Exclusive - Adrian Grenier Extended Interview

November 14, 2016 - Nate Silver & Adrian Grenier 11/14/2016 Views: 13,221

Adrian Grenier talks about swimming the Strait of Messina with Richard Branson to raise awareness of global warming and discusses his work with the Lonely Whale Foundation. (6:51)

Watch Full Episode

Please welcome Adrian Grenier,everybody.

(cheering and applause)

I know.

(applause, cheering)

-Welcome to the show.-Why, thank you.

I spent so many years dreamingof joining your entourage, man.

-I'm not even gonna lie.-(laughter)

I was, I was a huge fan of that,and, uh, you know?

I'm still... still holding out.

Well, now the-the rolesare reversed.

Now I want to be a partof your entourage.

I don't have an entourage;it doesn't work like that.

You need those eyesfor an entourage.

-Don't tease me, man.-(laughter)

-Don't tease me, Adrian.-Oh, you're pretty.

-You're pretty.-(laughing)

-Thank you for coming to theshow. -Right? Come on.

-Thank you. Thank you for comingto the show. -(cheering)

By the way, m-my real entourageis backstage,

and they're all swooningover you.

-Oh, thank you.Thank you for that. -Yeah.

Let's-let's talk aboutyour entourage.

This-this is really something,uh, that you've been doing

behind the scenes,which is exciting.

And that is, you've beennurturing young talent.

You've been, uh,going into music.

You've been tryingto get producers

and musicians to getinto the field.

People that normally wouldn'tbe given a chance.

Why do you do this?

You could just go out and sayI'm just gonna act.

I'm just gonna tryand be the star.

Why help other stars come up?

Well, you know, I'm big intobuilding communities,

and I built this studioin my basement.

And it was a sortof a manifestation

of my boyhood dream to havea professional studio

-in my house.-Yeah.

And I got really busy;I didn't use it that much,

so I started giving it awayto the community,

to people in the neighborhood,and bands would come in.

And-and younger bands wouldstart hearing about it,

and it was a real joy to be ableto let younger bands

have an opportunityto play in a studio,

-which I always wishedthat I could do. -Yeah.

And it just grew into thisreally great little community.

It-it-it's a, it's a...

Yeah,it's a beautiful thing to...

(cheering and applause)

...to do for people, um,especially people

who may not have accessto that world.

You just don't involve yourself

in music and entertainment,though.

I think one of the biggerchallenges you've taken on,

is that of climate change.

-Oh, yeah.-Uh...

-It's important.-You...

-You think?-Uh, a little bit.

Just, it's-- you know.

You know what's-what's sad is,

two weeks ago you would havecome here and said that,

everyone will go, yeah, yeah.

I mean, we get it, and, youknow, we're moving forward.

Donald Trumpand who his selection

for the EPA looks to be,

doesn't seem like climate changeis going to be at the front,

or even on his mind, at all.

Uh, you, not only have beenan activist.

I mean, you-you swamto raise awareness

with Richard Bransonin the ocean.

And that was part of the, uh,you know,

the swim that you-you see here.

This is-- you did all of thisto raise awareness

-for climate change.-Yeah.

So, I did. I-I-I swam through

the Strait of Messinawith Richard Branson.

It was, uh, 3.3 kilometers,

a two-mile swim.

You see I-I'm wearing a...I have a balloon

tied around my neck, um,for a very specific reason.

I was actually out trainingone day, and I...

in the middle of the ocean,I came across a balloon,

a happy birthday balloon,

floating in the middleof the ocean.

And it-it sort of embodiedexactly why I was doing the swim

in the first place,because a moment of joy

for somebody's birthday is 1,000years of death in-in the ocean.

-Wow.-Fish-fish eat it, birds eat it,

and then eventuallyit just poisons our waters.

So I took the balloonas a little motivation,

'cause it... after seeing that,I was so upset,

that it connected mewith my purpose

and I swam strongerand more confident.

Because when you're outin the middle of the ocean,

you need all the confidenceyou get...

you can... you can muster.

And, also,when we're working together

to try and overcome someof the Earth's challenges,

we need to mustera lot of that energy together.

Because it's daunting.It's very scary.

But we can do it,just like I did do the swim.

-Most definitely.-(cheering and applause)

You-you speak in a... in a way

that connectswith a lot of people,

because of how you tacklethe issues.

I-I found itparticularly appealing.

'Cause, a lot of the time,global warming is seen

as this giant, herculean taskthat cannot be dealt with

unless you are a scientist.

How do we drop temperaturesof oceans and atmospheres?

But you are particularly againstdrinking straws.

(chuckles) Well, you know,straws are like

the low-hanging plastic,you know?

-(chuckling) -They-They're...No, I mean, seriously,

-they're-they're everywhere.-Yeah.

They...We encounter them every day.

And they're easy to change.

We can just refusesingle-use plastic straws.

500 million straws every daygo into landfills

and then end up in the ocean.500 million.

And all we have to dois just say no.

And, of course,it's a slippery slope.

It's-it's a gateway,if you will, to other plastics,

because, next thing you know,you say no

to single-use plastic bags

and do what California didand-and ban them altogether.

-Yeah.-(cheering and applause)

Just try and, uh...

just... W-Was that true?

I-I heard you saying that, fromall of those plastic straws,

you could build a school bus?

Yeah, it was, like,37 school buses a day

filled with plastic straws.

They should be...they should... we have...

we should have childrenin school buses,

and they should be goingto school,

learning about how notto use plastic,

-not putting plasticinto the ocean. -That is...

-that is so scary,-(cheering and applause)

because of how small it seems.

It's little things thatwe've accepted along the way.

Little... Like you say,a little plastic here,

a little disposable there,a little throwaway there.

Um, and now we're-we're livingin the world

that we're living in.

Why is it so important to you?

You've traveled the world,you've met with many activists.

Why do you think it'sso important to have a president

that believes in climate change?

Well, you know, I...

I've been tryingto convince people,

or at least inspire people,to change their lifestyles

to be more conscious.

Uh, but we really do needstrong leadership,

because these lawsnot only govern us

but they level the playing fieldfor businesses

so that some, uh,corporations and companies

don't get a... don't-don't...aren't able to profit

off of the destructionthat they put out

and then the costs thatwe ultimately end up paying for.

What happens is c-companiesend up putting off

the-the cost of doing businessonto us,

because they're creatingthe pollution

that we have to pay for.So when-when, uh,

oil is spilled in the ocean,who pays for that, right?

We do. Not only t...extra added tax dollars

but also just quality of life,right?

What about the pollution?

That is an un-unknown tax

that we end up having to payfor in health costs

and just quality of life,generally.

Something we got to fight.

And, uh, I think the fighthas gotten a lot tougher.

But, uh, I'm glad that you arein it, man. Thank you so much.

-Thank you for being here.-Thank you so much.

For more information,check out LonelyWhale.org.

It's a truly fantastic cause,and we need to support it.

Adrian Grenier, everybody.

All Shows