So working with Adam McKay every day for well over a year now has been like a dream to say the least…But he’s not exactly the easiest person to deal with, and it’s probably time to come clean on what it’s like working for this man…People always say to me “You know you’re working for the nicest guy in Hollywood right?” But no one knows what goes on behind closed doors. The truth is, it’s very draining and it breaks down my spirit and takes every ounce of my emotional strength to handle it on a daily basis.
Adam’s a really smart and funny guy, and he takes every opportunity to make sure I’m aware of how successful he is in the comedy world. Here’s how a typical day goes. The morning starts off when I bring him his Decaf Grande Soy Latte. He calls it his “funny juice.” There was one time, ok two times, that he told me his hands were tired from typing, so I had to gently pour the drink into his mouth once it cooled down enough. I didn’t think it was a big deal because this was all part of “the biz.”
Once we go through the morning phone calls he has to make, it’s time for his daily affirmation. This consists of me googling his name and reading every single thing having to do with him. He also has me IMDB him and go through every comment on the message board. It’s a lengthy task that can sometimes take up to two hours, but he says it inspires him and one day I’ll “get it.”
After that, he normally goes into the editing suite to work on our new movie. While he’s doing that, I schedule things, write, and answer phone calls for him, but at exactly 12:47pm every day (he has OCD about various things including which moments in the day the feng shui is just right) it’s time for his environmental speech. I go and get the keys to his Prius to get it washed and shined and he gives me his daily “Carbon Footprint” speech. Basically it’s just him yelling about how he is the most environmentally conscious person in Hollywood. Then he starts spewing out a slew of vulgarities toward other like minded celebrities such as Leonardo Dicaprio and Al Gore. It can get ugly, and it normally ends with “You wanna see eco friendly motherfuckers, come to my house ANY DAY, it’s solar powered you filthy sons of bitches.” This goes on 6 days a week at exactly the same time. On Saturdays I have to go to his house to pick up his car, but on Sundays he lets me hear the speech over the phone, which I’m very grateful for.
Once it’s time for lunch, I pray that he’s not in the mood for “something different.” When he says this, I know I’ll most likely have to drive some place very far, like the time I spent all day driving to Santa Cruz for “the best turkey burger he’s ever had.” This is the most nerve-wracking part of the day because I never know where I might have to go. Three weeks ago, he made me take a coach flight on United to get him Mr. Spriggs BBQ, because he loved the jingle. As soon as I landed in the middle of Oklahoma I had to take a cab, pick up his order of ribs and get directly back on the plane. I learned many lessons that day, one of the biggest being that a young Jewish girl is not welcomed in that part of Oklahoma. Below is a link to the commercial that sparked his interest.
After lunch, sometimes he’ll let me come into the editing suite to see what they’re working on. The first time I asked to come in, he said, “Sure, just go to the post office and send me a notarized letter asking permission to enter the editing suite on a specific day and time.” I tried to ask why I couldn’t just come in seeing as it was right next door, but he just answered, “Listen, I’m not trying to be dick, but how about…because I said so. Sound good? Or would you like to try unemployment?” I learned that many of the things he asked of me were “because he said so”, which I quickly learned was a good enough answer. So I went to the post office and finally the letter arrived two days later. I guess it was worth it. He tells me it’s better if I stand in the corner of the editing room, but I know one day he’s going to let me sit down. In the beginning he made me face the wall, so I could only hear the film, but look how far I’ve already come, I get the watch it now too!
Sometimes Adam makes up unusual rules, but he takes them very seriously A quick example was a few weeks ago, I was at my desk quietly singing “Ain’t no mountain high enough,” to try and keep my spirit up, during a rather uncomfortable day when Adam quickly cut me off, “Hey LK, I don’t wanna sound like a dick, but I really don’t want you singing any Motown songs. We’re in the millennium, so it just doesn’t sit right with me to hear older songs. Let’s keep it fresh.” He has a very short fuse and I knew I had to permanently shelf any songs before 2000. It’s been a difficult task, but I’m getting used to it. Sometimes when I’m in my apartment I’ll occasionally throw on a little Stevie Wonder, but I still have a pit in my stomach that he’ll find out.
Once the end of the day approaches, he normally fires me and then rehires me. He always wants me to know that he holds my fate in his hands. He’s fired and rehired me over 70 times since I’ve started. Sometimes we do unwind together though and he tells me stories about the good old days at SNL. He always likes to remind me that Will Ferrell is “like a brother to him.” But the truth is, I’ve never seen them interact outside of the film we just worked on. And to be honest their working relationship was so awkward, the tension was palpable on set. Adam liked to condescendingly refer to Will as, “Mr. Funny Man.” One time in between a take Will was trying to help speed things up so we didn’t go overtime again and Adam didn’t like that. He got on this loud speaker in front of everyone and goes “Hey, Mr. Funny Man, why don’t you just worry about the acting and I’ll worry about the directing. That’s why I make the big bucks. Are we crystal, Chief?” Everyone was silent, waiting to see what would happen next. That was the last time I saw them speak.
Anyway, it’s not all bad, we do have fun together! Like the other night, he knows that I’m very very afraid of scary movies, being alone at night, and things like that. So he sent me this email. And of course I trusted him, as I often do. I attached it below. Enjoy! Click the link once you’ve read the emails.
Subject: Really funny pictures.
Body: Wait until midnight to watch this…
Subject: Re: Really funny pictures.
Body: Is it scary? My roommate won’t be home.
Subject: Re:re: Really funny pictures.
Body: No. It’s hilarious.