Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Despite being known as one of the kindest people in Hollywood, John Lithgow has made a career of playing despicable characters. And that’s no different in his latest film, Jay Roach’s Bombshell, which buries the actor under pounds of prosthetics and makeup to play real-life supervillain Roger Ailes. Ahead of Bombshell’s Los Angeles premiere, Lithgow set aside some time for a video edition of our interview series, Random Roles, an addendum to the feature we did with him back in 2016. From Ailes to Dexter’s Arthur Mitchell to greedy B.Z. from the largely forgotten Santa Claus: The Movie, Lithgow explained why he’s so good at being bad and tells us what it’s like to get recognized on the street as a villain. As we talked through his filmography, we learned that his cameo in The Crown’s third season wasn’t always part of the plan, why he had to be the one to spoil Interstellar for his co-star, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and how 3rd Rock From The Sun became the perfect vehicle for self-parody.

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