TCA Winter Press Tour Day 10 Quotes: The Fate of a 'Keanu' Kitten and Jonathan Banks' Burns

Also, Pierce Brosnan weighs in on a 'Remington Steele' revival and Jude Law talks 'Young Pope' memes.
Courtesy of HBO
Jude Law of 'The Young Pope'
Day two of the Television Critics Association's winter press tour cable panels (Day 10 overall) brought the usual variety including a snack break with puppies, an abnormally good-humored Robert De Niro, Hank Azaria doing voices for Brockmire and Los Pollos Hermanos chicken hand-delivered by Giancarlo Esposito.
 
It also featured Jude Law discussing his new knowledge of The Young Pope memes and Tiffany Haddish telling us about the kittens from Keanu.
 
 
Which of those things made my Highlight Quotes for the day? Find out! 
 
*** Tiffany Haddish has rapidly become a TCA favorite this year, joining us for a Carmichael Show table read, Comedy Central's The High Court and finally for her role as a talking brain coral in Animal Planet's Animal Nation.
 
Yes, a talking brain coral.
 
Always passionate and funny, Haddish saved her best revelation for last, as she told the story of adopting one of the kittens from Keanu, the film comedy released last spring in which she played the female lead. 
 
"So there were eight cats originally in the movie, and they all were rescue cats, and the trainers trained each one to do a specific job, and they found homes for all of them, except the last one," the actress recalled. "And that one, every time I would hold her, she would fall asleep. And every time the trainer would take her away from me, she would cry. So they said, 'Oh, you should take her home with you.' And I was like, 'Wait, I got a pit bull and a Maltese. I don’t think this cat is going to make it.' And he was like, 'Well, I can train you to train the cats and the dogs to get along.' And I said, 'Yeah, right.' So he did, and the cats and the dogs get along so good, and I think the cat really thinks she is a dog. She won’t use her litter box. She wants to go outside when the dogs go outside. And then I used to walk her on a leash because I thought she would get to be at the premiere of the movie Keanu. And I would be like, 'Yeah. It would be so good on the red carpet, like two pussies killing it.' So, anyway, so I walked her in the neighborhood with the dogs and stuff, and everyone is like, 'Whoa, you’re really gangster, walking two dogs and a cat on a leash. I never seen nothing like this.' And they told me, 'Oh, we hired another cat that’s younger and smaller.' And so then, I had to break the news to Catonic, like, 'Girl, they hired a younger, more attractive cat to play your role.'"
 
If you're curious, Haddish's Keanu cat's special skill was running on gunshots. 
 
And why has the actress been keeping so busy?
 
"My schedule is busy, because my plan is to take over the world one funny joke at a time, and things have been really good," she said.
 
Damn straight.
 
*** HBO offered a star-studded panel for its miniseries Big Little Lies, topped by stars/executive producers Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman. The most powerful moment of the panel came when Witherspoon explained her passion for supporting projects driven by women.
 
 
"I’m passionate because things have to change. We have to start seeing women as they really are on film. We have to. And not just in movie theaters on a tiny budget," she said. "We need to see real women’s experience, whether it involves domestic violence, whether it involves sexual assault, whether it involves motherhood or romance or infidelity or divorce. We need to see these things because we as human beings need to we learn from art. And what can you do if you never see it reflected? I feel like, you know, the constant, you know, women of incredible talent playing wives and girlfriends with thankless parts. I just had enough and it’s a unique privilege to be able to come to other women with a piece of material that I feel deeply proud of and excited for to see their performances. And I mean, I get choked up when she talks about her performance because it’s truly gorgeous. I think it’s these are the kinds of things that shift consciousness. So that’s where my passion lies."
 
*** Way to go, people who turned The Young Pope into a social media meme before watching more than a trailer for the new HBO drama! You've taught Jude Law what a meme is. I hope you're happy.
 
"[H]aving spent the last week both in New York and here doing lots of press, I've become very aware. But I was also, at the beginning of the week, completely unaware of what a meme was," said the drama's star. "So having been educated and now shown them, I’ve become very aware. And I love them. They’re very funny, very imaginative."
 
Is the Road to Perdition actor worried that the memes will overpower the visibility of the series itself?
 
"No, by all accounts, it will, I hope, just provoke and prompt interest and intrigue," Law insisted. "Something [creator-director] Paolo [Sorrentino] told me just this week — one of the most exciting facts, I think, of the screenings in Europe — was the high level of young people that got involved. And I don’t know that meme trends are reflective of young people’s interest, but if it is, then I’m very excited that they may also become our audience."
 
*** TNT's upcoming drama Will is a strangely modern punk-rock take on the life of William Shakespeare which comes from frequent Baz Luhrmann collaborator Craig Pearce. It is set during the early years of Shakespeare's London writing career, a period that even Shakespeare biographers know little about, giving the writers the opportunities for at least some liberties.
 
"It’s a brilliant thing that it is the lost years, because so little is known about this most famous person. He’s the most famous person in the world that no one really knows anything about except for a few facts, and then, beyond that, there’s a lot of speculation," Pearce said. "I’ve been developing the project for 10 years, and I did an enormous amount of research, and we all did as we joined the project. And I don’t think there’s anything in terms of what happens to Shakespeare in the show that an historian could point to and say, 'That absolutely didn’t happen.' So we’ve stuck within the broad parameters of the history and then made imaginative leaps from what we do know."
 
*** Pierce Brosnan wants no part of your Remington Steele reboot. 
 
What? You don't have a Remington Steele reboot?
 
Well, Brosnan still wants no part of it. He's entered a different phase of his career, he told us from the panel for his AMC drama The Son.
 
"Oh, that will be another man’s job," the actor laughed. "I don’t know. I’m now into my, kind of, gray-beard acting. I’m looking further down the road, God willing, to, you know, playing these sort of roles. And as you must adjust as a performer, as an actor in life, and trying to look ahead and see how you can fit in and where you fit in. So, like I say, this has been a magnificent occasion this past summer to play this kind of role."
 
*** Not to get too coarse, but Jonathan Banks likes busting balls. 
 
That was a major takeaway from the Better Call Saul panel.
 
Oh, and Giancarlo Esposito likes to fight back.
 
 
Take, for example, Banks interrupting a question about Esposito's negotiations to return as the original Breaking Bad character Gus Fring with, "Did you really hold their feet to the fire? How much are you making, huh?" And Esposito responding, "Not as much as you." 
 
Or Banks listening to Esposito discussing his efforts to seek out the new Los Pollos Hermanos ad on late-night TV before an early morning call and interjecting, "Were you on time? Did you make your call? The man has never been on time." 
 
Esposito replied, "When the cameras are ready, I’m on time. The difference between you and me is I have hair, and it’s done when I get there. Come on, baby. Let’s get it."
 
Finally, Banks ended the panel by looking down at co-star Patrick Fabian, silent for the full 30 minutes, and snarking, "I just would like to thank the erudite comments made by Pat Fabian throughout this whole thing."
 
#BanksBurn
 
*** Why is it "time" for Portlandia to end next year?

"I think in some ways just trying to create a container for something that actually has edges in terms of intention," Carrie Brownstein explained. "What does live on forever is people’s personal relationship to the material. The way that we interpret art through decades or centuries in terms of how it relates to our own life, in terms of how it relates to a time period, I think that’s up to other people in terms of its longevity. But I think in terms of the creation of art, that sometimes it’s nice to put parameters around it. I think it helps with keeping it pointed."

Stay tuned for PBS quotes tomorrow.
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