Morgan Spurlock, the man behind the film Super Size Me, introduces a new season of his FX docu-series 30 Days July 26. The show looks at social issues, such as immigration and religion, through a fish-out-of-water premise; a hardcore Christian, for instance, lives and worships among Muslims for 30 days. Spurlock is the subject of a Take Five interview in the July 10 issue of B&C, and here’s some extra footage.
Who’s the most memorable person from the new season of 30 Days?
When I was in prison for the show, I met a guy named George Robinson, who was 50 and had been in and out of the system his whole life and was trying to do everything he could to get out and stay clean. He really had an impact on me while I was in there.
The FCC is cracking down on racy programming on broadcast TV. Do you see yourself ever working with one of the broadcast networks?
We took 30 Days to broadcast TV, and they were just a little too taken aback by it. There are some shows we’ve been in talks with with the Big 4, and at some point I think I’ll take a show over there.
The specter of the FCC looming over you is not something that would keep you away?
There are parameters you can work within. I’m a big fan of walking that fine line. I could take a show to network television and feel confident that my hands weren’t that tied.
Do digital offerings figure in to the new season of 30 Days?
We try to drive people to the Website [http://www.fxnetwork.com/shows/originals/30days/] and have them interact with one another about the topics, get them talking about the issues. Because these are really important issues we’re diving into: the season premier, about immigration, is an incredible hour of television, and next week is about outsourcing, where a guy who’s been outsourced from his IT job goes to India to try to find his job.
There are issues that every day we hear about and read about and know people who are affected by them. We encourage people to have a dialogue, have the watercooler discussion the next day not be, oh my god, did you see that outfit she was wearing, but actually have a little more substance.
What’s on your TiVo?
The last four episodes of The Sopranos. Everybody loves calling me [Vito Spatafore’s lover] Johnny Cakes now, because of my fantastic moustache. My agent called me and said, “everyone’s calling and complimenting me on you being on The Sopranos. And I’m dying to see the new season of Entourage.
A couple months back, you were in the news for presumably making fun of retarded kids. What happened?
It was totally, completely taken out of context. What wasn’t printed in the media that much was, I was told before I went onstage not to talk about McDonald’s. I said, what do you expect me to talk about? One of the heads of the board of education is a [McDonald’s] franchise owner, and basically told the school, if this guy’s gonna be out there, he can’t talk about this stuff. So I think somebody really turned me into a target for a very specific reason, and looked to make a mountain out of a molehill.
I wasn’t making fun of anybody. I was making fun of myself, saying, when I was in school, I was the retarded kid who was sitting in the back, wearing a helmet, not paying attention. They said, oh, he’s making fun of those kids in the back row. Somebody really tried to make an example, and tried to just slam me in the press.
What’s your fast food guilty pleasure?
There’s a place called Tommy Burgers, which is in East L.A. They’ve been making burgers for about 60 years, this little shack. About once a year, I’ll go over there, maybe after a USC football game, and get a chili cheeseburger and chili cheese fries. It’s a heart attack in a wrapper. It’s one of those where you’re tasting it for the next two days–it’s that good.
Any lasting health problems from Super Size Me?
I can put on weight now really easily. What people don’t realize is when you lose weight, all those fat cells in your body don’t magically go away. They just get really skinny. So my body is filled with all these skinny fat cells waiting to pop up the minute I overeat. I can put on 2-3 pounds in a weekend. Now I read the labels, and check my portion size.
By Michael Malone