Fishburne2
Fishburne2

A Conversation with Laurence Fishburne

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About This Episode

Red pill or blue pill? You get both when Neil deGrasse Tyson interviews Morpheus himself, actor Laurence Fishburne. They sat down while Neil was in New Mexico filming COSMOS and Laurence was filming The Signal, a new indie sci-fi film. You’ll get a healthy dose of reality, as they talk about Fishburne’s roles in The Matrix, Searching for Bobby Fischer, and CSI. And you’ll dive into the world of the imagination as the two sci-fi fans discuss why style can be more important than substance in sci-fi and geek out over Star Trek, Superman and Watchmen. They also talk about chess, science vs. religion, planetariums and using math and science to explore the world. Laurence tells Neil how and why he became an actor at age 10, and discusses his future plans to produce, direct, write plays and return to Broadway. You’ll also find out what role Laurence wanted to play but didn’t, and why he got the key to the city of Cambridge.

In This Episode

Episode Topics

  • Mike

    looking forward to this

  • Godmy

    Very cool! But around 13:00 there is a part missing :-/ They just begin to laugh and you lose the thread (I know, only for a tiny moment… but, in so important part :P).

  • Godmy

    Very cool! But around 13:00 there is a part missing :-/ They just begin to laugh and you lose the thread (I know, only for a tiny moment… but, in so important part :P).

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  • Benjamin Grant

    Neil. Don’t you ever stop what you do, man. I love listening to you talk about anything science. You inspire me.
    Also, Laurence, thank you for your movies 🙂

  • Quinten Williams

    The Matrix is one of my favorite films of all time. Lawrence Fishburne looks like the guy who taught me Kung fu when I was in the US Army back in 1973. When I watch the Kung fu scenes in the Matrix, I realize my previous training was very basic.

  • Seriously, what an awesome interview. On so many levels.

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  • Emmanuel Gonzalez

    in the matrix, I always thought that the reason the machines kept humans in the tubes, even though they didn’t need them, was because they weren’t as cruel as humans. In the animatrix they showed that it was the humans who started the war, and the oppressed machines wanted peace and equal rights. So the machines took over the world and created this whole world for them.

  • MM

    Fishburne not Fishborne Neil!

  • MM

    Fishburne not Fishborne Neil!

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  • mmortal03

    It’s Fishburne, not Fishborne! lol! Otherwise, great episode.

    • Leedar

      In Neil’s mind: Laurence, Born of Fish.

      • If that ain’t logic, I don’t know what is. xD

  • Adam Jensen

    Wish this was longer

  • Adam Jensen

    Totally Awesome.

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  • Korrey

    Have I been mispronouncing Mr. Fishburnes name this whole time?!

    • Korrey

      Heyyy you fixed the pronunciation! The sky is correct once again ;)… [Thanks Jim].

  • You know one of my favorite part of streaming the soundcloud clip is striking at the exact right stripe of the audio spectrum to skip the advertisement and getting onto the actual talk. Just sayin’

  • Jon916

    I love you guys! Cosmos is through the roof! Lawrence, you are the example of perserverance!

  • ai

    No Beastie Boys music credit??

    • startalkradio

      Since we sample the Beasties in our opening and closing themes, we don’t put the credit on every episode. You can find them credited on the “About Us” page on our website, http://www.startalkradio.net/about-us/. However, because we never get tired of turning people on to the full songs, here are links to them on YouTube:
      Opening:
      “Ch-Check It Out” by the Beastie Boys from the album “To The Five Boroughs”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYpzWRk7E9I

      Closing:
      “The Sound of Science” by the Beastie Boys from the album “Paul’s Boutique”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCkmeP8s8W4

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  • Josh

    I’m pretty sure the original script involved the humans as part of the processing cluster for the matrix, but executive meddling strikes.

  • Ernest

    So Coool. “I need to get my stargaze on!” hahaa.

  • Brandon Badou

    A great surprise guest.

  • Victoria Mendez

    Laurence bears a very accurate resemblance to what my father looked like 😀

  • E.J. Burger

    your feet are touching. -captain obvious.

  • Philip Finn

    Was he wearing a “I’m not Samuel L. Jackson” T-shirt?

  • ste

    dragonball

  • ste

    dragonball

  • CW DALY

    This is a joy to listen to. I hope to get to this level with my own podcast.

    Thank you guys

    CWDaly

  • pazu7

    Great interview. In the late 90s Fishburne did a made for TV film called “Always Outnumbered” that rarely gets mentioned but was one of his great performances. And imo, the scientific implausibility of ‘humans as batteries’ issue gets a bit tedious and sort of misses the point. I saw it as a metaphor. Humans as slaves that drive the machinery that deceives them or something. The Wachowskies are always making little metaphorical riffs. As if a human could be encased in a liquid environment their entire life, living in complete sensory isolation with no actual physical stimulation, and then be up and walking around a few days later. There’s your science problem. haha. Love this series.

    • e.t.c

      i’m sure the robots found a way to keep the bodyily systems functioning. otherwise….they wouldn’t

      • startalkradio

        Did you mean to add more to this, e.t.c.?

      • msfrost

        Humans go insane, when deprived of sensory perception. I’m not convinced, that virtual Reality, is a good enough substitute.

  • LP

    That was so great! Fishburne has been a favourite of mine a long time!

  • albert14151

    Whoa! Way too much ad at the front. I cut away. Sorry.

  • Rocky Moutain Mike

    Great to see Samuel L. Jackson again.

  • Another great show. Thanks! Was wondering if anyone can tell me where in the Matrix movie that scene that Laurence mentioned was his favorite effect. I don’t recall any point where the whole team went to see the Oracle, so was wondering if anyone knows.

    • Jose Matos

      What Laurence meant to say was when the whole team goes into the Matrix so Neo can talk to the Oracle alone. It’s about 1:07 in the movie. And as he says, it’s not really a special effect, it is more editing.

  • Daisy

    I love how Neil is so prepped with Laurence Fishburne’s C.V – genuine fan to all his work… but Laurence didn’t know Neil is the director of Hayden. 😀 Neil is classy like that. 🙂

  • Legiondude

    It’s cause of the latest episode of Cosmos, Neil spends a chunk of time about a book called “The History of Fish”

  • Tyler Whisinnand

    Neil is funny as shit!

  • Alec Karfonta

    Laurence should do rendezvous with rama

  • Karan

    YO please do a George Takaei interview! xD

  • Me

    It’s evolution. We all come from fish… wait, what?

  • notlikeaqcat

    Now I have an excuse to re-watch Cherry 2000.

    • I remember watching that for Melanie Griffith – after all, it was the 80’s. As I recall, even Ben Johnson couldn’t save it… but at the time, who knew that Laurence Fishburne was in it? Might be worth a revisit after all…

  • Vera Comment

    its like he’s interviewing Furious Styles.

  • startalkradio

    I remember watching that for Melanie Griffith – after all, it was the 80’s. As I recall, even Ben Johnson couldn’t save it… but at the time, who knew that Laurence Fishburne was in it? Might be worth a revisit after all…

  • Robyn Van Horn

    awesome !!!

  • Casey Snipes

    2 of my favorites, exciting

  • Zac

    Really needed to hear more on Event Horizon, I cannot believe that wasn’t a feature topic.

  • Brenda

    So glad to have discovered this. I really enjoyed listening!

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  • anton joseph

    The architect did explain that the machines no longer needed humans as a power source.

  • Pm

    I has happy to know cosmos was available to watch online but it lasted just a few second when i noticed that it is available at the US only.

  • Tawani

    Just marvelous … wish it was longer

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  • Sandra

    Space 1999 shout-out! Yay!!

  • Krzysztof Kotarba

    I would love to watch cosmos online but it’s only for US territory.

  • nate

    I remember cherry 2000! hah!

  • S Huq

    This is amazing!!!

  • Being Biden~

    What is the truth Morpheus” Does the Oracle know? Does Neil Know? Maybe Truth is a Lie? Maybe Truth is to complex for Humans and we can’t go there!

  • Shaun Mosher

    Two of the coolest dudes on the planet! 🙂

  • His wife is most certainly Wonder Woman.

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