In words Clayne Crawford podcast of his side of the Lethal Weapon story

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Thank you @carita_gamble for all your hard work doing this, on behalf of TeamClayne

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Episode 309 – What REALLY Happened On the Set of Lethal Weapon* 

Ross Patterson sat down with actor Clayne Crawford who played “Riggs” on Fox’s hit tv show Lethal Weapon to discuss his recent firing from the show.

In this exclusive interview he finally reveals his side of the story after months of silence. 

 

Ross Patterson: 

Clayne Crawford welcome to Wilmington North Carolina How are you buddy?   

Clayne Crawford: 

Buddy, I’m great man, how are you?    

Ross Patterson: 

I’m well –  I thought we start off with a little captain’s hat here from Wilmington Brewing Company local beer.   

Clayne Crawford: 

Delicious.   

Ross Patterson: 

How’s your summer been?  You been up to anything?   

Clayne Crawford: 

No, I haven’t been up to anything, also I haven’t turned on my phone so I haven’t been reading any news or anything so what’s been going on?   

Ross Patterson: 

Nothing, as far as I’ve seen.   So I think I think you’re safe. 

Clayne Crawford: 

You know what is weird?  Nobody has called me to go back to work.  (laughing)  I don’t know if they started shooting, (laughing) I can’t imagine they’re making a TV show without me (laughing) that would be kind of like when they killed Optimus Prime in the cartoon movie in the 80’s remember?  That was so crazy – what a minute, you can’t kill Optimus Prime in the first 30 minutes – what are we going to watch for the next hour?  (Transformers – laughing) I was devastated as a child so that can’t be true but it is!   

Ross Patterson: 

Boss – it has been a weird, weird summer man – first off I was with you hours before this all shook out – you called me and said Hey Man, I’m hosting a charity for Veterans – you are super passionate about your charity work um, and a that’s what I find hilarious when I got there  you were like hey, man so I haven’t gotten a call to go back for the next season so what do you think is happening?  I was like I don’t know – maybe they are recasting 

Clayne Crawford: 

Well I think at that point the first article had come out right?  They’ve come out and said that it was bad behavior and I personally thought well I have a pretty good idea where the source of this information is coming from and surely it will blow over as someone is just being a little bit of a jerk and it came out perfectly on the day that I directed my first episode of national television not to distract from this beautiful proud moment and I think it was about four days after my 40th birthday there it is –but it has been a –it has been a tumultuous 40th – it’s been interesting and look man that article came out and I was like Okay well this is gonna blow over and then it didn’t and I think so I was asked what the fuck is going on?  What do you think they’re doing?   

Ross Patterson: 

And I told you like man, if you haven’t heard  at this point because you’re so close to up fronts and the show was doing well especially overseas, it’s  crushing it overseas and let’s face it if a TV show is doing well overseas it is making a lot of money and I thought for sure they couldn’t be dumb enough to fire the lead like are they gonna fire Rigs and replace Rigs – has it happened in the past in TV shows, Yes  Has it been successful?   

Clayne Crawford: 

It’s a little different when you replace Becky – or the Mom off of Fresh Prince like it’s like if they’d replace the Fresh Prince we’re not gonna watch it anymore that’s why I didn’t think it was possible and again I knew we had problems you know, because obviously we saw the show differently. I think I came from it creatively – I just finished rectify, so I was quite hesitant to come into a network show, much less the remake of what I thought was a great film and a great franchise with excluding the fourth film and, you know, so again, we are work ethics are quite different and creatively we saw the show much differently, but I just didn’t think they were going to get rid of me, I guess. And if they did, I thought they would give me a buzz, or hey a Jangle –  it just a jangle, you know, just grab two cans and a string and just be like, You’re not coming back.   We feel like, this is the Damon Wayans show and people just don’t like you. – so go the Fuck back down to Alabama you dumb hick thanks for playing (laughing) – 

Ross Patterson: 

So for the record you never got a call from Warner Brothers saying hey you’re fired right?  

Clayne Crawford: 

No – You know what happened – to this day, it makes my back hurt just thinking about it 

Ross Patterson: 

Your Instagram posts during the season finale when all this shook out – like hey guys nobody’s called I laughed for 1000 years  

Clayne Crawford: 

my buddy that post when I was you know doing some dumb shit diving in the water down in Los Angeles Long Beach pier and shooting some scene right and and I get out of the water you know and and one of the dolly operators sent me that pic and he’s just like and we would always send it back and forth to each other and say when you walk in at three o’clock your wife wants to know where you’ve been – you know we’d always just put different things and I was like this is the perfect opportunity to use that picture. You can’t be firing me because that would be ridiculous which I don’t think they thought was funny but I’m glad you did – look the article came out…. 

Ross Patterson: 

So here’s the thing because I just left your house a couple hours earlier and flown back to here. And so E had posted your Instagram posts and I saw it on Twitter and I was like wait what?  That’s where I found out – I didn’t find out from you – I didn’t find out from you know anyone there was no official press release and I was like, Hang on – E’s got your Instagram up and that’s when I texted you and was like Yep Yo man Have you heard anything that you’re like no, but everybody else’s has…  

Clayne Crawford: 

And I was in Nashville – because you had left town we did the benefit and  The Cane wanted to have me come up because he just bought a new restaurant up in Nashville (Christian Kane) Christian Kane we all love him so so the wife and I drive up to to Nashville and we take a nice road trip listening to you know podcasts so when I get to I get to Nashville I get a shit storm of texts because I guess the other article came out that said you’re being replaced like he’s being fired and and and I was I looked at the wife and I was like What the Fuck as we are getting ready to go to dinner and I was like fuck I’m going to post this  pick “Click” and I threw the phone to the side because you know me – cell phones like I rarely have it on me and … 

Ross Patterson: 

that is true by the way for the audience everybody at home getting a hold of you is like trying to get ahold of Trump like you just don’t have a fucking phone with you because you live your life in the moment you are very in the moment guy. And like, Hey, you rather spend time with your family, whatever, you’re not on social media all the time.  

Clayne Crawford: 

I don’t like talking on the telephone, and I feel like too much gets lost in texting. So for me I just fucking hate the device. Um – So yeah it was it was quite unusual you know to to again turn on the phone once we landed in Nashville and I asked that we were driving so when we got there and to see all these all these texts and so then of course I go and check social media because that’s how I found out my fate is through social media or through deadline which is obviously swinging from the sack of Warner Brothers…. 

Ross Patterson: 

And then deadline is the go to insider site for Hollywood. It’s not even like a traditional site as far as like normal audience goers for TV or movies. That’s an insider site for us. And so that that’s where I caught the story was on Deadline but um – you hear this all the time. You hear this all the time in the world of like Man, I found out like NFL players I found out I was traded on Twitter. I found out where the coaches I find I was fired on Twitter, you really did. So that’s real.  

Clayne Crawford: 

I found out everything through social media or again Deadwood, uh . Deadline and when I found out that Sean had actually been hired that was Mother’s Day that Sunday and we’re all sitting at the dinner table and everybody’s phones just kind of start lighting up and my mom actually showed me the picture and she goes they actually did it you know so to go back to your previous question when the first article came out I called McG first and I was like what the fuck is this – I was like this is not this is obviously Damon putting the shit out there like this is nothing’s going to really happen with this right? 

Ross Patterson: 

He directed the pilot correct? 

Clayne Crawford: 

He directed the pilot and he directed the second episode – McG is why I signed onto this deal. Um – he’s a great dude. And he’s really energetic and he has a great vision. He’s a little bit of a cowboy – um, so when the first article came out it I called McG, and he’s just like, This is crazy. Don’t worry about it, don’t worry about it, don’t worry about it and then he goes, let me call Warner Brothers. And then he called me back is like, it’s not good.  What do you mean it’s not good?  He goes dude you need to call Peter – so I called Peter Roth and and he .. I think that was Monday night and I said, Look, man, what the hell’s going on? How … I started to approach it … How are you going to let this guy put this slander shit out there and first thing he said to me was Clayne, Clayne, Clayne  stop stop..  stop – and he says Clayne, I can’t promise you that I can save your job but what I can tell you is that you have to make a public announcement apologizing publicly to Damon Wayans and I was like what the … I was like Peter Why would I apologize publicly because he and I had a riff onset and he’s like Clayne that statement alone tells me that you don’t want to come back. (You’re kidding)  He goes and I had my wife he is on speaker phone and my family was in my house – my parents were there um, he said you know Clayne If I were you I’d look your children in the eyes and I’d look your wife in the eyes and you need to make a decision he goes but again I can’t promise you that I can save your job and we hung up I looked at my family and I was just like, I can’t apologize to this guy.  He has made life miserable for me on the show.  And I was like, I also feel like that they’re already moving forward. I feel like if I apologize, they’re going to use that to justify this poor decision that they’re making and supporting his bad behavior and his ego.  So I knew that they had these tapes because they’d been blackmailing me with the tape of me yelling at Newman since October of 2017…  

Ross Patterson: 

and who is Newman for the audience 

Clayne Crawford: 

Newman was the first A.D. and for anyone who’s not familiar with the industry he’s the Assistant Director but essentially their job is to kind of wrangle the cast get everyone where they need to be whether it’s the actors whether it’s the crew getting everything quiet they’re the ones it’s like guys were rolling you know they .. and a lot of times they’re the ones that actually call action because sometimes video village which is where the director kind of views what’s happening thru the camera (So far away) So far away and and we had two different AD’s and they would rotate each episode so they would one would be prepping while the other was shooting vice versa so they’re kind of so I knew that they had those tapes and they had been blackmailing me with that and when I say blackmail anytime I had a problem with .. whether it be – he would show up to work and say (Damon Wayans) right and he would say Damon would say you know what are we doing at this church so what do you mean we’re doing at this church like we’re shooting here all day and he’s like He would take his material and go, I can’t shoot inside of a church is against my religion. I started dying laughing because I thought it was funny (right) And he’s like, dude, I’m a Jehovah’s Witness. I’m not allowed to go into another house of worship. It’s like, well, then fucking read the script beforehand, because he wouldn’t do table reads. So there was no way for us to get an indication of what worked and what didn’t work and what he would do and what he wouldn’t do. So we would have to find out on the day, so he would just say, I’m going home and they would look at me and go, you got to memorize all his shit. And then I’d be walking around with a stunt double, you know, in any of the big wide shots and then they would build like for that instance for that episode – Specifically, we were in a confessional at one point – so they built the confessional on the soundstage at Warner Brothers and we had to shoot it a week later so this kind of shit would come up all the time, right and I would go and I would complain once they had that tape anytime I complained is like this will come out and it will ruin your career. Now, mind you, when the incident happened, I had to pay half of my salary for that episode, I had to go use ..  I had to spend six weeks in anger management every day on my lunch break um and I had to be escorted to and from set from my trailer to set by a security guard.  It was humiliating and essentially…  

Ross Patterson: 

What was the incident for the for the… 

Clayne Crawford: 

Well, if you asked Variety I was yelling at children, (right) because that’s a blatant fucking lie ..  

Ross Patterson: 

That’s what I read and I was like man there’s no there’s no way I know you I’ve known you for 20 years I’ve we’ve done what four or five movies together a TV show a numerous sketches like you .. 

Clayne Crawford: 

We know each other as fathers.  

Ross Patterson: 

Yeah. Yeah. You would never yell at children…  

Clayne Crawford: 

Clearly I’m yelling at Newman. (Yeah) clearly I’m yelling at the guy whose job it is to get the set quiet. And here’s the thing – did I make a poor choice?   Absolutely (right) – I shouldn’t have lost it and I felt embarrassed in the moment because I was belligerent –  I was so angry, right?  We’ve been shooting a three page scene for eight hours. Okay.  We were so behind and we continue to try to shoot through all this noise so we called everyone in production we stopped production over seven times I called my agents we were writing emails we were calling everyone we could to try to help us resolve the situation no one would come in, no one would help us, right? (right)  So I shot all of my coverage in between the sounds now when we say sound you can watch the episode is Episode Five of season two there’s no fucking swimming pool there’s no children anywhere nearby we were in a park and it was a Wednesday in the middle of October right so everybody’s school we’re in a park which we cleaned out the sounds coming from this cinder block wall which you can see in the the episode and something was happening inside that it was echoing because it was almost sounded maybe like a gymnasium type environment and it sounded like to us like lockers being slammed – but whatever it was sound kept looking at me just shaking their heads – it’s unusable (yeah) – now in Production  a lot of times they don’t care about sound because they’ll just say you can just ADR It and ADR is to audio (digital recording) so it’s essentially you go in if there’s if there’s a flub or if there’s an airplane going by you go in  you correct that sound so that they can use it in the cut – it destroys a performance most of the time and anyone who cares about creativity wants to get the set quiet where only a network television do they – they could care less.  This is a sausage factory so it’s really just about pulling the labors and and I and I and I’m okay with that right I’m not okay with that but fuck it I’d come accustomed to this is how we have to work sometimes so I’d learned to be able to do my dialogue I would do one line at a time in between the sounds and we got mine clear when this poor kid is sitting there with a gun to his head and he’s crying and he’s shaking and he’s done it fucking hundred times and the set – the boom operator who’s standing behind him hanging the microphone over us she’s just looking at me and shaking her head because there’s so much racket (yeah) I snapped.  Should have walked to my trailer?  100%  Should have just gone and sat and waited because that’s what I was instructed to do when there was a problem. You go sit in your trailer and you lock your door and you take a nap. I come from the independent film world where if you don’t pull up your fucking bootstraps and get it done we don’t get the movie made. (Yeah) So I just didn’t I I’m from Alabama where I come from a very blue collar background so we just work hard and you get the job done. Now again, again, Hollywood is very sensitive so I should not have screamed and yelled, right?  because it’s a bunch of very delicate flowers out there… 

Ross Patterson: 

I’ve said worse… 

Clayne Crawford: 

And are you fucking kidding me? We grew up with coaches when we were 12 years old that were yelling tool of motivation.  

Ross Patterson: 

You can go on YouTube anybody at home and you can watch that scene because they they did release these tapes, quote unquote, that was like, Oh, this is the damning evidence when I watched these tapes. I watched it and I thought the same thing. If you’ve worked on a movie set before or any TV production. Clearly you’re screaming at somebody to lock the set down and get these people to shut up.  You saying that thing about the the kid with a gun to his head – that was the scene – a kid was about to commit suicide he’s in a highly dramatic moment all you want is for this kid whoever the actor was I don’t know his name (I don’t either) to say to have some peace and quiet get his scene done and get out of there he’s crying he’s got the gun to his head it’s the whole thing … 

Clayne Crawford: 

It just seems so creatively disrespectful to me (yes) and and that was my problem with this director at that time he had directed episode three as well and he could not get the set under control – so our biggest issue was when it came to safety because there was so many issues which now you’re seeing season 3 these guys are having tons of issues when it comes to safety because it’s just -it’s just a fuckin free for all. There’s no leadership – we never had a show runner on set – Matt Miller was never on set maybe 10 times in 22 episodes, and we shot for 200 days.  Um, there was no producing director on set because that was Steve Boyne (sp?) who directed a lot of the episodes and he was in his 70s so he just couldn’t be on the set every day.  So they were willing –  they were just kind of giving it up to the director and …  

Ross Patterson: 

Why do you think they were doing that is my question because it is highly unusual to 1. to let your lead actor not do table reads at all uh, even if they phoned it in because I’ve seen that before where it’s like great put them on a conference call you can read it from his fucking bedroom or whatever..  

Clayne Crawford: 

And that’s fine it’s fine. Let’s just hear it  

Ross Patterson: 

Exactly. This is hear it out loud. So they usually do that and not having you know a strong strong show runner on set with you. It’s crazy unusual…  

Clayne Crawford: 

I’ve never experienced it I’ve never you know with Rectify which was a very small TV show but AMC does everything right you know and Sundance is under the AMC IFC umbrella and we had first of all Ray McKinnon was on set every single day with the director with a producer with a producing director every scene no one missed so for me I felt like I had to because D let us know from the very first episode or the second episode because in the pilot he was in pretty decent spirits but by the second episode he’s like I don’t want to be here this is not what I signed up for I’m done he checked out. So (Damon Wayans) correct and for me I thought that I was going to be able to kind of sit behind this legend who’d been doing this forever and I could kind of learn the ropes. That was not the case. He shut down. I’ve got I’m looking at buses going by fucking Hollywood in Hollywood with my picture on the side of it and I’m like, if this thing sucks – I’m fucked. (Yeah) so I kind of took the reins, okay – and  I kind of started running sets and started making rewrites, I started working with the directors and I started working with the actors and I started doing everything I could regarding quality control – um – so no one’s on set it’s it’s haywire and I lose my shit um and I got fucking reamed for it and I had to pay financially and I had to pay with my time and a humility and again being escorted to and from set so I knew that they were going to release these tapes because they’ve been blackmailing me with them for months and months and months the entire second season – So I knew after Peter told me that I had to apologize to Damon. I was like, well, I’ve got to address this head on. Because right now I sound like and I and I knew why they did. They said that I mistreated my cast and crew. They knew how important my cast and crew was to me. I said multiple times that this is the best crew I’ve ever worked with.  Um, I’m not famous by any means. But I’ve worked on hundreds of sets (right) and these guys were just dialed in. And it was because they no one thought the show was going to go – right because so many remakes had been tanking and I think .. 

Ross Patterson: 

Look it’s it’s tough man especially Lethal Weapon you’re you’re coming I mean, it’s so famous you’re coming in to play Mel Gibson’s character for Christ sakes like… 

Clayne Crawford: 

That was a big shadow … 

Ross Patterson: 

Even as your buddy I was like there’s no fucking way this gets past the pilot. There’s no way unless they actually let you do what you want to do and who you are which is miraculously what happened. 

Clayne Crawford: 

But Ross that’s only because I passed on this thing five times. So every time I would say, I’m gonna have a mustache, they’d say No, you’re not. I’m like, well, then I’m not doing it.  FUCK – Well, I’m gonna have long hair. No, you’re not. Well, then I’m not doing it – so every time I would just say, I’m going home. And McG to his credit was extremely supportive of my process. I mean, we’ll, get into that whole thing but so basically, I knew I had to apologize um  I knew I had to make a statement and put something out there. And and I didn’t know if possibly there was somebody that I defended, you know, but the first call I made was Kevin Rahm who played Captain Avery – and then I called Keesha Sharp and Jordana (Brewster) – and I was just like am I missing something? Do I, am I living in a bubble and I don’t really understand like, it’s my ego, or am I like a fucking lunatic (right) and I’ve been hurting people and I and I have all the text messages from these people and voicemails from these people saying, obviously you’re not the problem but you’ve got to get ahead of this because you know They’re gonna use those tapes against you.  So I sat down and I tried to write the best you know kind of little statement that I could and I had to help a friend of mine Jenna Glass and we um put this thing together and and I released it and um the next thing I know you know like I say I get fired so it’s a .. um .. yeah 

Ross Patterson: 

Let me ask you this – going back to those tapes because the second one that got released was a conversation with you and Damon where you were going back and forth literally right up until an action take where you call him a pussy  

Clayne Crawford: 

I did not know about that tape – I was not aware of that tape ..  

Ross Patterson: 

So you didn’t know about that tape .. 

Clayne Crawford: 

I didn’t I didn’t know I didn’t know that they – look they had had this tape of me yelling at Newman everybody in production had on their cell phones right so that was a little frustrating .. 

Ross Patterson: 

Why?  It’s rare when you’re on set and somebody allows you to take cell phone videos.  

Clayne Crawford: 

It’s not cell phone video Ross it was the actual footage. They had the actual audio from production – a file .. 

Ross Patterson: 

Why? Oh, why are they keeping that as my question …  

Clayne Crawford: 

Again there was there so I can say 

Ross Patterson: 

It’s so backhanded and it’s so crazy to me that it’s like if you’re an actor out there, first of all, you’re mikes are up all day long (all day long) all day long but I was under the impression you said on a phone call or any anywhere else that they recorded and put out 

Clayne Crawford: 

I thought it was illegal for them to be able to I didn’t think they could put something out like this and I kept saying what are you gonna put it out?  You’re not going to put this fucking type out of me (right) right and we had they had it on their phones man and it was kind of going around so.. 

Ross Patterson: 

It happened to Christian Bale too … BRUCE… BRUCE!!! 

Clayne Crawford: 

That was also McG … 

Ross Patterson: 

Stop! 

Clayne Crawford: 

McG directed that film – 

Ross Patterson: 

Maybe it’s his fucking sound editor .. hahaha 

Clayne Crawford: 

Wasn’t the DP adjusting lights or some shit ….(laughter) 

Ross Patterson: 

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah…. 

Clayne Crawford: 

They were overseas and when you’re overseas it’s all bets are off … dude (I know) –  you’ll be in the middle of a scene like “Kevin I don’t  – I just need to fix this little light – no, no, no – keep pretending kids –it’s beautiful, it’s beautiful .. they fix it later” (laughter) 

Ross Patterson: 

The fact that that was all McG productions it’s really funny actually but the thing that I want to say is like that and from an acting standpoint a director like I’ve produced a ton of shit we’ve done a lot of things together first of all I’ve said worse to people um, when when the set isn’t lockdown and people are screaming or if I see movement behind camera whatever like I lose my shit the exact same way I did not feel that was bad and especially because of what that young man was going through acting wise. He’s got look he’s got one shot. These guest stars have one shot to make an impression on a network (Yep) that’s going on they’re real it is a massive dramatic scene in Lethal Weapon – a huge TV show …  

Clayne Crawford: 

But Ross on top of that they’re excited to be there (YES) they love the show (YES) so they think it’s gonna be great and then it’s a fucking shit storm (yeah) and and I was just always trying to protect these guys you know that and my crew – 

Ross Patterson: 

Damon Wayans thing now with that tape – I’ve had conversations like that too – like your back and forth to me wasn’t that bad. So when they leak that tape and I’m going to use heavy air quotes on leak that tape I think it was that bad either. Again, I’ve said worse to co-stars and people have said worse to me where it was just like I mean I’ve had massively famous people like a list Oscar nominated people say fuck you, dude. Fuck you – like on set versus like, and you know what? We don’t care .. you don’t care you turn the corner and you’re like, Great that nobody gets hurt. 

Clayne Crawford: 

Look it’s like, nobody gets their feelings hurt in war. Yeah, and that’s because it’s, you kind of gotta fly off the cuff,  you’re figuring it out and we’re just trying to survive and that’s a lot – not to compare making fucking movies to war by any god dam means, right?  Now let’s say it’s like sports which we take very seriously (right) and there’s no fucking life or death in collegiate athletics presses which we just talked about right (yeah) but there’s a lot of screaming and yelling (a lot) sometimes it’s fucking necessary to get the job done when there’s a clock ticking.  Not in Hollywood – now people are very sensitive nowadays (very sensitive) right and here’s the thing – go for it!  Go try to make Apocalypse Now where everybody’s having a good time and being sweet you know you go fucking ..  like you go I just want you to go fucking make Shawshank and everybody have a great time and it’s never difficult (yeah) on anyone like give me a fucking .. I think that’s what really Damon said in an article recently which is the only reason I’m doing this is because every time .. it’s August and anytime they talk about the show it’s my image my fucking name – to promote their goddamn show …  

Ross Patterson: 

and and by the way every article starts with this,  “Clayne Crawford was fired for bad behavior and then they brought in so and so and now we’re giving you this” … they just keep hammering you over and over and over again  

Clayne Crawford: 

I think they’re trying to justify their poor decision  

Ross Patterson: 

Well look this is this is one of the first times I can say in a long goddamn time where when you got fired because you got fired on the day of the season finale an hour before – an before the season finale – fans were starting to read about it online because they’re going to Twitter just to comment on the episode -it’s I think arguably the best episode you guys have done too on Lethal Weapon in those two seasons – You were amazing in that especially when you get shot at the end it’s not a mystery anymore – it’s not a  spoiler alert 

Clayne Crawford: 

Right — Well Ross I have died in like 60 different productions so I have – I am quite versed in the death scene ..  

Ross Patterson: 

But everybody wants to Twitter and then they Raged Against the Machine of like dude you killed off the show not just Riggs but the show and I’m with the fans on this one where when I watched this show to me you made the show and I was watching it for you not that I dislike Damon Wayans as an actor by the way so yeah .. 

Clayne Crawford: 

I appreciate you saying that – you’re very sweet  

Ross Patterson: 

Yes but but again not that I dislike Damon Wayans as an actor because that’s not true. I like Damon Wayans – He’s a legend.  You made that show – he was the guy who was the you know, he wasn’t the jokester and I think probably that got to him. Where – look man, that guy’s usually bringing the comedy whereas every single episode they were waiting to see what Riggs did – they don’t really give a shit what Murtaugh.  

Clayne Crawford: 

Yeah, and that sucks for him. You know, I think that …  he told me that he never thought this thing was going to go and that he had gone to Peter Roth with another idea to do a show because he said that he was ready to kind of you know, come out of retirement and that he wanted to make a TV series and when he went into Peter – Peter was like that’s a great idea, but let me pitch you something else first. (Ah) – Lethal Weapon.  (laughter) 

Ross Patterson: 

I’m sure that went over well like a fart in church .. 

Clayne Crawford: 

Like a fart in church and apparently you know Damon was like okay well they’re going to bring in some hick from Alabama that nobody’s ever heard of to play Riggs. Yeah, I’ll go shoot your pilot, and then you’ll make what I want to make. (Yeah, Yeah, Yeah)  So once we hit full swing, he was just miserable, (right)  So look, I’ll address that second tape and then and then we’ll go back but yeah, I did not expect that tape to come out. That was the episode I was directing. I was quite nervous and excited and understand I only was able to direct an episode of season two because I did not want to come back for season two. It was such a shit show season one and I felt like I had been lied to. They told me that Damon was so excited and that you know, Peter gave me a song and dance when I .. because I’d passed multiple times and they flew me out to LA and I had to sit in a room with them and Peter starts telling me that Damon had had brain surgery and he had a tumor removed from his pituitary gland and that he had this whole new outlook on life and that he was Murtaugh right?  and then we get to set and this guy hates it – so I was like Peter you sold me .. you sold me a bag of oranges and I got home it was a fucking bag of bananas bro like I don’t want this .. I don’t want to do this every day … so part of them keeping me excited about the show was saying okay you can direct an episode next year which that never happens .. Season 3 maybe…  

Ross Patterson: 

Ever – and not only that but that’s a free ticket into the DGA as well where people work for two years to get into the DGA.  

Clayne Crawford: 

Yeah, huge, huge – usually again, you’ve got to have that season three guarantee – and then they’re like, all right we will throw you a bone and well you know (Yeah)  well they did it for me because I was like, Look, I’m not coming back and working with this asshole.  Right?   So ironically Damon apologized to me when we were in Paris.  McG was there – we were there doing a press tour and McG happened to be there…  

Ross Patterson: 

Before Season 2? 

Clayne Crawford: 

Yes – Correct. So in the summer after season one (okay) – We we were doing this huge press when we were in we were in Paris, we’re in London. We’re in New York and um .. Damon had just said – look I’m sorry because it got rough – if you watched the end of season One – the Fucker’s got on a beanie 90% of the time and he’s just mumbling the words like he was…  but ironically him being so pissed off made his work great – like he played Murtaugh really layered (Yeah) with him being pissed  —  so they let me direct and they got me acupuncture on set and they got me a gym and they had me a masseuse and all these things just to try to keep me Zen and that I could so I could do my job so I was like okay — and I thought Damon was going to come back in season 2 and be really excited but he wasn’t — he was..  he was the same old bullshit so when I’m directing my episode which is Episode 20 .. um.. Damon’s first or second day I forget he called in sick which he’s never called in sick (right) comes back to work the next day and he’s shooting hoops and I was just like you feeling better and he’s like Come on bro everybody needed a day off (laughter 

Ross Patterson: 

When you’re getting paid that much money I mean you know .. 

Clayne Crawford: 

You know who I am as a human being (yeah) not to get physical in that moment to think that he costs me a day which in – to the fans who don’t know anything about television it’s like it is asshole and elbows trying to – we shoot 9 to 10 pages a day we basically shoot a movie in nine days and it’s really fucking difficult (yeah) not on not on the actors as much as this crew – those guys and they were champions they showed up every day with a good attitude and trying to make the best quality – best product possible because sometimes the directors – because again it was Lethal Weapon we get these directors that come in who are just like whatever … You know what I mean?  They don’t know their asses from their elbows because all the good directors are booked out and nobody wants to come do Lethal Weapon.  Um, so Damon’s  second day he comes in ..  third day .. whatever it was and that’s when he got hit with the shrapnel – and it wasn’t that he was injured is that he continued to say everyone had targeted him – that’s when it made a turn and he started saying that people should be fired and this is a this is a VX crew – VFX crew that I’ve been working with for two straight seasons that were just fantastic and safety was always the number one priority. Granted, things would get rushed and the directors would get in – safety would become an issue but only because they would stop listening to Tim Trial the stunt coordinator and the special effects guys.  So when he starts saying that people need to be fired, I got extremely upset and they did an investigation. Damon went home – which cost me my second day of shooting. I had to shoot the stunt double all day and I was quite upset and I was upset for my crew. But they came back and they said there was no wrongdoing.  Damon said when he left that day, I’ll not hold a gun, you can’t point a gun at me, I’m not running, I’m not jumping, I’m not doing stunts anymore because I don’t trust you and I don’t trust them.  So I called Matt Miller …  

Ross Patterson: 

Boy, how do you do a cop show when you don’t only gun?   

Clayne Crawford: 

How do you do an action show?  (Yeah)  So when I called the, here’s the best part is when I called the fucking head of Warner Brothers and I go, you’ve got to help me. He’s left the set again – that is two days. He goes, you wanted to direct – direct.  I’ll worry about the actors.. well I did want to direct.  (Yeah) Touché good man!  (laughter) (Congratulations). Checkmate – so I was like fuck, I so I started — I went to the old typewriter and I was like, I’m gonna rewrite the scenes for tomorrow, which was, all the scenes where, and this episode 20. So again, there’s like, visual facts to support. So Episode 20 – when we walk into the optometrist .. um .. we’re all sitting in the car, which is where the audio was played was he and I sitting in the car, and then we get out of the car will walk into the optometrist, and that’s where the gunfight happens and then ends up in the movie theater.  Like this fucking guy is not going to do anything .. because he was … because they felt that if they took me out of most of the action scenes for my episode that I could have more time to direct and I was like guys don’t put it on Damon I can fucking do both. But that’s neither here nor there. So they put it so I was like okay I went in that night and I started rewriting, rewriting, rewriting out like okay, so I’ll come in – Damon can call me we can have the conversation about Rihanna on the phone when I’m walking into the optometrist than I can do this and then it can cut to after the theater scene it can cut to Roger and the kid that saved Rihanna in an interrogation I was like it will work perfect as I know Mike Miller he’s not going to act ma he’s I.  Dude we’re not writing him out of the scenes.   I was like before we shoot you and Peter Roth and Mark Albert – we all need to be on set with Damon and have a conversation and find out why he sabotaging my episode.   Let’s just find out why he’s upset and let’s get everybody on the same page. I have emails begging Peter Roth to help me – radio silence.  So we get to work, Damon walks up and the first thing I say to him was Hey, how’s your boo boo?  (Yeah)  Puts in his fucking earbuds… oh, fuck…  

Ross Patterson: 

It’s gonna be a long day! 

Clayne Crawford: 

It’s gonna be a long day .. (laughter) So then I’m like, all right let’s go into the optometrist and they were setting up the shot, which was us in the car, which is what you heard. So they’re setting up the shot, which was across the street, because I wanted a long raking from the other corner – the opposite corner to cut in between the close ups of us walking into the optometrist. So they’re setting that up and we decided to rehearse the actual optometrists scene so we get into the room and I mean it’s the fucking every all the crew members are inside the room including Matt Miller which is the first time him and Mark Albert both onset which is the first time that it happened in the entire season.  

Ross Patterson: 

So, they did read the email and they came… 

Clayne Crawford: 

They came to work – okay – to keep us apart from one another.  (Gotcha) So I said D you’re going to be doing this and this and he’s like nope – and I was like, look I’ll give you a rubber gun – it’s not even real and he’s like nope. I was like, dude, I can’t frame out the fucking gun –  so you’ve got to hold something in – just squat down. He’s like I’m not squatting down.  Well I was like Bro, you’re supposed to run down the stairs and then you got to run down the hallway and then you’ve got to tackle the dude.  And he’s like, Not me, that’s Robert and Robert was a stunt double.  I was like all right, well you can go and we’ll figure it out and he walked off set and I looked at everybody and go – What the fuck are we going to do today? I’m like guys and they go, look you got to figure it out with Robert and like I’m not shooting Roberts ass all fucking day like people want to see Damon’s face … 

Ross Patterson: 

Yeah .. now Robert is his stunt double …  

Clayne Crawford: 

Robert who’s a great guy – I worked with Robert more than I did Damon okay he was a great fucking dude.  So I said so…  I’m like fuck this I’m gonna go talk to him and they’re like you’re not going to talk to him so we get in the car they’re like pack it up ready to go to Fox. We get into the Crown Vic.  And I just looked at him and go, you’re a pussy I said I think the first thing I’m a mouth was and they bleeped it out. But I go, I said, you know Hicksy – he is my youngest son – he’s six, I go, Hicks would have taken that hit better than you did.   

Ross Patterson: 

And what did he say to that? 

Clayne Crawford: 

I think he said, he goes off.   You’re just a pussy.  I was so disappointed in him. And everybody’s like, dude, you’re so calm in that thing, I was like, I just didn’t know where else to go. And I’ve been putting up with this bullshit for two years. We’re like, we’d wait half an hour from to finally get a shot set up and then we all get to set and Damon goes, I have to go to the bathroom and he walked off for 20 fucking minutes. Like he just sabotaged everything – he just didn’t want to be there. But he did it in this very passive aggressive way. And I was just over it.  I was just like, dude, like, you’re only famous because of fucking Keanan, bro.  

Ross Patterson: 

Yeah, that’s when things got heated in that tape …  

Clayne Crawford: 

Well then I think he told me to suck his pussy dick.  (Yeah) but here’s the best part they didn’t share the whole tape.   

Ross Patterson: 

No they never do by the way – yeah… 

Clayne Crawford: 

Because I ripped his ass – I told him that we could bring Steve Harvey in from the Family Feud today and the audience would embrace it …  

Ross Patterson: 

Shut the fuck up … 

Clayne Crawford: 

I told him that we could bring fucking Keenan out of retirement – shit we could get Damon Jr who is a great guy and a great actor …  

Ross Patterson: 

Yeah and a Fox legend – Fox loves Damon Wayans Jr. (laughter) 

Clayne Crawford: 

Apparently Sean William Scott was Damon Jr.’s really good buddy (Yeah) but I ripped his ass but Ross it was because I just had had enough and I told my wife because . she’s said why did you do it because fuck man I had I just had to tell him what I thought of him and he’s a waste of space and the nobody cares man like you are … we call Damon LEE – Lazy Entitled Elitist and that was just it man …  

Ross Patterson: 

And that was his nickname on set?   

Clayne Crawford: 

That was his nickname on set, you know and it was just because he just and again, he didn’t want to be there (Right) and maybe he got an out and I don’t want to bash I know I am bashing the dude, but  maybe you know maybe they sold him a bag of goods like they sold me and that it was did the show’s gonna be my wife and kids with guns.  (Right)  Right?  You’re gonna be Murtaugh, we’re gonna take this and fuck Riggs. This is gonna be about Murtaugh you know (laughter) and the Murtaugh family – maybe that’s what they sold him. I don’t know … 

Ross Patterson: 

They probably told you guys both the same thing if you want to be honest about it. Okay, this is Riggs show this is going to be your ship. You’re the Captain of it. They pulled him aside and say Murtaugh –  you probably saw the movie where it was all Riggs. Congratulations. It is not that – it is going to be the Murtaugh show .. no way is it going to be that …  

Clayne Crawford: 

Fuck that white dude (laughter) 

Ross Patterson: 

Here’s the interesting thing though that I find through all of this. Even all the controversy – although you guys hate each other –  all this other shit that’s going on.. 

Clayne Crawford: 

Which I don’t hate him by the way, I do not …  

Ross Patterson: 

I know don’t…  

Clayne Crawford: 

I don’t blame him. I honestly blame the leadership and that actors and artists are fucking lunatics and that’s why they built soundstages and they put us all on it because it’s a circus and you got to keep it under the tent, the leadership failed us on this show and and and the fact that there’s no investigation about what really went on and I would imagine if this thing fails miserably which I don’t want – I’m not saying that I want it to fail and look this thing. May be they may be making the show right now I know they’re making the show that they always wanted to make and I frustrated them constantly whether it was how I wanted to do the stunts how I wanted to rewrite the material. I wanted to try to bring truth to it um and a tiny bit of integrity and and these guys definitely wanted this to be like a zing, zing, zing like I think Damon said like, you know, I just want to have fun, which is the most average thing I think I’ve ever heard anyone say as an adult because hard – It takes a lot of hard work to make a great show. … 

Ross Patterson: 

It is and again with all the hatred or perceived hatred that you guys had for one another .. um .. the thing that I found interesting about it was I didn’t .. look we’ve been friends for a long time .. watching the show – It didn’t show.  Your chemistry on screen with Damon Wayans, I didn’t know any of this shit was going on because week in, week out,  It looked like you guys are doing exactly what you wanted to do and it was the relationship that was being portrayed and like ….  

Clayne Crawford: 

Him hating me in real life gave him this thing of Murtaugh that I was kind of driving them crazy, which is what It was supposed to be Riggs – you know it was supposed to be that so again …  

Ross Patterson: 

You going through therapy at the time and all that other shit you were living Riggs as it was going on.   

Clayne Crawford: 

Well, yeah, my wife definitely we laugh about art imitating life and art, you know, but …  

Ross Patterson: 

That’s both of you guys together we’re great which is why I thought me personally, you would hash it out or the network would hash it out and say hey guys we got a good thing going here, this thing’s a …  

Clayne Crawford: 

Get us in a room …  

Ross Patterson: 

Amazing you know train money train around the world let’s keep this this whole shit going – um – I find it extremely curious how you continue on without Murtaugh and Riggs on Lethal Weapon …  

Clayne Crawford: 

Look I’m and I’m not even here and I don’t want to because I have zero feelings about network television period It’s especially a show that I’m no longer a part of. I just don’t care I don’t care what they want to do. I don’t know I hope that they I like all those people you know Keisha and Jonathan were in my home, you know, Jonathan and his wife spent Thanksgiving with me and my family (Right) you know, we were a family and when all this came out, they all reached out to me and out of fear of what could happen, which it’s ridiculous because if we were to all just communicated honestly what was really going on we could have continued to make this show and we could have all you know made our money and continue to put some you know quality product out there, but these guys got scared and my thing now is there’s so many crew members have been fired – the same crew that they were protecting – protecting right? 

Ross Patterson: 

Why do you think that was? 

Clayne Crawford: 

Ross – everybody knew what was going on bro.  I came to work every day with my kids. Not every day but I came to work with my family a lot.  I came with a heart full with enthusiasm ready to try to make the best show possible because this was my big break in a lot of ways.  So I tried to give 100% –  I gave 100% every single day  and the crew – we were a family right? we work together every day and you don’t fire.  I’ve never in the history prior to you getting rid of the script supervisor, the hair and makeup team, the, the, the sound team like just 70 some odd crew members and these guys are all calling me who reached out to Variety anonymously trying to give their side of the story because… 

Ross Patterson: 

I remember – look you don’t have to answer this question if you don’t want to – to me from an outsider not being on that set because I never worked with it, but I have probably four or five crew members from my movies that I’ve directed work on that set on lethal Weapon to me what they said to me privately, which you know that I said – I asked them before we went on air,  I said, look, can I can I say what I think it is or what you said it was, what you think it was never like Yeah, go ahead. Now at this point we can what they said was, they felt like they were choosing sides, the people who were pro-Clayne Crawford, and the people who were, you know, anti-Clayne Crawford, the ones that were anti kept their jobs were team Damon kept their jobs, the ones that weren’t didn’t and you don’t have to answer that if you are not comfortable… 

. Clayne Crawford: 

It’s not a matter answering – It has nothing to do with pro Clayne or pro Damon – everyone there just wanted to make a great show.  And they knew – when Damon – Damon went home that day because he got hit in the head of shrapnel the producer had a poster size picture of Damon blown up  that said Get well soon and it was like a one of the stills from the art work that we’d had shot up for the show for season two, and they wanted the entire crew to sign it. 

Ross Patterson: 

I saw the cut on Damon’s head, by the way.  It was a child size cut …  

Clayne Crawford: 

But Ross – you cut yourself where shaving. (Yeah, Yeah) (laughter) The point is, he was blaming others when there’s a fucking ricochet and then the go around and to ask us to sign this get well card – that was the show man like they just have never I’ve never seen and of course I’ve never worked with – that’s not true – I’ve worked with Travolta with Scarlett Johansson, I worked with what you consider like an A list star and I’ve never seen anyone treat someone the way that they did him – like they would just – they would reward his extremely poor behavior constantly – which only fuel the fire. 

Ross Patterson: 

Strange – it’s really, really strange.  

Clayne Crawford: 

So yeah, when we got in the car that day – Man, I lost it buddy and I was just really frustrated that no one was helping me.  Again, It was my first time directing and I would have thought that Miller would have been right there underneath me the whole time, you know, just there to kind of support me and – and I just thought at some point – because you got to think that day, Damon’s son in law chest bumped me three or four times – Damon physically grabbed Miller – cops were called which was the onset security.  Will do all have gone through actually police officers there California Highway Patrol they have their motorcycles, you know this, you know. (Oh Yeah, Yeah, Yeah) And they all run over and immediately grab Damon’s step-son or son- in- law and Damon and Damon’s like, “tell the men with guns to back off Miller!  Back off!” – and these – because these guys have reacted immediately I look at Miller – Damon gets in his car and speeds off – and I looked at miller –  What the fuck are we going to do? He’s like “I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know”.  Peter Roth calls us into his office – we get into his office and of course I get my ass reamed and Mike Miller, tell him that we just got it – like they physically attacked us and that they’re set – “Clayne, shh, you just need to listen to Peter” (I’m) just like,  You fucking coward. You know what, fuck all of you – I don’t give a shit and they reamed my ass and I was just like, “Can I go back to work?” and he’s like, “No, the days done. You go home.”  I go home. What did they do that night?  Approved all of my fucking rewrites and let me do all of the scenes and if they would have just done that the day before we could have avoided all of that but they continued to set me up to fail.  So, for whatever reason…. 

Ross Patterson: 

Yeah, I was gonna say, Why do you – Why do you think that was? 

Clayne Crawford: 

I told Kiki when I watched the first cut and it turned out really well.  (Your Wife) Yeah, my wife.  I was like, that’s it. She’s like, why?  I’m like they hoped they knew they were hoping they were giving me enough rope to hang myself and the fact that we had success and I had success as a director, I think infuriated them.  Look man I had problems with Matt Miller from the very beginning, who’s the showrunner because I had passed for multitude of reasons. One – I just didn’t want to do network – two –  I didn’t want to remake Lethal Weapon – three I’d heard Damon was a nightmare when it came to his work ethic and that he didn’t respect the craft, which I genuinely think even if we’re on fucking primetime at seven o’clock jumping off cars, I still looked at it as an art form – right?   And I just knew that he didn’t see eye to eye with that and and lastly was – I just didn’t think the script embodied what I had come to love is Lethal Weapon and when I met McG that same day that I met with Peter Roth in LA, he jumps after Peter Roth and he tells me about the brain tumor and that Damon has a new outlook on life and all this bullshit. He throws me in a golf cart and we zoom  across the Warner Brothers lot to go over to the production offices where Miller and McG are prepping.  And they set me down in a room and I was just like ah you know there’s just this doesn’t this doesn’t kind of ring true to me and this McG – he’s got on a cowboy hat and Jordan’s right and he’s like, “Clayne, buddy we’re gonna rewrite this. We’re going to change this, you can do whatever the fuck you know that car chase – it seems really bullshit on the 405 – it’s now in the Long Beach Grand Prix and you are gonna be on top of a Car, Car, Car!!  (laughter) Wow, that’s really fucking awesome… 

Ross Patterson: 

Wow, that sounds great – let’s fucking fire it out!!! (laughter) 

Clayne Crawford: 

I was like, but Riggs kind of saying, (McG states) don’t you worry about the dialogue. You say what you want to fucking say. I know that you’re a great actor. Say what you want to say we’re going to make it work and Miller, the whole time is like well I don’t know if we’re gonna say what you want to say.  (laughter) But you have to understand McG had all the power at that point… 

Ross Patterson: 

Yeah that McG is McG man – he’s a powerful fucking dude.. 

Clayne Crawford: 

And at that point like you’re getting a pilot made because you got McG directing and I’m sure Damon Wayans, don’t get me – I’m sure he had that dude because my wife and kids was a fucking huge success and is syndication all over the World, so I’m sure those two elements but definitely at that point it was it was G and  we went into – Look man, while we’re shooting,  I started changing so much dialogue and I was changing the tone of the show because I didn’t feel like there was enough emotional moments right?  Mike Miller hated that I was crying and like slid down the wall which I know is a little much you know dramatically when Miranda died but me and McG had this whole kind of thing of like holding the amulet – necklace and like this old deal… 

Ross Patterson: 

That’s what I like about this show that I thought it needed where you don’t ever see that too much on eight o’clock primetime shows on network, where it’s action shows, whatever. Typically, you don’t have those heartfelt moments or dramatic moments and that’s what I enjoyed about Lethal Weapon and that’s what drew me in from the pilot episode. 

Clayne Crawford: 

But that’s what you enjoyed about the film from 1987.  (Yes). I think that’s when it came out.  

Ross Patterson: 

Yeah, and even watching the pilot. I remember because I fully turned it on, expecting it to be a campy piece of shit and I watched the promo to it… 

Clayne Crawford: 

I remember you calling me and you’re like dude, you’re like, right before I shot – right before it aired , you’re like… 

Ross Patterson: 

I don’t know – I don’t know how it’s going to go.  Your career could be over (which, it still could be) It could be..  (laughter) but when I watched it and that again it was the emotion and the dramatic part of it where I was just like oh shit right before we went to commercial and I was like, All right, I’m gonna give this another 15 minutes, and another 15 minutes and then all of a sudden I’m at the end of the show of the pilot episode. And I’m like, holy shit. This seems different than the other, like, you know, if you watch like an NCIS is or something like that or like a Blue Bloods where you’re like, man, I just can’t buy into that shit (and look, nothing against those guys)  Not at all. But with Lethal Weapon you had a guy who was Riggs who was playing dramatic moments that I really loved like to me with Murtaugh I -you guys had a great relationship It could have been anyone.  The hard job, though, is replacing Mel Gibson because he was the star of that that series… 

Clayne Crawford: 

And look maybe that’s maybe that’s why I knew I had big shoes to fill. And I think that’s why I came in trying to again run quality control because I felt the films – the success was on Gibson and is good looking charm and that fucking mullet, you know what I mean? (oh yeah) and from the moment he was in that Christmas tree parking lot, you know, trying to buy the cocaine like we were invested and I knew I had to try to create that but I couldn’t do the zany as much because I was like shit I got to do 20 episodes of the season. I can’t, I have to try to find those levels right the ups and downs and when we were shooting that scene at the at the docks were Riggs tells Murtaugh you’ve got let me – I’m gonna jump out he’s gonna shoot and kill me, but he’s gonna give himself up and you shoot him.  It was written that and he goes, No. And I’m like, Yes. And he goes, No, and I go Yes. And I’m like, and I go jump out there – and I was like hmmm … G, come here, come here, come here – I think it seems like there should be more to this, like I said, if we’re not – if we don’t think these two guys love each other at this point in the pilot – the pilot is not gonna work – he’s like, I completely agree.  I was like can I just kind of improve -just kind of run with it. He’s like, hey, Role, Role, Role – so I get behind the (inaudible) it was like gunshots we dive behind the box and I look to say, boom, and I say huh, I start saying to him, “ Look, I’m gonna go out there and I was like look man I’ve got a kid I’ve never met and also Damon’s eyes start welling up – I just – I’ve got a little boy man that I just want to hold – dude, I miss my girl right?  CUT!  Cut, Cut, Cut, Cut!  I was just like what the fuck is going on right and Miller and (inaudible) argument happening over video Village and this Miller and McG and others like this is not the show.  This is not this fuckin sappy bullshit like …. guys you hired me to come and play that … you told me I could do what I wanted to do in this character and this is how I see it.  It was a huge fight – we shot it anyway – this fucking pilot screened at Warner Brothers and that was the number one quoted line coming out of theaters right?  From that moment on me and Miller were like this.  He felt like I changed his material but yet I would walk into rooms and people would say, Man, I read the Lethal Weapon script and that is not the TV show I saw. (Yeah) What a great show!  (Yeah) And I would always say, “Well, because Miller was so kind and he would let us make alterations to the material and we would improv and McG was so supportive of that and … because McG would have me saying fuck you mother fucker. (inaudible) Cut it out, Cut it out – just like he wanted me to go right?  And to define this character. And in doing that I created a not only tension, but I kind of drew a line in the sand with me and Miller (Ahh)- and Miller was the showrunner (tough) — and it was tough because at that moment McG is the most powerful guy on set (Yeah) once McG went home….  

Ross Patterson:  

It’s you and Miller 

Clayne Crawford: 

It’s me and Miller and me never being involved in network television I was naive to that whole thing and I could have probably paid it – played it a little better.  But when I ran into McG in Paris that same night that Damon apologized, McG said, “Just so you know, I fought them the whole way through editing. They wanted to cut all that shit out.”  Because they did cut all that stuff out with me with a gun to my head – because – we shot like in four scenes where I’m contemplating suicide and I’m putting the bullet in the chamber and they just – cut cut cut cut cut cut cut – can’t have it, can’t have it, can have that,   

Ross Patterson: 

It was like the movie.  Man, it’s weird too because look – I’ve met Matt Miller, we went to the Super Bowl together.  He’s a, he’s a great guy …  

Clayne Crawford: 

You met him when we went to the (inaudible) nice enough guy.. 

Ross Patterson: 

Absolutely – great guy, great father. He brought (inaudible) – I got to meet his kid (Yeah, Henry) Yeah – I think though when you get to that level and you know as a producer you produce a lot of shit you hope to get to that level where you have a gigantic show on TV – you play ball, you play by the rules and you play by the studios rules – more importantly.  There isn’t a lot of improve (Yeah) – first of all – Or rewriting scenes (zero) in network television at all. I mean it at all.  Maybe Parks and Rec – a buddy mine worked on Parks and Rec for years and years and years maybe.  The Office even The Office. I had a couple friends in The Office  

Clayne Crawford: 

It was all scripted 

Ross Patterson: 

Yeah and I told them I was like I asked them, I said, “Hey man, a lot of it seems like it’s  improv.” And they’re like, “No, no, they were like, maybe Steve Carell and props here and there but like it’s all scripted.” Just simply because your time, your budget and your days, you have to stick by a script or …  

Clayne Crawford: 

And your ego.  I think the writers, you know, they hate having and look when I worked on Rectify you didn’t change a fucking word but you didn’t dare you were just trying to rise up to the material as a as a as an artist – as an actor. You just wanted to make sure that you gave it the life that it deserved. With this, It’s tough because they’re pumping out so many episodes and they’re more focused on the crime aspect and trying to give a twist. And for me, I thought the show,  just how I thought the series, the film franchise it was all based on the relationships. It was a relationship, it was character driven and I don’t – I didn’t feel like that that was there so I was constantly rewriting and making adjustments to myself and look Miller was very supportive of that like he would let me do a complete pass and I was sitting the makeup trailer every day and this wonderful guy Rob would come and sit down with me and Rob was a writer on staff and he would take all my notes and they would incorporate them and it was a really good relationship.  Um, so I thought, you know, but you know even look coming into season two, the same dumb shit I was fighting like they didn’t want me to wear so they were they thought now it’s time to cut the hair, now it’s time to shave. You know, they wanted me to they wanted me to like Sean William Scott with a tight t-shirt skinny jeans. (Right) a half beard and, you know, clean cut hair and I was like, dude, so Riggs wakes up every morning and puts like a number two guard on this fucking clippers and like methodically like trim like what the fuck (Yeah) I was like either the dude shaves or (laughter) he’s got a mustache or (inaudible) like what do we … so you know again from the very beginning we didn’t, we didn’t get along creatively. None of us did because except for the actors. I think the actors all really wanted to make something great. And the same with Keesha and Kevin, you know, this is all big for us (Yeah) huge you know, so we wanted to make it the best we could. 

Ross Patterson: 

Yeah, to me as a fan just watching the show as you know a complete outsider again forget forget our friendship aside, I enjoyed the show.  I watched it with my kids um, it’s, you know, on at eight o’clock, it was something that I felt safe that I could put on, have a few laughs, you know and get on about my day like and I think a lot of people at home felt the same way in the the outrage boy when you got fired on Twitter. Holy shit!  I don’t think I’ve seen outrage over an actor getting fired from something like this in a very, very long time. I mean, usually it’s one way or the other where it’s  I’m team so and so – it was all like hey man you get rid of Clayne Crawford, you got rid of this show at that point.  Um, what’s, what’s that support been like from the fans, since this has all happened for you. 

Clayne Crawford: 

You know, what’s funny is, because I was told so often by Warner Brothers and by production that they can replace me with any goofy white guy.  No one appreciated what I was doing, you know, I was – they were – they would say things like, I’m trying to steal Damon’s thunder um you know all this jumping around and you’re acting like Barney Fife –um – I don’t think they realized what it was I was trying to do with the character um, and I was – you live in a bubble when you’re on set, Ross when you’re shooting like this and you’re shooting 14 hours a day, you know, five days a week. You don’t see anyone but the people you work with when I would leave home every morning my kids and wife were asleep. And when I came home at night, my kids and wife were asleep. And then, you know … so when they did this to me and the fans to kind of come out and show their appreciation for the work because it’s not like I’m famous. It’s not like they’re supporting Clayne Crawford, their supporting Riggs this guy that they had in their houses every night – you know, every Tuesday night.  Um, I can’t tell you how much is meant to me.  You know as sad as this whole process has been – because I kind of feel it’s kind of been like going through a divorce. (Yeah)  It’s like when you love your wife and you find out she’s fucking your trainer (laughter) and then they’re living in your house and he’s driving your truck. (Yeah)  Like, that’s your fucking dog in the truck with him.  (laughter) He’s fucking your wife and like teaching your kid how to throw the baseball. (Yeah) And you’re living in a double wide (laughter) so it’s like what the fuck … (laughter) so I had that feeling of just like that’s my life (inaudible) that’s my (laughter) .. oh, fuck .. but outside of that I’ve had – to be able to go to my farm and to turn off technology and just enjoy my children and the space and then when I do kind of go to it I see the out poor of appreciation –you know, it’s – look man, it’s been somewhat – it’s been insulating right?  (Right) It’s kind of from – from a lot of the pain so super grateful.  I mean the fans are who I made the show for man – period.  I don’t fucking make shows for executives. I don’t make shows to make ..  I don’t do anything to make a fucking producer happy. Those guys are bean counters, right?  I make a show because I want what I want.  When I watch a show, I want to get lost. (Yeah) You know, when you, we watched Guardians the Galaxy for the first time, which is what I kind of based the show on is – I was like, man, those guys found a great balance of fucking funny and dramatic and action and entertainment.  We can all do it! (Yeah)  We just can’t take ourselves too seriously. And we gotta kind of fucking fly off the cuff sometimes like we gotta, you know, we gotta be able to adjust and to be pliable and um and I think we were successful with that for the first two seasons.  But I feel like and I’ll say this I feel like no one at Fox and no one at Warner Brothers was watching the fucking show for them to make the decision that they made – or there’s something else fucking going on, which I don’t know what that could be. 

Ross Patterson: 

Right and speaking of Guardians of the Galaxy with the James Gunn situation that happened to him.  There was an actor that came forward Dave Bautista (Yeah) who came out and said I’m not doing this, this series without him. I support him I respect him all this other shit.  Um, with you, that was Hillary Burton. I remember after this whole shit went down she wrote like a public letter which dude, it’s rare for an actor to stick their neck out like that …  

Clayne Crawford: 

Jordana left the show .. 

Ross Patterson: 

Jordana Brewster, so she’s gone  

Clayne Crawford: 

Gone!  So we are with the same management company now (Wow) But man, there’s no confusion like Andrew Greer, he’s not coming back like there’s p I I’m shocked the Kevin Rahm is back – with the things that he – the the text messages and how we both felt about the things that were going on with that said, I can’t believe he went back.  And for Keesha and her husband to act the way that they have since this all happen is just shocking.  It’s, you know people say you find out who who people really are even more than that. Just see people really are, you know, when fear comes in, you know, she …I remember she just kept saying, “Why could .. Why couldn’t you just apologize.” (Yeah), like how the fuck am I … How can I suck dick and play Riggs at the same time.   I can’t do that!  Look, I’ll apologize. I apologized to my crew that day when I freaked out and yelled at Newman.  I apologized to Newman, but Newman went home, he quit that day.  I can’t imagine not being able to do my job and somebody reaming my ass for it and then me going home now. I just can’t imagine doing that. But then again, you know, again, I’m from I’m from a small town in Alabama, you know I’m not ..  I’m not a Hollywood guy by any means. So it’s been an unusual process and it’s been unusual for my children because you know it you don’t want to think .. I know that we’re watching the press and that we feel like that there’s been a decline because it – the press is trying to keep up with social media and it’s so difficult to kind of fact check. But this narrative that they’ve been running is 100% a lie, a lie! I never yelled at children and Variety ran that but what’s funny Kiki my wife goes to look up the article today because we’re going to be wanted to talk about it and they changed it to what – Clayne yelled out near children (Yeah) not at children but near.  So it’s just been, It’s just,  It’s wild.   I think it’s been – it’s been a learning process for my family, for my children who were on set everyday – who my 11 year old is able to kind of see what was going on, you know, and he’s just like, “Papa, how does this narrative continue to run?”  I said, “buddy. It’s all about clicks.” (Yeah)  You know? And for me, I never wanted to come out and say something for two reasons. One, you just don’t want to,  you don’t want to tell everyone in the world how sausage is made, I just want to put some mustard on it and fucking enjoy it, right?  Don’t tell me what goes into it and and I felt like that the problems we were having were internal and that they didn’t need to be made public.  And secondly, you know my dad always taught me that actions speak louder than words. And I felt like my actions for the last two seasons spoke louder than any of this negative blasphemy could have, you know?  And I also I guess I was naive to the fact that the crew –  I didn’t know the crew had to sign an NDA so I figured when this all happened my crew would stand up and go, “Hey, I’ve been on set every single day -I’m Tara the script supervisor and this is bullshit.  II thought that would happen. I didn’t realize that they couldn’t say anything, you know, (Yeah) but the good thing is Hollywood is very small, it’s like high school and over 70 people were fired from my crew and now they’re all on other jobs and everyone’s like, Yeah, what happened on Lethal Weapon?  Not that dude! It was the other dude.. (Yeah) you know?   

Ross Patterson: 

The first person that called me was a crew member who worked on one of my movies and he was, “ Like hey man, I’m friends with your boy and, you know, I can tell you it wasn’t your boy.”  And I was like, “Ah, alright, cool. Well, you know, I’ll ask him when he gets here.”  Lastly, before we get out of here.  What do you hope happens in the future and and you know, are you worried about prospects of getting hired again?  More importantly ….  

Clayne Crawford: 

Look, um, I’m not gonna – I don’t worry about silly stuff like that. I try not to worry about the future. I try to focus on what I’m doing in the moment and take the Nick Saban approach to life where it’s all about the process and (laughter)  

Ross Patterson: 

You son of a bitch – your true Alabama fan.. 

Clayne Crawford: 

But I’ll say this … the UPM  who came in in season 2 season or at the end of season one or the middle of season one .. 

Unit Production Manager 

Ross Patterson: 

Clayne Crawford: 

Correct.  Uhhh, Mark Albert – he wanted to get rid of …. his job, essentially, and this is not a dig by any means, but his job. He’s a bean counter and his job is to try to turn in a show as cheap as possible.  (Yep) That means he’s doing his job but successfully he wanted to get rid of … he fired my um weapons expert, which is so crucial to the show because Rock would go … who you know very well .. 

Ross Patterson: 

Rock Galotti?  I’ve also worked with Rock… 

Clayne Crawford: 

Who they fired and went to Westworld like that’s,  that’s how incompetent he is.  

Ross Patterson: 

One of the best in the business … 

Clayne Crawford: 

and then Mark hated him and he fired him and they tried to fire my stunt coordinator Tim Trella which I fought for him and I said if you fire him, I’m walking offset.  But his job, he wanted to get rid of everyone and he wanted to bring in his people and that created a riff with me and him. So, you know, look I created a lot of enemies, man. I wanted to protect my crew uh, because everyone, you know Warner Brothers has this whole kind of and I don’t know if this is with every show but with Lethal Weapon at Warner Brothers, we .. it was, it was all fear tactics. So they wanted everyone to live in fear and um, and they felt like that they would get better performance out of these individuals and it’s quite the opposite. You know when .. when you’re scared you’re gonna lose your job, it was just walking on eggshells and we kind of went so for me, out of all this, I don’t care. I know that I’ve worked with enough people in this industry that know who I am and if you’ve worked with me you know who I am as a human being and as a man as a father and as an artist, so I don’t worry about that. But what I do worry about is the crew members that do not have a voice.  Right?  And these guys, um they don’t make the kind of money that directors and producers and actors make.  They’re what they call below the line. (Yes) right?  These guys are forced to sign NDA’s .. I understand signing an NDA in regards to content and keeping certain arcs and spoilers under wraps. What is not – it’s inappropriate to have these individuals go through circumstances like what we’ve all just gone through and they’re not allowed to speak out on it.  So I think if anything through me doing this today is to give my crew members that all lost their jobs a voice and to say that they fired everyone who was in direct contact with actors every day.  They got rid of those people, they only kept the people who would come in and set lights and even Art Department got fired.  Because our department sent me two beautiful pictures at the end of season two that I hung in my dining room right we were … again these are people that I consider my family.  So these guys who are lost their job by doing and they were literally doing the best job possible. I want them to have a voice and I want the public to know that they’re mistreated um on a daily basis fuck man.  You get you get nervous saying this because you feel like you’re like an episode of Handmaid’s Tale, (Yeah) you know you .. like I am Clayne Crawford shut up, shut up, shut up (laughter) I know I am .. shut the fuck up!  (laughter) (inaudible) What are we all scared of?  They’re raping us and they’re fucking taken our babies!  (laughter) (inaudible) and that’s how, (laughter) you know I don’t want people – people shouldn’t have to work in that type of environment, man. So, if anything, my fans has been incredible. And they have – they have – their voice has been heard. And I am so thankful for that.  And I think the focus should be shifted to the crew.  

Ross Patterson: 

Yeah. (Yeah!) Do you watch the season 3 premiere? 

Clayne Crawford: 

I’m not even gonna watch fucking football on Thursday nights.   

Ross Patterson: 

Come on. that’s a lie. That’s a lie!  It’s Fox – it’s Fox! 

Clayne Crawford: 

I won’t watch – I won’t watch Fox (laughter) for the simple fact that they made a statement that – We didn’t have anything to do with this. (Yeah)  (inaudible) .. we did, they told us …  I sent emails going, “the shit is about to come down! We need to get in a room and we need to have a conversation.” and nobody fucking return my emails, no one called me. 

Ross Patterson: 

Wew, to this day you still never got a call that you got fired.. 

Clayne Crawford: 

And my dad’s like do the Costanza thing and  just show up to work you know (laughter) “What’s going on! (Yeah) Anybody got my gun? (Yeah) I didn’t get my sides. There’s my, where’s the truck?”  (laughter) “Hey, Sean William Scott, this guy’s great – what are we doing?”  (laughter)  “Are we making Murtaugh captain now?  Captain your still here, what the fuck is happening!”  (laughter) 

Ross Patterson: 

Clayne Crawford, it was a pleasure having you on.  I’m glad you got to tell your side of the story.  Look, I love you as a person, but .. I love you as an actor and like shit  I was sad to see this happen on the show and um, you know, lastly, I will say this, I met Sean Williams Scott on a few occasions .. 

Clayne Crawford: 

I hear he’s the nicest guy in the world… 

Ross Patterson: 

Great guy and he’s stepping into … 

Clayne Crawford: 

And I wonder what he was told, and what he was sold (Yeah) you know and ..I just want to say one other thing again about media – the media ran tweets from Damon that came at 3am as headlines, not one of them was true.  Not one fucking thing that he said was true. The green tea bottle was in a scene and the poor actor missed it. (Yeah) And I was the one that came up with the idea, “Let’s take the fucking liquid out so the poor guy can have a chance to … 

Ross Patterson: 

not only that but the actor said nothing he like he was like dude… 

Clayne Crawford: 

I don’t make girls cry – Chandler worked with me in my episode. The majority of the time and Episode 20 and I mean her and I had a great time. It was just every .. it was a bunch of fucking lies and the fact that the media doesn’t give a shit and they just run it and now these mother fuckers are running my picture, (Yeah) in my name, just to try to get more clicks scandalous bro (crazy) man…. 

Ross Patterson: 

Crazy – Look, I can’t wait to see what your new projects are what you’ll be in Look, I know everybody’s … 

Clayne Crawford: 

I might just be hanging out here – start cutting Azaleas –  

Ross Patterson: 

Why not? Uh, join the fucking show!   

Clayne Crawford: 

I don’t know but I could pressure wash your driveway for you.  (laughter)  I don’t know if this is really my thing but I can really do some good hard labor out here for you.  (laughter)  Spruce this place up! 

Ross Patterson: 

Thanks for thanks for stopping by. Thanks for coming to Wilmington, North Carolina. We love you, buddy.  

Clayne Crawford: 

Thanks buddy 

Ross Patterson: 

To the Drinkin Bros out there listening for Clayne Crawford. I’m Rob Patterson. Good night everyone. 

 

 

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