Now that the 2023 Oscars are officially in the rearview mirror, the actors from this year’s nominated films can take a well-deserved break from the tireless schmoozing and campaigning that led up to the ceremony and start honing their charm offensives for years to come. If you’re worried this means there’ll be a temporary paucity of self-serious conversations where actors sit across from one another and discuss their Craft, fear not: Jeremy Levick, Rajat Suresh, and Justin Theroux have got you covered. In a sit-down with the “Hollywood Recorder” posted on YouTube March 11, the trio — along with actors Vince Edgehill, Stephen Cofield Jr., and Stu Li — unmask the challenges of being thespians, the sociopolitical ramifications of their work, the changing landscape of entertainment in 2023, and more. Well, sort of. In typical Levick-and-Suresh fashion, the panel is actually a pitch-perfect parody of the high-profile “Actors Roundtable” videos released by The Hollywood Reporter during awards season every year. “I act, because I get to play the fool,” Levick says. “It’s my air. Does that sound weird?” “No,” the others agree unanimously.
Across almost 54 minutes, the video tackles all the “Actors Roundtable” tropes. Suresh speaks to the need for diversity and inclusion in Hollywood by simply naming various countries from the world in alphabetical order. Theroux discusses the “responsibility” of his role as Martin Luther King Jr.’s stylist in a fictional white-savior movie called Martin Luther King’s Dresser. “It’s historically inaccurate and Martin Luther King did not have a dresser, but it’s really a fastidious middle-age man who wanted him to look his best because he was the face of a movement,” Theroux explains. “Imagine messing that up,” Suresh replies. At one point, the panel’s moderator asks about the impact of intimacy coordinators on set, and a producer walks on-camera and rips up his notecards.
But lest you think these actors are out of touch — as it might seem when they all agree with Levick’s point that “if you’re acting, playing a plumber in a movie, you should get paid not just the acting salary, but the plumbing salary, too” — it’s important to note that they all give back to society through nonprofit initiatives, too. It’s not just starring as “the stairs” in live-action “Slinky movies” for these folks; they are socially conscious individuals. One by one, they sound off on all the great work their charities do, while the camera repeatedly pans to Theroux in an apparent state of panic. When his turn comes around, he invents a charity he started out of thin air. “It’s — uhh — called Kidz Corner,” he stammers. “You can check it. There’s a website, if you don’t believe me.” He insists Levick take out his phone and pull up the website, but when nothing loads, Levick tries to save him the embarrassment by blaming the Wi-Fi. Theroux senses he’s being patronized and storms off the set in offense. “It’s Kidzcorner.biz. Kidz with a ‘Z’!” he yells.
Turns out Theroux was right to be offended by their skepticism, because kidzcorner.biz does exist after all. Spotty Wi-Fi doesn’t explain why the contact button on the website simply directs visitors to a Google Image search for the word “kid,” but if this panel proves anything, it’s that actors like Theroux deserve the benefit of the doubt.