“It’s something I wasn’t aware of about love,” he said, calling to discuss his cultural must-haves as Wednesday babbled in the background, “and how you’ll do anything to get your baby back.”
These are edited excerpts from the conversation.
1. “Rose’s Turn” From “Gypsy,” the Ethel Merman Version Weirdly, I’ve never seen the show, never seen a movie version. I don’t know how I’ve escaped it because I know it’s huge. But this winter, around Christmas, I heard the song by chance on the radio and got obsessed with it. There are just so many different levels to it. I know the context now, and it really moved me. I saw Imelda Staunton [Dolores Umbridge in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1”] perform it on YouTube, which is absolutely incredible. But I love listening to Ethel’s version. Just the maternal kind of passion that comes through. I also think I’m going to be a huge stage mom, so maybe I was connecting to that.
2. Children’s Books by Tomi Ungerer I think Wednesday is still slightly young for them, but we’ve got a massive library ready for her. And these are great books — so ahead of their time and so beautifully illustrated. There’s one called “Otto,” and it’s the autobiography of this [teddy] bear, and I was an absolute wreck after reading it. It goes through his whole life, but I guess you could say it’s really about Auschwitz and how the bear experiences the camp. It sounds not suitable for kids, but I think Ungerer is not afraid of showing the darkness of humanity.
3. Miniature Pottery This has been a lockdown hobby that I’ve taken up. You actually throw pots on a proper wheel, which is about the size of a dollar coin. The wheel is something I’ve always been in awe of, just making something from something as raw as a blob of clay. It’s such a therapeutic thing, and you completely get lost in thought. They’re so quick as well. I’ve made some really cool things, like miniature vases, cookie jars, teapots. They’re an inch or a little bigger, kind of a doll’s house scale. They’re all completely useless.
4. Malcolm Gladwell’s “Revisionist History” This has been my go-to nighttime podcast for a while now. He has a great way of dissecting moments in history that I had no idea about and subverting them, making me understand what happened. It’s quite short and easy to digest. A really good one was the redo of the McDonald’s fries and how they changed the recipe over the years. Another was about Leonard Cohen’s song “Hallelujah,” the struggles he had writing it. It goes quite in depth about the kind of minutiae that I always, always love.