Stephen Hawking's Lab Assistant:
An Interview with Taylor Negron
Stephen Hawking's Lab Assistant An Interview with Taylor Negron By Mike White. Taylor Negron turns cameos into works of art. I first noticed him in Better Off Dead ("What’s a little boy like you doing with big boy smut like this?") and then in One Crazy Summer...
Taylor Negron turns cameos into works of art. I first noticed him in Better Off Dead ("What’s a little boy like you doing with big boy smut like this?") and then in One Crazy Summer. From then on, I was hooked. A movie always had that something extra if Negron had a role in it. Between his book, stage, stand up, and film work, Negron took some time out for some questions.
Cashiers du Cinemart:What role(s) are you best known for?
Taylor Negron: That depends what neighborhood you’re in. If I am in an urban area (or at Puff Daddy’s birthday), I am known for the The Last Boy Scout. But mostly on this planet I am known as the guy who delivered the pizza to Sean Penn in the eternal teen comedy, Fast Times at Ridgemont High. I wish I could say I was Stephen Hawking’s lab assistant and that I was writing a story filled with insights about time travel, binary quarks, and spectroscopy revealing the expansion of the universe. But, alas, I am no brilliant doctor’s protégé about to spill the beans on the universe. I am just "Mr. Pizza Guy."
Fast Times has become iconic, and has changed people’s lives in tiny little ways. It’s interesting because it’s a movie that, in current time, seems as if it was made 90 years ago. They would never make a movie like Fast Times these days; imagine, underage kids having sex and smoking grass.
So, for me, it’s like Fast Times is the Gold Diggers of 1933, and I might as well be the baby in the carriage going down the steps in The Battleship Potemkin. Who ordered the double cheese and sausage?
CdC:How did you get your start?
TN: I was an extra. I loved it. I learned camera, protocol, and technique. I saw up close how to behave on a set and how to focus on excellence. I was plucked out of a crowd scene in The Main Event and actually given a part. A month later, I got the lead on an ABC comedy called "Detective School."
I started very young in the business, taking advantage of being an L.A. local. I was doing stand-up at the Comedy Store at 16 and was a Go-Go dancer opening act for the rock group, The Tubes, at the Whiskey. I was illegal for the first five years of my career.
CdC:You’re the second person I have talked to who was on "The Dating Game" back in it’s heyday (the first being John Daniels). Was that some kind of seedbed for young talent?
TN: It was great! I was on thirteen times. I never had been on TV before. I would go there on my bike. They paid you and gave you bagels. I learned how to pace the laugh because the other bachelors were, generally, boring idiots. I could swoop down for the kill but when I won the girl was visibly disappointed. We went to Rio De Janeiro on our date and she contracted amebas.
CdC:What projects/roles are you most proud of?
TN: I am proud of all the movies I have been in. It’s a monumental event to get anything done and released. I am just a working actor and there is still a thrill about inhabiting a role and playing a scene. The crappy stuff is all in the hands of the writers, directors, and studio executives. I have always been happy with what I do. I pay intense attentionsome directors I have worked with haven’t.
CdC:You’re often noted as being the best thing about Nothing But Trouble. Was that a debacle during the making of it, or just after it was released?
TN: Demi Moore and Chevy fought like Osama and Bush. It was like being in a custody battle. The last great mess of a movie at Warner Brothers.
CdC:How about Easy Money? I hear that Rodney Dangerfield was on coke during the making of that one.
TN: Crack and Steak...and lots of money. That movie is like a fever dream
CdC:What has been your favorite turn in a "smaller role?"
TN:Stuart Little. The scene was with Geena Davis, but, really, I was acting with a ping-pong ball, Stuart’s "stand in."
CdC: What’s your favorite "cutting room floor" moment?
TN: I was in Gun Shy with Liam Nesson. The scene was so disgusting; my character unloads a massive amount of bullets in a man’s asshole. This was a Disney movie, and producer Sandra Bullock decided to cut it. But I have to ask here, why did we have to shoot that scene in the first place?
CdC:Can you tell me more about your writing and plays?
TN: I write plays to uncover what really happened. My plays are about things and events in my life. My first play, Gangster Planet, was about the Los Angeles Riots, and my new play is called Yoga-Bitch, which is about me getting kicked out of a fancy yoga retreat in Tuscany. This I turned it into a murder mystery.
CdC:What projects are you currently working on?
TN: I just did a movie called Entry Level with Missy Pyle and D.B. Sweeney and Retirement with Rip Torn, both for early next year. I also did a movie with Paris Hilton called...fuck...I don’t remember the name...I guess it doesn’t matter....
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