Q: Like what?
A: Like hang out on the 21st Street playground all day and play basketball with a bunch of 10-year-olds. Although now I could really dominate.
Q: Why'd you make the move?
A: Growing up in Malibu is a certain kind of childhood, and we weren't sure if that was the only childhood we wanted to expose the kids to.
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Q: What were you wary of?
A: In Malibu? Sun damage. The car culture, driving them everywhere. And then, in a way, the image of women that you get when you grow up in Malibu—everybody's in bathing suits and has belly rings. I wanted my daughter to see a woman who didn't have a belly ring. And on the Upper East Side you don't see too many of them. If you did, it would be pretty gross.
Q: They're there, though.
A: They're just hidden under the support hose.
Q: My favorite episode of Californication is the one in which you're attending a dinner party in Los Angeles, and this badass writer and recovering alcoholic named Richard shows up, and you goad him into drinking a glass of whiskey and he winds up guzzling a lot more and totally going off the rails and stripping off his clothes and tucking his family jewels and jumping out a window.
A: That's the first episode from this year, and I directed it. Thank you. That actor is my oldest friend from high school, Jason Beghe. Everybody knows now that if you're friends with me, you'll have to tuck your penis and show it on television. All my male friends know that I'm coming at some point to make them show their manginas.
Q: Remind me not to be friends with you.
A: Jason has been my friend since I was 14. You know his work—he's the cop in Thelma & Louise that they put in the trunk, and he was in a George Romero movie called Monkey Shines.
Q: Your character, Hank Moody, rattles off a couple of good lines in that scene about how an addict can't succeed in recovery until . . .
A: . . . yeah, he's gotta hit bottom! Well, Hank has not been involved in any 12-step program yet. Maybe that's in the offing for Season 4. I don't know. We'll see. You kind of don't want to see Hank recover, in that way. And I don't see him accepting that kind of a program. He's such an individualist and an egotist.
Q: I'm fascinated by the idea of the hyperintelligent person who's resistant to the tropes of recovery—especially the slogans.
A: Yeah. "Let go, let God."