Angelica Ross guest-starred on the hit TNT series Claws in 2017. Unfortunately, it turned into an experience she’d rather forget.
In a new interview with Self Magazine, Angelica opened up for the first time publicly about the “extremely traumatizing” incidents that occurred on set.
“The trauma I experienced on that set is a drastic difference from the support that I felt on the set of Pose. Someone referred to me as ‘he.'”
“I had a scene that was dropped on me. I knew the scene was coming and we had talked about it. I get to set and I’m now being asked to drop my underwear and wear a modesty garment.”
“I get to set and I’m now being asked to drop my underwear and wear a modesty garment — it’s basically this tape that goes from your front to your back.”
“It was one of the hardest things for me to do because I was pre-op. These garments aren’t made for trans people.”
Actors are typically made aware of nude scenes before shooting them and have the option to agree or disagree with the terms. Angelica was not.
“Now, I’m asked to do something that should have had a nudity rider ahead of time, but it’s sprung on me. I did not receive a nudity rider in advance nor was there a general nudity rider to my knowledge.”
“There were so many things that happened on that set where I just did not feel affirmed. It’s this women-led show and yet the trans woman on the show is feeling shitty.”
But although her Claws experience was unsettling, Angelica said it taught her “a few valuable lessons.”
To learn more about Angelica, be sure to check out her full Self Magazine cover story.
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Jacob Elordi may be best known for his roles in The Kissing Booth and Euphoria, but in his upcoming movie 2 Hearts, out Oct. 16, Jacob is introducing fans to a new character.
“The film was based on a real boy named Chris Gregory, who was this beautiful, kind and giving man,” Jacob explains in an exclusive interview with E! News. “And so it’s kind of just his story and a little bit about his life and the connections that he made along the way.”
In the movie, Jacob plays the college student as he falls in love with a classmate, just before tragedy strikes. The movie was the first one Jacob made after The Kissing Booth, the Netflix romantic comedy which made him a household name.
“I’m probably a big lover,” Jacob jokes of starring in the relationship focused films. “That’s I think for someone else to say about me.”
While Jacob is used to playing the romantic lead, he’s also in a new movie where a love story isn’t the central focus.
In one way, Kristen Stewart is perfectly equipped to play Princess Diana in the upcoming biopic Spencer — both the actor and the late icon have the same walled-off quality and aversion to the spotlight. As for differences, the most notable one is Kristen Stewart’s accent — but she says she’s working on that.
Kristen recently talked how very, very nervous she is about getting the accent just right, and how she’s been making that a priority.
“The accent is intimidating as all hell because people know that voice, and it’s so, so distinct and particular,” she recently told InStyle, adding, “I’m working on it now and already have my dialect coach.”
She’s also been putting a lot of hours into familiarizing herself with the Princess of Wales’ upbringing and royal journey.
“In terms of research, I’ve gotten through two and a half biographies, and I’m finishing all the material before I actually go make the movie,” she says. “It’s one of the saddest stories to exist ever, and I don’t want to just play Diana—I want to know her implicitly.”
“I haven’t been this excited about playing a part, by the way, in so long,” she added.
Spencer starts filming in mid-January so Kristen still has plenty of time to get her accent just right.
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A legend moves in. Dr. Will Kirby made a surprise appearance in the Thursday, September 24, episode of Big Brother: All Stars as part of a new twist.
The celebrity dermatologist and Chief Medical Officer of LaserAway popped up at the end of the episode as the houseguests’ new “neighbor” to tell them about the upcoming competitions, which will proceed the unprecedented triple eviction .
“For the next HOH competition and Veto competition, you’re going to have an important decision to make, go for power or go for prizes,” Kirby said while dressed in a bathrobe. “I sure know what I would do. Good luck. I do live right next door, so you will be seeing me again.”
Check out what else Dr. Will Kirby told Us Weekly about his appearance:
Us Weekly: Fans would have loved to see you as part of the cast, but I guess this works too. What’s it like coming back as the “neighbor”?
Dr. Will Kirby: The world absolutely needs some levity right now and my role this season as the Big Brother neighbor offers exactly that! If I can take people’s minds off of their daily life stressors for even a few minutes with some fun content then I’ll have successfully accomplished my goal!
Us: What can you tell us about the twist?
Dr. Will: The “neighbor” kicks off one of the greatest weeks in the history of Big Brother. Immense powers and opulent prizes are at stake. Plus, it’s capped off by the first ever triple eviction. This will be a defining moment for the series!
Us: But really, why aren’t you playing All-Stars, Dr. Will?
Dr. Will: Well, while placing no judgement on people who are playing this season, I personally didn’t feel like I could leave my family or take an absence from my career obligations right now. Disappearing for three months wasn’t wasn’t something that made sense to me personally. But I of course wanted to be involved in this season in some capacity and this role seemed like a great fit!
Us: What makes a Big Brother all-star?
Dr. Will: While some players are physically attractive, or smart, or strategic, or charismatic, no other single player brings the complete set of skills. So, at the risk of self aggrandizement, I bring a little of all of those characteristics to the game and that allows me to be an agile player, it allows me to adapt. When you have a number of different attributes to lean on, you don’t have to rely on just one strength. So as the game has evolved over the past two decades, I’ve been fortunate enough to evolve with it. But to get more granular, it comes down to one word: Entertainment. I truly try to entertain the fans. Loving or loathing, when they watch I want them to walk away from their television and tablets thoroughly entertained.
Us: Did you expect to see a season happen this summer?
Dr. Will: These are unprecedented times but the Big Brother producers, Allison Grodner, Rich Meehan, Chris Roach, Shawn Laws, Robyn Kass and Don Wollman are truly the best in the business! No other team could pull this off. I’m not allowed to discuss details, but right now the Big Brother house looks like a space station! I’ve never seen anything like it! These guys are under-appreciated artists. Pulling off a show of this scope during a global pandemic is so much more difficult than people realize.
Us: Some fan favorites – like your old friends Janelle and Kaysar – were evicted early this season. Do you think they’ll play again?
Dr. Will: Would they want to play again? It must be haunting to constantly wonder if you will get another shot at playing and even more disturbing to get that chance and then fail again. Look, I totally get why a second chance makes sense for some houseguests, but if you have lost Big Brother three times then this just isn’t the right hobby for you. So the question is, ‘Do we want to see them play again’? I’m of the personal opinion that we as viewers deserve some fresh blood.
Us: You host the jury roundtable, but be real, will we ever see you play again?
Dr. Will: Let’s be honest, I’m uniquely qualified to host the jury roundtable. I’ve done it for seven seasons now and I love it. And I’m honored to do it! But I’m not even sure that we can have a jury roundtable this season because of social distancing and quarantine requirements. That said, I would hope that I could continue to serve the show and the fans in that capacity for a long time to come. As far as the possibility of me actually playing again goes, in the interest of full candor, it would just have to be just the perfect situation. So, as it stands right now today, I’m officially retired from competitive reality television programming and I’ll just continue to focus my efforts on the aesthetic dermatology world. Will I ever come out of reality retirement? Stay tuned.
Us: What else is going on with you these days?
Dr. Will: Fans who follow me casually are always surprised to find out that I’m a board certified dermatologist and one of the most sought after key opinion leaders in the field of aesthetic dermatology. Moreover, I’m the Chief Medical Officer of LaserAway, the nation’s leader in aesthetic dermatology. Our 60th clinic opens next month and I’m thrilled about our 2021 expansion plans! It’s a true privilege to work with the LaserAway team.
Us: So how does your job compare to Big Brother?
Dr. Will: Dermatologists are even more competitive than Big Brother houseguests! Scheming and more petty too. Oh, and don’t even get me started on how jealous they are! Also, the stakes are a lot higher in dermatology. But whether it’s on television or a clinic, the cream always rises to the top. Bottom line: Dermatology isn’t a competition but, rest assured, LaserAway is winning.
Us: Oh, and one more question. You’re a fan of good speeches. What were your thoughts on Da’Vonne’s speech tonight?
Dr. Will: One of the best exit speeches of all time. I think that puts her at the top of the list for America’s Favorite Player.
Big Brother: All-Stars airs Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays on CBS at 8 p.m. ET.
Michelle Obama stressed her get-out-the-vote message during an appearance on Conan O’Brien’s show Wednesday and said that her husband, former President Barack Obama, won’t be adding a stand-up special to his Netflix duties anytime soon.
In particular, she emphasized the variety of options for voters casting their ballots this year — and added that she hoped to fight for easier voting requirements in the future.
“You can mail [your ballot] in, you can sit in line if you want. You can vote early, do it all ways,” the former first lady said.
“Hopefully with the right leadership we’ll get voting requirements that will be easier. But right now it’s pretty easy.”
“We kind of had different stages of COVID. Where we were all excited to be together and we were being all organized … we actually had some organized things,” she said.
In addition to family time, Obama, 56, also said Barack has spent the majority of his time in quarantine finishing his book, which is set to be published sometime after the election.
At one point, Conan asked if the former President would be interested in pursuing a Netflix comedy special — referring to his remarks at the 2013 White House Correspondents dinner as proof that he was capable of putting on a show.
“I don’t want to close any options because who knows, but I can safely say that stand up will not be on the Higher Ground roster.”
DOHA, Qatar —Violence continued unabated across Afghanistan on Saturday,as negotiators from the warring sides remained bogged down by disagreements over a framework for talks a week after historic negotiations began in Doha.
More than a dozen civilians were feared dead in one airstrike by Afghan forces in the North. The deaths came as a week of discussions still had not finalized the rules for negotiations over contentious issues, like a cease-fire and the form of a future government. The slow pace highlighted how complicated the effort to end to the Afghan war will likely be.
Officials from both sides said that while they had resolved most issues on how the negotiations should be conducted, they were stuck on which school of Islamic thought should be used for resolving disputes in a way that respects minority sects in Afghanistan.
The civilian deaths were a stark reminder of the toll of each day’s delay in the talks.
Citing United Nations figures, Roland Kobia, the European Union special envoy for Afghanistan, said the violence levels over the past five weeks had been “the highest in the last five years.”
The bloodiest attack on Saturday occurred in the Khanabad district of northern Kunduz Province. Local residents said the Afghan forces had carried out an airstrike targeting a Taliban gathering, with few initial casualties. But when local residents gathered to extinguish the resulting fire at a nearby house, the aircraft returned for another strike that killed more than a dozen civilians.
“I have lost four family members, two uncles and two cousins,” said Jawad, 25, who would not give his full name but said he lived in the Sayed Ramzan village that was targeted.
Afghan officials in Kunduz initially said they had “killed and wounded 30 Taliban” in the strikes, but later admitted privately that civilians were among the casualties. They would not discuss exact numbers.
“Initial reports indicate no harm was inflicted upon civilians,” the defense ministry insisted in a statement.
Also on Saturday, in southeastern Paktika Province, a deputy police chief was killed in an explosion while delivering support to his forces.And in the same province, a wedding convoy struck a roadside bomb, wounding 19 people, including the bride.
One significant recent shift in insurgent tactics, particularly in targeted bombings and assassinations, is not to claim responsibility for the attacks, allowing the Taliban to exert pressure while maintaining deniability for the violence.
U.S. military officials also confirmed that a dozen rockets have been fired at two U.S. bases in southern Afghanistan over the past week, including six on Kandahar Airfield on Saturday and six on Sept. 11, the day before the Doha talks began and the 19th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.
“While we are still assessing the source of the attack, these actions are not consistent with the U.S.- Taliban agreement and have the potential to put the peace process in jeopardy,” Col. Sonny Legget, a spokesman for the American-led and NATO coalition in Afghanistan said in confirming Saturday’s Kandahar attack.
A Taliban spokesman would not confirm whether they were behind either the rocket attack on Sept. 11 or the one on Saturday.
At the talks in Doha, the chief negotiators from both sides have called for patience for what they say will be a complicated process. Both sides have largely agreed to about 20 items on how the negotiations should be conducted, most significantly committing to continuing with the talks even when things get complicated on the battlefield.
But the sides remain stuck on which school of Islamic thought to use for resolving disputes. While both sides largely agree on using the Hanafi school of Islamic thought, one of the four major Sunni schools that is also the foundation of the current Afghan Constitution, they are at odds on a formulation that does not alienate other sects, particularly the Shia.
The disagreement is largely political. The Taliban want to appeal to its hardline base with only a mention of the majority Sunni school. The Afghan government’s negotiating team, while agreeing on using the Hanafi school of thought, insists on a caveat that protects the unity of Afghanistan as an inclusive republic.
The talks are taking place in an environment of deep mistrust.
Afghan officials suspect the Taliban want a swift political settlement, fearing that the insurgents are seeking to run out the clock on the withdrawal of the American troops, which is expected to be completed in the spring. Taliban officials say the government, which received a new five-year mandate last spring, is dragging out the peace process to complete its term in office.
The negotiators are also up against the high expectations of a civilian population crushed by the weight of the conflict.
“A week ago, an IED went off and my wife lost her leg,” said Mohammad Shah, 27, who looked fatigued outside a hospital in Kabul.
“Civilians are the main victims of the current war. I am ready to sacrifice my entire family if peace comes to the country, but it won’t,” he said. “I have no faith in the peace process with the Taliban.”
Other, such as Hashmat Sayedkhil, an employee of the Afghan ministry of economy, were more hopeful.
“Obviously there is an opportunity, and both sides can show their commitment to the Afghan people,” he said. “We see a tiny light at the end of a dark tunnel, and we hope the Afghan people get to experience peace.”
Mujib Mashal reported from Doha, Qatar, and Fatima Faizi and Thomas Gibbons-Neff from Kabul, Afghanistan. Reporting was contributed by Najim Rahim and Farooq Jan Mangal from Kabul.
A decade ago, Jude Law was warned about a pandemic, like the one we’re now experiencing, when he was filming Contagion, an eerily prescient story about a deadly flu virus. This year the movie became one of the most-rented ones — but the actor thinks that’s “odd.”
Law was asked about the fact that so many people have been turning to Contagion amid the coronavirus pandemic, while in conversation with Jimmy Fallon, and he gave his take on it.
“I found it a little odd that everyone went back to watch that in the middle of the real thing,” he told the talk show host. “You [can] just turn on the news, you don’t need to watch it.”
At the same time, Law says he “wrote immediately to [director Steven] Soderbergh and just said, ‘You got it. You were there 10 years ago.'”
Law was also fully prepped for a pandemic like COVID-19 10 years ago. “If I’m honest… one of the most affecting memories or experiences on that film were the doctors and virologists who were advising us,” he said.
“They were all saying to us, ‘This is a matter of when, not if’.”
He picked up tips like the ones that have now become commonplace advice: “I remember leaving the whole experience thinking you touch yourself on your face 10,000 times a day. We don’t wash our hands — all of that stuff was sort of embedded in me. But, of course, it slowly percolates away… Here we are in it.”
As for the film, “It was very deliberately designed to be a cautionary film,” producer Michael Shamberg told BuzzFeed News earlier this year, adding, “We got the science right.”
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Chloë Sevigny became a mom this past May with the birth of her son, Vanja, and life has never been the same since. The actor has been adjusting to motherhood amid the pandemic and her experience will sound very familiar to anyone else who’s doing the same.
For starters, the household work never ends. “I’m usually really good at time management. I’m actually really proud of how I get everything done in a day. I keep lists, and I’m very organized,” she told WSJ Magazine, before sharing how different things are now.
“Since I’ve had the baby, I’m just like, I don’t know how anybody gets anything done. I have to cook for everyone, then clean, then feed him, then clean him.”
Chloë does have a little help, but not everyday: “We’re lucky we have my mother coming and helping us a few times a week for a few hours,” she said.
Her boyfriend Sinisa Mackovic, who works in the art world as a gallery director, has also been taking care of Vanja: “We’ve been lucky that Sinisa’s been home from work, and he helps all the time.”
And Vanja has been making a lot of cameos on Sinisa’s work calls: “He’s on Zoom calls 24 hours a day, half of them holding the baby.”
Despite the challenges of taking care of a baby, let alone the postpartum recovery period and doing both in a pandemic, Chloë would do it all again.
She’s a big fan of the hormonal “high” that comes after birth. “You feel like you’re on ecstasy for the first three weeks because there’s this big push because you’re so exhausted,” she explained.
“Your body exudes this crazy oxytocin love hormone where you just feel like you’re high. That was really fun. I was like, I would do this again just for this high.”
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After coming to terms with the alarming reality of our current social climate, Travis Scott is determined to make a change through his music and philanthropy.
In a new interview for the September issue of GQ, the “Sicko Mode” rapper opened up about his views on the Black Lives Matter movement and talking to Kanye West about his political views.
“There has to be some acknowledgment, like, ‘This shit is not cool,’” Travis told GQ. “We’ve been through this for how many years?”
“It’s a fight that we’ve been fighting for, and it seems no one wants to give us this result we’ve been looking for — for years— and our voices need to be heard.”
And that’s exactly what he’s working toward. According to the interview, Travis has been speaking with the mayor of his native city, Houston, to discuss ways to make a change in the community.
He’s committed “to do things that have a lasting impact beyond the pandemic,” things that go beyond pledging money to a community, and that might include his longtime dream of restoring the AstroWorld theme park.
“Times are weird for people, and they’re trying to figure out what to do,” Travis continued. “Seeing what’s going on in the world is keeping me motivated.”
“Figuring out ways to make it better, that’s really keeping me motivated. Whether it’s with music, or whether it’s trying to go change stuff in the inner city — I’m just trying to turn it up on all levels.”
Travis also stressed the importance of keeping his 2-year-old daughter Stormi informed as well — “I’m keeping her aware of what’s going on in the world. As a parent, I’m always instilling knowledge, even at this age.”
And with remaining aware, oftentimes you have to listen to opposing opinions to truly understand someone’s perspective, which is what Travis does with his mentor Kanye West.
“Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion,” Travis said about Kanye’s controversial political views. “I just tell him how I feel. How people feel about this shit.”
Travis also admitted that he feels like he has a responsibility to talk to Kanye about his political stance, especially when Kanye’s public comments are met with backlash.
To read more about Travis and his plans for change, be sure to check out his full GQ interview.
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With the NBA’s coronavirus-altered playoffs getting set to tip off, NBA analyst and former coach Stan Van Gundy takes a timeout for some Q&A with Post columnist Steve Serby.
Q: What do you think of Tom Thibodeau as Knicks coach?
A: I think it’s a great hire because they need to bring a real stability to that organization, No. 1, and a structure, and Tom will bring great structure to that organization. Everyone will know exactly what’s expected on a daily basis. He will develop their young players as professionals, because they’ll know what’s expected. He’ll set high standards, he’ll enforce them. He will show guys what they need to do to become successful NBA players. And Tom’s teams have always played with a toughness about ’em, with an edge. Tom has an edge to him, and I think New York teams, at their best, have an edge to them, and Tom will bring that to the Knicks, and I think he’ll be very successful there. Now, if we’re gonna talk very successful in terms of wins and losses, their roster still has a long way to go. Tom’s a great coach, but their roster’s not ready to be highly successful right now. But Tom will maximize the talent that he’s given.
Q: Leon Rose?
A: Everything I know of Leon Rose is good. When he was an agent, he was widely respected among general managers and player personnel people as a straight shooter. He was respected among players because he worked hard for them and had their best interests at heart. He seems to me, from all I know of him, to be a person of high integrity.
Q: William Wesley, aka World Wide Wes?
A: I’ve only met Wes on a couple of occasions. A very personable guy that knows everyone.
Q: Has Jacque Vaughn done enough to be in consideration for the Nets head coaching job?
A: Well I hope so, because Jacque’s a really good guy. And they’ve done very well here in the bubble. The only thing is, is what he’s doing here in the bubble is totally different than what the job description will be there with the Nets next year. So taking a bunch of young guys and getting them to overachieve, especially for a relatively short period of time, it’s not easy, but it’s a very different job than coaching star players with high expectations. So I don’t know how [GM] Sean Marks and [owner] Joe Tsai look at Jacque in terms of those things. Look, I was shocked, and I think a lot of people were, when Kenny Atkinson was out. I don’t think there were very many people over the last few years in the NBA who had done a better job coaching than Kenny Atkinson. Totally revived the Nets franchise, and did an unbelievable job developing the young players that they had and making them better. I would love to see Jacque get a second chance, because he came into Orlando and took a team really in flux and didn’t have a great roster, and didn’t have a great record. I always pull for those guys to get a second chance.
Q: Could Caris LeVert be the third spoke in the wheel with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving?
A: Kyrie and Kevin Durant are clearly your stars, and I look at Caris LeVert and probably Spencer Dinwiddie as your second-unit guys, your bench scorers, and then put more shooting around Kyrie and Kevin Durant to space the floor. Joe Harris to me is a really good fit for them in the starting lineup if they bring him back. Both are certainly good enough not only to be starters but to be good starters in the NBA. The problem to me, and I’m not saying you can’t overcome it, but the tough part if Spencer and/or Caris LeVert are in the starting lineup with Kyrie and Kevin Durant is Caris LeVert and Spencer Dinwiddie both need the ball in their hands. They are put-the-ball-in-my-hands, let me go one-on-one or let me run pick-and-roll, and in your first unit, the ball’s gonna be in Kyrie and Kevin Durant’s hands all the time.
Q: What are your thoughts on Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard?
A: Of all the players in the league that I don’t have any personal relationship with and I’ve never coached and I’m judging from the outside, I don’t know if there’s anybody in the league I have more respect for than Damian Lillard. No. 1, he never tried to get out of Portland. Never criticized his teammates. Never publicly comes out and says that he needs more help. He’s extremely supportive of his coach and his general manager. He’s a total team guy and a total organization guy that has an overwhelming desire to get it done right where he is in Portland. And he concentrates on doing his job. Any team would be lucky to have a guy like that. Milwaukee is hoping that Giannis [Antetokounmpo] is gonna be that guy in Milwaukee.
Q: What is the best piece of advice your brother Jeff gave you about this television gig?
A: The same advice he gave me in coaching, which is to be yourself. You can’t try to be someone else. You can learn from a lot of people and should, but your personality’s your personality and you should be yourself. I probably look at the numbers a lot more than he does and I’ll give some out. He thinks some of what I do in that regard is good, but he thinks I should focus more on why things happened on the floor and explain those things and not get to carried away with numbers … to just be quiet at times and let the game speak for itself. He’s the best in the business. I watch him every chance I get. Even when I was coaching, I would try to catch replays of his games. We’d fly into a hotel [at] 2 in the morning, I’d hop in bed and turn on his game. He’s got a great way of explaining what’s going on, and doing it clearly and concisely. I’m better at clear than I am on concise.
Q: What was your immediate reaction when you saw your brother clinging to Alonzo Mourning’s leg during that 1998 Knicks-Heat brawl?
A: I was in the middle of that in the sense that I was [an assistant] on the other bench. So at the time, my immediate reaction was to turn around and make sure all of our guys stayed on the bench. The next thought I had was, “We’re screwed,” because Alonzo’s gonna get suspended. I wasn’t really thinking, why did Jeff get in the middle of it, why did he do what he did, or anything else. That’s just who he is. If something’s out there, he’s gonna hop in and try to protect his players, especially from getting suspended and stuff. He’s always been tough and fearless, but I wasn’t thinking any of that at the time.
Q: Did you chuckle watching the replays over the years?
A: No, that’s not funny to us. We’re able to laugh at ourselves, and I think you hear it from him a lot on the air — he’s very self-deprecating. He might now be able to chuckle at that situation better than I can, but when I look at it now, and I hear people making fun of him and stuff, it hurts me, it’s not funny to me, I don’t like it at all. And from a competitive situation, that was a series that we lost. I probably see it once a year, and quite honestly, if I’m in a place with other people, I walk away. And if I watch TV by myself, I turn it off.
Q: What are your favorite Fordham memories from 1988?
A: Just working for [then-coach] Nick Macarchuk. Probably, other than my father and brother, he’s the coach I worked under [first at Canisius in 1987] that I learned the most from.
I remember being on a bus after a game coming back from LaSalle, those were the Lionel Simmons days and they had beaten us, and there were some of our guys laughing and joking in the back of the bus, and I was getting pissed off, like we lost! Nick Macarchuk’s one of the most intense guys that I’ve ever been around, one of the greatest competitors. But he looked at me and said: “What do you want to do now that could help us win that game tonight?” His point was players need to bounce back. … We were at Fordham, we were on a recruiting trip and I asked him, “What do you look for in an assistant?” He said, “Look, I can look at a résumé and tell what somebody’s background is. I can make some calls and find out if they know the game. But for me to have somebody on my staff in a business like this, I have to be able to ride in a car with him for four hours.”
I’ve always thought about that, not only in terms of my staff members, but even in terms of players, we’re together so long on a daily basis that part of the reason you have success or don’t [is], hopefully you’re liked, but definitely your respect for the people that you’re working with. Yeah, you want to achieve things, but you want to enjoy the journey along the way. And then the third thing I learned from Nick is I remember Nick saying that all coaching jobs are the same, except on payday. You’re putting a different amount of money in the bank, but once you put that money in the bank, all you care about is winning the next game — whether you’re Nick Macarchuk at Fordham or an NBA coach or a high school JV coach somewhere. All coaches are the same.
Q: What was the main thing that impressed you about your father, Bill, as a coach?
A: I can pick out a lot, but the No. 1 thing, was simply his passion for the game. He would say to us growing up, and then after we were grown up, that he never felt like he worked a day in his life. I think it was inevitable that Jeff and I would grow up and want to coach, because when you grow up around someone who loves to go to work every day and has that kind of enthusiasm for it, you say, “Wow, that looks like a lot of fun. I would love to do that.” Well over half, probably, of what I’ve picked up in coaching, certainly all of my foundational beliefs on how to go about the job, I learned from my dad.
Q: What are the traits of the ideal Stan Van Gundy basketball player?
A: Tough, mentally and physically. Somebody who welcomes challenges and won’t back down from anything … and the not-backing-down part of it too is, won’t back down from the truth, can face up to failures and work to get better. … Certainly a commitment to his team and his teammates above himself. So it manifests itself in doing the little things on the court, things that may not show up in a stat sheet, setting screens, making the extra pass, cutting to open up space. … One of the biggest skills that any NBA player can develop is the ability to focus for long periods of time. A lot of people are smart and can answer all the questions when you ask them, but have a problem staying focused over the length of a 48-minute game and an 82-game season. … Highly conditioned. … I think if you’re highly-conditioned, tough and can focus, and you’re unselfish, whatever your potential is talent-wise, you’re gonna get as close to it as possible.
Q: If you were starting an NBA franchise, who would you start it with?
A: I have a tough choice right now between [Luka] Doncic and Giannis.
Q: What are coaches in other sports you admire?
A: [Orioles bench coach and former MLB manager] Freddie Gonzalez. Just sort of his even-keeled demeanor, the emphasis he had on using his entire roster. … He would attribute a lot from what he got working for [former Braves manager] Bobby Cox in terms of communicating with each player every day. Then I would throw Bobby Cox in there, too. I don’t know if you can give players confidence, but Bobby Cox always showed confidence in his players. He stuck with his guys as long as he felt guys were focused and playing hard. When I was at the University of Wisconsin, a guy who ended up coaching the Raiders to the Super Bowl, Bill Callahan. … The importance of little things, of details, of fundamentals. I admire guys who have success for long periods of time. … In our sport, Gregg Popovich, Jerry Sloan, guys like that I’ve had great respect for. … Football, Bill Belichick, Nick Saban in the college game.
Q: I read that you admired Joe Maddon, also.
A: What I liked about Joe Maddon was he was willing to do things differently … willing to step outside the box and try something that they think will help their team, and with Joe Maddon, it was some on the field ***** and ***** off of the field. Most days, even on the road, he would go for a bike ride, which he thought helped his mind and kept him thinking. It’s something that I didn’t do well enough, and I became so obsessive.
Q: Who are leaders you admire?
A: [Former NBA point guard] Jameer Nelson was probably, of all the players I’ve been around, the most tuned in to his teammates. He would know what a guy needed on any given day. … I thought Barack Obama was an unbelievable leader. A big part of leadership is being able to inspire other people. He always got to the heart of the issue, and he had a way of raising you and inspiring you to action, probably a lot like John F. Kennedy. I would certainly say if you look at what’s going on now and harken back to the ’60s, [late Congressman] John Lewis is somebody that inspired me because of the great personal sacrifice he made in pursuit of his ideals, which were equality and really manifested in voting rights and things. Over the last 6-8 years, probably Nancy Pelosi, who tends to be a divisive figure because the people on the right really don’t like her, but I think she is smart and practical and understands what can be done, and goes after those things. … Ruth Bader Ginsburg for her intellect and her courage, which manifests itself more and more every single day, because she knows what’s at stake and she just continues to go on and on.
Q: What are your favorite inspirational or motivational sayings?
A: The one that I’ve used is from Aristotle, that excellence is not an act but a habit. We are what we repeatedly do. … JJ Redick has continued to get better into his mid-30s because of the approach he takes, he’s trying to get better every day. He is, I think, the best-conditioned athlete in the NBA.
Q: Describe Pat Riley.
A: The thing that to me set him apart is he had an extremely strong will. He would stick to his beliefs and convictions all the time. He wasn’t somebody who was gonna change with the wind. He was gonna set the standards, he knew what he liked, he knew what he wanted, and you were gonna meet those standards.
Q: The young Dwyane Wade.
A: It was easy to see his greatness right away. He had great poise, was always under control, and he had an incredible ability to learn. He just picked things up so quickly it was just incredible.
Q: Dwight Howard.
A: Just an absolute force of nature. The most underrated thing about Dwight Howard when I coached him was his intelligence. He knew the strengths and weaknesses of every single other big guy in the league to the point of being able to mimic everybody’s moves. He knew game plans and our system, and you could make adjustments and changes on the fly. Put that physical ability together with an incredible intelligence, yeah that’s why he’s a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
Q: Did you feel betrayed by him toward the end of your Magic tenure?
A: The whole situation there with the rumors [that Howard wanted out of Orlando during 2011-12 season], I thought it was becoming a distraction to our team, and whether I was right or wrong, I thought the best way to sort of get rid of the rumors and clear up the distraction was just to bring everything out in the open. He was asked a question by ownership, he gave his answer on what he wanted, and that’s the way it goes. One of the things I learned from Pat Riley, he would say all the time to our team, that a player-coach relationship is a business relationship designed to get a result. I’ve always thought if you want to know if a player-coach relationship is good, look at what happens on the court. I don’t know that I’ve ever had a better player-coach relationship than I had with Dwight. … I didn’t feel betrayed by Dwight, I do think Dwight felt betrayed by me. And I still regret that because I have great respect for Dwight.
Q: What is your single best basketball moment?
A: 1985, I was in my second year as a head coach at Castleton State College, I was 25 years old, and we beat St. Joseph’s of Maine to win the NAIA District 5 championship and go to the NAIA national tournament in Kansas City. I have never topped that in my career. My best NBA moment was winning Game 6 against Cleveland in 2009 to go the NBA Finals with a group of people I had great respect for, and that moment was probably just ahead of my first year in the NBA as a head coach, 2003-04 season, Game 7 against New Orleans at home with a bunch of young guys and two great veterans and blowing out New Orleans to win that playoff series.
Q: Describe NBA broadcast partner Ian Eagle.
A: He’s absolutely the best. He has really been willing to mentor me. Ian would make a great coach, a great teacher because he’s patient and he’ll be encouraging but he also will tell you things that help you. We talk about the great ones in basketball make their teammates better, well, that’s what Ian does as a broadcaster.
Q: Who are athletes in other sports you admire?
A: Mike Trout. My two things are guys who bring a great enthusiasm and passion to the game, and guys who have success for long periods of time. He plays the game like he’s a high school kid having fun. … Guys like Albert Pujols and Miguel Cabrera, who hit the ball so well for so long. … Tom Brady, the success he’s had year in and year out. … Larry Fitzgerald, same way. … [Roger] Federer, [Rafael] Nadal, [Novak] Djokovic. … Serena Williams is the best athlete of her generation, male or female.
Q: Three dinner guests?
A: Abraham Lincoln, John Lewis, Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Q: Favorite movie?
A: “Shawshank Redemption.”
Q: Favorite actors?
A: Denzel Washington and Tom Hanks.
Q: Favorite actress?
A: Julia Roberts.
Q: Favorite singers/entertainers?
A: Earth, Wind and Fire, and Aretha Franklin.
Q: Favorite meal?
A: Mexican food — enchiladas, refried beans.
Q: Would you want to coach again?
A: I would like to coach again, I really would. In my mind I’m still young and I’ve certainly got the energy for it. I think I have a lot to offer. It would have to be a situation, a city, and even just going back to coaching that my wife would feel comfortable about, because my relationship with her is a lot more important to me than coaching is. It would have to be one where I was aligned with the vision of the front office and ownership, and we were all on the same page.
Q: Describe your coaching legacy as of now?
A: I think the only legacy we have in life is how we impact people around us and they impact the people around them and so on and so on down through the generations, and we’ll never know what that is. What I would feel best about is people would say about me at the end is he worked really hard, he gave a damn about our team, he gave a damn about us as people, like the dude cared and he tried and he was a decent guy.
Q: If you were a player in the bubble, what message would you have on the back of your jersey?
A: To me, it’s the simplest one, but we’re so far away from it — I’d put “Equality” on there. Until we can get to there, being a true equality of opportunity, to where people have equal rights and equal opportunity in this country — people of all colors, races, genders, sexual orientation … until we truly get to that, then nothing else matters.
We still haven’t been able to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, which is the simplest amendment there’s ever been, and something I don’t understand how anybody can be against. … Women have never been equal, what we’ve done to Native Americans is beyond belief, and now our answer is put ’em on the reservation and give ’em a casino. Until we pay for the crimes of the past … and this isn’t a vengeful thing … you can’t have equality of opportunity if we disregard our history, because one of the biggest advantages we as white people have is, wealth is generational.
I’ve heard a lot people say, “Well I’ve never encountered slavery, why should I pay?” Well, it’s not you paying directly, it’s our country paying. And I think people are short-sighted and they’re not thinking about the kind of country and the kind of world that they want to live in. And if you want to get really selfish about it, the demographics of our country are changing fairly rapidly, and some day you might be in the minority. How do you want to be treated at that point?