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Good Morning America Transcript of Steve Interview


Good Morning America 07:00 AM ET)
ABC
November 8, 2005 Tuesday
STEVE MARTIN "SHOPGIRL"

ROBIN ROBERTS (ABC NEWS)
...good. You look good. Looking good. Oh, yeah, thank you very much. My first time down here in the new studio as well. Always great to welcome Steve Martin. And he has been visiting us since, well, nearly the beginning of his career. Don't remember if you remember this, 1977?

STEVE MARTIN
I don't remember 1977 at all.

ROBIN ROBERTS Well, he was here with our host David Hartman and Sandy Hill. Maybe this will - refresh your memory.

STEVE MARTIN
Oh.

CLIP FROM "GMA"

STEVE MARTIN (COMEDIAN)
(inaudible).

DAVID HARTMAN ("GOOD MORNING AMERICA")
He is quickly becoming one of the most popular young comedians in the business. Good morning.

STEVE MARTIN (COMEDIAN)
Good morning, David, Sandy.

DAVID HARTMAN ("GOOD MORNING AMERICA")
Good morning, Steve.

SANDY HILL ("GOOD MORNING AMERICA")
Are you always so rambunctious at this hour of the day?

STEVE MARTIN (COMEDIAN)
Will this bother you?

DAVID HARTMAN ("GOOD MORNING AMERICA")
No. Not at, not at all.

ROBIN ROBERTS
All right. In the years since then, Steve...

STEVE MARTIN
Oh, boy. That was a bad cut to go from that...

ROBIN ROBERTS
No - did you like, oh, coming back to you like that?

STEVE MARTIN
It's a little shocking.

ROBIN ROBERTS
Well, since then, you've put down the banjo...

STEVE MARTIN
No, I've - never put it down, the banjo.

ROBIN ROBERTS
Well, I mean, you've picked up the pen, I should say, to do a little...

STEVE MARTIN
Yes. I have now picked up the pen.

ROBIN ROBERTS
...to do a little, a little more writing.

STEVE MARTIN
It's hard to write with the banjo.

ROBIN ROBERTS
That would be a, a little bit difficult to do. But you're here and he has turned his best-selling novella, a novella, a little...

STEVE MARTIN
Novella.

ROBIN ROBERTS
...novella.

STEVE MARTIN
But it's a novel, really.

ROBIN ROBERTS
Yeah. "Shopgirl." And a funny and endearing movie that 'The New York Times" says puts most modern comedies to shame.

ROBIN ROBERTS
(Voice Over) And Steve, we have a little morning meeting and we have, a lot of us, have seen the movie and we were trying to put into words what exactly, and romantic comedy, we're like, no, no, no, it's too, that's not the right, the right phrase for this movie.

STEVE MARTIN
Term for this? Romantic comedy?

ROBIN ROBERTS
Yeah.

STEVE MARTIN
No, I don't think so.

ROBIN ROBERTS
No.

STEVE MARTIN
No. I think it's much more, romantic comedy implies a very light-hearted happy ending. This movie is very, very dense and very realistic about how a relationship goes wrong.

ROBIN ROBERTS
It's very thoughtful.

STEVE MARTIN
A misguided relationship but, but by people who care about each other.

ROBIN ROBERTS
And you said when you take your work, something that you've written, and put it to the screen, it's, goes through like stages. You said it's kind of like a bad marriage. What did you mean by that?

STEVE MARTIN
Well, actually, I said that about adopting a work. Adapting a work. Sorry.

ROBIN ROBERTS
Adopt...

STEVE MARTIN
Adopting a work is very different because of the care and feeding. But adapting a work, I've, I've done that with - Cyrano de Bergerac for 'Roxanne," and 'Silas Marner" to 'A Simple Twist of Fate," and I did it with a play. So, I was, here I was adapting my own work and I, I said the process of adapting is like a failed marriage. You start with fidelity, and then you transgress, meaning you change a little bit, maybe, that wasn't in the original, and then there's a divorce from the original material and you have to make it your own.

ROBIN ROBERTS
Because you, you just have to, at the end, you have to release it and let it, let it go, don't you?

STEVE MARTIN
Right. Right.

ROBIN ROBERTS
Yeah.

STEVE MARTIN
But you also have to take it over, in a sense, the original material.

ROBIN ROBERTS
I love this movie. It's so thoughtful and has all these, and I think as you've said also about life, these small moments. These, these little moments that you see between you and Claire.

STEVE MARTIN
Well, that's what the book, the book was about with the very tiny moments in a relationship that are so powerful. And that's what we tried to preserve in the movie, the small moments that mean so, so much to people. Like in the book it says that it's sometimes, you know, the horrible things that happen to us aren't as tragic as the tiny upturned phrase at the end of a word.

ROBIN ROBERTS
Mm.

STEVE MARTIN
You know.

ROBIN ROBERTS
Mm. Well, I love how you work with, with Claire Danes. And we, we want to show...

STEVE MARTIN
She's brilliant in the movie.

ROBIN ROBERTS
You guys work so, so well together. I want to set it up here because, let's just say, it's, this is a he said/she said moment.

STEVE MARTIN
Right. I don't know where the clip starts, but I can set up a little bit.

ROBIN ROBERTS
Okay. Good.

STEVE MARTIN
It's - it's, I think it's the night after they first make love and Ray Porter, the character I play, makes a little speech that says, you know, we're just, we're just kind of seeing each other...

ROBIN ROBERTS
Right.

STEVE MARTIN
...right now. And he says I've been traveling a little bit too much. And in his head he's saying, I'm still traveling. And in her head she's hearing, he wants to stop traveling.

ROBIN ROBERTS
Absolutely.

STEVE MARTIN
But that's only an example of this, of what goes on in the scene.

ROBIN ROBERTS
That was a perfect setup for this clip.

STEVE MARTIN
Okay.

ROBIN ROBERTS
Perfect. Let's take a look.

CLIP FROM "SHOPGIRL"

STEVE MARTIN
I told her there was no possibility that this was a long-term relationship. She's just, you know, she's really too young for me.

CLAIRE DANES
He said he wants to give it a try.

STEVE MARTIN
And I said that even though this is not long-term, I still want to see her.

ACTOR ('SHOPGIRL")
And she understood?

STEVE MARTIN
Oh, yeah.

ACTRESS
So, he was really taken with you?

CLAIRE DANES
Yeah, it seemed like it.

ACTOR ('SHOPGIRL")
So you were really clear with her that this relationship has no future?

STEVE MARTIN
Absolutely.

ROBIN ROBERTS
Oh, we've all been there.

STEVE MARTIN
It's cruel, isn't it?

ROBIN ROBERTS
Yeah, it is cruel.

STEVE MARTIN
Yeah.

ROBIN ROBERTS
But you've said that this story is, is about the successes and failures that you've had in your own life when it comes to relationships.

STEVE MARTIN
And other people. Not just mine...

ROBIN ROBERTS
And other - but not...

STEVE MARTIN
...but, yeah.

ROBIN ROBERTS
Right.

STEVE MARTIN
Yeah.

ROBIN ROBERTS

Is there anything that you know for sure now in your life about relationships? Is there any certainty that you know?

STEVE MARTIN
Well, I think none is perfect. So, although I do have friends who seem to have thriving, thriving relationships and you always hope for, for the perfect one, but you really have to, I think, forgive and get along and make allowances for people and your partner.

ROBIN ROBERTS
That's wonderful. And...

STEVE MARTIN
If you keep striving for perfection, it probably won't happen.

ROBIN ROBERTS
It just, it just, it just is frustrating.

STEVE MARTIN
Yeah.

ROBIN ROBERTS
But congratulations. Mark Twain, the award...

STEVE MARTIN
Ah, thanks.

ROBIN ROBERTS
...that you received, is going to air later this week. I think tomorrow on PBS.

STEVE MARTIN
I think tomorrow night. The Mark Twain.

ROBIN ROBERTS
That's just terrific.

STEVE MARTIN
I was a little disappointed to find out it was a look-alike contest. But, yeah.

ROBIN ROBERTS
But I don't think Mark Twain ever had socks like that.

STEVE MARTIN
He might have.

ROBIN ROBERTS
I mean, those are, those are great, great socks - you're known for.

STEVE MARTIN
Well, these are actually pretty, I'm not really known for them. I'd hate to think that I'm known for socks, but...

ROBIN ROBERTS
They match our carpet very well. So, we...

STEVE MARTIN
Well, well, that's, that was why I wore them.

ROBIN ROBERTS
We appreciate that.

STEVE MARTIN
Yeah. I actually got them, I got them from a piece of the carpet.

ROBIN ROBERTS
Yeah. Well, thank you. You, you are our first interview here in our new downstairs studio. Steve Martin.

STEVE MARTIN
(inaudible). Thank you.

ROBIN ROBERTS
(inaudible). Congratulations and...

STEVE MARTIN
Thank you very much.

ROBIN ROBERTS
...continued success to you.

STEVE MARTIN
Thank you.

ROBIN ROBERTS
Thank you very much. "Shopgirl" in theaters now. Coming up next, our special series, a new series on prodigies. How did this six year-old get the dance moves of someone three times his age? Gee. We'll meet him when we come back. So, come on back to 'Good Morning America."

STEVE MARTIN
That's good.

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