Return to Transcripts main page


Stroumboulopoulos - Interviews with Martin Short, Wiz Khalifa and Keanu Reeves

Aired June 9, 2013 - 22:00   ET




BOURDAIN: Welcome to CNN. Got to practice that line. This is CNN.


BOURDAIN: Do you channel your inner James earl Jones?


BOURDAIN: Look, a couple of things before you go on air, OK?


BOURDAIN: You've got to know this stuff. First you've got to get your hands on one of these.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: What is that, I don't have one of those?

BOURDAIN: CNN all access pass. Gets you into everywhere, man. You can walk right into the "the SITUATION ROOM" with one this dead. More importantly, it opens up a whole world of secrets.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: What do you mean secrets?

BOURDAIN: I can't tell you that, George. That's classified.

You should know this, though. There a few words you cannot use on CNN. (bleep), (bleep) (bleep) and Lou Dobbs.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: Yikes, that's my entire repertoire, especially the last part.

Thanks a lot, Anthony.

BOURDAIN: Hey, look. Take risks, have fun and stay gold, pony boy.



STROUMBOULOPOULOS: Oh, my goodness. How much fun is this going to be? All right, what a show we have for you. Tonight, the icon and comedy, legend Martin Short is going to be here. This person has given birth to some of the most memorable characters of the past five decades, including Ed Grimly (ph).

MARTIN SHORT, ACTOR: Your hair is standing up.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: There's a lot to talk about with Martin Short. We'll dig deep.

Plus, imagine this, at 25-years-old, rich, sold a lot of records, your twitter army is 10 million strong. What do you do for encore? I don't know. How about having a baby.

You don't know what you look like as a baby, but can you just tell he's making a face that you make. I'm looking in the mirror right now.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: We'll talk about rap and so much more with Wiz Khalifa.

And finally --

Remember the thing you're so passionate about but it isn't your day job and you can't get it done. What happens when it starts to become true and what happens when you're Keanu Reeves? We here to find out what Keanu Reeves is driving/riding literally tonight.


STROUMBOULOPOULOS: How is it going, everybody? Nice to see you. Welcome to the show. It's so lovely to be with you. I hope you're having a wonderful night and had a great day wherever you may be across this land. I'm George Stroumboulopoulos and I'll be here with you in the summer to keep you company. It's going to be a fun show. It's an interview show, as can you tell. We'll have a lot of different people on the program over the next ten weeks, everyone from Ellen Page to Ely Roth, Westerner Herzog, Snoop Dogg, Bill Maher and betty while. I know what you're thinking, snoop and betty. Is the feud over? They have agreed to bury the hatchet, just for this series, so I'm really excited to get into that one.

Tonight on the show, big Wiz Khalifa in the red chair and, of course, later on, Keanu Reeves.

But right now is one of the loveliest people you'll ever meet. He is as famous at all hell but his story is so interesting. Tonight, we start with Martin Short. What a life he's had. Here's the story.


STROUMBOULOPOULOS (voice-over): I'm not sure if comedians are born or made, but comedy icons are certainly developed over years. And no truth or sentiment, the great Martin Short, born in Hamilton, Ontario in 1953, through Charles, who was an executive at a steel company and Olive, violinist and a concert master for the Hamilton symphony. Martin was his mother's son. As a boy used to record himself singing Frank Sinatra songs and even added his own applause at end. In absurdity and creativity were always encouraged in the short household,. But just as Martin was coming into his own, tragedy struck. His older brother was killed in a car crash when Marty was only 12. Both of his parents would pass before Marty would turn 21. As Martin Short said himself, you can either be a victim or you can be empowered so he chose to be empowered.

In 1972, he ended up in this small Canadian production, of Godspell. Check out the kids that were in this, Eugene Levy, Gilda Radner, Paul Schaffer (ph) was a musical director, Victor Garber, Dave Thomas and Nancy dolman, Marty's future wife.

Marty continued to hone his performance skills in short-lived American sitcoms like "I'm a big girl now" and "the associates" and in 1928 he got his dream job, invited to join the cast of SCTV. That's where he met his iconic characters such as (INAUDIBLE), and Ed Grimly.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I couldn't believe it. I couldn't be more excited.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: From there he joined the "Saturday night live" team and starred in "three amigos" and stole scenes in "father of the bride," backing one of those rare performers who didn't have to be the star to earn the spotlight. Today, martin short is still charming, laughing and dancing his way into your living rooms via your heart.


STROUMBOULOPOULOS: Please say hello to Martin Short.



SHORT: How are you, baby?


SHORT: Hello, young man.


SHORT: Things are well? Oh, these are comfortable chair.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: Aren't they? Thanks for showing up.

SHORT: Someone spent some money.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: We put all of it in the chair.

SHORT: Yes. I didn't think CNN had money. I'm so wrong about so many things.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: Well, we're happy that you're a part of it. SHORT: Thank you, welcome to the United States of America. High time.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: You're lovely. You're the first person that agreed to the do the show.

SHORT: Well, because I know. I've been on George's show many, many times. This is one of the greatest interviewers you can have, and listen, I -- I've been interviewed.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: Thank you. You're writing a book. Did you ever think you would writhe write a book, a memoir of any kind?

SHORT: No, because I've never finished reading a book. I thought why write one, but then, you know, it's amazing what American money in an advance check will do to inspire you.

Writing a book is something that you just can't do because you think it's a good idea or are told it's a good idea. It's got to come from within. You've got to go actually I know what that book might be, and I know what that story could be.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: Are you a reflective person by nature?

SHORT: Yes, absolutely. I mean, I think that we learn, we constantly learn from our experience not to repeat mistakes, so you always have to reflect on what's gone down. You're constantly trying to figure out, I think, how do I not repeat that mistake?

Like I remember in 1977, randomly, I became anxious. Would I have anxiety attacks. They lasted about four months. When you first experience it, you think oh, I'm going to get a tongue depressor in me and be institutionalized and that doesn't happen so you become a little tougher. Oh, I can take you on. And once I was through that phase, an uncertain phase of lots of things in my life I thought, OK, that's never going to happen again. I'm never going to let that happen again. I'm going to be the master of that. So I always think with me I'm more drawn with trying to make me the boss of my life, whatever the outcome is.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: It never happened again or the moment they started to happen you knew what to do to stop them from getting more severe?

SHORT: I just knew it was about taking things too seriously and that didn't matter and for a long time I used to worry about opening nights. What if I'm no good opening night? What if I forget my, you know, words or lyrics and that and at a certain point you go that's never happened. And now you're in your 30s. You used to worry about all in your 20s. It's never happened. I bet it will never happened.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: You will forget your words?

SHORT: And then do you and there are other theories. But then, there are other theories. That blank thing.

(LAUGHTER) STROUMBOULOPOULOS: Let me show you this photograph. Let's go back a little. Look at this picture that we have here.

SHORT: That was taken two years ago.


SHORT: Right after the surgery. That's backyard of Witten road. Look at the ears.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: But it looks like you're ready to perform right there.

SHORT: I'm sure I had just done an opening number of "gypsies" or something.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: Another one here. Look at this.

SHORT: These are the brothers.


SHORT: That's my brother David on the left, Marty, Michael in the back, Brian.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: What were the bros like?

SHORT: Oh, adorable, sweet, sweet, good. We always -- you know, I always think that when you have kids, you have to just set down this bottom line of what can't happen, and I've done it in my house, and my parents did it in their house which was everyone has to like each other and get along. And if you don't, you'll get the wrath of parents. There's no kind of -- how -- how does that make you feel when he says that? Don't hurt your brother. You know, one time my son Oliver and Henry were wrestling in their room. Oliver is three years old, two and a half years older and I saw Oliver had Henry pinned and they don't know I'm standing at door. They don't know I'm there. I'm thinking OK, if Oliver hurts Henry I will flip him out and I see him has him pinned and he leans over and kisses his forehead which is the same thing would I do with Ollie when I wrestle so those things trickle down, sensibility, so we were asked to get along and we all did.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: Somehow you've managed to be this seemingly level happy guy, but there's a lot of tragedy in your life, lost both your parents young. You seem to have been OK with it. Did you have to learn to be OK with it?

SHORT: Well, I think that you become empowered in a weird way by loss at any age, but certainly when you're young, you can either go into a direction of say being I am going to be a victim from this. I'm going to be a drunk. I'm going to do drugs, but you don't know what I went through. Or you become more resilient. A little tougher. If someone doesn't like you on stage, you got your hair is standing up, you're kind of looking at them saying I don't even know you. If you don't like me, I don't like you. You go through that weird tough ass place. STROUMBOULOPOULOS: Tell me, way better place for comedy steel yourself that way.

SHORT: Anything to prepare you for failure and rejection is good.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: And you have always been OK with failure and rejection? That you think happy?

SHORT: No, no, I've never been OK. Right now I'm feeling badly.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: So far you're doing OK.

SHORT: No, no, I'm not saying that you're ready. I'm just saying that I think you have to prepare yourself to saying you're the boss of your life. You know. If you don't like me, audience, you might be right. I might have to do some more work, but I'm not going to be deflated by it. It's just a job. It's just, you know, you try doing it, you know? So, that's what I'm saying.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: Have you ever always dreamed about the Hollywood part? Was that part of your story?

SHORT: I would pretend I'm on a private plane. I'm nine, and hi my own television show, my attic, my applause record, and I used to pretend I was on NBC 8:30 every other Tuesday. which left me room for my imaginary film career. Meanwhile kids are playing hockey outside and I'm going -- it's such a cuckoo day. I got mic, you know, flat.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: People love you in comedy, and this stage of your life you're popping into dramas. You have a cool series. You're in a Paul Thomas Anderson move. It's a very different type of performer.

SHORT: Yes, it's cool. I think everything -- you know, you reach a point in your career where you don't have to worry about rent as much as something even more monumental which is how do you keep yourself interesting? How do you stay interested in doing in?

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: Were you as confident walking in as a dramatic artist as opposed to comes snick.

SHORT: If you're play a character, no matter 00 if he's frank from "father of the bride" he still has to be real, so you have to create your actor stuff to make this person real, and then you have to heighten his eccentricity to make it but it always has to be real or the audience goes I don't care about that.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: It's the same thing in drama then.

SHORT: Yes. So, you're just dropping the second part, and you're trying to be interesting and yet real and yet all the things you're supposed to do, so I don't find it that different actually.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: Stick around. More with martin right after this.

Coming up after the break, not that I'm going totally Canadian but we'll hit the road with Keanu Reeves in just a bit and we'll have Wiz Khalifa on the show tonight as well. See you soon.


STROUMBOULOPOULOS: All right. Back here hanging out with Martin Short.

SHORT: Oh, hello.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: Beautiful you audience.

SHORT: They are all in Spanish.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: Very lovely, yes, yes.

SHORT: Oprah gives away cars.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: This man has had a breast reduction, can I tell right away.

Is it true your dad was a stow away, like your dad was the natural stowaway?

SHORT: When he was 17 he left northern Ireland. This was 1926, and he had uncles that worked in Texas. And I later found out he had a ticket. It was buy the ticket or buy the two new suits, and he bought the suits and stowed away, and then they caught him in Texas, and he was deported, and then at 21 he came over legally to Canada.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: How different would your life have been if he didn't get deported?

SHORT: Well, I would have been supporting George W. Bush and Rick Perry, and I would have been one of those Texan boys.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: You would have been one of those guys?

SHORT: When I was 16 I used to tape everything, reel-to-reel tape record and I once taped a Christmas present opening in 1966, and one point my father is saying Marty, would you pick up that record, please, and there's a record I've opened on the ground. He still thinks it's a 78, that if you step on it you'll break it. I don't move two minutes later. Marty, would you pick up those records, please. Four minutes later, Marty, would you pick up the records. And I'm thinking at the time what is with him? And now I'm listening to him would you pick up the records, you idiots? Why won't you pick up the records.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: What was it like to hear his voice in that context?

SHORT: I never let go of these. Marty, get down here. You know, he's Irish and had to go to mass every morning. Once a year he'd sleep in.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: That's it. SHORT: Yes. You're always lying in bed could this be the morning. Marty, do you not love Christ? Coming dad, on my way. Coming down the stairs, dear.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: The evolution of you as a performer has been fun. Do you have to look at not different things to be challenged, but do you look at different things to make you happy? Does the stuff that made you happy still hold?

SHORT: I don't know. I always think you have an option of two words to put on my gravestone. One is almost and -- but I would say performer, and so I love performing, so some people, like I could do, when I've done Broadway shows and I'll do eight shows a week, I love doing eight shows a week and some people just go nuts because they couldn't stand repeating the same material or not creating new material if they are a writer, but for me I just -- it's the execution of it that's exciting, so I still get a tremendous rush and enjoyment from performance.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: Do you have boundaries?

SHORT: You mean as far as what I would do or wouldn't do?

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: Yes. Well, because, the --

SHORT: Frontal nudity, that stuff? Because I'll do it.


STROUMBOULOPOULOS: For some people who -- you did the cross, thank you.

SHORT: Oh, yes. I'm not an idiot. Go ahead, what's your point?

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: The idea of carving space out for yourself as opposed -- some people who like to work and get the rush of performance, when the rush goes away and the crowd goes away there's an emptiness, you don't seem to have that?

SHORT: Gee, I hope not. I mean, that would be sad, wouldn't it? Because it goes away. It goes away.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: Yes. But, it hasn't really gone away for you, has it?

SHORT: It hasn't gone away, but, you know, talk to me at end of the summer. I'm saying it goes away.


SHORT: It goes away or it alters. No one is, I don't care who you are, at a certain point the light starts dimming and gets dirmmer and that's the natural way of things. So, if you finish your career, whatever that time of it is and you go, now I'm empty, you've made some major life problem mistakes.


SHORT: I mean, this is -- I always think it's like you take courses at university. It's nine categories syndrome. You know, I started this when I was in my 20s, not in the '20s.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: I kind of wanted to let that slide.

SHORT: I remember Herbert Hoover was -- we were optimistic. No. When I was in my late 20, I used to think, my first experience of being an unemployed actor and I used to think, oh, God, this is bad, and then I would get through a couple of months and then I would be working and then it would happen again. And I think, I wish I didn't waste those months, you know, where I just sat there, and then I thought oh, I know what to do. This would be like university. At university you take nine subjects, and you might be failing in biology, but you can make up your GPA by doing other stuff.


SHORT: And getting great grades, so I thought, OK, if my career is terrible, I can be in better shape. I can work out. I can get esteem that way, or I can be a better husband or father or brother or friend. I can be creative. I can -- I can go to Europe during that time. In other words, you can get your own GPA up even if your career is in the tank.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: How did that come to you?

SHORT: Well, I was left money, that helped. I had an inheritance from my parents. And I had been broke, I would have no philosophy at all. But having money -- basically because I was rich.



SHORT: Thank you.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: Martin Short, everybody.


STROUMBOULOPOULOS: All right, we'll be right back.

When we come back it's big Wiz Khalifa in the red chair and then we leave the studios and get on some bikes and follow his passion with Keanu Reeves.



Our next guest is one of the most interesting guys making music today, and he's achieved an awful lot for a very young age and has had quite a young life experience, full. Traveled all over the joint. His name is Wiz Khalifa. Believe me, someone in your room is singing his song right now. Wiz is on his way out. Here's his story.


STROUMBOULOPOULOS: When his grandfather gave him the name Khalifa, the Arabic word for successor he must have known Wiz who is destined for big things.

His family constantly moved. During his childhood he lived in Germany, Japan, Georgia and more before finally hand now famously settling in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. When he was just 6-years-old, his mom's friend turned him on to music of Snoop Dogg, 12, and wiz started rapping to help him fit in with his cousins and uncles. He showed practice so his dad bought him recording equipment as incentive. At 17 he signed his first record deal and a year later released his first studio album. Wiz has hit number one with his Pittsburgh-inspired "black and yellow," a tribute to all the Pittsburgh teams. How did the city respond? Well, they named a day after him? Not many get that.




WIZ KHALIFA, SINGER: Nice to see you.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: Welcome to the show.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: I was hesitating to grab that hand. You hurt that hand?

KHALIFA: Yes, I hurt my hand skateboarding?

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: You just went down and that's it?

KHALIFA: Yes, it happens sometimes like that.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: Nobody is looking on you when they book you on the tour, listen, for insurance purposes you cannot do that anymore?

KHALIFA: They always get really mad at me because I'm skateboarding around the venue. Don't get hurt.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: But you know, joking aside, it is kind of an interesting place that you're in right now.


STROUMBOULOPOULOS: That you have created a scenario where people are depending on you, not just your own kid and everything else. Have you felt some of that new reality on you?

KHALIFA: Yes. Totally, man. I mean, I deal with a lot personally and just professionally, but my whole thing is always to just move forward, and I know what I'm here forks so I just play my role and do that the best I can.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: How old were you when you first got connected? Was this snoop that somebody introduced you to, the snoop music?

KHALIFA: I was really young, probably in pre-school.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: And they were saying, which snoop song were you singing in pre-school? Exactly, that's what I'm talking about.

KHALIFA: Kind of caught me off guard. It sounded like scary, like good scary. I'm like, man, this is bad, you know what I mean?


KHALIFA: Well, doggie style. That whole doggie style and my mom's friend, she had a system in her truck so she used to play like really loud, too.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: And were you in pre-school. You would think she would at least play you puffy style.

KHALIFA: Straight doggie style in a big way.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: When did it occur to you that this was something that you could do? .

KHALIFA: Really, I was about 14, 15 years old. Lived with my dad down in Oklahoma. That's when I started taking more serious and going to the studio all the time while a lot of my friends were out. I would hoop and skate and stuff like that, but I really, really into my music. So, I kind of shut everything out and put myself in the studio and then, you know, when I turned about 15 or 16, that's when I got my independence deal, and I never really looked at it as an option from there, you know. It was more or less like everything is just going to, you know, pretty much snowball, and I'm going to get to where I need to be, no matter how long it takes.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: Let me show you a picture of a young and passport photo here.


STROUMBOULOPOULOS: So cute, man. Military family, right, so moved around a lot?

KHALIFA: Yes, totally. I lived in Japan. I've lived in Germany. I lived down south. East coast. I just now moved to the west coast, but, man, I've been everything, a little bit of everything.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: Do you think that's left a mark on you?

KHALIFA: I think it's left a good mark on me. I know what to expect when I bump into different types of people, especially different races and the different cultures. I kind of know how like to entertain them and what to expect from them and their crowd because everybody communicates on a different level. Like music brings everyone together, but you have to real be able to identify with those certain people, too, for them to, you know, gravitate towards your stuff.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: So much of what happens to a lot of artists, hip- hop artists, roots are a big part of it, right. And it talk a lot of way it's really important to represent where you're what it is and where does it you come from. But a guy who didn't have roots for a very long time, you have a very different relationship with that.

KHALIFA: Yes. I mean, I just take it more as the most that I've learned from my life has been from Pittsburgh, you know, and anybody who can identify me with anything, it would be Pittsburgh. I know these in and outs of the street. I know where to go to eve. I know what cars we drive. I know what clubs we go to.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: You know where not to walk, where there are cops when you're carrying weed?


KHALIFA: More or less what to say when you're carrying weed when you're walking across.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: How many times have you got jacked for weed now?

KHALIFA: A lot. More like -- more than 18.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: All right, right, so here's the thing. How many guys get that many and get a day named after them in Pittsburgh?

KHALIFA: Well, you know, weed is a peaceful drug. You know, I think if I was getting caught with something a little more dangerous then I wouldn't have gotten that day. But, you know, it's getting a little bit more lenient and people know what my message is to bring everyone together.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: It's funny, remember back in the early 80s, snoop, Cyprus hill, others very big into legalizing it campaign, and it is we're in a different place right now.

KHALIFA: Yes. I think it's a trick honestly. I think they are like trying to bait people in and then like. So, I'm not getting caught up in it. I'm smoking it the same way it was before and nothing is going to change.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: What do you mean?

KHALIFA: I'm hiding it. You may smell me but you not going to see me.


STROUMBOULOPOULOS: You're the guy who has a whole bunch of mouthwash and gum in the car?

KHALIFA: No, no, no, I'm not like that. I'm pretty precautious. Yes, yes. I'm pretty. cleanly.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: You were talking to Larry king, just this idea that you're not going to stop smoking, right?


STROUMBOULOPOULOS: But you got a baby, and I wonder if you look at kids and say, OK, maybe I have to be a bit different. I don't mean the weed thing but just change your approach to life.

KHALIFA: I mean, you know, I've found myself just changing my patterns, you know what I mean? I'm still the cool person that I always was, fun person that I always was, but as far as waking up and the thing I do is smoke a joint that changes because when you have a baby, because your baby needs you, and, you know, you can't put those two up against each other. It's baby first. It's baby as long as he needs you and until somebody comes and, you know, you might get a chance to get away, but you don't make no breaks from the baby to go smoke.

SHORT: Right.

KHALIFA: So it's just -- I still smoke as much as I used to, it's just later on in the day, you know what I mean, because I'm with my kid?

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: Where's dad? He's in the garage.

KHALIFA: Or the pool room, the billiards room. That's where I get my stuff at.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: What was it like when you finally got to work with Snoop?

KHALIFA: It was amazing, man. It was like a dream come true. Hi to keep my cool and not blow, it be who I really wanted to be and not like a little kid.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: Did you pull a special batch out?




KHALIFA: I did. Because I knew he was smoking like snoop stuff, but I knew -- I came up, and I'm like I've got some confidence, and you know what I've known and what I've learned, and I got some real good friends who show me some things, so I just wanted to show him.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: What does that mean, showed you some things?

KHALIFA: Well, you know, there's different ways to grow it. People don't flush it. They use different chemicals, and there's all types of impurities, man, so we get rid of that and we put it on a pure.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: You're like a science teacher, that's what you are. KHALIFA: It is science.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: It really is, isn't it?

Stick around. More with Wiz right after this.

So what will Wiz see when the glasses come off? We'll find out. More from wiz next.


STROUMBOULOPOULOS: Welcome back here on the program. Wiz Khalifa is with us. He's on quite a run. You're like top five in the hip-hop game for followers on twitter. Are you competitive?

KHALIFA: No, I'm not really competitive. I just, you know, kick those other dudes' high knees.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: Are you monitoring Justin Bieber's feed?

KHALIFA: No, I can't compete with him.


KHALIFA: He's way out of here.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: We're saying in the commercial break that you look at your kid sometimes and you're like, man, I have a son.

KHALIFA: Yes, man. I look to his faces and it's like Sometimes, like you don't know what you look like as a baby, but you can just tell he's making a face that you make. Man, I'm looking in the mirror right now.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: Do you think it's going to have an impact on the kind of stuff you make, your heart?

KHALIFA: It's going to make me more fun I think, you know. I think it's just going to make me cooler.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: I'm thinking about Snoop. Snoop had a trance in addition his life where he realized he wanted to be more positive.


STROUMBOULOPOULOS: It was really important to him and you're still young. Do you have a sense that at some point --

KHALIFA: I've always been a pretty positive dude. The only thing that I do here and there, I slow down drinking, because I -- I do that a lot, but then I'll stop and then I'll start again and I'll stop so maybe one day I'll just completely give up alcohol, but that's about it.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: Do you have people around you who let you know when you might be pushing yourself too far? KHALIFA: Well, my wife, that's it. She nags me all the time. I don't know the difference.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: Do you nag her back?

KHALIFA: Of course.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: OK. So, the big part of this business is you make sure you don't surround yourself with people that go you're great all the time?

KHALIFA: Yes, yes, yes. No, yes, you've got to. I've been blessed with really good friends and just the knowledge of myself when I'm doing too much or doing just enough because at the end of the day it's with business first. Having fun is supposed to be the reward so when I get to a point like I'm having too much fun, I'll usually pull back a little bit.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: Thinking about, again, the Snoop thinking. Thinking about when I was 20 years old, and I was thinking, oh, my God, the lyrics are so over the line. If you had a daughter would you change the use of the word -- everybody is calling girls bitches all the time.

KHALIFA: Man, I don't know. I would have to have a daughter to like really know. I have a little sister, my mom and my nanny and everybody, they listen to my music and they know how I talk and what I say and they don't take any disrespect manner.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: None ever say easy on that?

KHALIFA: My aunt Leah does. She's the only one because she's like, you, chill out.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: How do you take that?

KHALIFA: I just take it with love. That's what aunties are supposed to do.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: Speaking of sisters, look at that. I love this picture here.

KHALIFA: I had an early start, man.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: Love those glasses, first of all.

KHALIFA: Yes. I got a pair like that (INAUDIBLE). I went through phases, man.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: Finding yourself?


STROUMBOULOPOULOS: At least we could see your eyes with those. Here you go.


STROUMBOULOPOULOS: Look at the different waves of hip-hop, how much it's about New York and L.A. and then for a while Atlanta and even more south, Louisiana became the spot.


STROUMBOULOPOULOS: Between cash money, no limit where all the videos were made and Pittsburgh sort of pops up out of nowhere.

KHALIFA: You know what? Nobody ever shouted out Pittsburgh, ever, like ever. They would be like where Brooklyn at? Where Philly at? Where jersey at? Where South Carolina at? Where Vegas at? I'm like, yo, where's Pittsburgh at, so now they shout out Pittsburgh.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: What's the celebration of Pittsburgh? What is it about it?

KHALIFA: It's just a hometown vibe. I think that we support a lot of people, like in their early stages. There's a lot of rappers like Gucci Man, (INAUDIBLE), Nicki Minaj, Future, there's just a lot of people who like they started their first couple like of club shows and stuff like that. They would pack those clubs in Pittsburgh, and they would come out and they were showing life and people would fight and be crazy and they would show up next week. So, that was the thing, you know.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: Someone put your arm around you and help you navigate the wildest part of it?

KHALIFA: Juicy. Yes, Juicy J. That's my man. Juicy was the biggest, you know, person who led by example for me because I watched him do his whole career, like anybody who came out under him was a success so I look up to that, and I look up to the originality that he brought to the game.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: Do you think a as a 45-year-old as Khalifa, do you think what that rapper will be like?

KHALIFA: Me or somebody else?


KHALIFA: Yes. I think I'm going to be awesome.


STROUMBOULOPOULOS: Do you make records still?

KHALIFA: Yes, yes, I'm going to be writing. I want to learn an instrument by that time because that's 20 years. If I start now, I'll be playing that instrument for 20 years. I could be a professional at that.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: Have you started now? KHALIFA: Yes, on and off. I do guitar, piano, because I really like the piano because when I sing and stuff like that, I do a lot of harmonies and things like that, so when I play the piano, it helps me like find new, like little stuff with that, I don't know what you call it.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: Are you digging into other artists, looking into places that you wouldn't normally --

KHALIFA: Yes, I listen to a lot of older artists. I kind of get obsessed with one person and then just research person, order music, their lyrics, their live stuff, interviews, everything like that. It was Jimi Hendrix, James Brown. I'm really into Elton John right now. He's super tight, so, yes.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: You've got to check this song called "Curtains," man, it's unbelievable.

KHALIFA: I mean, his lyrics are frigging insane.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: He and Bernie Taupin, together, has been able to build something that's changed over the years, right, that's really lasted. So, do you find yourself wanting to evolve?

KHALIFA: Yes, totally. I want to evolve always stay the same. You know, I don't want to be one of those people who evolves and everybody wants him 20 years ago, you know what I'm saying? I want to be like who I am and always be me.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: Nowhere near a country record?

KHALIFA: No. Well, you know what, I mean, possibly, because, you know what, well, I like country music, so -- it might just take a while.


KHALIFA: But we'll see.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: Where do you want to grow into?

KHALIFA: Well, I want my hair to be like all the way down here. So I'm going to grow into that.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: All tight like that the whole way down?

KHALIFA: Yes. Just dreaded up and locking it.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: That's a long time, a lot of growth.

KHALIFA: In about seven years it should be down my back.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: You'll be totally ready for your snoop reggae phase if you do that.

KHALIFA: Exactly. I don't know what I'm going to do. I might wrap it up, I might Rev it up, drag it on the floor, but I'm definitely hiding weed in there.


STROUMBOULOPOULOS: Wiz Khalifa, everybody.


STROUMBOULOPOULOS: All right. The wait is almost over. Motorcycles with Keanu Reeves, next.


STROUMBOULOPOULOS: All right. We're back here on the show.

Obviously we've jumped out of the studio for just a second. I want to explore the different side of a really creative person, and it's t sort of manifest itself now in his brand new company called arch motorcycles, a new American, a little Canadian company which kind of blends old and new and passion from a guy that you recognize. Hey, man.

KEANU REEVES, ACTOR: Good morning.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: How are you, man?

REEVES: Welcome to Arch Motorcycle Company.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: That guy is Keanu Reeves.

What is this? You said I'm going to start making bikes, is that what it is?

REEVES: Yes. This particular motorcycle was an endeavor that started five years ago. I ride Norton's, for most part, that is my David Dave my back and when we think of arch, it's a kind of retro modern.

And so, you know, the tank has kind of a Norton influence, a classic rear cowling. But then we get into the modern silhouette. So for five years this bike happened, and as I was looking at it I was like this looks like it wants to be in the world, and I was like I think we should make these.

So, we started to go from this bike to an idea of going, from you know, a custom motorcycle to a kind of a production custom motorcycle.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: So five years is not that long in one sense to design a product and for a guy who loves to ride I'm sure there's a level of impatience or patience. What was that process like?

REEVES: You know, when you're in love.

Ladies and gentlemen, Garth Hollinger.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: Hey, man, nice to see you, bud.

This is great. Thanks for letting you in your shop.


STROUMBOULOPOULOS: Isn't this part of the larger cultural conversation that needs to have, that everything is so stylized that there's very little substance to a lot of what's stylized?

HOLLINGER: Well, I think I mean, that's the foundation of arch.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: It's fine but you need balance.

HOLLINGER: You can't make a motorcycle so wacky and modern that it doesn't look like a motorcycle anymore.

REEVES: Yes, can you.



REEVES: I know. But that's awesome, too.

HOLLINGER: So, this is where we manufacture our parts.

REEVES: Help. It's alive.

HOLLINGER: And this machine, I mean, it's a robot. It will change tools, so when it wants a different tool to do a different op it will grab it.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: What with when this thing gets artificial intelligence and makes what it wants instead of what you want. Then you start a war, Gard. Who knows. I think we should try these bikes out, that's what I think.

REEVES: Let's do that.


The face, what are you wearing?

REEVES: This is what I have to wear by law.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: Keanu Reeves, it's a money-maker.

REEVES: Well, you know, that's just how it has to go. Come on, come on, show me what you're made --

When I saw these machines, they are beautiful. I lost aesthetic behind them, the engineering behind them, so for me it was a happenstance that turned into something that was very personal, and then it has become even more personal. If people feel like really experienced riding machine, then the story continues, you know.

Through the love and the passion of motorcycles and riding. We're very fortunate to have the opportunity and, you know, it's very exciting. It's very creative, and, you know, hopefully bring into the world something that is beautiful and that will bring people joy. How did that feel?

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: I'm feeling great. But, that's how you want to live your life, too, man.

REEVES: Contact with the road, comfortable, hold on tight.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: OK, man. Congrats. That's a good advice. Thanks for the ride.

Keanu Reeves, everybody.



STROUMBOULOPOULOS: Hey, welcome back. These are just a few of the names, faces and places coming up over the next ten weeks on this show.

The walking dead creator Robert Kirkman is going to be here live in the flesh in the red chair to talk about a lot of stuff, but the culture of "the walking dead" and how he even gets grossed out by his body of work sometimes.

ROBERT KIRKMAN, CREATOR, THE WALKING DEAD: You know, people that look like zombies pulling those guts in their mouth and chewing on them. That stuff is just disgusting.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: A hint of what threat looms in season four.

KIRKMAN: Fourth season they will be dealing with a little bit of humans but there's a third threat coming in.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: You'll have to watch the rest to find out.

Also, what's the best part of being a young actor with career credits as varied as "Juno," "X-Men" and "exception." Ellen Page explains.

ELLEN PAGE, ACTRESS: My job is so fantastic because I get paid to go through a lot of emotional turmoil.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: And now the self-described tiny Canadian is taking on gigantic multi-national corporations in her new move called "the east."

PAGE: Every morning when I open my eyes, I'm willingly oppressing a lot of people.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: One country's gain is often at the expense of another.

PAGE: Well, of course, I mean, you know, we have a system that is absolutely profit before people, you know. The economic system that's based on just exponential growth.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: Actor, activist Maria Bello shares her early rejection as an actor.

MARIA BELLO, ACTRESS: My agent fired me and my manager called into play when you went to this audition they say she needs to go to acting school so I was devastated. It was the first time I thought about giving up. I said maybe I'm not supposed to do because I suck.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: Plus, she opens up about her work in Haiti and why women there need to have a path.

BELLO: Women hold the purse strings, more money goes to the children's health, education and well-being.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: And also I give the world's (INAUDIBLE) a stress test on the world's busiest road. Try to find if we share a common taste in music. Imagine if you were stopped at a stoplight and you were rapping to Lil Wayne, that wouldn't happen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Probably not in this lifetime.

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: She's not a doctor but does play one on television. Lisa Kudrow but what qualifies her to give web therapy?

LISA KUDROW, ACTRESS: I'm really good at denial, so that's my favorite coping mechanism?

STROUMBOULOPOULOS: That's the tip of the iceberg, from legends to lions, from film-makers to mow bulls, from Betty and bill and a couple of jersey boys, we got you covered.

We'll even throw in a serial killer and a serial quest.

"STROUMBOULOPOULOS" is the name of the show. Make it your summer destination, (INAUDIBLE), Friday nights, all summer long, right here on CNN.


STROUMBOULOPOULOS: That's it for tonight. Thanks so much for hanging out and being a part of it. Very excited to do the entire summer on the program. On behalf of the whole crew, be sure you've got to come back.

We'll see you next week.