"That Thing You Xanadu!" w. Nathalie Emmanuel | Crooked Media
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August 10, 2022
Keep It
"That Thing You Xanadu!" w. Nathalie Emmanuel

In This Episode

Ira and Louis discuss Olivia Newton-John’s legacy, their favorite dance songs, HBO Max’s disastrous rebrand, Ezra Miller’s reign of terror, Kat McPhee’s bad voting record, and more. Plus, Nathalie Emmanuel joins to discuss her latest film The Invitation and working on series with huge fanbases like Hollyoaks and Game of Thrones.




Ira Madison III And we’re back with an all new episode of Keep It. I’m Ira Madison III.


Louis Virtel And I’m Louis Virtel and also Olivia Newton-John. I just want to say the words I don’t want to say anything else about them other than I am devastated. The buttery, smooth vocals, the roller disco. The legend


Ira Madison III You know. You know, when you say I am Louis Virtel and Olivia Newton-John, it makes everyone think that you finally broke. I, like you, adopted the personality of one of your icons.


Louis Virtel I have no problem with the three faces of Eve. Like break into turning into Olivia Newton-John. So that’s who I am. Now, I want to tell her thank you for if she had to pass away doing it on a Monday so we can talk about it right afterwards. But it is just killing me.


Ira Madison III Part of me is wondering if, like, this is a little, you know, Murder She Wrote fan theory, situation, all these faves of yours dying suspiciously before we record. What’s going on with that?


Louis Virtel Who was the last one?


Ira Madison III I don’t know. We’re always talking about some icon.


Louis Virtel If you have a fan theory, it has to make sense and pertain to reality somewhat. So I don’t know what you’re talking about that.


Ira Madison III You know, I scroll read it. Okay. I don’t I don’t read it.


Louis Virtel I feel like you are as big an ONJ fan as I am. She has.


Ira Madison III Actually I am, you know, I mean, obviously, Grease was my mother’s favorite film. We’re going to get into Olivia Newton-John. Okay. I adore I adore her. My queen and honestly, I feel like I would marry someone who would also fake their deaths to get away from me, too.


Louis Virtel I have to say, this is obviously a third tier of importance when it comes to Olivia Newton-John, but the husband drama really second to none, ultimately really, really shocking, having to release a statement saying don’t look for him. He he’s not lost.


Ira Madison III Yeah. We’re going to talk about Olivia Newton-John this week. And also, you know, in our wake of the Renaissance and a new song from Beyonce, involving you know, your God, your deity, Madonna.


Louis Virtel Uh huh. I know there are people who are like, could she come up any more on this podcast? And I’ve got news for you. She can.


Ira Madison III So we’re going to talk about our favorite dance songs this week, and we’re also going to talk about this HBO Max disaster.


Louis Virtel Which was cataclysmic and all of the sudden and nobody knew what to do. It was very Chicken Little. There were lots of reports of everything occurring that certain stars would never be able to work again. It got very crazy that you would never see certain TV shows, certain movies ever again. That you better collect your media physically. Otherwise it’s going to disappear for good anyway. Every version of a gay film nerd’s personal meltdown happened this week.


Ira Madison III So we got that. And also we have the star of the upcoming film The Invitation, Nathalie Emmanuel joining us.


Louis Virtel Which is a version of a horror movie. I just really like it’s in the kind of Ready or Not mold, which a movie I didn’t like, but this one I did like. So there you go.


Ira Madison III It’s in the mold of a movie. I didn’t like, but.


Louis Virtel Give me, give me a whodunnit murder mystery looking movie that is actually you know, good.


Ira Madison III Okay. Just like Bringing Down the House. Yes.


Louis Virtel Agatha Christie’s own, Bringing Down the House. Yes.


Ira Madison III All right. We will be right back with more Keep It.




Ira Madison III As we mentioned in our intro, Olivia Newton-John passed away on Monday at the age of 73. It was shocking news about one of our most beloved musical talents. We’ve talked about her on Keep It quite a bit. I mean, in five years, it would have been hard for us not to bring up Grease and Xanadu.


Louis Virtel Right. I mean, two of the most shocking movies in a couple of ways. First of all, Grease came out right in the middle of like punk being a huge explosion. So as much as Grease is obviously a beloved musical and the biggest musical of the seventies, there was also tons of like cool people blowback to that movie that I think holds on. Like, I think if you are a hard rocker in the seventies, Grease is still a landmark of That’s everything we hate. Meanwhile. Good Lord, is it fucking fun? And Olivia Newton-John gives a terrific, here comes a word I don’t say often, an iconic performance. Her turn at the end. And I just saw this beautifully articulated by somebody. A lot of people describe Sandy’s transformation in that movie as sort of sad, like she did it for a man. But honestly, the thrill of that moment is she’s now herself to herself, like I can be as kind of rowdy and sexual and rad and, you know, in your face. And honestly, Madonna-esque as I want to be, you know.


Ira Madison III Right. I mean, the people who interpret that film as, you know, Sandy is changing herself for Danny. And so, you know, people will like her in the end, sort of ignoring the fact that, you know, you have Rizzo in this film, you know, is sort of like an independent woman who also needs to confront a lot of things about herself. But it’s not on the side of like, you know, the whole like fifties ideal of like a homemaker woman or like, you know, like abstinence only sex education, which, you know, Sandy was, that was her, in the beginning of the movie. The movie the movie doesn’t want you to be like, that’s a good person to be.


Louis Virtel Right, right. Or. Yeah. The only type of virtuous woman there is, etc.. And I want to say about Xanadu, also a movie that I think has a lot of legend for being a an insane movie.


Ira Madison III It’s also notable.


Louis Virtel Yes. That nobody has really seen it or people don’t watch it as much anymore. And I just want to say about Xanadu, and I know we’ve specifically talked about this on the show before, the reason this movie is bad is not because of the musical sequences or anything Olivia Newton-John does. I swear, this is not just me sucking up to her because she passed away. It’s because the movie forgets to be about being at Xanadu, and it’s about literally drawing up the blueprints for what will become Xanadu. It’s about building this building that will have Xanadu in it. It’s so boring. The male lead is unfortunately atrocious. You do get a little bit of Gene Kelly throwing down some fun, smiley, soft shoe. It’s fun seeing him interact with yeah, Olivia, who is obviously at that point a hot young star.


Ira Madison III Gene Kelly, who is also basically like stalking the male lead of the film, too. There are a lot of very weird things going on out of this film. It is Michael Bette stars as Sonny Malone in this film. He was previously known for being in the film. The Warriors, which required no acting whatsoever. It’s still an iconic film, by the way. The Warriors is amazing, but no one in that film can act. Andt Xanadu, where he has to carry a film, it’s even worse. And the concept is that like he, you know, Olivia Newton-John is his muse who helps him build this like roller disco called Xanadu. The reason why I’ve always bring up Xanadu on the show was because the movie, the Broadway musical is the better version of Xanadu. It’s funny, it’s campy, it gets you to Xanadu quicker. Like it’s about roller skating and the fun of the eighties, right? And the actual Xanadu film is Gene Kelly like stalking this man and.


Louis Virtel Yeah.


Ira Madison III And like a lot of conversations about how Xanadu is going to come to fruition and then what we only see it at the end of the movie.


Louis Virtel Right. That the image you have of Xanadu is like 10 minutes of the film and it’s at the tail end. I actually can’t think of another movie like that where it’s what you think is the movie is actually just the coda of the movie, the the plans coming to fruition. But my God, the songs in that movie Suspended in Time, Magic, the title song, Utterly Fabulous. And it must be said, I compared Olivia Newton-John to Kylie Minogue and that I really feel like she blends really easy effervescence with sexuality and typically great pop hooks. And like Kylie Minogue, she also has an extremely underrated country era, even though at the time when Olivia Newton-John emerged in the seventies, she was a controversial country artist because for, for example, in the song Please Mr. Please, she claims to be from Nashville, which first of all, we can hear the accent. Second of all, we just know you’re from Australia. So people considered her, you know, an intruder on this, you know, very, you know, Nashville centric scene at the time. But she has such a spectacular, crisp voice. A friend of mine compared the clarity of her voice to someone like James Taylor. It’s so you hear every word. You’re it’s so comforting how clear and articulate her voice is.


Ira Madison III You really think I was going to let you get away with calling Golden underrated?


Louis Virtel You don’t like Golden?


Ira Madison III I do not like Golden. You know I love Kylie.


Louis Virtel Oh, my God. I love all of those songs, Stop Me From Falling, Golden, Sincerely Yours. Yeah


Ira Madison III It does nothing for me.


Louis Virtel Do you like Disco?


Ira Madison III I do like Disco.


Louis Virtel I don’t. Yeah.


Ira Madison III You don’t like that album?


Louis Virtel I like Say Something. And I like Fine Wine. An extra track on that album. But the song Disco is giving slow moving cruise ship.


Ira Madison III I would say Magic.


Louis Virtel The song Magic. Sorry.


Ira Madison III Oh, I’ve cried listening to Magic while driving in my car. But to be fair, that did come out during the pandemic. A lot was going on. Emotionally.


Louis Virtel Just crying and nothing. Yeah, right.


Ira Madison III But listen, I would say the problem with Disco is that. It’s an album named Disco from Kylie Minogue, who is historically based a lot of great disco songs. So if you’re going to name it Disco like, unfortunately, Kylie has never really reinvent the wheel. She is the wheel. Like we you know, she’s the focal.


Louis Virtel It started with her and we keep using her.


Ira Madison III You know. But like Kylie Minogue, as much as she’s integral to disco music, you know, we’re going to talk about our favorite dance songs are like Can’t Get You Out of My Head is like one of the best dance songs ever created. Kylie Minogue is never going to give us like a Renaissance, right?


Louis Virtel Right.


Ira Madison III You know, she’s never going to give us a Confessions on the Dance Floor. Really, so, like Disco implied, like, oh, just name it Disco this is going to be like something about the genre. This is going to be like the best disco you’ve ever heard from Kylie Minogue. And it was really just sort of like, okay, this could have been a lot of these could have been B-sides from previous albums of yours.


Louis Virtel It’s expected music from her. You’re right. Exactly. I think the title does set you up for disappointment there because when has she not put out disco? So if you’re going to name it, it better be like top of the chart. Like, nothing in that album reminds me of, for example, Giorgio Moroder, you know, which is what you think it would get that intense and that, you know, Teutonic in nature.


Ira Madison III Favorite Olivia song Before we move on.


Louis Virtel God, honestly really hard. I will start at the top and say that there is something about the song Physical, and I think it is the speed of the song that is just the hardest hitting mid-tempo song maybe ever. Like Can’t Get You Out of my head. I think they’re comparable. There’s something hypnotic about what it does. And when she randomly decides to move from the word physical to animal, wow, the libido kicked in. I am thrilled she made that choice. That is extremely wild to me. But my favorite song of hers. Magic is up there. Make a Move On Me is up there. And I’m currently obsessed with the song Totally Hot, if you know that one.


Ira Madison III Okay. I would say a Twist of Fate is still by fave.


Louis Virtel Which has a great RuPaul’s Drag Race moment wit Katya.


Ira Madison III It does. Yeah. When Katya does the splits.


Louis Virtel Yes. And she does it for Olivia Newton-John. Who who makes a noise like, oh, when she does it.


Ira Madison III Honestly, one of the greatest joys of RuPaul’s Drag Race is probably seeing icons like Olivia get to watch, like drag queens perform their hits.


Louis Virtel Oh please, Natalie Cole. I mean, when you watch Natalie Cole, watching that performance of This Will Be, she’s throwing around a hankie. She can’t believe it’s occurring. And yet she’s lived a life where I’m sure people she’s seen millions of drag impersonators.


Ira Madison III I know Nat King, for instance.


Louis Virtel Yes.


Ira Madison III I would. That’s also, by the way, it’s side note. Why it always disappoints me when you have like a pop star on RuPaul’s Drag Race and then they don’t perform one of their songs.


Louis Virtel That also I want to hear about the negotiations about that, because wouldn’t they want that? Like, I want to hear my music be relevant to this community, you know?


Ira Madison III I mean, I get it when it’s Halsey, you know, but you know what else is going on?


Louis Virtel Yeah, right, right. So Twist of Fate. Good answer. Deeper Than the Night’s very underrated. I mean, I love her ballads. Come on Over. No relation to the Shania Song of the same name I love.


Ira Madison III Yeah. I mean, also, Have you Never Been Mellow.


Louis Virtel Please. Number One hit.


Ira Madison III Which, is in Xanadu, the musical, but not the movie? And it just works, you know? It’s like it’s like a beautiful song that works on stage too. And to get back to Grease, well, you talk about just the clarity of her voice and her vocals and a song that, like, will always make me feel something, Hopelessly Devoted to You is a perfect song.


Louis Virtel Also, there’s a quality about her where she can never go to syrupy sweet. It’s so sincere sounding from her. And I asked a friend of mine is like, Who else can really do that? Be that kind of saccharine without making you want to, you know, cringe, so to speak?


Ira Madison III David Archuleta.


Louis Virtel That was too fast. It was toofast how you went to David Archuleta. But my friend goes, Well, what about Karen Carpenter? And I said, First of all, Karen and Olivia were great friends, lots of pictures of them together. And Olivia’s done tons of interviews about her. But Karen always has a note of melancholy about her. And there’s and there’s something about, like, the sentiment of those songs where it’s it’s about intensity and healing in a way. Whereas Olivia Newton-John is pure sunniness, even in a ballad, and I think she really is on her own in that way. I don’t know who I would compare her to, you know, like Kelly Clarkson even. There’s like that’s about angst too, ultimately.


Ira Madison III Carly Rae Jepsen.


Louis Virtel I don’t think of her as a balladeer, but God do I love the song All That. I love that song.


Ira Madison III Well, I don’t love her new song. And we’re never going to talk about it on this show.


Louis Virtel I have to say, I would barely call it a song, but there are like, I would say like about a ninth of it.


Ira Madison III But dance songs.


Louis Virtel Yes.


Ira Madison III So what I want to talk about our favorite dance sides because you also brought up something while talking about Olivia, just about, you know, about her crisp vocals. And there’s like an interview with Chris Cox where he talks about creating one of our favorite songs, The Thunder Puss Remix, It’s Not Right.


Louis Virtel It’s Not Right, but It’s Okay.


Ira Madison III It’s Okay by Whitney Houston. When you listen to a R&B song one of the best parts especially if you like love singing along to that. Right? Like I was singing along to Destiny’s Child Girl and Cater to You like at a bar this weekend with friends at it’s like it’s always fun when the person you’re singing with knows the ad libs too, like those all the other like parts of the song that aren’t immediately apparent but like if you’re really listening to that song all the time, you hear them. And what I love about dance music and what I love about like a really good remix of, you know, like vocals from like a Mariah from like a Whitney, you know, like a Gloria Gaynor song, I Feel Love Donna Summer. It’s that they isolate those beautiful moments in a song and highlight them in a way that you don’t get in the original version of the song. You know, I feel like a, like a really good dance anthem is about elongating those secret moments, with that, a vocalist does like really highlighting their instrument and making you feel something else from it.


Louis Virtel Right, no, it a good remix turns the vocalist into a Xanadu-esque type muse. You know, makes them even great and turns them into a god, you know, a god.


Ira Madison III Right.


Louis Virtel As opposed to, you know, just a great singer.


Ira Madison III And that’s why I always hate when people, you know, like, try and like, discredit, you know, like a singer as opposed to someone who is like a Johnny Cash used to like twirling a guitar on stage or whatever, you know, because I’m like, Oh, your voice is like the instrument that we were born with. A voice is the only instrument in the eyes of God.


Louis Virtel That’s walk into churches and say that and walk away.


Ira Madison III But some people use it so fucking well. I mean, talking about dance remixes in general, like that’s the reason in the nineties, Mariah used to rerecord her vocals.


Louis Virtel Right. Right. And I mean, of course, Mariah is the queen of realizing the potential in a remix and discovering you can turn out a whole new song, basically, and call it a remix. J.Lo followed in that trend. She just should be. She would just call anything Ain’t It Funny, and it would go to number one, the songs would have nothing to do with each other. But but we we wanted to talk about our favorite dance songs because there’s a new Rolling Stone list of the 200 greatest dance songs. And I can’t explain it. I don’t know what it is genetically about me. If there’s a list of something out, I have to, one, talk about it. Two, be mad at it, as if it is even possible for a list to match up with your personal preference. That would simply be unbelievable if that occurred, but I picked my top five songs, did you pick them?


Ira Madison III But it is a pretty good list. But it does skew very straight.


Louis Virtel Daft Punk coming in at number two. I screamed and it was not a normal scream and it was a Richard Simmons saw spider scream.


Ira Madison III Well, I screamed at the fact that that was the Daft Punk song that came in number two.


Louis Virtel Yeah. One More Time is what they picked.


Ira Madison III Yeah. Like The Funk is actually lower down on that list. I think it’s in the top ten, but I think that’s, like, the best dance song that Daft Punk has ever created. Hmm.


Louis Virtel Well, I was concerned at first, because when I saw this list, it’s 200 songs. And the first one on the list, 200 was a Donna Summer song. I was like, If Donna Summer is coming in at 200 on this list, I mean, God’s not a part of the process. I’m getting upset. But then it turned out, I Feel Loved, is the number one song in the list. And I have to tell you, I don’t think you can argue around that. I think


Ira Madison III You can’t


Louis Virtel I think it’s like there’s something about that song, the intensity of it, the the the concentration of it and how it like it just moves you to the dance floor. It’s like you’re part of the hypnosis of being in a room of people dancing. And even though there are other classics, you know, like I Will Survive or Don’t Leave Me This Way or I don’t know, Dancing Queen things. There’s something about that song, that it’s it’s just the fun of a dance floor distilled. Utterly distilled. And I don’t obviously Beyonce just referenced it on her new album, but we just haven’t beaten that moment. We keep improving dance music, and yet we still haven’t gotten a song that’s better than I Feel Love


Ira Madison III I honestly agree because of like it the the reason why it really hits on the the Beyonce album too is that like it it just it it crescendos up to this point where like it’s been referencing all this dance music throughout the past. And when you get to that, you’re like, Yeah, you’re referencing dance music. That’s the thing you have to reference. It’s like, Yeah, Giorgio Moroder did. We’re still we’re still living off of that. You know, you’re still reinventing versions of that. I really love, by the way, and they mentioned it on the list, the Patrick Cowley remix of That One, the 12 inch version of I Feel Love is just that, but every version of that song always makes me feel great. I don’t think you could top that, I think. Some people have some people try to make an argument for Last Dance, but I still think it’s I Feel Love.


Louis Virtel Yeah. I mean, I enjoyed Last Dance and also the weirdest possible Oscar winner. You know, it’s just a song you hear every time you go out to any dance club whatsoever. It doesn’t fit the mold of something that would win an Oscar. But lo and behold, Thank God it’s Friday is, in fact, a movie and that the Oscar winning song from it.


Ira Madison III By the way, side note about that song, I love that our friend Chris Striker, has always brings up the fact that Last Dance is a very hard song to play at a house party because people think that. People think you’re saying, get the fuck out. Yeah.


Louis Virtel It’s rude. But also it is rude to play in a club just period. Just like we’ve had enough is basically what you said. In fact, if you play, Enough is Enough afterwards, you’re extra hostile. Also, so you’re going to you’re not going to be surprised what my number two song is.


Ira Madison III Okay. Kylie?


Louis Virtel No.


Ira Madison III No. Sorry. No, obviously. Madonna.


Louis Virtel Vogue. Definitely


Ira Madison III Vogue. Okay.


Louis Virtel Which is actually kind of similar to I Feel Love. And then when it comes on, like the whole I’m using a word that’s in the song attitude of a dance space changes. You just know you’re in a more heightened, glamorous, savvier kind of dance moment. And I can’t think of another song like that. And again, something I love about that song is like a gay man, she’s just listing off the people she’s fucking obsessed with, you know, Greta Garbo and Monroe. She’s taking you through her, like, out her, like, weird TCM album she keeps at home because Madonna is an old movie fan.


Ira Madison III Vogue was actually the first podcast. Yeah, yeah. You know what? I have a Madonna song in my top and it’s not, but it’s Vogue. It’s Into The Groove.


Louis Virtel I’m going to guess oh, that’s that’s perfectly acceptable I think Into the Groove remains her most played radio single of all time radio song of all time even though it wasn’t even technically a single on its own at the it doesn’t have a music video for example but no utterly timeless.


Ira Madison III It just gives you dance to me, you know, in a way that feels more purely dance than Vogue does. I want to bring up a thing about Vogue, too. There’s this thread online that was talking about, you know, like Shep Pettibone obviously produced Vogue, but also produced Miss You Much. And there’s a Miss You Much remix that he did. There was this thread about how, you know, like, you know, I’m always going to give Janet her flowers and talk about how she’s an icon. But there was this thread that was basically implying that the Miss You Much, Shep Pettibone remix had the vocal like it has, like the beat and underpinnings of Vogue and it actually does. And that that sort of influenced Vogue, which was released months later. But the thing is he made both of those songs and he made them at the same time. And what happened is that like Vogue was held back by Madonna’s label because they didn’t want to just like release it like on an album or as a throwaway. They thought it was going to be a big hit. And so what actually happened is, like, he made those two songs around the same time and then Vogue just got released later. But if you want to hear like, you know, some of the chords and riffs and the beat from Vogue on a Janet song, The Miss You Much, the Miss You Much, Shep Pettibone remix is an iconic remix.


Louis Virtel Got it, got it, got it. Yeah. I think originally Vogue was supposed to be like a B-side to Keep It Together or something, which is another thing I really like. But so yeah, Vogue’s my number two. And then I went. I went, Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough by Michael Jackson. Because to this day, I think about him and Quincy Jones in that studio. I mean, did they ever exchange glances and like, well, here it is, the best dance song of all time. Well done. Like. Like, can you believe they they came up with that? Like, it doesn’t remind me of anything that came before it either. You know, there’s nothing specific about Off the Wall where it was like among game changers, it was like game beginning. Like, wow, dance music can be this throbbing, you know?


Ira Madison III I mean, that’s one of the most electric scenes in MJ, the musical, I will say.


Louis Virtel Oh, which I have not seen. Yes.


Ira Madison III I think they really get to the idea, you know, that Michael was trying to escape his Jackson Five like sort of like youth era. And when he was releasing other music, he wasn’t really sort of getting the respect that he wanted and it wasn’t being, you know, as big as he wanted. And like that song working with Quincy, it was really about like, I want to number one hit, I want to prove that I am current and, you know, like change the game again. And it’s such a perfect song.


Louis Virtel Oh, my God. And it goes on and on. Like it outlast you. It’s it’s like J.Lo. J.Lo at her residency. She will out dance you. I’m sure. I’m sure of it.


Ira Madison III Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough. But honestly, you stop before Michael.


Louis Virtel You get enough, unfortunately.


Ira Madison III Yeah, you won.


Louis Virtel I’ll just finish up my top five really quickly. Four, Stayin Alive by the Bee Gees. I just think the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack is like the same conversation. Did they come up with these songs like, Well, I mean, we can’t do any better. I’ve not heard anything. It’s just it’s an intensely magnetic, throbbing collection of songs like that, has a ton of emotion in it. And again, attitude. Who let these, like, bearded white men understand the concept of attitude? It just makes no sense. How did they hear about this?


Ira Madison III I’ve got Ghost Town DJs , My Boo.


Louis Virtel Wow. You put that in your top five.


Ira Madison III I put that about that for me specifically as a song that’s been like, you know, like Ciara sampled it later, too. That is a song that for me, growing up, you know, like back in the nineties, it’s like that I heard all the time. It was everywhere. And you you put that song on for me at a party or something and it’s I immediately, like, transported back to, like, the mid-nineties. Hmm.


Louis Virtel For my number five, I almost picked a song that was exactly that vibe, which is Zhane’s Hey, Mr. DJ, which I bring up all the time on Keep It. But. But I went with a faggier’s disco classic, which is Cheryl Lynn’s Got to Be Real. I mean, it was almost the name of Paris is Burning, that’s how gay it is. And also just the vocal itself just seems like some gay queen popping off. I mean, it’s just like the the the neck swagger of that song, you know, you dance with every ligament in your body that.


Ira Madison III I think I’ve mentioned this before, but like, what of my truly, like, gay awakenings and still being to get like get comfortable with yourself of being gay in public was working at Magnolia Bakery in 2009 in New York and the like other gays on the staff love to put on Got To Be Real and Funkytown just randomly throughout the day and if you were there like you had to sing along to it.


Louis Virtel Oh, hell yeah. By the way, how long did it take everybody to realize that Lips Ink Lips, Inc., the artist behind Funkytown is in fact a pun on lip sync.


Ira Madison III Now?


Louis Virtel Yeah. Are you here now? This is your break.


Ira Madison III This is me discovering. I never put any thought into Lips Inc.


Louis Virtel Right. It’s basically a rebus. Yes. It’s a game of Mad Gab. Remember that?


Ira Madison III Well, okay. So those are your five? I think my five were. I had My Boo. I had Into the Groove.


Louis Virtel Yeah.


Ira Madison III That.


Louis Virtel I Feel Love.


Ira Madison III I Feel Love. Yeah. And I think that I mean I could go with that Janet song, but I need to go with this song, which is. Every time you press play on this song, the first 3 seconds of this are maybe the happiest like I’ve ever felt in my life.


Louis Virtel Hmm. I’m thinking what it is. Beautiful People by Marilyn Manson. I’m kidding. Honestly, that song slaps. But anyway.


Ira Madison III It kind of does. And I hate that I wasn’t into it as a kid because it was like, you know, like it was like the white goth kids music.


Louis Virtel Right.


Ira Madison III And then later I discovered, Oh, wait, I do love this music.


Louis Virtel Yeah, right.


Ira Madison III Obviously, it’s like half of the indie shit I listen to now. I was inspired by that. But no, it’s Shannon’s Let the Music Play.


Louis Virtel Oh, my God. Unforgettable. That that takes you away.


Ira Madison III That opening beat of that song tells you everything that you need to know about this song. It says you can have a good fucking time.


Louis Virtel Yeah. Oh, no. Let your inhibitions go. I remember also, I think it’s a song that looms large for anybody that makes dance music. I want to say Madonna posted on Instagram something, a picture of her daughter Lourdes at the piano. And she referenced Let the Music Play like even Madonna can’t get over Let the Music Play. It just. Yeah, I love that vocal, too. Actually, Shannon has a number of good songs. Give Me Tonight by Shannon I really like but Let the Music Play is fabulous. I want to say it’s early eighties Heartbeat by Tana Gardner. I love that song too, which is one of the slower, more kind of a sultry, ah, bounce heartbeat. You know that song?


Ira Madison III I mean, I almost put I was,  I almost put  Stacey Q’s Two of Hearts on here. Okay.


Louis Virtel That comes on at ACK Bar all the time. I feel like that’s a song that’s only gained. And we thought it was such a throwaway single at the time. Oh, this is a fun song. But no, it’s eternal.


Ira Madison III I mean, also, I just want to do one last shout out to to the fact that, like, we are gay men, but there are songs that obviously have become like dance anthems for gays that you would think are goofy. And I wouldn’t like them. But, you know, like Y.M.C.A. and like It’s Raining Men still go off. Yeah. It’s so weird that they’re like. They’re like parodies of themselves at this point, but sometimes it goes past parody and you’re like, I mean, I really just have to marvel at the fact that Y.M.C.A. was a fucking hit in America. A hit to the point where we were kids, like, and they would put it on at school and everyone’s singing YMCA. And then like, once you grow up and realize you’re a fagot and then you find out what this song is actually about, you’re like, What was going on in America?


Louis Virtel No, I mean, the chokehold, they they they it feels like they methodically I mean, I think the idea of a gay agenda began with the Village People. You know? Here we are putting ideas in your kids heads and literally like giving them moves to do to, you know, cement it also. I mean, another song like that is I will never gorget, I was driving home from my cousin’s house in Wisconsin to Chicago in 2008 regular old radio station. The Macarena comes on.


Ira Madison III You know, I thought the Macarena was going to be on your list.


Louis Virtel Yeah, guys, I think something chemically is wrong with how good that song is. Like, just to say it doesn’t leave your head is. I mean, it’s like heroin. It’s like rewires your brain or something. I don’t know how they did it. The Bayside Boys are like tempts temptresses from hell. I hope they’re dead. I hope thy’re demons in hell.


Ira Madison III And I brought up I brought up It’s Raining Men, not just because of the campinest of it,  and it’s connection to like a YMCA mostly because I feel like for at least two decades every straight person’s idea of a gay club is just like It’s Raining Men is playing.


Louis Virtel Right. Yes.


Ira Madison III But that was also film and TV, too. It’s like you couldn’t have a gay like scene without, like, It’s Raining Men playing and it’s like, Oh, I get it. You know, they’re gay.


Louis Virtel Oh, must be gay. Yeah.


Ira Madison III But what I just really love about that group, The Weather Girls, you know, formerly Tons of Fun. Martha Wash from that group, I just love her story of, like, also giving us several other iconic dance songs, but from the era where they were like, We’re going to just use your vocals and put a hot like model on the cover. So people think she’s singing like Everybody, Everybody.


Louis Virtel And Everybody Dance Now. Yeah, yeah.


Ira Madison III And C&C Music Factory.


Louis Virtel Going To Make You Sweat.


Ira Madison III Going to Make You Sweat. Yes..


Louis Virtel Allow me to give you the actual title there? Yes.


Ira Madison III So, yeah, I mean, shout out to her to.


Louis Virtel Please, you know, she’s rolling around at some pride right now. I’m sure she’s like Cleveland belting it out, you know, on top of a 7-Eleven.


Ira Madison III All right. Well, we’re back. Nathalie Emmanuel accepts our invitation. Do you like that one?


Louis Virtel No.




Ira Madison III You know her from Game of Thrones, the Fast and the Furious franchise and Four Weddings and a Funeral, the television show. But now you can see her in the upcoming gothic thriller The Invitation, out later this month. We are delighted to welcome to Keep It, the fantastic Nathalie Emmanuel.


Nathalie Emmanuel Thank you. What a lovely introduction.


Ira Madison III Well, listen, I mentioned that people know you from Game of Thrones, but I am glad to have you here to talk about the most iconic television show that you’ve been a part of. You might be shocked that I’ve seen it, but it’s Hollyoaks.


Nathalie Emmanuel It is. I mean, it’s I think it is iconic I mean, that was for me anyway.


Ira Madison III Years ago when I visited London, I like caught it on television and became obsessed with it and then still managed to watch it like online, like through YouTube where people would post clips on it, like when I was back in America. And so it’s very fun to have you here. I have a question because you’re obviously well known from Game of Thrones, but Hollyoaks was also like a show that like those kind of shows like that EastEnders are like so big still in the UK. Is that a show that you would say that a lot of people still know you from, or is that a very specific audience now?


Nathalie Emmanuel Absolutely. Absolutely. I mean, I think when someone comes up to me and says, oh, are you my character was called Sasha, so are you Sasha from Hollyoak? So that was me. It kind of gives me an indication, actually, like what kind of generation this person is from or how old they might be because of how when I was on the shows, when they would have been of an age where they were watching, I can sort of work it out. And you know, it was obviously like my first TV role and it was my yeah, I guess it was my introduction into the industry. And yeah, the fans are really passionate because we get streamed into their TVs, into their TVs and living rooms like every day. So yeah, it was a, it was a crazy kind of transition.


Louis Virtel For that to be like a primary TV role for you and for it to have like a built in obsessive following. How daunting was that? And was it mostly fun? And was it ever frightening?


Nathalie Emmanuel I mean, is it it’s kind of all of it, to be honest. I think that I’m just naturally quite introverted. And I I’d come straight out of school as well. And, you know, I was not really kind of like the person who was center of attention. I tended to sort of be quiet, I had a very small group of friends, and often was just like you know, on my own doing things. And so suddenly to have people have all that energy and focus towards you and suddenly people coming up to you and wanting to engage you like it was like the opposite. It was like the complete opposite of what I was used to, and it was quite scary at first. I remember the first time being recognized in the street and it was I panicked. I like ran away and like, all right, point out, it was quite like because I was so unaware of that that part of it, I was like, Oh, I just want to act. I just want to, you know, do this thing that I love. And I didn’t think about this this sort of symptom of actually doing that successfully. And, you know, and I, yeah, it was a huge transition and I had to learn how to cope with that. And I feel like at every point in my career where, you know, there’s a whole new fanbase or a whole new kind of level to the business. I have to readjust and recalibrate and learn to cope with it because it for me I actually find it quite it’s quite intense, quite overwhelming and it takes, you know, it’s lovely that you like your I feel the love, I feel thank you. But also the sort of little introvert shy person in me is struggles with it. So I’m constantly having to like find new tools to like cope and, you know, and make it a positive thing because it can be quite anxiety teasing. So yeah. So


Ira Madison III Well, well, I can’t even imagine because, you know, then Game of Thrones is also you’re thrust to another series which is insanely popular.


Louis Virtel I guess people are fans of that one, too. Yeah.


Nathalie Emmanuel Just a few. Just a few people. Yeah. What was so amazing about that fan base is that I was announced to be playing Missandei like months and months and months before I even shot my my scenes for that season. And the way that the fans just embraced me immediately was so like like I just felt it in me. Like, immediately it was it was amazing. And so that sort of side of it was really encouraging and sweet. And I was like, Wow, I wasn’t expecting that too. But it just showed how much the fans really cared about the show. And so therefore they, like, cared about me just by, you know, being cast in the show. And that was just really lovely.


Ira Madison III Mm hmm.


Louis Virtel I want to talk about your new movie, The Invitation. Specifically, my first question is, this is a horror movie, and it’s one of those movies where characters we initially think are friendly take a turn and you have to cope with that. But watching some of the dastardly turns in this movie, namely from Thomas Doherty, who we’ve had on this show, is it hilarious at all to film those scenes in person? Because he’s like a very funny, dry, what I would call a straight bitch. Like, he’s like a hilarious, man, British man can just do that, you know? But like to film like the evil parts with these other actors, is that ever like, do you have to keep from laughing ever?


Nathalie Emmanuel Well, I think when Thomas’s character really takes that shift, which was beautifully done, by the way, I. My character was in such a world of shock and confusion and fear and terror that, you know, I didn’t really have time to be like laughing and finding his work brilliant. I was literally like, Evie is going to die. Like, we need to get out of here. Like, we need to survive. And I had to just be in that headspace. But Thomas was so kind of grounded in the in his performance that the things that were funny, I don’t even know if they were necessarily intentional or I mean, they were he had intention in everything he did. But I mean, like the way that he played the sort of part of the line, often just like the authenticity of it, it made it like funny because, you know, it was it’s like the thing you don’t say in the situation, you know, but he made it very, very real. And and I think, like, he he just had such a great handle on the language and how to, like, play with it. And it was his sort of like performance and choices and freedom that he had that made it quite light too. Even when he’s like doing things or saying things really dark, you know? And just even that choice in itself makes it kind of funny because if you’re like talking about doing dark and serious things, you’re doing it like very light and sort of, you know, nonchalantly, like that’s funny immediately, you know? And, and I think that was just him making really good choices. And like for me, it was like I had to just be. Like terrified. I mean, I just see a woman get her throat slit. I mean, what the. What do you do? Like, it’s, you know, it’s complete shock and devastation and terror. So that’s kind of all I had to focus on. But we definitely had a lot of fun on set. Just generally lots of laughs, lots of banter. And it was a really good group. We had a nice time.


Ira Madison III I’m interested too in what you were just talking a bit about, you know, being like sort of an introverted sort of person. But you also are you also like are known for these sort of roles in these projects that are sort of like not just dark, but like there’s a lot of like terror going on. There’s a lot of like over-the-top, you know, like Game of Thrones, obviously, you know, you were hanging out with Danearys the whole time. And then, you know, you have something like this, The Invitation. And then, you know, like, even like your character at Hollyoaks, like, went through everything. Like, she was the Penelope Pitstop of that TV show. Like, she went through everything.


Nathalie Emmanuel Everything. Yeah. Poor Sasha.


Ira Madison III So how was, you know, stepping into the mindset of just being someone whose constantly seeing all of this crazy stuff?


Nathalie Emmanuel I mean, it’s it’s crazy because, you know, I am. You know, like lucky to say that I haven’t sort of experienced any sort of extreme violence or brutality like that, like we’ve seen it with my own eyes. But, you know, it’s like you, it is really is about using our imagination. Like, what would you do? I mean, I’ve seen videos maybe of really, I’ve watched a couple of things that were really awful and violent to just sort of like understand that like stomach churning. Just absolute. Just devastation of, like, loss of life, you know? And like I’m an I to try and sort of, like, find that feeling and keep using it because I think I’ve never, ever witnessed anything that violent in front of me, so I had to sort of find ways to, you know, just use my imagination basically. But there was a couple of things that like I saw that was online and I was like, I only watch like maybe one video I’m, I find really awful. And I just I’m very I made a choice in the last couple of years to not kind of watch the things that just people share everywhere and just like, yeah, let’s look at this violent thing. But it was really important for me to sort of like you know, just feel that absolute sort of like shock and terror and  know where to find that. And also just use my imagination and like kind of try and use experiences that I have had in my life where you are just, like frightened or afraid or, you know, and try and draw from it. But, you know, as someone who can be quite introverted, like there’s something quite cathartic about expressing and leaving all out there and just like emotionally and mentally just completely be spent at the end of the day and, you know, and just kind of letting it all out because I tend to be a bit like, you know inner, like inner type person sp it’s just like it’s quite cathartic in a way to play those scenes because they’re exhausting and they you sort of leave the day one headache. Fromjust like crying and screaming all day. But yeah.


Louis Virtel Now I have to ask about a project. You are, I was going to say circling, but are involved in because I’ve there’s no more mysterious project in the universe than this and it’s Francis Ford Coppola’s megalopolis which the way he describes it, this is me talking about Francis Ford Coppola, not rumors about the movie. He’s basically like, Well, yeah, it’ll be the biggest movie that’s ever existed. I mean, it’s just like casually throwing down the grandeur of the story and like, how huge it is, the idea of it. Adam Driver is involved. Jon Voight’s involved. Obviously, it’s probably still preliminary, but like, what can you tell us about this movie and like just the talks you’ve had going into it? I just I can’t think of another project that seems similar in scale.


Nathalie Emmanuel Yeah, I think I mean, I think Francis has described it perfectly like it’s it’s just such huge ideas and questions I think he’s asking in this film. He, he does the equivalent of like operas, I think in hit movies. And this is no different. And, you know, I’m sort of cautious to say too much about what it’s about or what it’s, you know, or even allude to, because I don’t know what he’s said about it in the in the press. And I want to like give everybody the opportunity to learn about it in the while, to learn about it on his terms, you know. But yeah, it really is. It’s like a massive kind of. A passion project, seemingly, and he’s been it’s been in the making for a really long time. I think I heard like 15 years. And so it’s a very big like has, I guess in a way a futuristic element to it as well. But again, very big wild scapes, long like, you know, like very big, wild, sort of heightened reality type situation. I’m really I’m just, like, still quite dumbfounded when I quite like. I’m just so speechless. And it’s surreal to me that that’s even the thing. And I mean.


Louis Virtel Have you met the other actors yet? Like, has it even moved to that stage yet? Oh, wow. Okay.


Nathalie Emmanuel Yeah. I mean, I think it also kicks off quite soon, actually. We start like rehearsals quite soon, I think. And. Yeah.


Ira Madison III That’s so exciting, though. And I mean like, You’re working in that film, you know, with like Adam Driver and Laurence Fishburne. And I actually want to ask, you know, like you’ve been in so many different kinds of projects, you know, like what what would you say? Like, is something fun you’ve learn from, like a scene partner, another actor you’ve worked with, you know, because you’ve worked with so many different kinds, you know, like, as I said, like you’ve worked with action stars and then you worked, you know, on serious dramas, you know? So what’s something that, you know is a fun take away for you?


Nathalie Emmanuel You know, I haven’t ever really considered myself to be that funny. And and I think working with like Kevin Hart and John Travolta on Die Hard, I actually learned so much. And it was funny because people in my life like my family and friends, after spending four weeks or five weeks with whatever it was working around these really experienced actors and like, Kevin being so funny and John Travolta just being genius as as always and really understanding my timing. And they were like, you’re funnier. Like, just in your timing and your banter with like they were like, know your ability to kind of land a joke or land the punchline is is kind of better and and I felt is definitely a muscle that you have to use and exercise because I wouldn’t particularly say that’s the case right now. And at the time when I was doing it and I was around these very experienced comedic actors and I found myself being able to kind of jump in and get into the rhythm of it as well. And I found that really sort of interesting. I wasn’t aware of how Comedy works really is, just sort of like you’re either funny or you’re not sort of thing. Actually, people can learn to be funny. And not everyone as well as others. But, you know, I definitely found that I was I was getting comments from people around me going, Oh, that was funny for you. Basically.


Ira Madison III I thought you were pretty funny on Four Weddings And A Funeral, too. Like you have very good comic timing on that show.


Nathalie Emmanuel Well, I think thank you. Thank you so much. I mean, I think obviously the writing really just kind of was funny and and Mindy and her entire writing team are just so, like, brilliant. And I, I definitely was like, they helped me out a lot in the writing. But I think as you sort of get into a character and you kind of the more that you ground something a lot of the time and it is similar to what I was saying about Thomas, it’s almost like the more you ground something and you kind of really believe, believe it, like the more like I know, the more it has impact. And I feel and even in comedy, the more grounded, I think, the more like it’s relatable and therefore like funny. I don’t know. And so I think, yeah, I think that like I said, the writing really helped me. But as the time went on and I kind of warmed up and sort of got into that character, it it became much easier because I got to learn her, her humor, and it sort of got easier again, like sort of warming up a muscle. Once it’s warm, it’s easier to use. And yeah, that was great fun. I love Mindy.


Louis Virtel But as much as you are funny, it is also a pleasure to see you go through hell and you and people get to do that in The Invitation. I hope they all check it out. Thank you so much for being with us today. It was such a pleasure.


Nathalie Emmanuel Thank you so much. Lovely to meet you both.


Louis Virtel <A.D.>.


Ira Madison III Well, the FBI raided water home media and took Batgirl.


Louis Virtel They went to the safe and took Batgirl.


Ira Madison III Actually, that’s what Trump had at Mar a Lago. He had the only surviving copy of Batgirl, and the FBI was like, Well, we got to get rid of that.


Louis Virtel The public can’t know.


Ira Madison III The Warner Brothers Discovery announced last week. I hate saying that name.


Louis Virtel Yeah, it’s really gross. It just sounds so conglomerate.


Ira Madison III They announced last week that Batgirl and also Scoob Holiday Haunt were canceled in favor of a tax write off, meaning neither film will ever be seen. And I am very upset about a Scooby Doo movie being shuttered.


Louis Virtel First of all, the movie cost $40 million. I’m not saying animation is not expensive. Girlfriend? You’re. You’re telling me we couldn’t have made this good movie for about 12? Okay. Leaving diamonds into the frames. What’s going on?


Ira Madison III Listen. Gina Rodriguez is in the Scoob movies, and it probably costs at least 20 million for the security to keep black people away from her on set.


Louis Virtel Right. Oh, so she had the heebie jinkies. Oh, good Lord. I’m not sorry.


Ira Madison III Aside from this too, a lot of HBO Max, original movies have  been disappearing like Robert Zemeckis, this remake of The Witches, which, okay,fair.


Louis Virtel That’s just the arc of justice. Wait, what is it? The ark of blank blank goes towards justice? That he was fine and did okay.


Ira Madison III Yeah. Anne Hathaway is actually who said a text and said, can you get rid of this? Yeah.


Louis Virtel There’s like a post it. Yeah. Amy Pascale emails. Amy, can you just delete this one?


Ira Madison III Don’t tell Octavia. She likes it.


Louis Virtel Ever since Octavia was in that Ben Falcone movie with Melissa McCarthy, I’ve been a little side eye with Octavia.


Ira Madison III Listen, we might have to do a whole other episode about Octavia Spencer on her choices because she is an amazing actress who makes bad film project choices.


Louis Virtel I remember when she was standing on the Oscars stage when Green Book won Best Picture. I want a movie just about what’s going through her head.


Ira Madison III She wanted an Oscar.


Louis Virtel Yeah, she already had one.


Ira Madison III She wanted to producing one, too. She was like, I could do it all, baby. Of, like, okay, well, if you’re going to do it all, at least do Ma two. Okay. I don’t. I’d rather see that than The Witches. But getting back to this, this is a thing that people have always sort of been talking about, the idea that some of the shit that we love could just vanish. You know, and it’s it’s why obviously, you know, we used to collect DVDs and vinyls and like, you know, I was there was there was a tweet asking recently, like, what your what weird thing from your childhood would be the thing mentioned in like a serial killer documentary. Like if you were a serial killer, like what weird thing that you do and mine would probably be that I used to record everything on TV but also label them. Like I truly watched everything, but it would be like my closet at home had a VHS tape with like The Adventures of Old Christine, or like Watching Ellie, season two, episodes one through six. Like, I watched and recorded everything, and now I feel like maybe that wasn’t so crazy because the idea that a show or movie or something that you like just vanishing because of some media merger is very like unsettling.


Louis Virtel Also, I didn’t realize you were a Julia Louis-Dreyfus historian. Those were both Julia Louis-Dreyfus shows. Yeah. Did you record North of TV just to shame her? No. My household had a lot of those, too. My parents would tape a lot of like there were a lot more like specials on TV. Like, for instance, there’d be Peanuts specials or Muppet specials and stuff. And so we had tons of VHS of that stuff. I have to say, I was just in Chicago over the weekend at my friend Andy’s, and he has a huge DVD collection. And I was looking at them and like once upon a time I would look at a DVD collection with kind of awe. And, you know, it tells you a lot about a person and you want to, like be like, Oh, that’s so weird that you own this is the first movie that’s coming to mind. Gone, Baby, Gone. Why do you own that? You know, it’s like a conversation starter. Now you look at a DVD collection, it’s like, Wow, you really were having a good time in 2007. You know, it’s like it feels like you’re completely out of step with reality, basically. Like who’s who’s opening that package, who’s putting that, you know, disk in a drive.


Ira Madison III I would say that, like, if someone has DVDs now, I’d never assume that anyone has recently bought a DVD. I always assume, like, this is a DVD you had in high school, you had it in college, you had it your apartment after college. And somehow these are like the five movies that like it’s important to you that you can’t throw it away, but you somehow like just still have it on your shelf, like I have The O.C.. CS It was like still there. Have I watched those DVDs? No.


Louis Virtel Yeah. No. Recently, some company put out DVDs of movies that I just didn’t like. Julia starring Jane Fonda. I have a DVD of An Unmarried Woman with Jill Clayburgh. But like, if I went if I was going to watch those movies, I probably wouldn’t watch those versions. I’d play to unfortunately pay for them on Amazon like some loser. But I will say I feel like the moving away from physical media is what keeps people disinterested in the past, particularly with things like music. Like once upon a time, it was all about what had you accrued, you know, like if I’m looking through your music again, it says something about you. I’m learning about, like, what you spent your money on. Like what you cared to keep with you. You know, once upon a time you’d have a CD in your player. And that was sort of the quote unquote book you were reading as you walked around town. Now it’s just about adding things to your library, you know? Oh, what can I pick up? It’s not it’s not about I personally possess this anymore. It’s just I want access to this thing. So it’s sort of like. It’s just. It isn’t property anymore. And I’m not saying that it needs to be in order for us to enjoy that stuff, but I feel like the having the physical copy of it made the art seem more important.


Ira Madison III Mm. And I feel like, you know, being a stan, like being beehive, right, you know, like that has helped me only in the sense that I have a vinyl and I have CDs because, you know, you first of all, I like artists to, you know, get to number one like have, you know, like packages was like if you buy a shirt, if you buy merch, like you get a CD or you get like a physical one. But, you know, it’s like I make sure to buy vinyls off, like artists. I like, like a Beyonce, you know, like, and I make time to, like, sort of buy older things because I feel like especially just for vinyls, because I feel like, yeah, I do hate that thing of feeling like nothing’s permanent on, you know, a Spotify or something. I was talking about this recently with the album Four, from Beyonce. The original standard version of it that came out starts with the song One Plus One. When Love on Top became a hit, when you go to Spotify to stream the song, like Love on Top is number one. Now is a completely different order than the album that originally came out. And I feel like you’re not listening to what you used to listen to anymore. You just listen to an amalgamation of songs and I don’t know, that feels weird to me.


Louis Virtel Yeah. No, I, I, I don’t like that either. I’m obsessed with track listing. In fact, maybe that’s why I resist the streaming music services altogether and and prefer to listen to radio. Because at least there’s something about radio where they give occasion to songs like, Oh, I’m catching the song, you know, and it makes you appreciate hearing it. Whereas I just feel like Spotify turns all music. I mean, not just Spotify, all these services turns all music into just vibes you can casually run into. You know, it just, I don’t know, it makes me sound 10,000 years old, but I honestly do find it a little bit sad. I also want to say about physical media. Physical media used to be such a good gift, like if it was Christmas, it’s like, Oh Dad, you should see whatever Portlandia. You know, Mom, you would really like this old musical I’m obsessed with, you know? Oh, look, here’s here. Look at this amazing Sid Sharif’s movie cover, you know, now that all turns into like gift cards and stuff. And so it’s like there’s less opportunity to curate what we love for each other, even though Spotify is a curating service, allegedly. Yeah.


Ira Madison III Although I say I miss a mixtape, even though we’re definitely of the generation where we were making mix CDs, we’re burning CDs instead of making actual like mix tapes. But even now it’s just sort of like you make a playlist and it’s do you ever really make a playlist anymore? Because I make them all the time, but, when I’m, like, playing them at a party like a friend is like, Oh, I love your playlist. I like, put this on. It’s like, I’m still queuing and adding other things to it as it’s going along because like the it’s not permanent.


Louis Virtel Right. And by the way, if you’re throwing an event, I’m sure other people are casually hooking up their phone and just throwing on their songs. You know what I mean? There’s no just like there’s no artifact of here is the vibe I’m only creating.


Ira Madison III Mm hmm. And I like that. I mean, I try to be a person like that would playa list, because that’s also why I like listening to vinyls. Right. Wjat Renaissance actually, what they did was I think Questlove tweeted about how like when he was at the club Renaissance, the party that Beyoncé hosted, you know, it’s, um, the album played three times and each like time, like, people were still excited to, like, dance to it. Like, they’re still hyped by it, but it was like, that’s the vibe you created when like you’re listening to the start to finish and everyone’s sort of tweeting and talking about how they’re listening to this start to finish. And I was. I was talking about the transitions on this album, and I was talking about how I love the transition on Donna Summer’s Bad Girls record. You know, I think like Sam Streicher tweeted out, he was like, I have that on vinyl. I love listening to that, like, start to finish. And I truly went out and found a copy, went out, I truly went to eBay and found like an original [ress ink of the Bad Girls record on vinyl. And I’ve been listening to it and I’m like, That’s the kind of thing that I feel like I’m trying to get into more because I’m like, That is a record where if you have like sort of a party and you put on Donna Summer’s Bad Girls album, like the vibe is set, you know, and you can play that from start to finish. And it’s also just sort of like it doesn’t feel it doesn’t invite people to switch up the vibe by throwing in another song.


Louis Virtel Yeah, right. I do feel like vinyl may be a saving grace in this regard because there’s something irreplaceable about just having whatever the look of a record player and the collection of vinyl in a way that like is not lasting with a collection of CDs or even DVDs. But by the way, I do want to say regarding physical media, one thing I am not nostalgic for and I’ve seen quite a bit of nostalgia for it recently, is Blockbuster. I’m nostalgic for video stores and.


Ira Madison III But not Blockbuster.


Louis Virtel Finds and like a kind of local video store. Like why do they have a copy of Punch Line? Still, who is renting Punch Line, for example, you know, movies like that. But Blockbuster to me was so like you couldn’t find anything interesting. It was always just the the biggest thing out. I kind of have nostalgia for when new movies would come out on Blockbuster, and then there would be a bunch of copies of something like Three to Tango. Like that’s funny.


Ira Madison III Like when the entire wall would be like the big, like, the biggest blockbuster.


Louis Virtel Yeah. Right.


Ira Madison III Like Top Gun two now. Right. Like, if you would, it would it’s come in. Top Gun two is like huge right now. You know, people keep trying to say that it beat Titanic and that’s fine if you want to ignore inflation. But when that movie a few months from now would come out on DVD, you would go to Blockbuster. And as big as that film is, there’d be Three Fucking Walls were the only DVD on it would be Top Gun Maverick. And I do miss that. I do miss seeing like I do miss walking in the blockbuster and being confronted with movies.


Louis Virtel Yeah. And the phenomenon of the movie and like, yeah, there’s, there’s something about seeing like the new movie coming out and taking up all the space where you feel like you’re really in that pop culture moment, like, Oh, this belongs to Scream Two. That’s what I think of, you know, like I remember dying to get that movie on video. I was also very young at the time, so I couldn’t really see it in a theater, so anyway. That’s sort of part of my video store nostalgia. Also at one time, at four star video in Lamont, Illinois, I meant to, as a child, rent Honey, I Blew Up The Kids, which cinema, I believe the director is it’s either David Lean or Frank Capra. I forgot who did that one. And what they actually gave me was Honeymoon in Vegas. And putting that on. Well, let me tell you, I learned a lot about life. Quickly.


Ira Madison III Honey I Blew Up.


Louis Virtel That’s what we used to do with Sarah Jessica Parker.


Ira Madison III Honey I Blew Up The Kids used to be on TV all the fucking time.


Louis Virtel Yeah. Oh, absolutely.


Ira Madison III Awful movie.


Louis Virtel No, by the way, I mean, like, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. That was actually cute. And like, they, you know, you could run around on the Legos and stuff. That’s fun. Honey, I Blew Up the Kids. So we’re just looking at a green screen of a baby walking on a toy town. It’s not good.


Ira Madison III I actually have watched Honey I Shrunk the Kids twice within the past year on an airplane and cried both times. But we’ve talked about how being on an airplane and like the, you know, the compression of the air and the altitude and drinking will make you cry. I mean, I’m just saying.


Louis Virtel Honey, I need therapy. Honey, I need therapy


Ira Madison III Listen, when they’re in those Cheerios and Rick Morales sees his kids, waterworks. But what makes you not like a Blockbusters specifically?


Louis Virtel I just I just think there’s not much in the way of selection. Like, you don’t get to see anything, like, I don’t know, like a really off the beaten path old comedy wouldn’t be there. For example, you know, you are like, like even like bad horror. Like, that’s the kind of stuff I love from a video store. Just like we have this, you know, it has the feeling of a consignment store, you know, where for some reason we have four copies of Hello Mary Lou Prom Night, Two, whereas Blockbuster was just, you know, the quote unquote hits. But but in that way, they weren’t ever great movies. They were just popular movies.


Ira Madison III How do you think we get back to a point where. I guess movies are like important, important to own? You know, because I feel like. Yeah. Vinyls, I’m always at some. I’m always in some way going to be like owning music that I love, especially if it’s an artist I like. Like, I just sort of want that to be a part of my life. But yeah, I never have a draw to be like, I mean, I love the fucking movie Knives Out, right? And if it had been pre streaming, I would go and get a fun DVD box set of Knives Out and  it probably would  have like a magnifying glass inside it.


Louis Virtel Well, also, I mean, like I think of this is just a name that’s come to mind. But like Marie Kondo, the like the turning anything extra into just stuff that you should get rid of. I just feel that’s a very pervasive mindset right now that we’re like, we’re sick of what’s extra, you know, post. I mean, I hate to bring up the fucking pandemic, but post-pandemic is just about like what really matters about life. And so, like, get rid of the things that don’t matter. And I feel like all this stuff really falls in line with that. Even I’m kind of obsessed with interior design shows, as I’ve talked about on the show before. And all interior design right now is like clean and white and nothing extra. And I just feel like you basically have to shift people into realizing that stuff doesn’t crowd a space, it enlivens the space, and I don’t even know how to begin doing that. So if anybody has any ideas, feel free to throw them to me. I mean, I respect Marie Kondo or what she does, generally speaking, and her two tips because she only has two. Yeah. I feel like spaces right now are all about everything has to be calming. Like everybody’s obsessed with being calm, are also stressed out. And I need people to get back into like the fun anxiety of the nineties, you know, the, the Garafolo angst. If we could tap back into that, I’d be thrilled. Billie Eilish, it’s on you girl.


Ira Madison III Well listen, if there was some way, if there was some wave of, like, VHS or something coming back, I’m, you know, I’m hipster adjacent, you know. So I feel like I would I feel like I would support that. But I also just don’t know what the purpose of it would be. A vinyl, you know, you could still, like, play at a party, you know?


Louis Virtel Right.


Ira Madison III Am I going to.


Louis Virtel Literally it would have to be. You displayed them like on your walls in the way that you would hang art or something. Yeah.


Ira Madison III Because I’m not going to invite you over to watch Jurassic Park on VHS, like I used to in high school.


Louis Virtel Yeah, right, right. Nostalgically. I feel something for it. But you’re right, it’s a I don’t know what’s going to take for that, for that renaissance. They might have the episode.


Ira Madison III Anyway when we’re back. Keep It.


Ira Madison III And we’re back with our favorite segment of the episode, as usual it is Keep It. Louis, what’s your Keep It?


Louis Virtel I am just astounded. I, I guess I’m behind on how much this person sucks. I had sort of thought she was a perfectly fine celebrity who happened to be married to some mogul type. I’m talking about Katharine McPhee. Katharine McPhee went on her Instagram. This is Katharine McPhee from season five of American Idol. She was on that show, Smash. She did a duet once with Zachary Levi of a song I really like called Terrified, written by Kara DioGuardi, who I’m always wondering about and wondering where she is and if she has any time on her hands. I would like her to perform a citizen’s arrest on Katharine McPhee, who said that Los Angeles is in such a quote unquote sad state right now and says that crime is basically taking over the city. She wants to vote for Rick Caruso and she’s worried that she can never wear her jewelry outside of her house. This is a woman who in this time when there are you know, I would say issues greater than this is concerned that her Rolex will draw too much attention to her in Beverly Hills. Money changes everything, to quote Cyndi Lauper. And normally, if I’m confused by Katharine McPhee, it’s because she’s performing the song Black Horse and the Cherry Tree on her knees on national television. It’s crazy to have, she blamed, quote unquote, woke voters for this particular crime she had heard about in Beverly Hills. I don’t know where she’s coming from. I don’t know how people get the phrase woke voters into their mouths, spit it out of their lips and hear it, enter the atmosphere and think, I’m helping right now. But I guess that’s what happened with her. It’s very crazy that we once earnestly tweeted about this woman hashtag team Karen, and now she is who she is. I don’t know what to do with that information. Katharine McPhee, also somebody who had basically been a favorite of gays on Twitter until it was revealed that she had donated donated to Republican causes. And we all kind of thought, well, you know, we all come from sometimes ignorant backgrounds. Maybe that was just a thing in the past. She made a mistake. Oh, no. Doubling down. And I’m really sorry, gays ever thought she was on our side. Fuck her.


Ira Madison III Well, listen, I remember us talking about this in 2020. This was deep pandemic because it was like, yes, it was the fall of 2020 and I dully remember that there were screenshots of her donating to the Republican Party and then she vanished from social media.


Louis Virtel Right. She was totaled. She had no response.


Ira Madison III Because she used to constantly, you know, like make jokes about Smash. She she was she was I mean, the worst thing she’d ever done. And I’m talking worse than this  Rick Caruso shit is you remember that, hi, my gay boys video that she made? Like she was leading in too much. And I think we all sort of, like, knew that she had some gays tweeting for her, too, but as soon as the Republicans came out, it was like that gay was fired and she vanished from the Internet. And I didn’t think we’d ever hear from Kat McPhee ever again until she decided to give an interview to support Rick Caruso. So what’s it Rick Caruso have to do to to get her out of her Twitter retirement?


Louis Virtel I don’t know. I mean, did he ply her with GOOP products? I know Gwyneth is in on it, so I have no guess but


Ira Madison III That’s actually been one of the more disappointing things about this Rick Caruso shit too, the amount of celebrities I know. Imagine being disappointed by celebrities, but the amount of them who are very much like pro nithya or, you know, sort of like we care about the environment and climate change and you know, we care about other sort of liberal things to just really just go so far into Rick Caruo either means that it was a lie or they really are just that stupid and have no idea what Rick Caruso stands for. It’s idiotic because of like, where’s the PR here?


Louis Virtel That’s just it. I, i like being protected from celebrities by a layer of PR. I think it’s helpful. And so when we live in this universe where people are just popping off. And I can tell they have, you know, done the requisite reading or interacted with real issues ever, maybe in their lives, I get scared because somebody is supposed to be a net, protecting me from seeing this happening.


Ira Madison III Well, speaking of celebrities in desperate need of PR. My. Keep It goes to Ezra Miller.


Louis Virtel Oh, no. I mean.


Ira Madison III Who is somehow everywhere all at once.


Louis Virtel Oh, yeah.


Ira Madison III They are constantly in the news about attacking someone, about a burglary, about assaulting people. And this week, Ezra Miller charged with felony burglary for allegedly stealing alcohol. They stole alcohol from someone’s home in Vermont. No one was there. No one was there at the home, but several bottles of alcohol were taken from the residence while the homeowners were not present. Did Ezra break into this home? And if not, who is still inviting Ezra Miller into their homes? It’s it’s the Carmen San Diego jokes at this point are you’d think they’d be stale, but they manage to be in a different city, a different state every other week, and are apparently being hunted by the police.


Louis Virtel No, it’s actually the opposite of Carmen San Diego, because they keep getting arrested wherever they go. It’s the opposite. Carmen is like you can’t catch me.


Ira Madison III Now. Well, they charge charged wherever they go. Are there arrests being made?


Louis Virtel Oh, I don’t know. I mean, it’s about time, I would say.


Ira Madison III And how is the Flash still coming out?


Louis Virtel I am shocked by that myself.


Ira Madison III It’s it’s actually a comedy routine whenever Ezra does something. Warner Brothers has to be like Double Down with we’re so excited about The Flash and can’t wait for people to see it.


Louis Virtel God, that is so baffling. I mean, Ezra Miller is one of those cases where actually an underrated moment of RuPaul’s was when you remember when Lucian Peony, the former music maker for RuPaul, had something of an emotional breakdown and said some awful things about RU, and Ru just responded with but have compassion. And he said something along the lines of all of us are closer to the brink than you think. And but I see this Ezra Miller stuff, I mean, I know they’ve attacked people before. I know there’s violence associated with some of his acts. I mean, I can only look at it with a certain amount awe and also think good Lord, something’s not being done that needs to be done. And, I mean, I thought that about the awful fucking Anne Heche news this week. Like, Anne Heche was somebody I thought was, like, on the up and up. Anne Heche was on Dancing with the Stars a few years ago. And she is in a coma last I heard, after this unbelievable car accident. I have no other feelings about it other than Anne Heche, an awesome actress. I always say a seventies actress stuck in the nineties and 2000, playing scenes with urgency and outstretched fingers in a way that we used to get from people like Jane Fonda on the Klute Days. So that would have these questions for those people.


Ira Madison III Yeah, it’s it’s sad because I feel like it was only a couple years ago where Ezra was you know, like on magazine covers that, you know, like we were talking about how good of an actor they were. And I was very excited for The Flash. You know, and then it just sort of I don’t know, the brink happended and obviously, you know, there is the privilege that comes with, you know, your brink being I’m Bonnie and Clyde ing all across America. But yeah, it’s just it’s it’s it’s shocking. It’s it’s sad. And it’s also bewildering because I’m like, what the fuck is  going on? It’s like, what the fuck is going on? Like, catch them.


Louis Virtel Yeah. Right. It just. It can’t be that hard. It can’t be, particularly with that machine attached to them.


Ira Madison III All right. That’s our show this week. Thank you to Nathalie Emmanuel well for joining us. We will see you next week. Keep It as a Crooked Media production. Our senior producer is Kendra James. Our producer is Chris Lord. Our executive producers are Ira Madison III.


Louis Virtel And Louis Virtel.


Ira Madison III Our editor is Charlotte Landes and Kyle Seglin is our sound engineer.


Louis Virtel Thank you to our digital team, Matt DeGroot, Nar Melkonian and Delon Villanueva for our production support every week.