WTF Podcast

Episode 504 - Giovanni Ribisi

Actor Giovanni Ribisi takes a break from his press tour for “A Million Ways To Die In The West” to sit down with Marc and talk about child acting, The Method, Steven Spielberg, boot camp, Scientology, psychiatry and more. This episode is sponsored by A&E Network, Comedy Central, and LegalZoom.


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Chris June 09, 2014 at 2:33 pm

found this interview frustrating because the person being interviewed sounded confused about the questions which in my opinion were very direct and simple. Was Giovanni Ribisi hiding something from us? Or perhaps, does this make him more of some kind of Hollywood Enigma that the rest of us should hold in reverential awe. NOT ! Nice try Marc.

Ed June 09, 2014 at 3:14 pm

I enjoyed this. Giovanni sounds like an agreeable, pleasant fellow. His voice was a little mumbly at times. Enunciate bro!

Aed June 09, 2014 at 3:33 pm

He seems like a good guy, but I feel he lacks the intelectual tools to think constructively about medical care.

Edward Truett June 09, 2014 at 4:17 pm

Guy kinda came off as a rambling pseudo-intellectual, felt pretty empty. Definitely one of my least favorite interviews in quite sometime.  How about Giovanni read the thousands of real testimonials of the sometimes violent and crazy harassment of his cult-like “practical philosophy”? Never heard of Aliens, then I guess he never payed enough money.
I’d rather listen to just about anyone else talking than this guy, ugh. I agree with the first poster he sounded confused and was incredibly murky about a lot of details…. he just seems like kind of a dullard. Marc handled his lame musings very gracefully though. I see he participated in Psychiatry: An Industry of Death, wish he would’ve brought that up.

Aed June 09, 2014 at 4:28 pm

Oops. ‘‘Intellectual’‘. Good God.

Frank June 09, 2014 at 4:34 pm

What is it about this podcast that summons all of these hyper-critical asshats to give us their complete inventory of nitpickery for every fucking show.  Jesus Christ.  I doubt Marc reads the comments anymore because of you dipshits.

Guest June 09, 2014 at 4:37 pm

Like his so called religion, Ribisi comes across as rather dumb and creepy. Even when he was defending the cult, you could tell he didn’t really know what he was talking about. He is completely in denial of anything that sounds like it could be “suppressive”.

TY June 09, 2014 at 8:59 pm

good interview good guest. he was being honest and wasn’t tip-toeing around even though some of the stuff they were talking abt was controversial. i think hes right about the drugs but that doesn’t mean the whole field of psychology is bull

Christopher June 10, 2014 at 6:56 am

Whoa, whoa, whoa, how can you ask him about Scientology…but devote no questions to his role on Friends?

Clare June 10, 2014 at 10:55 am

Enjoyed this interview. Scientology is not a topic of interest to me personally, and I believe in freedom of religion—or lack thereof—but Ribisi handled the (many) Scientology questions really well, i.e., he did not get defensive and seemed patient. And who can deny that pharmaceutical companies DO seem completely focused on pathologizing every aspect of the human condition? I also respect anyone in this country—from L.A. no less—who can say frankly that he is one of the most negative people he knows. That is awesome.

Michael P. Gowdy June 10, 2014 at 5:58 pm

He isn’t “pseudo-intellectual.” He just stammered a lot, which generally annoys me, but I like the guy so I tolerated it.
Re: Scientology: one can’t impugn it after he has met Tom Cruise (as I have) and listened to extensive interviews with Ribisi and other people. There is obviously nothing evil or even suspicious about it. I now get borderline angry when people rip it, and I’m not even in that group.
It just strikes me as hypocritical that people don’t mock worshipping a zombie (Christianity) nearly as much as they rip Scientology.

ShoopZ June 10, 2014 at 7:13 pm

Criminal behavior under the guise of “deeply-held religious beliefs” is still criminal behavior.

And if Ribisi says he’s never ever heard of aliens in Scientology, he either hasn’t reached OT III or he’s a liar. Google “body thetan” and “Xenu” if you’re looking for Scientology aliens.

Guest June 10, 2014 at 7:38 pm

The celebrity element of the cult is completely insulated from the miserable conditions of its worker drones. Tom Cruise is not working off a billion year contract making e-meters. He is the face.
There has been just so much documented evidence against Scientology, to assert there is nothing even suspicious about them ... Come On Now ... Also, comedians have mocked Christianity for generations, not that there is anything wrong with that.

Wimivo June 10, 2014 at 9:16 pm

“What is it about this podcast that summons all of these hyper-critical asshats to give us their complete inventory of nitpickery for every fucking show.”

It’s the Internet, man. Every pompous jerkwad thinks his or her half-baked opinion is interesting and thoughtful enough to warrant expressing it. (Clearly disproving the assertion that everyone’s voice should be heard.)

Smitty June 11, 2014 at 2:34 am

i don’t disagree at all, with Scientology’s challenge to psychiatry;however,that’s where my ideologic validation of them, begins and ends.  it’s shame, that we can’t see the glimmer of “good” within a grotesquely flawed value system,because of all the cultic crap,that scientology is. therefore,we can’t have honest open conversations,around the damage that psych meds are doing to people. my peeps on the political left,don’t have a bloody clue about this issue. this is one of the few issues, in which some of the folk on the right have more of an idea of what is going on,  than my fellow comrades do.

Mark June 11, 2014 at 7:19 am

The parts of the interview that didn’t deal with Scientology were enjoyable; alas, the cult talk took up a good chunk of it. Marc should have Paul Haggis in the garage as a counterpoint to Ribisi’s dissembling and denials.

bleedingears June 11, 2014 at 9:22 am

I don’t care for scientology, but I also don’t care for any other form of organized religion. The guy’s a hell of an actor, and a worthy subject for this podcast.

ShoopZ June 11, 2014 at 1:10 pm

Scientology isn’t organized religion. It’s organized crime.

Private Elder June 11, 2014 at 1:39 pm

if anyone has any questions re: Scientology, i highly recommend “Going Clear” by Lawrence Wright. It’s pretty unbiased and offers factual accounts, witness testimonials, and some murky things in between.
I’ve gathered that Scientology is yes, a creepy cult, and sometimes heavily aggressive and bullying, and sometimes dangerous.
It’s not harmless, but it’s also not supremely criminal. Well, kind of. Read the book.
Mr. Ribisi is obviously not totally educated on the principles of his “religion,” and wholly wants to defend it, but, as is the case of many celebrities, unable to because of the guarded version he has been presented with by the Celebrity Centre.
Make no mistake, Tom Cruise is number 2 next to David Miscavige.

mars June 11, 2014 at 3:25 pm

Marc took a time machine to go back to pose next to Giovanni’s dad.


smitty June 11, 2014 at 11:49 pm

no Marc… the fucking point, is that ECT [slightly modified electro shock] should not be imposed on anyone against their volition.  you went flakey sidebar tangent,with the notion that the only other viable choice, is to “work it out on their own”.  you went serious awol non sequitur,dude…

Screwsci June 12, 2014 at 1:33 pm

@ 39 years old, Giovani sounds a little under-educated….  He spent a lot of time mumbling and fumbling in his answers about Scientology.  He obviously hasn’t taken the recommended communication classes..

soso June 12, 2014 at 4:06 pm

Ribisi seems a hell of a lot cooler until you hear him speak. Or try to. How many times can you answer a question with yes, no, yes, maybe, no, yeah, no, I don’t know? Holy jesus h. xenu, he comes across as a blithering idiot.

I did like how open he was answering softball questions about scientology, though obviously clueless about what evil scumbags they are and what complete rubbish the head nutter Hubbard is spewing. -or was he just being a great actor there? grin

Hellbound Alleee June 13, 2014 at 10:36 am

Ahh. What other religions have a jail for those who criticize it or its leader? What other religions have children working 10-12 hour days building luxury homes for its leader?

This is nor to say that “every other organized religion” isn’t
crazy, it’s just that…not every other religion is a full-blown, keep-your adherents-from-escaping cult, and not every other religion isn’t a religion, but a money-making business.

Curt June 13, 2014 at 1:21 pm

Enjoyed the interview, but someone tell Giovanni that this idea of “A movie called…” and “An actor named…” is disingenuous. It’s more than reasonable to assume that your interviewer has heard of “A movie called ‘Dazed and Confused’”, “A TV show called ‘My Two Dads’” and “An actor named Marlon Brando”. Please untrain yourself in speaking this way. It comes off as posturing and gives you the opposite of the “everyday guy who doesn’t want to assume you’ve heard of his work” effect you’re going for.

pwl June 14, 2014 at 11:26 pm

Great interview Marc, the only part that was a downer is the part about Scientology, then it just became apparent he’s been coached by their celebrity PR wing.  It’s unlikely no matter what you asked him that you’d get the truth.  There’s a huge backlog of records from people who left the religion and talked or witness testimonials from people who’ve been hurt by this cult.  I understand why you wouldn’t press him about it, it’s not your fault.

the goatmaster of kings June 16, 2014 at 12:52 am

“It’s the Internet, man. Every pompous jerkwad thinks his or her half-baked opinion is interesting and thoughtful enough to warrant expressing it. (Clearly disproving the assertion that everyone’s voice should be heard.)”

Your voice and your opinion though - ooh la la!

Lack of self-awareness much?

ECS June 18, 2014 at 4:50 pm

I’m surprised more of the Scientology people haven’t found their way here like they usually do when there might be discussions of Scientology.  Just watching Leah Remini over the past years just shows how that church works.  Her friends turned on her and called her a bigot when she talked about how it really works.  That like calling someone who had been robbed by a priest a bigot just because they stood up and said it was wrong.  You can’t even follow the tenets of the beliefs without the church without being “turned in” and your family has to cut off contact with you. 
The reason Giovanni doesn’t know this is because they are told not to look up anything but what they are fed from above about Scientology so they don’t know the truth.  There have been some good documentaries like one on Frontline.  It’s creepy how they follow some people with cameras and aren’t even shy about it.  I saw on Twitter someone who left Scientology offered to send a book to Marc.  Would be interesting for him to have someone else on to balance it, but it may keep the other Scientologists away.  Who knows…

michael woloschinow July 09, 2014 at 6:32 pm

even Scientologists love VAN HALEN

jon gawne July 11, 2014 at 12:30 pm

Poor Giovanni, suckered in by the illusion that is Hollywood regarding the “bootcamp.”  Dye was never a colonel (he promoted himself in his own company to one as it sounded good). He was a PUBLI RELATIONS officer in the Corps. Of course the SPR bootcamp was severely screwed up, and he may not remember the time that the premier WW2 US Army living Historians in UK who visited turned down Tom Hanks invitation to join them, as they felt it was such a massive clusterfuck and had nothing at all to do with preparing for a WW2 role. In fact, it often trained people to do things the incorrect way, which they wanted to avoid embarrassing Dye about. I mean turning down an invitation to hang out with Tom Hanks?  That has to be bad.