
[00:06:12] Larry Hankin: [00:06:12] Yeah. Yeah. So I wasn't. Okay. So I went to college and I got a degree in industrial design. My parents want to be a lawyer or a doctor, to take care of them in their old age. And I sensed that. And I think bob Dylan says I was born doing it, born making poems and stuff like that.
[00:06:29] I was born doing it. Okay.
[00:06:31] I was born knowing demolition to these people and it just, I don't know, there was something. Okay.
[00:06:41] So I was watching television and I went to college. Listen I wanted to be a good son. So I went to college and I left and I became an industrial designer. And then I met a guy named Carl Gottlieb who wrote, eventually wrote George and the next three George movies.
[00:06:59] And he was my best friend in college. And when we graduated, he said, where are you going? Where are we? Where are you going after college? And I said I don't know, but probably I'm going to Detroit to design futuristic cars for I think it was Ford or Chevrolet at a huge salary. I was really good at Industrial design.
[00:07:19] I was one of the top students, a student, but I didn't want to do that. It was just, was just trying to please my parents and get through this. But as soon as Carl said I said, where are you going? And he said, I'm going to Greenwich village. I want to be a writer. He always wanted to be a writer.
[00:07:35] He just knew that from the get go. And I said man, you said, why don't we, why don't you go with me to Greenwich village? And we'll get an apartment together. And I said what are we going to do there? If I'm not, I'm an industrial designer, they're paying me a lot of money. He said we'll get something, we'll get jobs.
[00:07:55] And I immediately thought we're going to go to Greenwich village and starve is what we're going to do. And let's do that, that I want to do. That sounds like something interesting. I can get my head around. It was like a weird challenge but more than that, it would just, all of a sudden this shuttered life of, doing what people want me to do.
[00:08:18] And all of a sudden, you just threw the doors open. So we just hopped in a car and we went to Greenwich village and we did, I started, I was just cleaning duck boards at B2 and a bar in Greenwich village between 2:00 AM and 6:00 AM. But I loved it. I didn't love it,
[00:08:36] Jolie Downs: [00:08:36] you were living your
[00:08:37] Larry Hankin: [00:08:37] but I didn't look back.
[00:08:39] I didn't say, oh, man, I should have taken the job. No, I said, no, I'm here. And this is a terrible job. And I'm starving because Carl was, had a job right out of school. Cause you're in the journalism school. So you just went into newspapers in New York just local ones smaller than nothing like the New York times, just, 2000.
[00:08:57]Readers or something like that, but he had a job and he could pay the rent and he was paying the rent for me. I was getting a couple of bucks and he would feed me too. He would I would steal food from the bar, and he would here we go to these these you would review a movies, but he was reviewing movies or little movies and all the all the little papers and all the big papers would review the same movie in the same theater.
[00:09:20] So he was with the New York times. And what they did was they served your cold shrimp and some wine before you go to review the movie. So what he would do is he would take a linen napkin back in the day. You could have a linen napkins. Wow. And he would take a handful of colds. Put it in a napkin, wrap it up, put it in a suit pocket.
[00:09:41] And that.
[00:09:42] would be my dinner for the night. And you would do that like at least three times a week. But I accepted this where I didn't accept people telling me what to do. This was my choice. So I'm going with it. I don't remember any kind of looking back or hating it or it was all cool, man. This is what life was it was trying to get through today.
[00:10:06] Jolie Downs: [00:10:06] Finding your path. Yeah.
[00:10:07]Larry Hankin: [00:10:07] All right. And because of that, I started to watch open mic nights because I had my entire days and nights free. I worked from two in the morning till six. So I started hanging around and I started, Ooh, stand up comedy. I can do that. I was a funny guy in high school, so I did that. And eventually I got into second city in the committee because.
[00:10:31] But just because I could do it. And it was, I know it was funny, not because I was, I had any kind of idea of being a star or anything like that. It was just, I could do this and it was fun. And even when I got booed off the stage, which was rare, they just, if they didn't laugh in those days and in a coffee house, open mic nights, they sat there and waited because you only had five minutes, maybe three, when you get up.
[00:10:57] So they would just wait for their friend to get up on the stage. And that's why they were there. Now there's each pocket of the audience was with first, somebody else putting up on the stage. If you weren't funny, they didn't care. You're three minutes. Fine. My friend is coming up next. So they didn't boot cause me.
[00:11:14] Okay. And because of that, I got into the committee. All Right.
[00:11:18] So I'm prime now I'm watching television and I'm watching actors and I was a big fan of movies. So here's the moment I'm watching television. And I see on television, a actress and actors like say Lucille ball, or in other words, a movie actress, female, who was a, an icon in movies.
[00:11:41] And then I see her as a sitcom mom or a sitcom wife. And then that made me notice all the other big time movie actresses were now sitcom moms, wives, all of them. And I'm going, holy cow, man, if I'm going to be an actor, cause it was in the improv. I was in Second City and the Committee, this is acting, but it's really not.
[00:12:08] That's the difference. I didn't know that acting is acting improvisation. So I said, Oh, I might there's some day just because that's the way things are going. Not that I had a desire, but it seems like if you get older you can't be an actress anymore. As an actress only how was this? And I noticed that there were above 35 back in the day I'm done in the sixties. 35 was old for a woman now it's you got 20 more years to go before you get old. That's crazy concept. But anyway, I noticed that all the women couldn't be actresses anymore. They were now sitcom moms, which wasn't an actress to me, that was a sitcom. And so I said, wait a minute, what about the guys?
[00:12:56] And so I turned my focus to the actor guys and they said, Oh
[00:13:01] my God, 45 to 55 sitcom dad. All those guys used to be big movie actors. And I said, no, I can't go there. So that's what woke me up too. You get old and you can't do what you want to do anymore. That was the big signal. And now is about 23 at the time. And I said, okay, from now on, and I have the drawings too prove what I'm going to tell you right now. I should, from now on everything I do has got to be so that when my hair turns gray, I have a gig that I love. That was all. And everybody else from 23 to 65, all I got was, what the fuck are you doing, man?
[00:13:50] Why you doing that? That's ridiculous, whatever it was I was doing, but I knew what I was doing. I was just aiming for 65. I didn't care what I did now. I just liked this now, but it seemed to them and it really did. Why are you doing this, man? It's useless. It's going nowhere. That was what there was.
[00:14:10] This goes nowhere, man. What I was doing was while they were telling me this, I was sitting at home in between at night, going home from the Committee. I would go home and I would write, but I would write things either that I could do in movies, like film shorts. So I'd write home shorts. No, that, Yeah.
[00:14:30] sit home.
[00:14:30] And I write film shorts for me at 23, 24, 25, things that I could do as a film show, what I'd saved my money from the Committee and I get enough money to make a little film short for me, but I would also draw my me at 65, 70, 75. I would be, I draw the character that I want. I like to play when I was 65.
[00:14:57] And so I, and I have these images and my sister saved them and she sent them to me a couple of years ago. And one of them
[00:15:06] Jolie Downs: [00:15:06] Did they align
[00:15:07] Larry Hankin: [00:15:07] what I'm doing now I didn't think about those drawings. When I left home I go home for the summer. I draw, I still draw. That's how she got them from college or from wherever I visit. And then when she sent them to me I was about and that was in the nineties, late nineties, , she said, he said, Hey, look what I found. And it had, it was a drawing that I had done in 1976 maybe, or before it had a date. And it was a drawing of an old guy on a motorcycle, a guy about 65 or 70 and son of a gun.
[00:15:44] I looked down and I'm writing a feature film of me of a 65 year old guy on a motorcycle. And it's that holy cow at blew my mind, but I thought, oh my God, there's two. I am two people. I'm a conscious guy. And there's a subconscious healed down there. That's saying, yeah, but no, this go over here a little and it's been guiding me, and it's subconscious.
[00:16:16] It's weird. That's how.
[00:16:17] Jolie Downs: [00:16:17] in your youth. It's really interesting. You've been working throughout life successfully and in this business, which says a lot. So I know this is not an easy business to continue working right throughout your
[00:16:30] Larry Hankin: [00:16:30] I know, and it's getting harder now. I could never make it now
[00:16:34] Jolie Downs: [00:16:34] Yeah. So what, what would you say contributed to your success?
[00:16:40] Larry Hankin: [00:16:40] because I had something in mind. Okay. And this, I learned, I've read the, Koran teaching, the, every religion you can think of. That's why I don't believe in God, because I've been to, and every religion you can think of and they all talk about the same thing and, and to make it, so you can question it, you put it in God's mouth.
[00:17:05] So it's not me. No. What is IO and also LSD and, Baba, rum, DAS, and Leary and all of them. And basically what I found out there is a truth. And that is that if you want to be anything, if you have any kind of desire to be successful as a PA, and success is you achieved what you manifested, what you had in mind.
[00:17:33] That's to me is a success. And if you can do that you have to have the end goal in mind to, to get, you have to know where you're going. You have to know it's just some idea, want to be a CEO. Oh, by the way, money is not a goal.
[00:17:49] Jolie Downs: [00:17:49] no, I completely agree. Completely
[00:17:52] Larry Hankin: [00:17:52] not.
[00:17:53] Jolie Downs: [00:17:53] Yeah.
[00:17:54] Larry Hankin: [00:17:54] And if you have money as you go, you're fine, man.
[00:18:00] Jolie Downs: [00:18:00] For that fulfilling life, you are a hundred percent. Yes. You're going to find yourself just unhappy.
[00:18:06] Larry Hankin: [00:18:06] Man
[00:18:07] Jolie Downs: [00:18:07] Yeah.
[00:18:08] Larry Hankin: [00:18:08] lost. Okay.
[00:18:09] So I very early on, at the same time I was discovering about women have to be sitcom moms. At the same time I was tossing the chain, not only reading it, I was tossing it. And it said, You have to, you have to, where you are, know where you are, know where you're going and life is figuring out the trip there.
[00:18:28]So wherever I was, I said, okay, I'm here. And where does this? Where does this get me to where I'm going? No. Where on the timeline is that.
[00:18:42] Oh, this isn't on the timeline at all. This'll get me nowhere near 65. And when I want to be on the motorcycle that?
[00:18:51] I'm not doing this for long, I'll just take my cash and go somewhere else.
[00:18:54] Jolie Downs: [00:18:54] right.
[00:18:55] Larry Hankin: [00:18:55] And that's what I would do. And I would say where on the time, so I could be happy there because this was on my timeline to get there. So I would do this the best I can and escape from Alcatraz. I was lost there because this is my biggest movie I've ever been in. I knew in my heart of heart, that I was really a stand-up comedian, and so all these lines and, working with Clint Eastwood and Donnie and Don Siegel, who are icons in the movie world, but what kept me focused was those two guys who happened to be champs because they were they knew what I knew. I knew what they knew. There was a comradery there of some sort.
[00:19:34]They knew I was serious about what I was doing and I wasn't there to be rich or it was, I wanted to do the job good and have them know that I did a good job. And I also knew this was on the way to getting on that motorcycle. So I could be here now. And yet nowhere where I'm going. And as soon as any place where I am that I don't know it's on my timeline and I'm not going to last there very long or I'll use it like, okay. I'm going to get a check for doing something I don't want to do, but that check is going to get me to a movie to make a film short.
[00:20:14] That's going to be on the way to the, so I was always trying to use it or push it to where my goal was.
[00:20:20] Jolie Downs: [00:20:20] Great. I
[00:20:20]Larry Hankin: [00:20:20] The luck for me is, and and I'm beginning to see that I'm starting to tell you something I don't want to tell you And that is that it wasn't on my mind all the time. That they didn't lose myself in my dream about getting to be on a motorcycle when I was 65, as a role as an actor it was just sub Rosa.
[00:20:39] It was just there. I would suddenly be somewhere saying, why am I here? And just be aware that there's more than just your conscious mind going through your day. And even when I was homeless and again, I experienced a lot of things it didn't bother me.
[00:20:54] I knew that I'm writing a book now. Oh, I have all this time when you're homeless. You all, you have all you own is time. That's all you have. Your possessions are not yours. You just have them.
[00:21:12] Jolie Downs: [00:21:12] That like for you being homeless? That's, and
[00:21:14] Larry Hankin: [00:21:14] oh, I knew I was learning stuff. I knew it. I said I'm not ready to leave here because finally what happens is when you're homeless and sometimes it clicks in and sometimes it doesn't you say, all right, I had enough of this.
[00:21:26] This is bullshit I'm out of here and you don't know how to get out of there because you now have trained yourself to be here and you got to get out of there. There's some something drives you to say, no, I got to get the 65 and this is not getting me there. So I'm out, you bust out, you you're driven to get out to, to stop being homeless. It's not working man but I was homeless for a year where it was working. I wanted to figure it out. I want to see if I could figure out how to be homeless,
[00:21:58] Because I thought this would be cool. I could learn something. I didn't be, I didn't voluntarily become homeless. I fucked. Drop my rent for two months. And when I got home, I went away to write with a friend. And when I came and I know the address of my apartment while I was living in an apartment, I didn't know the address of the landlord to send the money.
[00:22:26] And I stupidly figured I just be two months behind in my rent, but I'm making enough money here to get back and pay her a little tip for letting me. But when I got back. I had been evicted already and everything I had was thrown out.
[00:22:44] Jolie Downs: [00:22:44] Now, how did you deal with that moment? Cause that's a big moment right there. What did you do?
[00:22:48] Larry Hankin: [00:22:48] When I came back and found my, I lived on a little boat, it was a hollowed out boat. It wasn't fancy. You've got, I didn't bring guests there. I just lived on a boat cause it was $150. I was starving as an actor. And so when I came back, Everything,
[00:23:07] I had on that boat had been tossed overboard.
[00:23:11] Jolie Downs: [00:23:11] Oh my
[00:23:12] Larry Hankin: [00:23:12] So still I was bereft.
[00:23:14] Jolie Downs: [00:23:14] Oh God.
[00:23:15] Larry Hankin: [00:23:15] I had no, no money and no things. My books, my mattress, my clothes, everything, my pens, my pencils,
[00:23:25] Jolie Downs: [00:23:25] did you do? That's so upsetting.
[00:23:27] Larry Hankin: [00:23:27] I did was okay. I was 35. I was around 35, I think 33 34. What I did was I was very pragmatic. I don't, I go into a place of Zen when I get too crazy, like that was too much. That's like overwhelming.
[00:23:44] So I just became very calm. And I just said, okay. I I had a motorcycle that was all, they couldn't drop my motorcycle over board. Cause it was parked, not on the pier.
[00:23:56] Jolie Downs: [00:23:56] Thank goodness.
[00:23:59] Larry Hankin: [00:23:59] My motorcycle. I went into, I was living in south Sausalito on the bay, but I was, had been working in the Committee, in San Francisco. So I took my motorcycle. I drove into San Francisco and I got, I called a couple of friends and I told them, I said, Hey I don't have any place to live I'll couch surf. All right, fine. And then somebody said, I'll sell you my VW bus for $5 because you can't stay on my couch anymore. Why? My wife doesn't. The talk in the kitchen while I was still, like at seven o'clock in the morning, sleeping on the couch and they had already gotten up and they were going to work or whatever they were doing and I could hear them. yeah,
[00:24:49] Okay. Hey, listen, I think I'm going to leave today.
[00:24:51] Jolie Downs: [00:24:51] yeah,
[00:24:53] Larry Hankin: [00:24:53] But then he said, no. I'll sell you my VW bus it's I was going to junk it for five bucks. I'll sell it to you. And they said fine. He said, you can live in it. And I go, great. Boom problem solved 35. I don't have to worry until I'm 65.
[00:25:09]I, that was the thing I don't have to worry until I'm 65. It was all well down there. That was also another coping mechanism, this mechanism. yeah,
[00:25:17] But now it's terrible Larry, but 65 is down there. Always. I had always something to keep me going and steady, and then some punches.
[00:25:28] So I've, I bought it for five bucks and literally it was, yeah.
[00:25:32] the junker. There was no seats in it, no cloth in it. It was like a ups delivery van. It was just all metal. And there was only one seat which was very rickety for the driver, which in a Volkswagen VW van, which was, this was the front seat is one big seat, and then the Backstreet is one, but no, this had one. Like a bus driver's seat, but it was rickety. Somebody had found one
[00:25:58] seat and he bolted it to the floor, but it wasn't. So if you rode with me shotgun, you sat up you sat on a milk crate, a carton, milk carton look great. No problem.
[00:26:11] Jolie Downs: [00:26:11] Back in the day.
[00:26:12] Larry Hankin: [00:26:12] And I slept in the back of my head, like a curtain hung up right behind my seat, and that's where I lived.
[00:26:19] And I lived there for a year and it was fine.
[00:26:22] Jolie Downs: [00:26:22] What did you learn from that experience?
[00:26:24]Larry Hankin: [00:26:24] Then I'm pretty cool at surviving. I'll give you a, an, a note. This is just really weird, but you said the word survival. So it comes up. I have these Epiphanes every once in a while, they just like a foot that races by and I'll grab it and that'll keep me going for years.
[00:26:41] And it was just like quick thought. Okay. I'm riding on my motorcycle. One day at night, I go to a bachelor party and I get drunk. I don't, I hadn't drunk before. I hadn't, I haven't drunk since I don't drink. I'm not a drinker. I do other things, but to escape this reality, but liquor is not wearing them. I got drunk at this party.
[00:27:04] And then they said, where are you going to as him driving home and my motorcycle and they going to and do that? I think I can handle it. So I got on my motorcycle. I'm driving in a car, cut in front of me. I go right over the wife of the guy driving, described it to me. I flew over the hood that he cut like this in
[00:27:24] Jolie Downs: [00:27:24] Okay.
[00:27:25] Larry Hankin: [00:27:25] And I just went, flew over the hood of their car and landed flat on the surface of the road. So it wasn't my fault.
[00:27:36] Jolie Downs: [00:27:36] Oh, that's so scary.
[00:27:37] Larry Hankin: [00:27:37] Sharp thing in front of me, boom, over and as I'm laying there, I hear with two voices. One voice is don't die. Don't fight, please don't die. And it's the driver who had hit me leaning over me saying, please don't die.
[00:27:52] Jolie Downs: [00:27:52] Oh God.
[00:27:53] Larry Hankin: [00:27:53] I'm just laying there. And I tried to get up and I couldn't move. And I was paralyzed. My entire body was paralyzed from the neck down and I'm laying there and I had one thought as I became conscious, I hear this voice droning. And then I try to move and I can't move anything. And I thought, Okay.
[00:28:16] I'll just put a pencil in my mouth and I can tap out the screenplay. And I'm parallel. That's what you think, Larry?
[00:28:27]Jolie Downs: [00:28:27] You're you're immediately going to, how can I deal with this?
[00:28:29] Larry Hankin: [00:28:29] Hello. How can I cope with this?
[00:28:32] Jolie Downs: [00:28:32] How can I cope coping mechanism?
[00:28:35] Larry Hankin: [00:28:35] Yeah. Now, right after that thought. And then my astonishment at that thought that I'm paralyzed and that's what you're thinking. You're going to type a screenplay with that's ridiculous. All of a sudden, my body just felt not numb anymore. And then I could move and then I got up and I was
[00:28:57] Jolie Downs: [00:28:57] No,
[00:28:57]Larry Hankin: [00:28:57] But the thought occurred to me when I thought I was paralyzed forever. And
[00:29:03] obviously two seconds later I would have, freaked out. But the first thought that came into my mind just from parish second was, oh, put a pencil in my mouth. And it was very casual, quick thought, but a pencil in my mouth and I would just type it up and I thought, wow, what a survivor?
[00:29:18] You are, what an idiot you are, but what it's survivor, there's an I, but I, but that kind of mellowed me out for like years just. I thought that when I was paralyzed and I thought, oh, there is something down there. That's keeping track of everything. It's something, that's a mechanism. That's cool.
[00:29:38] Jolie Downs: [00:29:38] when you realize you're capable of taking, you can handle
[00:29:41] Larry Hankin: [00:29:41] but I lived in my car for a year and I was going to be homeless until I got that that design is a no man. It's just not working out. I conquered being homeless in that I could survive knew where to get food, where to get shelter. And I wrote a book about it. A comedy
[00:29:58] Jolie Downs: [00:29:58] you did. What was the book called?
[00:30:00]Larry Hankin: [00:30:00] Th the dash CA fi file and it's something to do with something that was going on in politics. Everybody had a dossier, so I was cool dossier, the Daschle fun. Oh,
[00:30:14] Jolie Downs: [00:30:14] I love that you wrote a book from that. So would you say that was one of your greatest challenges in life, or was there something else that you feel has been one of your greatest obstacles or challenges that you've had to overcome?
[00:30:24] Larry Hankin: [00:30:24] to have start the realization that 65 is just down the road, the horror of, oh my God. I'm going I'm getting older because it was How, people were relating to me that tipped me off.
[00:30:48] Jolie Downs: [00:30:48] How, so how were they relating to
[00:30:49] Larry Hankin: [00:30:49] They're relating to me, like I'm an old person, like I'm an elder, especially young people.
[00:30:55] They would call me Mr.
[00:31:00] Jolie Downs: [00:31:00] I think being called ma'am I won't.
[00:31:02] Larry Hankin: [00:31:02] Yeah.
[00:31:02]That was the tip off. Okay. Larry, here, it comes all that shit that you had, okay. Here comes 65 now plug it in. Okay.
[00:31:13] Jolie Downs: [00:31:13] Okay. So how did you deal with this?
[00:31:15] Larry Hankin: [00:31:15] So they're the deal, the dealing with it was what was fine. It was the realization that was the hierarchy. It was just you're hit with it. Sure. And then another shirt. And then, I always thinking of the next thing. If somebody gets up to give me their seat, that will be it man. Lovely brains out. Because I would see all my friends who are the same age as I was getting old and I wasn't, I just wasn't man now. And it wasn't a, I'm not going to get old. I have a 16 year old somewhere in there. I do. And I Just thank God for
[00:31:53] Jolie Downs: [00:31:53] Just an energy to
[00:31:54] Larry Hankin: [00:31:54] It's it's an energy thing, but I was planning for it. So I was ready for, it was just the shock of the Sur or somebody would hold the door open for me or pick something. I would drop something and a young kid would pick it up for me
[00:32:08] Jolie Downs: [00:32:08] Yeah.
[00:32:09] Larry Hankin: [00:32:09] so I can fuck down. But we got Whiting hair and, oh man. So that was like rude.
[00:32:21] That was just like rude to me. And nobody else knew it. The guy wasn't being rude to. So the children woke me up to that. They're there, how they related to me like your grandpa. But then no, they said, okay, now plug in all that writing that you have about and the drawing. And then that's when I got out that drawing, my sister sent me of the old guy on the motorcycle and I said, okay, just write for this guy now, that's your aim is it's here.
[00:32:45] Okay. I started doing film shorts of me as an older person. I grew a beard that my beard grow a mustache, let my hair grow long. And I was going to be a homeless guy. Cause I done homeless. I knew that life I could make fun of it. I could, it was another lifestyle that I was in. So I started to write for that.
[00:33:06] And as soon as I was writing for something that I knew was furthering, I'm writing something for something that I'm going to do pretty soon, like tomorrow or next year or in two years, or even in five years or 10 years. No, there now I'm on that road. All that stuff was preparation. And getting me to the road.
[00:33:27] I had the map, I was going this way. Oh, here's the highway to death.
[00:33:32]You got it. I have the whole thing all done. It's already done. It's way down the road and it's fine, man. It's all I'm doing what I want to do. And if you're doing what you want to do, you can cope with anything
[00:33:47] Jolie Downs: [00:33:47] yes, no. That is the goal to be doing what you want to do.
[00:33:50]Larry Hankin: [00:33:50] Tology whatever. It's just, friends passing it's no. Yeah.
[00:33:59] Jolie Downs: [00:33:59] Yeah. So out of all of the things that you've done, cause you've held a lot of different roles even a lot throughout your life. What do you feel has been your greatest success? One or two of your greatest successes and what did you learn from it?
[00:34:13] Larry Hankin: [00:34:13] Okay.
[00:34:13]Escape from Alcatraz, which was everything, both of the answers to both questions. It's my greatest success because I think to this day, it's probably one of my best performances as an actor to really do the job with acting, creating a character, making it believable, being here now in that scene and not and also it taught me everything I needed to know about acting, directing and making movies, because I was working with Clint Eastwood and I was working with Don Siegel who done seagull is an artist director.
[00:34:49] He's a great director. I can never say enough about that, man. And Clint Eastwood, the he was a professional, big world star, and I just hung out with. And I was able to keep up with them and not even with them, but I could talk to them and be in the same movie with them. And whenever I would screw up, they would let me know it.
[00:35:15] And they were doing the greatest either roughest way or the kindest way imaginable. They were like the yin yang or what parents should be
[00:35:26] Jolie Downs: [00:35:26] Yeah,
[00:35:27] Larry Hankin: [00:35:27] Don siegel was like my grandfather, like the greatest grandfather you could ever have and done. And Clint Eastwood was like the sternest father. You could ever have
[00:35:37] Jolie Downs: [00:35:37] Okay.
[00:35:39] Larry Hankin: [00:35:39] a look around when
[00:35:40] you were around Clint. He'll laugh. If you're funny, he'll laugh. He's got an incredibly incredible sense of humor. But if it's not funny, you better be ready for the blow back. But Don Siegel who would just put me on all the time. So I was learning how to act because I pay attention. I'd followed Dan Siegel around like a little puppy and I would follow Client Eastwood around like old puppy.
[00:36:04] I just want to be around him. I here's a little trivia. Nobody knows about Clint Eastwood. He is a a master of liers limericks. What did I savant, he's a savant of liers limericks. He didn't, he never went into his dressing room nor did needed it. I, he, any ate, always ate with the crew with the extras who are the 200 prisoners.
[00:36:29] They were extras. They had no lines, they would just get dressed and be in the background. He always ate with them, in mass table, about 200. So I always ate with them to eat with him. So I was always at his table and what he would do to entertain them, cause they'll ask him questions and silly questions and blah, blah, blah.
[00:36:47] But what he would do is she would say, give me a topic and you would, they would say bananas and you would go, okay, there was once so there was a banana named Mike and he would just do a Lear's Limerick on that. And it would be a real ugly there's Limerick, maybe he was making them up, but I never saw him stumped.
[00:37:03] And in three months that I was with them, he always, they would just pepper him with, do one about any boat boom. And he didn't even think he would just go, boom Michael boom.
[00:37:15] Jolie Downs: [00:37:15] Yeah.
[00:37:15] Larry Hankin: [00:37:15] Ah Okay.
[00:37:17] But so the success and the failure or whatever it was or the what was the happiest one?
[00:37:22] What did I learn? I learned how to make movies. I learned how to become, I'm an actor. You're not being an actor, but to become an actor, what it takes. And yeah and I screwed up a lot on the movie. Luckily more in front of Don Siegel than in front of Clint. But Clint, I screwed up in front of Clint man, and he just let me have it.
[00:37:42] And for both barrels, they don't fool around. I tell you one thing, really great people don't fool around. They'll either let you have the full glory or the F or both barrels. And I saw both of them doing great work and both of them, and you're under a lot of pressure one time and I was totally in, I need, so here's what I learned.
[00:38:07] Okay. What did I learn? I'm on the set with, Clint Eastwood, and he goes and here's the ritual take one. Okay. Don Siegel comes over to Clint Eastwood and all my scenes with Clint Eastwood. So I always saw this for three months and generally it was just me and Clint somehow it was the three of us.
[00:38:24] Okay. So Dan Siegel comes in and he goes, how was that.
[00:38:26] for you? Clinton crunches. That was Okay.
[00:38:28] for me. So he says, Okay.
[00:38:29] moving on. He always check with Clint, never with me ever. I and I was like, not there if they had something to talk about, it was like, this guy isn't even here, which kind of bugs me, but they never turned to me or anything.
[00:38:45] I just stand there, but I could hear what they were saying. Okay.
[00:38:48]Now if he said, how was that for you and then cause I don't know. Oh, or generally what happened was no Clint. How was that for you? That was great. Can we move on? And he said, no, that it was a camera came off the tracks or there was a jiggle we'd have to do it again.
[00:39:02] And then Clint would say, Okay.
[00:39:04] but you always wanted to know what the reason was and that'd be a good one. And from Don, it was always a good reason, some mechanical things. So we did it again. Okay.
[00:39:15] So one time I got fed up with it. Cause I, my consciousness, is on the surfaces. I can't hold that stuff back.
[00:39:22] I just can't. I have no mask or anything. So they came over and he said, how was that for you? And Clint Eastwood says, is that was Okay
[00:39:30] for me. And I said I'd like to do it again. I think I could do it better. And clinches looked at me without not even a moment of hesitation. He just says, yeah Larry, I can't.
[00:39:42] And he walked away and everybody, his crew guys who made every movie with him just laugh their ass off. And now I was in the barrel, man. That was it's over for you, Larry, because Clint walked away from me and they left and he let them go. I was now the butt of all the jokes for the next three days until I finally got so angry.
[00:40:06] I said, I got to get out of the barrel because they did all, they would do it just kid me, and it was terrible. It was terrible. And I was, I stayed up at night trying to figure out how to get back. I didn't care what I had to do, but I'm not going to spend a month and a half to go under these conditions.
[00:40:25] And I was trying my best to be a good actor man. One day just out of nowhere, I was staying up at night, I'm on the shit and he outs cut, Daniel's cut. And he comes over and he says, how was that for you Clint? And I don't think Clint understood that he was saying something verbatim that I had said in the past, because Clinton said to Don.
[00:40:50]I'd like to do it again. I think I can do it better. And when I heard that, all I said was I can't I don't think I can. And I walked away and there was just dead silence. I just kept walking
[00:41:05] Jolie Downs: [00:41:05] what happened?
[00:41:05]Larry Hankin: [00:41:05] I kept on walking in the door is getting further and further away. I'm just walking to work. And finally I just, yeah,
[00:41:12] Larry come back will you man and it's Clint. And so it's ok man, come on back. What are you doing? And everybody laughed back. yeah. So I came back, but everybody that was it I'm out of the barrel, boom. But so that was cool. I stood up for myself and that was a great thing. I learned, they respect that. And the other thing was, Watch your mouth and you're doing a good job because they forgave you or else you would have been fired, so that was the best And the worst, have rent the Eastwood, just walk away from you and have the crew laugh at
[00:41:50] Jolie Downs: [00:41:50] And then have him call you back.
[00:41:51]Larry Hankin: [00:41:51] And then two, five days later Standing up for yourself to have him call you back and
[00:41:57] Jolie Downs: [00:41:57] Yeah. That's gotta feel good.
[00:41:59] Larry Hankin: [00:41:59] were
[00:41:59] buddies from then on. Then he understood, okay, he, this kid is trying he's this kid wants to be good.
[00:42:05]Okay. leave him alone man. And So they would open up to me more, and they would explain things to tell me what was doing. And I always kept. Okay.
[00:42:16] Jolie Downs: [00:42:16] that's awesome. And from everything you've learned throughout life, what do you think is really key to having continued success your life?
[00:42:25]Larry Hankin: [00:42:25] I got to tell you, okay. Before I answer that question, just remind me of that question. I've got to say one thing. It's not that I was never depressed or got down or thought, oh my God, what am I doing with myself? Yeah. But I had the equipment and the tools to get myself out of that. You can't protect yourself from getting depressed or having bad things happen to you.
[00:42:48]A car can come around the corner and just hit me and I can't walk anymore,
[00:42:52] Jolie Downs: [00:42:52] Yeah. What tools do you feel like helped you the most to pull yourself out of depression.
[00:42:57]Larry Hankin: [00:42:57] When I was. It's happenstance. I you, I didn't plan this. I'm not a good planner but this is what happened. I'm a curious kid and I am intelligent. And I got to say this when I say I'm intelligent. I'm not saying I'm a genius or that I'm intelligent. I'm saying I'm intelligent.
[00:43:14] Like every other homosapien on this planet is intelligent. There's nobody I believe on this planet. That's a species homo sapiens that isn't smart enough to get out of, to figure out where you are at. I don't think anybody's that stupid. Even if I call you stupid and that's, you can't figure this out.
[00:43:40] I'm saying right now you're being stupid because there's a logic here and there's a logic here and you can see they connect. That makes you stupid. I'm not saying you're an idiot. They can't even see that. I'm not saying that you're not smart. I'm not saying that right?
[00:43:57] now. You stupid, man.
[00:43:59] Jolie Downs: [00:43:59] Yeah.
[00:43:59]Larry Hankin: [00:43:59] But you have the intelligence to work this out.
[00:44:04] You get help. Oh, that's an intelligent thought. I can't, I don't know what, I don't know what to do. I'm going to commit suicide. I'll call the help of suicide help. That's a smart move. That's not stupid. That's smart. You have that in town. I put that. That's what I mean. So I have that and I know that, and a lot of people don't know that they're not as stupid as they think they are way smarter than that.
[00:44:32] Jolie Downs: [00:44:32] Then you
[00:44:33] Larry Hankin: [00:44:33] Incredibly smarter than that. And then you get stupid, but you're still gonna hear here. You think you're you think I'm saying you're idiot. No, you're not. No, nobody's okay. So I have, I believe in myself somewhere deep down inside, I can figure it out. I can. I know I can, even if it takes me days, every time we get a big paycheck where I do something big and I got a big paycheck, so it's a reward.
[00:45:02]I don't think that, wow I'm a genius. I just say, okay, did this well.
[00:45:07] Jolie Downs: [00:45:07] In yourself, know that you're smarter than, too many people don't give themselves credit. I know too many friends who yeah. They tell themselves that they're stupid or they,
[00:45:16] Larry Hankin: [00:45:16] They believe.
[00:45:17] Jolie Downs: [00:45:17] Yeah, they believe other people or they grew up with a learning disability. So they feel like they're not intelligent enough, which is just ridiculous.
[00:45:24] It just means you learn a different way, and it's just, it is it? I don't know what causes it I believe it's multitudes of things that cause us to feel these way and think these ways
[00:45:35]Larry Hankin: [00:45:35] Here's something that saved me. That's maybe a simple thought, but,
[00:45:39] I, when I grew up, I had very bad parents. They were passive aggressive, mainly passive.
[00:45:47] And then aggressive, but no nothing in between. Thank God for my mom. Like my father was just off the charts. So there was no curiosity in my house, but they were all for impressing other people. Okay.
[00:46:01]So what they did is fill the house with important books that they never read, but like the entire cyclopedia pretend, the set or the entire set of golden great literatures of history, like survived days and all the great books of history, but there was a set they bought what to say, never read them, but they had them there.
[00:46:23]So I would just read one of these, a page, all my childhood from time I could read, I would read fable. Grimm's fairy tales and the great books of history and the encyclopedia Britannica. That's all I read it,
[00:46:41]and it stayed in there. I joined the poetry club because it was all girls in high school not to see poet gun I had and I wanted to get laid. Yeah.
[00:46:52] I wanted to get it done and we're going to meet women. I thought that's clever.
[00:46:55] Jolie Downs: [00:46:55] do you meet the women?
[00:46:56]Larry Hankin: [00:46:56] I took a lot. I hate for my friends, the poetry club, but I knew why I was there.
[00:47:03] The payoff was that I became a writer and all those months and weeks of poetry and in high school, trying to get a date. That poetry was going in. I was actually listening it's there. I had it, it was a great gift that I didn't know I was giving myself. So it's, your upbringing where you're picking up this stuff, but there was a Oh,
[00:47:28] a selling out that's I think I was talking to a great man once and I said, what's the whole thing about selling out because Bob Dylan had just gone on the ed Sullivan show and they wouldn't let him sing a protest song.
[00:47:41] So he walked off and it made the news. This was in the sixties and he said, Bob Dylan, and they said he didn't want to sell out. So I'm talking to this great man who happened to be Bob Dylan's manager. Hey, Bob Yeah.
[00:47:55] What's the deal with them with selling out. And he said to me, very straightforward, very simple didn't hesitate. He said Landry, there's no such thing as selling out. And he walked away and I'm glad he walked away. Cause it took me years to figure out what the hell he had just told me. But of course I finally figured it out, which was a gift to me.
[00:48:19] But he told me that what it is basically this. If somebody says to you, you're selling out, that's a label that they have assumed about you, that they put on you. It has nothing to do with you. You did what you had to do. You weren't thinking, am I selling out or not? But somebody else saw it as you are this.
[00:48:50] And now you're new. You are showing up to think that you've sold out means you've taken something some asshole has said about you and put it on you and you're not wearing it. And you're using it. I'm a sellout has nothing to do with you. And I just applied that to everything else that anybody else ever put on me,
[00:49:12] Jolie Downs: [00:49:12] that's good.
[00:49:13] Larry Hankin: [00:49:13] what the hell can you tell me?
[00:49:16] Now? It took me a long
[00:49:18] Jolie Downs: [00:49:18] I love
[00:49:18] Larry Hankin: [00:49:18] but it's these labels that.
[00:49:20] we take on. It's not that, I am bad or that you think I'm bad. It's not that I think you think I'm bad. I'm now bad because you assume that I'm bad. I bad. He thinks I'm bad. I'm bad. And then you label everything that you're doing is bad.
[00:49:37]No, it's just all these labels and the day you're born, first of all, homosapiens, aren't born stupid. They aren't, they're born with all the equipment they need to survive or you wouldn't be born. And we wouldn't be all over this planet, screwing it up with our intelligence, No, other animal
[00:49:58] shits where they sleep and eat. And that's what we're doing to this planet. With, mercury in the water, in the air, we're ruining the air, we're ruining the water land development is killing the trees. it's no other animal does this, but we're smart enough to get to the moon. Ooh.
[00:50:20] Jolie Downs: [00:50:20] Isn't it right there. That says it all right. That is, it is heartbreaking. We really
[00:50:27] Larry Hankin: [00:50:27] Here's another example
[00:50:28] Jolie Downs: [00:50:28] Our priorities need to be
[00:50:29]Larry Hankin: [00:50:29] Of logic. That's your homosapiens logic. I don't, Animal doesn't have this logic. Our consciousness has this logic. Okay.
[00:50:37] Where we're 350,000 years old are our homosapiens with the brains that we have now is at least 250,000 years old, the same intelligence. Okay.
[00:50:50] 8,000 years ago, we started to plant seeds.
[00:50:54] We discovered agriculture, which meant we didn't have to forage and hunt. We could just live in the same place and we could breed and expand. And we could eat, maybe hunt small varments that were in our thing, but basically we could grow our own food. And that was the demise of homosapiens right there, because.
[00:51:17] Our brains for agriculture is 8,000 years old. Brains for surviving on a infinite plane is 350 to 250,000 years old. So , 9,000 years ago, if I pointed that way. And I said, if you could, if it was possible for you to walk that way forever, what, where would you end up? And you go I would end up forever that way.
[00:51:49] And everybody would say, Yeah.
[00:51:50] of course you could walk straight that way forever. But now today, 8,000 years only of intelligence. Now, if you say, if you could walk that way forever, where would you end up? And of course the answer is you would end up coming from that way because the earth is round. No that way is infinity forever.
[00:52:17], I thinking for 200, 5,000 years is everything is infinite. Food is infinite. Air is infinite. Water is infinite forever. So we're still thinking infinite air is infinite waters infinite food is infinite. And yet no, we're on a finite globe. And we only have 8,000 years of thinking too.
[00:52:40] And we don't think finite, we think infinite, homo sapiens. You can't survive that way. No animal can survive. And remember, we're a species and many species haven't survived and we're a species like bugs and rats and cockroaches and cows and cats and dogs. We're species.
[00:53:06] Jolie Downs: [00:53:06] Yeah.
[00:53:07] Larry Hankin: [00:53:07] care.
[00:53:07]Jolie Downs: [00:53:07] There's a lot of regrets that are all over the board for what the sapiens have done.
[00:53:13] Larry Hankin: [00:53:13] Just, don't listen to other people don't take on label. And just think ahead, think ahead down the road, where do you want to go?
[00:53:20] Jolie Downs: [00:53:20] What's been your biggest regret and what'd you learn from it?
[00:53:24]Larry Hankin: [00:53:24] I don't have any regrets. I don't regret anything I've done. I made some mistakes in my life. But I'm a human being and you can overcome the mistakes and errors, or just leaving behind and forget it. No, K it never happened or it did happen.
[00:53:40] And, I fucked up, I blown relationships that I thought, wow, man, that was really a cool lady and I just messed up, I regret that, but no, I don't, I'm here now and I've met other people and,
[00:53:52] Jolie Downs: [00:53:52] All those things have led
[00:53:53] Larry Hankin: [00:53:53] yeah. Or I messed up that relationship. Yeah. Mainly it's just relationships, I messed up or I told that person off and I shouldn't have, or I was wrong then and I insisted I was right. But that's nothing,
[00:54:06] Jolie Downs: [00:54:06] What do you feel is something that you've learned that has brought you the most benefit in your life?
[00:54:13] Larry Hankin: [00:54:13] how to write. Because it's a very self-revealing and it gets a lot of anger and on we and boredom and everything out, it just gets you out. It's like exercise learning to ride my bike when I was a little kid, of course. But I find it very hard to exercise and exercise is very healthy.
[00:54:33]Riding my bike, I get great joy out of it, but it's healthy. I but I've done some really weird, interesting things, but I used to be a Firebug. I used to be a pyromaniac man,
[00:54:46] and I burned down a barn, a burned down billboards. I was heavy into it, but I was what I was a 14 or 15.
[00:54:55] 1413 still. Yeah.
[00:54:59] no, that's not right. I know that's not right, but I didn't know what, I know what I'm telling you, I just, Hey, let's okay. Here's the regret. Most of the time, I'd say 99.9% of the time. I had some friends with me, at least two or three, Freddie often Eddie Howard. They were always, when I burned something down or did some crazy fire thing, I've blown the burn, my face off or something.
[00:55:25] They were there. There was always somebody there to say, Hey, let's put it out. Now
[00:55:29] Jolie Downs: [00:55:29] Yes.
[00:55:30] Larry Hankin: [00:55:30] is a conscience. And some other kids is, Hey, man, it's too big. Let's put it out. And 99.9, but I would listen to him and we would put it out in time. And then a couple of times I didn't then that's when the barn burned down and that's when the billboard burned down.
[00:55:45] And that's when the firemen came to my house, and said, Hey, your son at the site of a burning down that billboard down the block, where was your son for the last two hours? And I'm hiding. And my mom said, and I heard her say this, he's been with me for the last two hours. And the fireman who smelled of smoke would just put out the fire that I had built and burned down the barn or the, a billboard.
[00:56:15] She lied to this fireman through. I was like 15 or 14 and and firemen were big, like policemen and soldiers and jet pilots. So she lied to a fireman who was in full uniform and smelled of smoke. She lied to him. So I knew my mom really loves me proof, right there. And lied to a fireman, man. Wow.
[00:56:40] Jolie Downs: [00:56:40] Your mom really loves me. Yes.
[00:56:42] Larry Hankin: [00:56:42] I did. I was a Firebug and that's not cool.
[00:56:46] Jolie Downs: [00:56:46] No, I'm glad. You're, I'm glad you're not a Firebug anymore
[00:56:48]Larry Hankin: [00:56:48] No. I, that was quick. I think that was the last one.
[00:56:52] That will knock the fear
[00:56:55] Jolie Downs: [00:56:55] intoyou, for sure..
[00:56:56]Larry Hankin: [00:56:56] Yeah, but then, I, the same, all these things that I know took years and years, and I'm just spouting them out to you and,
[00:57:03]I've been depressed and I did bad things and good things and,
[00:57:06] Jolie Downs: [00:57:06] All have.
[00:57:06]Larry Hankin: [00:57:06] But I'm human and I just, it just ask yourself this as an old person,
[00:57:14], I can figure this out.
[00:57:15]And he's just had that in your. W whatever, I'm getting old, I'm getting, I got get Yeah.
[00:57:19] I got to get a prostate operation. I got to get my hip replaced. Yeah, but I can figure this out.
[00:57:24]Who, and I also look to artists who are that old and that debilitated one of face I'm big on art. These are my paintings here, so I paint. So I have
[00:57:33] Jolie Downs: [00:57:33] Oh, wow. I love it.
[00:57:34] Larry Hankin: [00:57:34] my mind busy. I never let them I can't let my mind not busy, but I think a lot of old people let their mind get, not busy.
[00:57:44] Jolie Downs: [00:57:44] Yes. Yes they do.
[00:57:46] Larry Hankin: [00:57:46] sitting. Okay.
[00:57:47] I'll give you. Oh, I just thought of it. All right. Don't sit. Never sit. If you're getting, if you think, if you suspect that you're getting older, you got salt and pepper hair. Never sit down. Now I know that's an impression. I know that's an impossibility, but just Keep that in your head.
[00:58:10] thought never sit down. If you're sitting down, you're smoking a pack of cigarettes. Just think that you're sitting down, you're smoking, sitting is the new smoking
[00:58:23] Jolie Downs: [00:58:23] Oh God. There's so much sitting
[00:58:24] Larry Hankin: [00:58:24] and you'll be fine, man.
[00:58:26] And if you can keep moving and doing something that's even better. And if you can keep moving and doing something with somebody else, that's like really cool,
[00:58:34] Jolie Downs: [00:58:34] that's really cool. Yes.
[00:58:36] Larry Hankin: [00:58:36] but that's all, is that so hard?
[00:58:38] Jolie Downs: [00:58:38] No. No. So
[00:58:40] Larry Hankin: [00:58:40] and do
[00:58:41] Jolie Downs: [00:58:41] no. That's great advice. Would that be your advice? If I were to ask you what
[00:58:44] Larry Hankin: [00:58:44] Get a hobby and do it. just do it. Not get, don't get anything, do something. Do.
[00:58:51]Jolie Downs: [00:58:51] What do you think one change a listener could make right now that would help them get closer to their own success?
[00:58:59] Larry Hankin: [00:58:59] fine. Just find something that you can do regularly that you'd like to be doing regularly. Don't do something regularly that, you're going to hate oh, I'm going to do pushups every day. No, you're not. Come on.
[00:59:12] Jolie Downs: [00:59:12] Yes.
[00:59:13]Larry Hankin: [00:59:13] You get out a drawing pair, get some crayons, I get crayons.
[00:59:17] I go into a store and I buy crayons, like kids do. And I crayon, and then I, then I got my internet, so I got, oh, I got digital crayons,, just make your own day, , get through today and find a safe place to sleep tonight.
[00:59:32] That's what I learned being homeless. And that just works for life. Just get through today and find a safe place to sleep tonight. And You'll be fine. but Don't sit down too much. just,
[00:59:45] Jolie Downs: [00:59:45] Don't sit down too much.
[00:59:46] Larry Hankin: [00:59:46] yeah.
[00:59:46]Jolie Downs: [00:59:46] I know we need to get wrapping up here soon, but there's a couple of things I wanted to ask. I'm curious, is there any book, video, movie, or talk that you felt just had a huge impact on your life and you think other people could benefit
[00:59:59] Larry Hankin: [00:59:59] Yeah. W are you in California or where are you?
[01:00:02] Jolie Downs: [01:00:02] I live in Santa Cruz
[01:00:03]Larry Hankin: [01:00:03] pBS
[01:00:05] KPR channel 28. They have exercise things. They have food things. They have an hour of, just eating the right food. They have an hour doing that woman who, with the movement thing. She's incredible, but PBS, if you have no other outlet, just check PBS and listen to them and then do the thing, because they are researching age.
[01:00:32] The that they are researching agent and telling you what's good for aging. There's no search and get rid of the word old
[01:00:40] Jolie Downs: [01:00:40] Yes
[01:00:41] Larry Hankin: [01:00:41] it. Kick people who call you old or talk about old or act the old in your presence. Just walk away. It's catching. I'm telling you old age is catching. There's no such thing. As old age, you hang
[01:00:57] around old age. If you hang around old people long enough, you're going to get old. It's crazy. If you're under 90 and you think you're old you're just kidding yourself.
[01:01:09] You're just like beating yourself up. Why are you beating yourself up? Would you beat yourself up voluntarily? You
[01:01:16] weren't beating yourself.
[01:01:17] Jolie Downs: [01:01:17] Yes. Do you like that? No. Nobody likes that. this stop right stop.
[01:01:22] Larry Hankin: [01:01:22] People hang around with young people, teach CA hang around with college kids, hang around with children. Children know where it's at. As far as aging goes.
[01:01:33] Jolie Downs: [01:01:33] Yes, they do.
[01:01:35] Larry Hankin: [01:01:35] Yeah.
[01:01:36] Jolie Downs: [01:01:36] Stay young at heart. I agree. That's exactly. And whoever you can surround yourself, who keep you young at
[01:01:42] Larry Hankin: [01:01:42] Okay. So all these things is under the rubric. Figure it out. You're really so smart. Figure it out. Don't go for anybody. Hang around with people, interact with people. Forget about trivial conversations. What do you call it? Small talk. No
[01:02:02] Jolie Downs: [01:02:02] Oh, yes.
[01:02:03] Larry Hankin: [01:02:03] Don't sit down. Okay. At two nos, no small talk.
[01:02:06] Don't sit down. That's it
[01:02:09] Jolie Downs: [01:02:09] I like these rules, I can definitely go with no small talk very easily. I like the deep down conversations.
[01:02:14] Larry Hankin: [01:02:14] wrinkles.
[01:02:16] Jolie Downs: [01:02:16] Ooh, there you go. I'm going to tell, what people, this causes wrinkles. Can we just talk a little more deeply? Okay.
[01:02:23] Larry Hankin: [01:02:23] I'll get into some stuff, if you're looking at a at a tree, think about what kind of a tree is and how deep are the roots how does it grow? How does it, how does anything grow? That's slow high. You gotta be kidding me. How did I have thought about this?
[01:02:39] How does this Seqouia tree get that big from
[01:02:43] Jolie Downs: [01:02:43] Hey.
[01:02:45] Larry Hankin: [01:02:45] a seed? It's crazy, things like that, I really get into It I was just, just
[01:02:49] Jolie Downs: [01:02:49] Yeah. Oh, I agree. I'm looking at the trees outside my window. Is fascinating. Just how, the fact that our body heals itself, like
[01:02:55] Larry Hankin: [01:02:55] Oh, the body is miracle. Okay. Here's a good thought to bring it back. I had I had an operation and healed and I'm fine. And you couldn't tell, I don't know I've had an operation. I remember it, but my body doesn't remember it. So the miracle of the body as you've cut.
[01:03:10] your finger, you're trying to get the the core out of the avocado.
[01:03:14] You're trying to get that off the knife and you put yourself,
[01:03:16] Jolie Downs: [01:03:16] Yeah.
[01:03:17] Larry Hankin: [01:03:17] by the way, happens to be a fact, the biggest kitchen accidents on record is getting the avocado pit off of the knife.
[01:03:29] Jolie Downs: [01:03:29] Really. Okay. People really quick. I'm giving a service announcement, stop using the knife and start using a spoon. Okay. Use life-changing use the spoon to take the pit out.
[01:03:39] Larry Hankin: [01:03:39] Alright. Okay, great. What was my, my, my point is,
[01:03:43] If you cut yourself and then heels, Okay.
[01:03:47] Think about how the body did that without your permission, or even noticing it there's a whole automatic stuff going on inside your body, which you have no idea about you can't control and it, but it does.
[01:04:06]And doctors know how it's done, but you could figure it out. So you, in other words, get yourself into the habit of figuring things out. How did my finger heal? All right. And even if you figure it out wrong, at least You're trying to figure it out. So when a big problem comes along, You do the same thing and figure it out.
[01:04:23] I'm depressed. How can I get undepressed I have a headache. I figured it out the other day. I had a headache that wouldn't go away. Actually. It was my glasses. I was on the internet and it was the wrong prescription I tried to figure it out. I couldn't figure it out. It's my glasses. And what I figured out is take my glasses off and exercise.
[01:04:47] So I got on my bike and I rode and it went away. I went outside, went away.
[01:04:50] Jolie Downs: [01:04:50] Oh, interesting.
[01:04:51]Larry Hankin: [01:04:51] Yeah. And then another time, the same thing until I got new glasses I got a headache and I didn't want to go outside. So I just got a heat, by the way, any pain, major, any kind of pain, generally 99% is caused by blood.
[01:05:07] It's just so much blood goes to where the hurt the pain is that, it starts to swell and that swelling is there.
[01:05:15] It's not the injury, it's the swelling around the injury that causes the pain,. So That's why sometimes they say, if you sprain your ankle, put heat on it or cold both either make blood flow away or make chases blood away.
[01:05:31]Okay. So I got a headache, so I got a hot turn, the hot water on, got a a a rag. I got a rag and I put a hot compress, hot water compress. Now the hot water was really hot, but eventually it was just like taking an aspirin. It just went away. The hot, okay.
[01:05:49]I would say take an aspirin.
[01:05:51]I know there was, that's a long way, but I wanted to just figure it out. I wanted to see if there I didn't want to take an aspirin. I don't like to
[01:05:58] Jolie Downs: [01:05:58] Yeah. When to see if you wanted to
[01:05:59] Larry Hankin: [01:05:59] wanted to see what the heat thing worked on the blood thing and the headache was blood boom and it did, it took a while, but I figured it out.
[01:06:09] You can figure it out and you may figure it out. I need help. That's the figuring out that's figuring, or I can do it myself or, oh, maybe sharpen the knife or maybe don't use in life.
[01:06:21] Jolie Downs: [01:06:21] Yeah.
[01:06:21] Larry Hankin: [01:06:21] figure it out, but use you
[01:06:23] Bride and God designed this to be used. use it,
[01:06:29] And you won't get old
[01:06:34] Jolie Downs: [01:06:34] so this has been great, Larry, thank you so much before we go. I want to ask you one of my favorite questions, because I love the answer that comes from various people. What are you sure of in life?
[01:06:49] Larry Hankin: [01:06:49] then I'm going to die.
[01:06:54] Jolie Downs: [01:06:54] That's the truest answer right there.
[01:06:56]Larry Hankin: [01:06:56] Is that what everybody answers?
[01:06:58]Jolie Downs: [01:06:58] No. That's the first time, cause it's, you know what, it's a hard, it's a hard question. What are you sure of in life? Really, if you think about it, what are you sure up? So it's very interesting to hear what the answers are
[01:07:08]Larry Hankin: [01:07:08] Then, have you gone what you asked me and I gave you one answer, you only gave me one answer, and they gave you the answer. Yeah,
[01:07:15] But there are other things that I hope you, you hope that, your child is, if you're pregnant, you hope your child is going to be born, or that the healthy or I, or you're sure that I'm going to, I'm going to wake up.
[01:07:27] No, I can't even be sure I'm going to wake up
[01:07:29] Jolie Downs: [01:07:29] no, that's the thing. You can't be sure. You hope for these,
[01:07:31] Larry Hankin: [01:07:31] I was just thinking of I'm sure my rights loves me. First I don't have a wife, but those who do have a wife, you can say that and you can believe it, but you can't be sure of that, it's a human being and maybe she won't wake up tomorrow and then there you go, whatever,
[01:07:48] Jolie Downs: [01:07:48] No, there's no. So it's a great question. But you're right. The one thing that everyone can be sure of is that we are
[01:07:55] Larry Hankin: [01:07:55] therefore, I'm not afraid because, Hey, all right. If you can, you can't deal with that. There's no other way around it. So that's a fait accompli okay. So I don't have to think about that at all. It's taken care of do that. That's somebody else's job, the things that I'm not quite sure of, that I have to take care of.
[01:08:16] I want to keep my bank, straight. I got to pay my rent, that was it. So
[01:08:21] Jolie Downs: [01:08:21] Yup.
[01:08:22] Larry Hankin: [01:08:22] It works out.
[01:08:23] Jolie Downs: [01:08:23] thank you so much, Larry. This has been wonderful. I really appreciate your time. Is there anything
[01:08:27] Larry Hankin: [01:08:27] I know. I knew that stuff.
[01:08:31] Jolie Downs: [01:08:31] I didn't ask that you would want to tell people about or anything that they should be aware of? Any shows or shorts that they should go
[01:08:36]Larry Hankin: [01:08:36] As far as I'm going, I've said too much. So that's the end of that. And then yeah the real Larry hankin.com is my website. And there's what I do to keep myself informed enough to talk to you
[01:08:51] Jolie Downs: [01:08:51] Great. So everyone should check out.
[01:08:53] Larry Hankin: [01:08:53] and Patrion patrion.com/ Larry Hankin. And that's my new channel. And there I'll be putting up my new stuff. The website is my artwork and everything I've done up to this conversation with you
[01:09:12] Jolie Downs: [01:09:12] I would love, I want to check out your
[01:09:13] Larry Hankin: [01:09:13] is all the stuff I'm doing forward.
[01:09:16] Jolie Downs: [01:09:16] forward. Perfect. So I'll make sure and have those links in the show notes for anyone as well. All right. Thank you again, Larry. It's been wonderful.
I’m so grateful Larry shared his story here with us. There were a lot of great take aways.
Larry’s early years gives us an important lesson. Larry was a great swimmer and an excellent marksman and the coaches tried to get him to put in the effort to go far, but it was not something that Larry loved to do. He didn’t want it. He knew at a young age that life wasn’t about what he was good at, it was about made him feel good. He couldn’t be pushed into the things he couldn’t find excitement about.
I applaud Larry for this because too many of us are easily pushed into things we don’t really want but are told it’s good for us. Too many people have missed out on the joy their personal path would have given them by listening to other peoples heads instead of their own hearts.
Larry had a nice little life lined up after graduation, he had an excellent job with a steady paycheck all ready to go, a life that would have made his parents incredibly happy. But this was not the life that was making Larry happy. And Larry needed to live his own life.
Instead of choosing the paved out path with a job he didn’t want and an excellent salary – he chose to move to NY with a friend to scrape and scramble and spend time figuring out what he wanted and where he wanted to be. Life may not have been super easy for him during that time, but it was right. Through all the difficult work and struggles, Larry was happy, he loved his life because he was living exactly how he wanted to be living. It was his choice and therefore there was complete acceptance.
Are you living the life of your choice?
Do you feel acceptance for the decisions you’ve made in life? If you don’t feel that acceptance, ask yourself, have the decisions you’ve made been your own or were they influenced by others?
We all want to bring awareness to our own inner desires and be sure we are making decisions that are our own.
As Larry shared, success to him is achieving what you had in mind. Money is no goal. You have to know who you are, know where you want to go and then enjoy figuring out the trip there. There is beauty and power in getting clarity on your personal goals. Once you know what you want, you won’t allow others wants to derail you for too long, which is why Consistent Check ins with yourself are a must.
Where are you? Where is this taking you? Where are you on your personal timeline? Is your current path taking you where you want to go?
Larry would ask himself these questions and if the answers didn’t align, he wouldn’t stay on that path for very long. He would learn his lessons from the experience and move on. This saves Larry from spending his precious time and energy on other people’s dreams and keeps him focused in on his own.
I hope you do the same.
I found the theme in Larry’s story about homelessness and getting hit by the motorcycle powerful. When Larry found himself homeless, he didn’t freak out, he just thought, well, why don’t I give it a try and figure it out. What can I learn here? When the homelessness got to the point of concern, Larry thought, well, this isn’t good, it’s time to figure out how to get myself out of this situation and then did so.
When Larry was hit by a motorcycle and in that moment, thinking he was paralyzed for the rest of his life, he thought, well, at least I can type my manuscript with a pencil in my mouth. I’ll figure it out.
To me, this is a beautiful example of the resiliency of the human spirit. We Humans are truly remarkable, our ability to adapt and push forward amongst all odds is an inspirational nod to the overwhelming awe and wonder that this world holds.
You hold reserves within your spirit that you have never yet touched. Your well runs deep, deeper than one can fathom.
You can figure it out.
Whatever it is that you are dealing with right now, know this in your heart, you will figure it out.
As Larry said, you can not stop yourself from getting depressed, you can’t stop bad things from happening to you, but you can pull yourself out of whatever negative situation life may bring. You are much smarter than you think you are. You can find tools that will help you. Everyone is smart enough to figure out what steps you are needing to take. Even if that step is asking for help. And Let’s be clear here, it is intelligence that leads to asking for help. Please, if you need help in any way, do not allow your ego to stop you, let your intelligence reign and get the assistance needed. I’ll say it again, It is smart to ask for help.
I appreciated that Larry brought up the fact that our intelligence is what has caused all the pain to the earth and our environment. All of our advances have created this pollution and climate change and we are now in a desperate position dealing with the unnatural and horrific consequences. I’m asking everyone for help, we must come together to force the political system to do what is needed, and quickly, to avert greater mass suffering. Anytime you can make a decision, big or small, to help the needs of our planet, please do so.
I loved Larry’s antidote about Bob Dylan’s manager saying there is no such thing as a sell out. If someone tells you that you are selling out, that is simply a label they have assumed about you. That is something they put on you and that has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them. At every stage of the game we are doing our best, making the best decisions we can based on where we are in life and given the information we have been provided. Every decision you make is based on what is best for you in that moment. And You can’t sell out from yourself. I liked Larry’s version of a sell out – a sell out means you’ve taken on something that someone else has said about you and accepted it – you put it on yourself. This happens to so many of us, especially when those labels get thrown out at impressionable times. I have accepted labels in the past that weren’t really mine, simply because someone was insensitive and unaware but I thought they knew more than me. It took my own learning and growth to realize the truth. No one knows me more than me. I am only one who define who and what I am.
So ask yourself, are you wearing labels that others have put on you?
Let me give you a hint, if you are holding any negative definition of yourself, then it is a yes. Question every negative label, I promise you, it’s a lie. Your essential self cannot be defined by labels. You are constantly changing and evolving, even the cells in your body are replacing themselves all the time. Remember this, you contain multitudes.
Larry had great advice around aging as well. He pointed out that often, as people get older, they allow their minds to be not so busy, They start to sit around more and slow down. And if you are hanging out with people who are acting old and tired, then you are more likely to start taking on the same attributes. Take Larry’s advice and remove the word old from your vocabulary. Old is a state of mind, surround yourself with people who have a vibrant energy, it’s the energy that keeps you youthful. Do not allow yourself to just sit around, keep yourself busy with hobbies and things you want to be doing. Don’t focus on things you feel you SHOULD be doing, do the things you WANT to do and bring that joyful energy into your life.
After all, a body and mind in motion will stay in motion, a body and mind at rest, will stay at rest.
I’ll leave you with my wish for us all, that every day, regardless of age, you will fill your lives with a youthful vibrant energy that keeps us moving forward in our own positive direction.
Until next time