Topics covered include: Wrinkly passports, being unable to operate any form of transportation, the Kim’s Video of 90s El Salvador, changelings, compulsively checking the stove before you leave the house, almost sharing a birthday with Tilda Swinton, teenage obsessions with Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette, scholarships for congeniality, night terrors, Julio’s short stint handing out chocolate samples at Fairway supermarkets, never-aired SNL sketches, the true joy of filming Problemista, gravitating towards green, favorite childhood toys, and questioning whether chaos is essential for good art.

Episode Transcript

Julio Torres: Hi. I'm Julio Torres. And you are? Tell them who you are.

Emma Stone: I'm Emma Stone, and this is the A24 Podcast. Let's begin. Hi Julio.

Julio Torres: Hi.

Emma Stone: It's a hit.

Julio Torres: It's a hit.

Emma Stone: It's a hit.

Julio Torres: How are you?

Emma Stone: I'm pretty good. How are you?

Julio Torres: I'm good.

Emma Stone: What are you doing? What are you up to?

Julio Torres: Oh, like-

Emma Stone: Well, we're just supposed to have a conversation that can go any which way, and so I just wanted to begin with my favorite question which is, what are you doing right now?

Julio Torres: What are you doing right now?

Emma Stone: What are you up to?

Julio Torres: This. This.

Emma Stone: Problemista?

Julio Torres: Problemista stuff, yeah.

Emma Stone: No, but I mean, what did you do this morning?

Julio Torres: Well, I just came back from a very impromptu trip.

Emma Stone: Oh.

Julio Torres: I know.

Emma Stone: I didn't know this. Tell me more.

Julio Torres: So, okay, I was supposed to go to Costa Rica for New Year's. This is where the story starts.

Emma Stone: Okay. You've been there since New Year's?

Julio Torres: No. My producer will be like, "You should have been working." No, I was supposed to go to Costa Rica for New Year's. I did go. I went. I landed at the airport. And then at the airport they told me that my passport was too wrinkly, and then they escorted me on the plane right back.

Emma Stone: Too wrinkly?

Julio Torres: Too wrinkly.

Emma Stone: I don't understand.

Julio Torres: The passport was too wrinkly.

Emma Stone: That can't possibly be true. They were using the excuse that your passport was too wrinkly? They couldn't tell who you were in the photo or something.

Julio Torres: It was something with the part that you scan, it wasn't scanning or something,

Emma Stone: So they thought maybe it was a fake passport?

Julio Torres: It was very-

Emma Stone: That is a very "you" situation.

Julio Torres: It's highly me. It's highly-

Emma Stone: Too wrinkly to fly.

Julio Torres: When they said it, I was like, "Oh no, yeah, of course." Not a part of me was shocked or like-

Emma Stone: It's like passport ageism.

Julio Torres: ... even that upset. I was like... Yeah, but you know what? It was very... Which has happened to me my whole life, it's like minus this many points in your worksheet because it's-

Emma Stone: Too wrinkly?

Julio Torres: It's too wrinkly. It's too fucked up. You did the work, but you don't care about it.

Emma Stone: You did the work, but then you scrunched it into a ball and laid it out flat and did the little pirate thing on the edges with the fire.

Julio Torres: I wish. It's always mostly like, I'm always losing things, so if I present something, I just found it.

Emma Stone: It actually surprises me that you lose things because you love little things so much.

Julio Torres: But see, I live with them and then I let them go.

Emma Stone: But are you looking for them? This is getting into a different project that we'll talk about a different time. Are you losing your little things and then in a desperate search to find them? Or are you like, you know what, she's gone. And if she was meant to be mine, she'll return.

Julio Torres: Well, there are certain things, with little trinkets and things-

Emma Stone: Yeah, because you have so many little trinkets.

Julio Torres: I lose them and then I think I had a great time with them, and then someone will find them and be very happy, I hope.

Emma Stone: And they'll have a great time too.

Julio Torres: And they'll have a great time too.

Emma Stone: And then they'll lose them and someone else will.

Julio Torres: Sure.

Emma Stone: That's beautiful.

Julio Torres: But then when it comes to, because I've lost my passport many times. When I lose my passport, I'm like, "Oh, it'll come back somehow."

Emma Stone: And does it

Julio Torres: Sometimes.

Emma Stone: But then other times-

Julio Torres: But I have fully called the Rockaway Beach Police Station asking if they found a passport on the beach.

Emma Stone: Because you're at Rockaway Beach with your passport?

Julio Torres: Because I'm at Rockaway Beach with my passport, yeah.

Emma Stone: Just in case a ship goes by, you're like, "Take me to another country."

Julio Torres: Well, it's my only form of ID because I never make the time to go get a New York State ID.

Emma Stone: And you don't have a driver's license?

Julio Torres: I don't know how to drive.

Emma Stone: You've never driven?

Julio Torres: I took two classes and then I apologized to the woman. I was like, "This is just not for me."

Emma Stone: It's not a fit. It's not... We tried, but it's not a fit.

Julio Torres: It's not a fit. Ultimately driving is just not for me. I didn't like, like the car felt too big.

Emma Stone: Why didn't you get a little smart car?

Julio Torres: No, no, no, in comparison to my body.

Emma Stone: But what if you had a little smart car?

Julio Torres: It'll still be bigger than me.

Emma Stone: Does anything that's bigger than you... Do you fly on airplanes?

Julio Torres: Yeah, but I'm not in charge of the airplane.

Emma Stone: Oh, so it's nice to be in it if you're not in control?

Julio Torres: Yeah.

Emma Stone: And that's why you decided to direct.

Julio Torres: Yeah, exactly. Yeah.

Emma Stone: The psychological leap of that is really interesting.

Julio Torres: There are things that I do and then things that I don't do. I do not drive. I do not eat those things. I do not do... And it's just like, I don't know. It just makes life easier.

Emma Stone: Do you think you have an extreme personality?

Julio Torres: That sounds like-

Emma Stone: I don't mean extreme in a bad way. Are you like, you're all the way in or you're all the way out on things?

Julio Torres: I think that I'm either very interested in something or completely disinterested.

Emma Stone: Completely apathetic. Not even hate, just like, I literally don't care.

Julio Torres: Yeah, never learned how to ride a bike.

Emma Stone: You never learned how to ride a bike?

Julio Torres: No.

Emma Stone: What? How did you avoid that? You just said, no, thank you?

Julio Torres: I just said no thank you.

Emma Stone: You don't like thing with wheels.

Julio Torres: I've saying no thank you my whole life. Yeah, any vehicle. I don't know how to operate any form of transportation.

Emma Stone: That's so interesting.

Julio Torres: But that's why I wanted to come here, part of the reason. Here being New York.

Emma Stone: I thought you meant here to this podcast.

Julio Torres: Here to this podcast.

Emma Stone: To talk about this. You wanted to come to New York because you knew you wouldn't have to learn any form of... You wouldn't have to drive, you wouldn't have to take a bike.

Julio Torres: Yeah.

Emma Stone: You could trust other people.

Julio Torres: That was not the reason I came, but that was like... I was like, "I'll never learn how to drive because I'm going to go live in New York."

Emma Stone: Can we go back a little bit to the beginning of your journey of your life? Can we go back to your birth?

Julio Torres: It was February 11.

Emma Stone: Was it a rainy day? Do we know what the weather was like?

Julio Torres: I don't know what the weather was like.

Emma Stone: That's a good question for your mom.

Julio Torres: Do you know what the weather was like when you were born?

Emma Stone: No.

Julio Torres: Scorpio.

Emma Stone: Scorpio. But I do know it was a Sunday, and I do know that football was on and my dad was very distracted. It's an American tale as old as time.

Julio Torres: With the game?

Emma Stone: Oh, yeah.

Julio Torres: Wait, that is such a funny opening montage, like, yep, that's my dad-

Emma Stone: Freeze frame.

Julio Torres: ... watching the game.

Emma Stone: Going... Freeze.

Julio Torres: Yeah, exactly.

Emma Stone: Yep. It's perfect.

Julio Torres: He thought I was going to be a boy and a football star. Too bad I was destined to be an actress. We should make this.

Emma Stone: I know. We will. We will. I'll force you right afterwards.

Julio Torres: Yeah, yeah. Great.

Emma Stone: Okay, so we don't know what the weather was like, but we know it was February 11th.

Julio Torres: I don't know what the weather was like.

Emma Stone: Where are we? Where are we?

Julio Torres: We are in El Salvador, and I know that an earthquake had just hit, so it was a house that was acting like a hospital.

Emma Stone: Wow.

Julio Torres: Because the hospital had been damaged.

Emma Stone: Oh my god.

Julio Torres: Yeah, that's what I know.

Emma Stone: What were you like as a baby and a young child?

Julio Torres: I do not know what I was like as a big baby.

Emma Stone: Oh, you were a big baby?

Julio Torres: Big baby.

Emma Stone: That's my favorite kind.

Julio Torres: Yeah. You can barely see my eyes.

Emma Stone: Do you have the little line on your arm, this? When you bend your arm, you see this little line? I don't know if you can see that at home.

Julio Torres: I do. I do see it. Is that because you were a big baby.

Emma Stone: Someone told me once that the only reason that you have this is because you were a big, fat baby.

Julio Torres: Really?

Emma Stone: Yes. And that it imprints itself permanently. And I don't know if that's true or not, but I always ask people when they say they had rolls if they have the line. But you don't have the line.

Julio Torres: I don't have the line.

Emma Stone: Okay, so I guess that was disproven. Moving on.

Julio Torres: What if they’ve been showing me pictures of a different child?

Emma Stone: Oh my God, The Changeling.

Julio Torres: Wait, is that what it's about?

Emma Stone: Were you a changeling?

Julio Torres: Wait, is that a term that exists?

Emma Stone: Isn't a changeling like a little... It exists with... I don't know enough about a changeling. Never mind.

Julio Torres: But it's also a show or a movie.

Emma Stone: Yes, but I think it's like a myth.

Julio Torres: Oh, okay.

Emma Stone: Like the changeling... Anyway. So you as a toddler say, personality. I'm going back because-

Julio Torres: Very quiet. Very well-behaved. That was always the feedback from the teachers is like-

Emma Stone: A pleasure to have in class?

Julio Torres: Just a delight. Just like a pleasure, so well-behaved.

Emma Stone: Why do you think you were-

Julio Torres: Really bad at the schoolwork.

Emma Stone: But really well-behaved?

Julio Torres: Really a joy.

Emma Stone: That's so interesting.

Julio Torres: Because he says nothing.

Emma Stone: Was it because you were shy or because you really wanted to follow all the rules or what was it?

Julio Torres: I think I was very... No, I know I was very shy and yeah, have always been so scared of rules.

Emma Stone: Even now?

Julio Torres: Yeah.

Emma Stone: You feel very afraid of rules?

Julio Torres: Yeah, but it depends what you define as... I'm thinking literal rules.

Emma Stone: Yeah, not like social rules.

Julio Torres: Yeah, not like-

Emma Stone: Personality rules.

Julio Torres: Or art rules.

Emma Stone: Yeah, yeah. I guess that makes sense with the themes of this film.

Julio Torres: Sure, sure, sure.

Emma Stone: Okay, so just going back to you saying you knew you didn't want to be on anything with wheels or operating. It sounds like, because you're very discerning about what you like and what you don't like, and you were always that way.

Julio Torres: I was always that way, yeah.

Emma Stone: What you were drawn to visually, what you wanted to do.

Julio Torres: I didn't try pizza until I was in my teens.

Emma Stone: Because you didn't like the look of it?

Julio Torres: Because I was like, no, I think it'll just be the crust for me. And then I didn't actually try the cheese part too, like very later in my life. Same with a hamburger.

Emma Stone: But now you're vegan.

Julio Torres: Yeah, so that came and went.

Emma Stone: That was a phase.

Julio Torres: Yeah, that was a phase.

Emma Stone: But it's nice that you tried.

Julio Torres: Yeah, I gave it a try.

Emma Stone: Do you try everything even though you know you're not going to like it? At one point or another, you're like, "I know this won't be for me, but I'll take two classes to drive or I'll get on a bike."

Julio Torres: The taking two classes to drive was because my parents were like, "No, you need to learn how to drive."

Emma Stone: That's so funny.

Julio Torres: And I was like, "Well, I tried and it's not for me."

Emma Stone: It's not for me. It's not a fit. Okay, so then as you get older, your mother is very artistic?

Julio Torres: Yeah.

Emma Stone: And you were that way from the beginning. You were very inspired by-

Julio Torres: Yeah. So she-

Emma Stone: Shapes and color.

Julio Torres: Shapes and colors.

Emma Stone: Shapes and colors.

Julio Torres: Shapes and colors. She was a fashion designer and she had a store of her designs and we lived above it. So I loved sketching and loved designing. And she designed all the furniture in our house. And my dad was always very excited to see creation happen in the home. At one point, he wanted me to be a painter because he loves art and creative people.

Emma Stone: Yeah. Do you like painting and sketching still?

Julio Torres: I really tried painting when I was way younger, but that was not my talent.

Emma Stone: What was your talent that you felt when you were younger?

Julio Torres: I thought it was going to be just more globally, I thought I was going to be an architect for a while, up until I was 18. I thought, "Oh, I'm going to be an architect."

Emma Stone: You thought that all the way until 18?

Julio Torres: Yeah.

Emma Stone: Why architect?

Julio Torres: Well, it was what was immediately available to me in as much as my mom is an architect. It hadn't even occurred to me that the fact that I... movies meant that that was a job that one could have because there was no theater department or anything like that.

Emma Stone: But then, okay, well obviously so much of your work integrates that, whether it's architect, I mean this, and also Problemista is so inspired by many real-life events. But you, in your comedy, in all of your work-

Julio Torres: Oh, now I feel like I've come full circle and I get to have my cake and eat it too, because I get to design and work with production designers and work to design it and create a visual language.

Emma Stone: Well, my question is, so when you realize that there's this industry outside of it, like movies, you could have gone from architecture into production design, but you went into comedy. Why did comedy call to you? When did that begin?

Julio Torres: I guess you should have been my counselor and then I would've been-

Emma Stone: I'm happy to do it now.

Julio Torres: Yeah. I was like, oh yeah, that actually makes perfect sense.

Emma Stone: You didn't go into production design, you went into comedy.

Julio Torres: Well, I didn't know production design existed as a job. I didn't really understand-

Emma Stone: So you chose comedy?

Julio Torres: Well...

Emma Stone: You're like, "Then I'll be a writer and I'll do standup and…"

Julio Torres: I'll do standup instead. No, I did not think of doing a standup or comedy until the day before I tried it for the first time here in New York.

Emma Stone: Okay, wait, hold on. We have to back up. We have to back up then. You decide to come to New York when you're 18?

Julio Torres: I wanted to come to New York when I was 18. I couldn't, multiple reasons. Reason number one is I was not a good student. So already it's-

Emma Stone: Very well-behaved, but not a good student on paper.

Julio Torres: Very well-behaved-

Emma Stone: Got it.

Julio Torres: ... a delight to have around, does not do the work.

Emma Stone: Okay, got it.

Julio Torres: Yeah. So that immediately made it so scholarships and things like that were like, why would they?

Emma Stone: Because you're adorable and-

Julio Torres: I'm a delight to be around.

Emma Stone: There should be a scholarship for congeniality.

Julio Torres: There should be. But I applied to The New School and The New School admitted me but-

Emma Stone: Had you ever been out of El Salvador at this point?

Julio Torres: Yeah, so when I was way, way, way younger, I had gone to Florida, Miami.

Emma Stone: Okay.

Julio Torres: To like-

Emma Stone: Did you like it?

Julio Torres: I liked it fine, but I never-

Emma Stone: It wasn't a fit.

Julio Torres: It was not a fit. It was not a fit. So then I was like, "Oh, okay, so I want to go to New York. And this one school admitted me, but I'm not getting enough money to go." Because that's the thing, because it's like I was lucky enough to... I never lacked anything, but my parents didn't make American standard wages, which is-

Emma Stone: To fly and move to New York and go to full university.

Julio Torres: Well, also the cost of school is-

Emma Stone: Insane.

Julio Torres: Yeah. And it's like, "Oh, that is..." It's hard to wrap your mind around. So then I went to advertising school in El Salvador for two years.

Emma Stone: See, that makes sense as a bridge from architecture to sort of advertising.

Julio Torres: Yeah, a little bit. So I went to advertising school, got a two-year degree.

Emma Stone: An associates?

Julio Torres: An associates, baby. Got an associates in advertising. Then I worked in advertising for a little bit.

Emma Stone: What would you do?

Julio Torres: I was a very bad copywriter.

Emma Stone: You were a copywriter? So there's some writing though-

Julio Torres: There's some writing.

Emma Stone: Okay.

Julio Torres: Yeah.

Emma Stone: Okay.

Julio Torres: And then I reapplied to The New School.

Emma Stone: Because you had made some money at this point doing that?

Julio Torres: Very little... More than made money, I had gotten good grades at the advertising school.

Emma Stone: Oh, interesting.

Julio Torres: Yeah.

Emma Stone: Because that was more of a fit.

Julio Torres: Because that was more of a fit, yeah.

Emma Stone: It's visual, it's creative. It's like-

Julio Torres: Yeah.

Emma Stone: Makes sense.

Julio Torres: So then I applied again, and then this time they gave me almost 90% scholarship.

Emma Stone: Wow.

Julio Torres: So I was able to make it work.

Emma Stone: So you're 20 or 21?

Julio Torres: 21 because I took a break. So then I came here and I was a 21-year-old freshman, so I translated my own transcripts and just sort of made myself a junior.

Emma Stone: Oh my God. Do they know this or are they learning this right now?

Julio Torres: I think they might be finding out right now.

Emma Stone: For a boy who loves the rules, look at you go.

Julio Torres: I looked at the requirements to be a junior, and it's like, "You should have taken this lit class and that thing." And I was just like-

Emma Stone: You're like, "I have an associates."

Julio Torres: And I was like, "Honey, I know a little bit of Photoshop."

Emma Stone: Wait, what were you majoring in?

Julio Torres: It was just an English degree. I just really wanted to be here and then went to school for two years, and I thought, "If I get straight A's, someone's going to give me a big job."

Emma Stone: And it doesn't matter what that job is?

Julio Torres: It doesn't matter what that job is.

Emma Stone: Okay.

Julio Torres: And then somehow I will find a way to get into television writing and I'll be a TV writer if I get good grades.

Emma Stone: But where did that leap happen to wanting to do TV writing?

Julio Torres: Well, by the time I was 18, I had teachers and a counselor being like, "That is a job that exists. Not here, but you could go do it." And then I was like, "Oh, okay."

Emma Stone: So then did you start watching...? Were there movies that you fell in love with?

Julio Torres: No, I mean, I was already doing that.

Emma Stone: TV shows?

Julio Torres: I was already consuming the kind of work that I wanted to make. I just didn't realize that.

Emma Stone: What was that? What kind of work that you were consuming at the time?

Julio Torres: This is actually a question that I want to ask you again. During the very formative teen years-

Emma Stone: The teen years, yeah.

Julio Torres: What are the movies that you were like, "Oh, I want to do that" It was like Sophia Coppola for me. It was like-

Emma Stone: It was? Oh, Marie Antoinette was a-

Julio Torres: Well, best trailer of all time.

Emma Stone: Absolute banger-

Julio Torres: Yeah.

Emma Stone: For me. I would say teen years... Well, that was when I-

Julio Torres: Were you already acting?

Emma Stone: No, I moved to start auditioning when I was 15. So right around that time, I started watching silent comedy like Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. It actually was really formative. I really loved it.

Julio Torres: Also, not for nothing, Chaplin and Bella.

Emma Stone: I mean it's pretty inspiring to see silent comedy when your face is made of rubber and your body's like a noodle because then you kind of go like, "Oh, I might not be super physically coordinated. I'm the furthest thing from an athlete." But if you can combine physicality and comedy-

Julio Torres: Yeah, you're a very physical actor.

Emma Stone: But I am not even a very physical person. I don't even know how that syncs up other than comedically.

Julio Torres: Well, you understand your face very well.

Emma Stone: God, do I ever. I study day in and day out, hours a day in the mirror.

Julio Torres: But that it is such a skill. I have you and the other... Like Tilda I feel like can change the color of her eyes at will.

Emma Stone: Truly. The kind of power that Tilda harnesses is unlike anything I've ever seen. It's truly stunning.

Julio Torres: Another Scorpio.

Emma Stone: Another Scorpio. We're one day apart.

Julio Torres: Yeah. Oh yeah, that's true.

Emma Stone: When we first met 10 years ago, we realized that we were one day apart and every year, ever since-

Julio Torres: I love that.

Emma Stone: We have said happy birthday to each other on our respective birthdays.

Julio Torres: I love that.

Emma Stone: She's the best. Well, I mean, we're going to get into Problemista and Tildaland in one second, but just to go back-

Julio Torres: Yeah.

Emma Stone: Okay. Your movies were Sophia Coppola movies. Do you like the kind of feeling that...? Do you like Almodóvar?

Julio Torres: Yeah, though he didn't come to me... I didn't start watching him until after my Sofia, American Indie cinema.

Emma Stone: Who else? What else?

Julio Torres: Oh my God.

Emma Stone: I'm just saying because we're on the A24 podcast, they’re going to love hearing about the movie stuff.

Julio Torres: They're going to love hearing about it. I mean, definitely I loved Rushmore, Y Tu Mama Tambien, which you referenced in the work.

Emma Stone: We have to talk about that at one point too. We're going to talk about how Julio and I met.

Julio Torres: Yeah. Oh my God. You know what movie I loved?

Emma Stone: What?

Julio Torres: Dogville.

Emma Stone: Oh my God, Dogville.

Julio Torres: Yeah.

Emma Stone: Yes. Incredible.

Julio Torres: Incredible.

Emma Stone: Okay, so you've got some good-

Julio Torres: I would rewatch Dogville.

Emma Stone: So this stuff was all loading up and you were like, "I love all of this."

Julio Torres: Yeah. There was a DVD-

Emma Stone: I want to be a television writer.

Julio Torres: Rental place that had all the hits that didn't come to theaters, and that was-

Emma Stone: Wait, here?

Julio Torres: No, no, no. This is in El Salvador. That me as teen-

Emma Stone: Kind of the Kim's Video of El Salvador.

Julio Torres: And I would be like, "Okay, I'm going to rent four movies every time. I'm going to rent four movies every time." One of them has to be Hollywood trash.

Emma Stone: Great.

Julio Torres: One of them has to be something that I had never seen or heard of, but the box seems cool.

Emma Stone: Judging a book by its cover.

Julio Torres: Judging a book by its cover.

Emma Stone: Great.

Julio Torres: Another thing has to be in black and white, and then the other one has to be the one that I actually want to see.

Emma Stone: That's great. So you're forcing yourself through an education, like, "These three-"

Julio Torres: Yeah. And you know what? It's like now I understand I have OCD, but-

Emma Stone: Ditto, kiddo.

Julio Torres: It was like, "Oh yeah, no, that's that." Because I'd be like, "I got to get my four movies."

Emma Stone: "I can't just get the one I actually want to see. I have to get my four. And they have to be in the categories."

Julio Torres: Exactly.

Emma Stone: Well, that's really-

Julio Torres: I can't do two black and white.

Emma Stone: What a useful use of OCD. Isn't it!

Julio Torres: Yeah. No, it's helped and hurt me.

Emma Stone: For education?

Julio Torres: Yeah.

Emma Stone: Where does it hurt you?

Julio Torres: Oh, most-

Emma Stone: Everywhere else.

Julio Torres: Checking the stove every time before I leave my house.

Emma Stone: Do you have to do things in multiples? Do you have number OCD?

Julio Torres: I used to have that as a kid. As a kid I would get in bed and then I'd be like, "Okay, now I have to go to the kitchen, touch the refrigerator with both hands."

Emma Stone: Oh man.

Julio Torres: "With this side of my hands and then the other side of my hands, get back in bed, do the thing again, then come back in bed, and then look at the light bulb." And then you know when you can cross your eyes so you can see double?

Emma Stone: Yep.

Julio Torres: Yeah. "Do that with the light bulb." And those are the eyes, and then my hand is the mouth, and I do four different faces and then I can fall asleep.

Emma Stone: What would happen in your body if you didn't do that?

Julio Torres: I could not fall asleep.

Emma Stone: It was just fully anxiety-

Julio Torres: But I was an insomniac as a kid. Since I can remember, I'd go to my mom and was like, "Can you explain to me again how you fall asleep?"

Emma Stone: Because the idea of letting go of control in that way is probably terrifying.

Julio Torres: Yeah, I think so. I was like, "Can you explain sleep to me again?"

Emma Stone: And she would be like, "You just close your eyes and do it?"

Julio Torres: She would usually come and sit next to me until I fell asleep.

Emma Stone: Wow. And so how many hours a night would you sleep? Are you still an insomniac?

Julio Torres: No, not anymore.

Emma Stone: How did you get good at sleeping? Pills?

Julio Torres: No. Oh my God. If I take half a melatonin, I'm out.

Emma Stone: Oh, that lucky ducky.

Julio Torres: Yeah, I know. I'm very lucky that way. But I don't know, I feel like the more I started doing what I like and liking my life more, the better my sleep got.

Emma Stone: Oh, interesting. It's almost like when you're happy, your health and life fall into place.

Julio Torres: Yeah. Yeah.

Emma Stone: That's so weird.

Julio Torres: It's so random.

Emma Stone: That's so random. You're crazy.

Julio Torres: Did you ever have sleeping problems?

Emma Stone: Oh God, yes. I still do.

Julio Torres: You still do?

Emma Stone: Anytime I'm-

Julio Torres: Does it come and go?

Emma Stone: It definitely is like under duress or stress or any type of anxious period, it is very difficult to fall asleep. I mean, the obvious thing. Or I fall asleep and then I wake up at two o'clock in the morning and everything feels so true.

Julio Torres: Okay, when you say everything feels so true, you mean your anxiety feel true, even though they're not rooted in reality?

Emma Stone: In the middle of the night when the world is asleep and I wake up, it comes to me in a way that feels like I've just had a reckoning. It's woken me up from sleep and I'm like, "It's true. This thing you're worried about, it's happening. And it's true."

Julio Torres: That tooth will fall off or whatever.

Emma Stone: That tooth will fall off. Exactly. And that is the worst part of the night for me when I'm anxious. It's not the falling asleep so much as the middle of the night terrors. Anyway, so-

Julio Torres: My middle of the night terrors.

Emma Stone: Just something a little cute about me. It's one of my little things. Okay, so TV writer, then... Again, sorry, comedy.

Julio Torres: Yeah.

Emma Stone: How did we get into this?

Julio Torres: Okay, so then I graduated-

Emma Stone: From school because Julio and I met at SNL.

Julio Torres: Yes.

Emma Stone: He was a writer for SNL. So we'll get into that.

Julio Torres: I graduated from school and I was like, "Oh, straight As."

Emma Stone: Yeah, baby.

Julio Torres: "Visa, heck, citizenship when they see these grades."

Emma Stone: They're going to be begging me.

Julio Torres: And then I entered a period that inspired the period in the movie in Problemista where I had to find a sponsor. And that was very difficult.

Emma Stone: Did you, like in the movie, end up working for a lawyer in any way? Or were you considering working for a… ?

Julio Torres: The lawyer in Lathe place.

Emma Stone: Yes. I'm sorry. You're better at this than I am.

Julio Torres: And he is a combination of two or three lawyers that I've met.

Emma Stone: That you worked with?

Julio Torres: One of them I worked with, and then the other one was my actual immigration lawyer. No, but actually no, he's more inspired on one that I actually worked with.

Emma Stone: That was your immigration lawyer?

Julio Torres: No.

Emma Stone: That you worked with, meaning you worked at an immigration-?

Julio Torres: No, sorry.

Emma Stone: Okay.

Julio Torres: He was like a worker's comp-

Emma Stone: Oh, okay. Got it.

Julio Torres: Lawyer. And I was like, I think, translating.

Emma Stone: Okay. So you were translating in this time period?

Julio Torres: Yeah, I had translation jobs. Oh my God, I had so many jobs. So many jobs.

Emma Stone: What jobs did you do? Are they accurate to what you see in the movie?

Julio Torres: There are more than what you see in the movie.

Emma Stone: What were some of your favorites that didn't make it into this? Or not favorites, but you know what I mean?

Julio Torres: Actually, truly the best working experience I ever had was being a samples person at Fairway Supermarkets.

Emma Stone: Oh. Handing out samples?

Julio Torres: Handing out samples.

Emma Stone: Oh, fun.

Julio Torres: Because it was like chocolate samples, because no one's upset at you. You're only a plus in people's lives.

Emma Stone: You're only a bonus.

Julio Torres: You're only a bonus.

Emma Stone: "Here's some free chocolate."

Julio Torres: And also no one needs anything from you.

Emma Stone: Right.

Julio Torres: You know what I mean?

Emma Stone: That's a really great point.

Julio Torres: And you can't do it wrong.

Emma Stone: Well, I mean, you could be a little bit too in their face with the chocolate, like, "You have to try it. No, you have to try it."

Julio Torres: Oh, I just stood behind... I didn't say a word. I just stood behind the table.

Emma Stone: And you never got bored. Was it interesting to meet all of these people that are just come and go and don't need anything from you and you just give them a little treat?

Julio Torres: I wouldn't say it was interesting, but it was relaxing.

Emma Stone: That's a very nice job.

Julio Torres: And then my boss was out of state, so as proof that I did it, he only asked for someone to take a picture of me behind the little table in my little hat.

Emma Stone: Every day?

Julio Torres: And you got to prove that you didn't eat all the chocolate that I sent you.

Emma Stone: How could you prove that? Just from a picture?

Julio Torres: With the picture. Yeah. You prove it with the picture.

Emma Stone: How do you know you didn't eat it right after?

Julio Torres: And then you upload the picture, you email it, and then you get your check.

Emma Stone: That's incredible.

Julio Torres: It was great.

Emma Stone: What was your worst job?

Julio Torres: This is in the movie, is stopping women on the street asking if I can ask them a question about their hair-

Emma Stone: You really did that?

Julio Torres: And sell salon packages. Yeah.

Emma Stone: Oh my God. How many did you sell?

Julio Torres: Zero.

Emma Stone: Also zero.

Julio Torres: Also zero.

Emma Stone: He sells zero in the movie. Spoiler alert.

Julio Torres: Yeah, zero. Absolutely. And I only did it for two weeks. It was just the opposite of the chocolate samples, right?

Emma Stone: Yeah.

Julio Torres: Because no one wants to be stopped to get sold something when they're commuting to work.

Emma Stone: That's very true. That is the opposite.

Julio Torres: People are living their lives. They don't want me to be... Okay, the one time that I actually successfully stopped someone and was-

Emma Stone: And sold a salon package?

Julio Torres: No, no, no. She just-

Emma Stone: Or just got into a discourse?

Julio Torres: Because usually it's like they just walk past you. They're just like, no.

Emma Stone: You're invisible.

Julio Torres: Yeah.

Emma Stone: Yeah.

Julio Torres: But these two, they were younger. They were maybe college aged. And I was like, "Can I ask you a question about your hair?" And then one of them truly goes, "Sure, what's up?" And I froze. I froze. Because it had never happened before.

Emma Stone: You had never considered what the next thing would be.

Julio Torres: Then there was a second step, and I was like, "Oh, this salon is having a promotion." And it dawned on me, oh, I actually don't understand what this job is. I actually do not understand what I'm selling.

Emma Stone: What was it? A discount on a treatment or a service?

Julio Torres: I had a clipboard that was like... You would get a a discount for a blowout. But for-

Emma Stone: That sounds kind of nice.

Julio Torres: But then it's like you'd have to give your name, your email. It's a lot of sacrifice for the-

Emma Stone: They're going to... Yeah. Completely, for this $5 off a blowout.

Julio Torres: Four or five dollars off a blowout. Yeah.

Emma Stone: Okay. And so you never ended up getting paid from this job because you didn't sell anything?

Julio Torres: No, not a dime.

Emma Stone: Okay. This is all while you're trying to get sponsored?

Julio Torres: Yeah.

Emma Stone: Who-

Julio Torres: Yeah.

Emma Stone: Okay, so in the...

Julio Torres: Yeah.

Emma Stone: Well, I don't want to actually spoil who sponsors you in the movie, but how did you get sponsored eventually?

Julio Torres: I got sponsored through a small art foundation ran by a couple of people, including a former professor. Which, actually good grades. Good grades. We're coming back to the good grades. Who was like, "If you ever need anything, let me know."

Emma Stone: And you were like, "I need something and I'm letting you know."

Julio Torres: I was like, "I need something and I'm letting you know."

Emma Stone: I need a visa right now.

Julio Torres: And he was a board member of this foundation, and then he introduced me to the person that was my boss, and then I got a sponsor.

Emma Stone: So you were working for an art foundation?

Julio Torres: Yeah.

Emma Stone: Okay. And then how did you get to SNL?

Julio Torres: Well, did you not hear that I worked for an art foundation? No. Then when I felt like, okay, I feel like I figured out the important part.

Emma Stone: Yeah, the visa.

Julio Torres: The visa. Yeah.

Emma Stone: Yeah. And you know you get to stay here. Was it a three-year visa?

Julio Torres: It was a four-year visa.

Emma Stone: Oh, that's pretty good.

Julio Torres: Yeah. So then I was like, okay, well, what do I want to do? No, actually, no. It was during the period where I was still trying to find a sponsor. I was like, well, I don't know how much longer I have here.

Emma Stone: The hourglass.

Julio Torres: The hourglass. I might fail at this. Why am I even here? And then I was like, oh, yeah, you're here because you want to be a TV writer and a movie writer. And then I was like, well, oh, I know what doesn't require me to go to school again or know anyone or pay anything-

Emma Stone: SNL.

Julio Torres: No. Doing standup open mics.

Emma Stone: Oh my God.

Julio Torres: And then I just Googled it.

Emma Stone: Oh, so this was the day before thing?

Julio Torres: Yeah. Yeah.

Emma Stone: Okay. So then you decided to go-

Julio Torres: I was working coat check, and I was like, wait, what about standup? And I googled it.

Emma Stone: Did you have a bunch of little ideas written down, one-liners and things that you could riff on? Or were you like, I'll just improvise this? I'll just go to an open mic night and make things up?

Julio Torres: No, I was like, I'll go home tonight and think of something, and then tomorrow I'm going to do it.

Emma Stone: Holy cow.

Julio Torres: And I did it, and it was horrible.

Emma Stone: How long was your set?

Julio Torres: It was an open mic. It was a five-minute set, which is very generous.

Emma Stone: Reading it off of the paper?

Julio Torres: Yes, I was reading it off of the paper, and then that sort of became my thing.

Emma Stone: Reading it off the paper?

Julio Torres: Yeah.

Emma Stone: Oh, God, I love it.

Julio Torres: And then I did a very bad job, but I liked it.

Emma Stone: You liked the feeling?

Julio Torres: Yeah.

Emma Stone: Of... What was about it?

Julio Torres: I like the-

Emma Stone: Because I think that in terms of creative ventures, I think that standup comedy is the thing that scares me more than anything. It's so exposing, it's so vulnerable. It's like, this is what I think is funny, which is really... Not only do I think this is funny-

Julio Torres: It's like the feeling of showing a video to someone on your phone and I'm waiting for them to laugh.

Emma Stone: Yes. On a stage, and you're like, what do you think about what I think is funny and how I say it, that I also think is funny? It's like you're naked, emotionally naked.

Julio Torres: I never... I feel like you have... Most people feel the way that you do in terms of standup comedy, but-

Emma Stone: So what was it about it? Or what is it about it?

Julio Torres: I think that it felt like a challenge, and I felt like I was in control of it on most things that were happening. So I felt like, oh, this is an interesting, fun, weird thing. And also I've always been a very curious person.

Emma Stone: Oh, yeah.

Julio Torres: So, oh, and I get to go to different shitty bars all over New York and see all these people who are trying to make it in the comedy world. That just looks so interesting. So then I kept doing it, and then a friend told me a standup competition that at the time was called NBC Stand Up for Diversity, and you had to wait in line all night, all night. So I waited, I waited on the sidewalk all night with other people, and then you'd come in and then you'd go in front of the execs and you would do one minute-

Emma Stone: NBC execs.

Julio Torres: NBC execs. NBC diversity execs. And then you would do one minute, and then if they liked that, they would call you back. And then I got a call back, and then I got another call back, and then they flew me to LA where-

Emma Stone: It's like Star Search.

Julio Torres: Truly.

Emma Stone: Yeah.

Julio Torres: Yeah. And I had never been in LA before, didn't like it.

Emma Stone: Wasn't a fit.

Julio Torres: Was not a fit. And then I did a show there, and then I got manager, agent, stuff from that.

Emma Stone: Wow, off of that?

Julio Torres: Off of that.

Emma Stone: That's incredible.

Julio Torres: And then I started being able to... Because obviously all these writing jobs are so gatekept, you can't-

Emma Stone: Just break into...

Julio Torres: No, it's like... Yeah. So then I was able to apply for these jobs. I applied to work at SNL, got an interview, which was so exciting because that was one of my first job applications.

Emma Stone: Wow.

Julio Torres: Got an interview, did not get it. Two years later I was asked if I wanted to audition, and I auditioned for it and I just-

Emma Stone: To be a cast member?

Julio Torres: To be a cast member, but it was a mid-season, weird... Are you actually looking for anything? So then I did that, and then they asked if I wanted to be a guest writer. And then I did that. And then they hired me full time, and then I met you.

Emma Stone: And then you met me, the next day.

Julio Torres: And then four weeks into the gig I met you.

Emma Stone: Are you serious?

Julio Torres: Something like that.

Emma Stone: You were not four weeks in then.

Julio Torres: I mean, you-

Emma Stone: 2016.

Julio Torres: December, right? Yep.

Emma Stone: December 2016.

Julio Torres: Yeah. So it was like-

Emma Stone: That was the very beginning?

Julio Torres: I mean, that was my first half of my first year.

Emma Stone: Oh my God. I did not realize that.

Julio Torres: Really? Yeah.

Emma Stone: No, I had no idea That was right away.

Julio Torres: Yeah, it was right away.

Emma Stone: Julio wrote the brilliant Wells for Boys.

Julio Torres: Which, I don't know if you remember this, no way you're going to remember this. But I love Well for Boys.

Emma Stone: I love Well for Boys.

Julio Torres: But my heart was set on a different sketch.

Emma Stone: The Silver?

Julio Torres: Yes.

Emma Stone: Of course I remember The Silver, are you kidding me? Your direction was like, “You're like Nicole Kidman in ‘Birth.’” It's like... I clearly remember, you had this sketch. Wait, did it ever happen?

Julio Torres: No.

Emma Stone: Can we talk about it now?

Julio Torres: Yeah, sure.

Emma Stone: Okay. There was this-

Julio Torres: It was called the Silver Woman.

Emma Stone: At the table read... It was the Silver Woman. So there was Wells for Boys, which is about a boy and Fisher-Price well.

Julio Torres: Which is very relatable. Yeah.

Emma Stone: And very, very brilliant. But there was this other... And I remember feeling so devastated, because I felt like I really let you down at that table read, because I was in love with this Silver Woman idea.

Julio Torres: Oh my God.

Emma Stone: And I was like... It was so specific the way it needed to be played, and when you're at these table reads, it's five hours, and you're reading how many sketches? 50?

Julio Torres: 40 something.

Emma Stone: 40 something in that night. And so Julio and I had talked about this Silver Woman, and he's like, "It's really... It's like she's having this kind of slow motion mental breakdown. It's like Nicole Kidman in Birth." And it was a very dramatic performance, as it is in most of your work. Like Tilda in Problemista or in The Actress, which is another one that we did for SNL. None of this is taken lightly. Your approach to comedy is... While it might be absurdist, what you're talking about-

Julio Torres: You have to believe it. You have to believe it.

Emma Stone: You have to believe it with your whole heart and it has to be life or death. And I was like, okay. So I was wrapping my mind around this, and I felt like I completely butchered it and that's why we didn't get to do it. And I hope that one day we can go back and do it again.

Julio Torres: Oh my God, we should.

Emma Stone: But the idea was that she's having a dinner party and she brings out her silver-

Julio Torres: Her silverware.

Emma Stone: And she can hear the silver.

Julio Torres: She can hear the silver, yeah, and it's driving her insane.

Emma Stone: It's driving her insane because when someone's taking a bite of something, she can hear the fork scream. She can hear the pain of the ladle.

Julio Torres: Exactly.

Emma Stone: What they're going through in order to serve these well-to-do people.

Julio Torres: She's deeply empathetic.

Emma Stone: She's deeply empathetic to her silver. And it was so genius, and I just did not Kidman enough. I really didn't.

Julio Torres: Well, I was like-

Emma Stone: And I want another chance. I want another crack at Silver Woman.

Julio Torres: But it's so funny that... Because Wells for Boys, that sketch, people do really see themselves in it, which is why I feel like they were like, we should do this. But this other one, I was like, what do you mean people are not going to see themselves?

Emma Stone: What do you mean this isn't relatable? But that was what... Just to... Now, we were so lucky to get to produce Problemista, but Dave McCarey, who I know very well as well now, who directed Wells for Boys, you and Dave really bonded throughout your SNL-

Julio Torres: Oh, yeah. No, it was-

Emma Stone: Journey.

Julio Torres: Incredible, because he directed almost everything I ever wrote there, and I go so much access to the process.

Emma Stone: Yeah.

Julio Torres: Especially because he's so giving that I got to really shadow direct for-

Emma Stone: Oh, yeah, this was all-

Julio Torres: For a lot of it.

Emma Stone: So yours.

Julio Torres: Because I was just learning so much, because I didn't go to film school or anything. So I was just learning so much from it to the point where I felt, now that I directed a movie, it didn't feel scary.

Emma Stone: Because you're the most integral part to that process. Also, your work is so... Nobody but you can really-

Julio Torres: Well, no, but it did feel like... I had always felt like, oh, I want to direct one day, not just yet. But it didn't feel scary because I had been on set for so many times, so many of the SNL sketches. Dave allowed me access to every part of it down to sound mix and color and all those things.

Emma Stone: So you have a relationship to all of it. Well, then, so post SNL, Los Espookys-

Julio Torres: And then I show ran with my friend Ana, was Los Espooks, which was also almost directing, but not really. So it was another-

Emma Stone: Another step into feeling the confidence to then go and run a set, and be the full-blown captain of the ship at every turn. But then for your first film, you write it, you direct it, and you star in it all at once. And you have to direct yourself and Tilda Swinton.

Julio Torres: Yeah. Yeah.

Emma Stone: Which is not a big deal at all.

Julio Torres: Well, okay, so it did not... The making of the movie just did not feel daunting, because I sort of won the lottery in terms of people to do your first movie with. Because I had Dave by the monitor every single day to just sort of keep his eyes on like ...

Emma Stone: And you trust each other and you can talk about everything. Yeah.

Julio Torres: Yeah. And ... I don't know. Everyone who worked on that movie, it's like-

Emma Stone: Well, meeting Tilda, how did you ...

Julio Torres: I met Tilda on a Zoom. She got ahold of the script and she immediately was like, "I want to do it." And it was just such a dream come true.

Emma Stone: She’s the best.

Julio Torres: And then come to find that she is so collaborative and so unpretentious and so in it just because she wants to play with you.

Emma Stone: Yeah.

Julio Torres: And it really felt like ... I don't even think of, quote-unquote "directing" Tilda, but working with Tilda felt no different than working with my friend Spike, my friend River, my friend Ana, people who are my age that have come up with me. It's like, "Oh, yeah, no, we're just like ... "

Emma Stone: Because she's so easy.

Julio Torres: She's so easy. Yeah.

Emma Stone: Yeah. And so brilliant. I mean, also your relationship in this movie is the most important thing, and the fact that you two ... I think you found so much through having that comfort with each other.

Julio Torres: Yeah. It's so fun and collaborative and ... I don't know, making the movie was such a joyful experience. Every department was just so happy.

Emma Stone: What was the hardest thing about it?

Julio Torres: The hardest thing about it?

Emma Stone: Yeah.

Julio Torres: About making the movie?

Emma Stone: Yeah. I immediately just ... You're like, "It's such a joyful experience", and I'm like, "Yeah, what was hard?"

Julio Torres: Yeah, it was like, "What was the worst part?"

Emma Stone: "What did you hate?"

Julio Torres: "Who sucked?" I think that I am the worst at everything that comes after the movie.

Emma Stone: Like the editing process-

Julio Torres: No.

Emma Stone: ... Or the marketing?

Julio Torres: No, the marketing.

Emma Stone: The A24 Podcast?

Julio Torres: The A24 Podcast. No, the sort of navigating the ecosystem of like, "Okay, now you had your fun, now you have made a product, how will this product be sold and-"

Emma Stone: To the world at large.

Julio Torres: To the world ... And that part is like ... Yeah, we forget that we don't just get to go away-

Emma Stone: Oh, yeah. No. No.

Julio Torres: ... After we make something.

Emma Stone: No, you're out there, baby.

Julio Torres: Yeah.

Emma Stone: "We're going to force you to get out there."

Julio Torres: We should be able to hire like-

Emma Stone: Avatars?

Julio Torres: Yeah.

Emma Stone: A version of yourself that just does the press for it-

Julio Torres: Because I feel like there is-

Emma Stone: ... In a really concise way where they say what you wish you could say?

Julio Torres: Because I feel like there are actors whose favorite part is the promotion. So if we could all get one of those ...

Emma Stone: That would be the coolest thing.

Julio Torres: That would be incredible.

Emma Stone: If you could hire someone who looks like you wish you could look for all of it ...

Julio Torres: Oh!

Emma Stone: No, like you could really curate the experience where you're like, "This is what I would like to look like on this show, and this is what I would like to say on this. Now you get out there and you do it."

Julio Torres: "You get out there."

Emma Stone: That's a brilliant idea. That would be amazing. And then you just keep going and working-

Julio Torres: And just making stuff.

Emma Stone: ... And making these things.

Julio Torres: Yeah.

Emma Stone: Yeah, that would be incredible. No offense, A24 Podcast.

Julio Torres: No.

Emma Stone: We love talking about Problemista. I promise.

Julio Torres: Stuff like this, this is great, because we actually get to talk and I don't feel like I'm selling anything.

Emma Stone: Yeah, that it's sound bites or saying the same thing over and over.

Julio Torres: Yeah.

Emma Stone: Yeah, this is nice. The reason that I think directing is so insane to me and I can't even ever imagine wanting to do it-

Julio Torres: You wouldn't?

Emma Stone: No. I really don't. I admire directors so much and people that want to direct so much, because what you're talking about with all of the little decisions, every single moment of the day-

Julio Torres: ... Is a little decision. Yeah.

Emma Stone: ... As a director is a little decision.

Julio Torres: That's true.

Emma Stone: My little problems.

Julio Torres: Yeah.

Emma Stone: You've got little problems all day long.

Julio Torres: But they're so fun, and ... I mean, not every decision is fun. Like I'm just in post-production for this other TBD project that we will talk about at a later time, and it was like, "Okay, when the washer goes off, should they VFX 'done' or should they VFX '00?'" And I feel like I gave an answer, but then the question came back to me again and then I guess I gave a different answer, and then so, of course, they needed to clarify-

Emma Stone: It's like, "This is a huge-“

Julio Torres: And it was just like, "I swear, this is one of those things that it's fine. It's fine."

Emma Stone: "Do whatever you want. Just do whatever you want."

Julio Torres: "It's fine. Go nuts."

Emma Stone: You have to know, I guess, where to let go of control, but then also simultaneously be so in control because it's completely yours. Especially as a writer/director.

Julio Torres: Yeah. Well, it's about finding-

Emma Stone: That, to me, seems like it's a brutal balance. That's why it's fun to produce that and to go like, "Oh my God, you know how to do all of this so you make it."

Julio Torres: Well, I mean, being a director is not that different. It's like you need to find people who are excited for the project for the same reasons and who are in your same wavelength, and then those cars start moving without you micromanaging and-

Emma Stone: Because you can trust them, like department heads and things like that, trust them to bring you things because you hired them because you like what they do.

Julio Torres: But that's not the only ... Because I feel like there's a lot of people who ... Just because we admire someone doesn't necessarily mean that we'll work well with them.

Emma Stone: Yeah. But sometimes you don't find that out until you're already doing it.

Julio Torres: Oh yeah, of course.

Emma Stone: And then you've got all those little problems all the time.

Julio Torres: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. I also like working with people who are like, "I would really love to do this thing-"

Emma Stone: Yeah. Of course.

Julio Torres: " ... And I would really love to do it because I would get to do either this for the first time, which is such a joy, or show this side of myself that I don't get to do with most other jobs I take."

Emma Stone: You mean in any department?

Julio Torres: In any department.

Emma Stone: But is it really fun for you in the production design world?

Julio Torres: Yeah. I love it.

Emma Stone: What's your favorite part of the jobs you are not fully doing? What's your favorite part to get involved in?

Julio Torres: I think production design.

Emma Stone: Yeah.

Julio Torres: And then maybe second wardrobe.

Emma Stone: Because an architect and a fashion designer; I mean, come on. That makes total sense. And your mom is still involved with things, right?

Julio Torres: Yeah. I mean, I always, whenever I have a visual design question, I'll ask her for advice.

Emma Stone: Does her aesthetic, like what she's drawn to visually, mirror what you're drawn to?

Julio Torres: Oh, for sure.

Emma Stone: Do you think yours was inspired by her?

Julio Torres: Yeah, for sure. Like very geometric-

Emma Stone: Is her favorite color clear?

Julio Torres: I think her favorite color currently is green.

Emma Stone: What kind of green?

Julio Torres: She's, I think, very in a nature phase.

Emma Stone: Okay. So like a true-

Julio Torres: So like a forest green and like a-

Emma Stone: Oh, wow.

Julio Torres: Yeah.

Emma Stone: Okay.

Julio Torres: Growing up, I think it was red-

Emma Stone: Blood red.

Julio Torres: ... Like a bright, bright blood red.

Emma Stone: What's your favorite color right now? I know this sounds like a generic question to most people, but with Julio, it doesn't feel generic at all.

Julio Torres: No. I-

Emma Stone: It's very meaningful. You have to understand.

Julio Torres: I am gravitating towards green too, because I think I'm looking for peace.

Emma Stone: Aw. Is that your Pantone color over here?

Julio Torres: Yeah.

Emma Stone: Your 2024 ... Your February 11th color is peace.

Julio Torres: Yeah. I think I'm looking to relax.

Emma Stone: What's your favorite trinket right now?

Julio Torres: Well ... Okay. I'm wearing this charm, which is a phone. You can open it and it's a little phone.

Emma Stone: Where did you find that? Where do you find your things?

Julio Torres: Different vintage little places, like flea markets, Etsy.

Emma Stone: Hello.

Julio Torres: Hello, Etsy.

Emma Stone: Etsy. That's Very precious.

Julio Torres: Yeah.

Emma Stone: That's a precious phone. Okay, so ...

Julio Torres: We get to do cards.

Emma Stone: We're going to do some cards. We're going to do some cards. Now these were sent in ... We were told that these were sent in by you at home. So the first question that they've put on our cards is, are you a Problemista? Which I'm not even exactly sure what that means.

Julio Torres: The way that I like defining it is someone who is attracted to problems or ...

Emma Stone: Like Alejandro.

Julio Torres: Yes. Or makes art inspired by problems or thrives in problems.

Emma Stone: Thrives in chaos kind of? Or little problems?

Julio Torres: Specifically problems.

Emma Stone: Got it.

Julio Torres: And I think I am one. Are you?

Emma Stone: You think you are a Problemista?

Julio Torres: A Problemista.

Emma Stone: Or a person that thrives in little problems.

Julio Torres: Yes. Yeah.

Emma Stone: No, I do not think that. That's why I don't want to direct.

Julio Torres: Oh, sure. Yeah. You're like, "No."

Emma Stone: No, no.

Julio Torres: "No problems for me. Thank you."

Emma Stone: I like major chaos. Then I go stoic and can get things done. But little problems? God.

Julio Torres: Oh. Okay.

Emma Stone: "Get me out of here." You know what I mean?

Julio Torres: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Emma Stone: Not asking for chaos, but you know. Oh! Is chaos essential for good art?

Julio Torres: No.

Emma Stone: No.

Julio Torres: This idea that art has to be difficult to be made in order for it to be good, I don't-

Emma Stone: I totally agree.

Julio Torres: No.

Emma Stone: I totally agree.

Julio Torres: No. Work with people you like, do projects you like.

Emma Stone: Just have fun.

Julio Torres: Just have fun.

Emma Stone: Take it easy, baby.

Julio Torres: Yeah.

Emma Stone: Favorite Tilda Swinton movie? Oh God, Problemista is mine now.

Julio Torres: Problemista. My choice. Favorite Tilda Swinton movie?

Emma Stone: That's so hard.

Julio Torres: You know, I think maybe the global answer might be Orlando, or ...

Emma Stone: Yeah.

Julio Torres: But I just saw, and I haven't seen it, Teknolust.

Emma Stone: I've never seen Teknolust.

Julio Torres: She is ... One of many times where she plays more than one person-

Emma Stone: Oh God.

Julio Torres: ... In that she plays clones of herself. It's actually very like Powerpuff Girls-coded, because one of them is only wearing blue and the other one's only wearing red, the other one's only wearing green; or yellow, I think. And they're clones and they live in a computer, and it's heaven.

Emma Stone: I have to see Teknolust.

Julio Torres: Yeah.

Emma Stone: What's your favorite childhood toy or game?

Julio Torres: I used to put cars, like the cars that are the ... Do those have a name? Like the-

Emma Stone: Like Matchbox cars?

Julio Torres: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah.

Emma Stone: Yeah.

Julio Torres: I used to put them in a long line, and-

Emma Stone: Like dominoes?

Julio Torres: Kind of. And then when people ask, "What are you doing?", I would say, "They're in traffic. They're stuck in traffic, and I don't know why."

Emma Stone: That was your favorite thing to do?

Julio Torres: Yeah. That, and I also had ... And I've been remembering this lately, where it was like, "Oh, that was early directing." I had a Little Mermaid Barbie doll. You know the kind where you could take the tail out and then-

Emma Stone: Of course. Yeah.

Julio Torres: Oh, she was never a mermaid for me. I was like, "I can't do it. I can't work with that." So she had legs, she had human legs. And I had a tethered little wedding dress that I would put her in, and I would make her walk in the dirt barefoot in the tethered wedding dress.

Emma Stone: Oh my God.

Julio Torres: And something happened to her, and it was like ... There never was a wedding. There never ... But to me, it's like, she's not Ariel, she's this redhead actor.

Emma Stone: She's a redhead actor in a tethered wedding dress and she never got to the altar?

Julio Torres: She never got to the altar. I don't think there ever was a groom. You know what I mean?

Emma Stone: But there was a storyline happening-

Julio Torres: There was a storyline.

Emma Stone: ... And it was heavy.

Julio Torres: She's not well.

Emma Stone: She was not well.

Julio Torres: She's not well.

Emma Stone: Did she have any other accoutrement around her?

Julio Torres: No.

Emma Stone: No. She just was walking slowly in the dirt.

Julio Torres: Yeah.

Emma Stone: Oh my God.

Julio Torres: With a tethered wedding-

Emma Stone: I love her.

Julio Torres: You should play that.

Emma Stone: I would love to. Redhead. Hello. I'm available. That sounds incredible. God, I guess we really knocked this out of the park because they were like, "Get out."

Julio Torres: They're like, "Get out." I don't think we got to learn much from you, but that's okay.

Emma Stone: Yeah, but it's enough out of me.

Julio Torres: You know what? I'll make an FAQ page.

Emma Stone: Okay, perfect. Let's have a follow up entire website built too-

Julio Torres: Yeah, I'll have a follow up-

Emma Stone: ... Just in case. Okay, perfect. Perfect. I love it.

Julio Torres: ... Where I guess my answers of you.

Emma Stone: It's all answers that you've guessed.

Julio Torres: Yeah.

Emma Stone: And it's a picture of the Barbie doll that you just talked about-

Julio Torres: Yes. Yeah.

Emma Stone: ... In the dress.

Julio Torres: Yeah, exactly.

Emma Stone: Okay, perfect. Well, thank you so much, Julio.

Julio Torres: Are you kidding? Thank you. You're so busy.

Emma Stone: I'm so glad that we have been hired as the new weekly hosts of The A24 Podcast.

Julio Torres: Oh my God. Well, I'll see you next week.

Emma Stone: I'll see you next week where we cover ...

Julio Torres: The best shampoos on the market.

Emma Stone: Best shampoos on the market.

Julio Torres: Yeah.

Emma Stone: I can't wait.

Julio Torres: They're our sponsors.

Emma Stone: Thanks for joining us. Bye, everyone.

Julio Torres: Thank you. Bye.