Actor Justin Long genuinely wants to know his guests' favorite emoji. After starring in comedies like Idiocracy, Dodgeball and He's Just Not That Into You, Long adds "podcast host" to his resume. The actor currently co-hosts the podcast Life Is Short with his brother, Christian. In it, Long asks his guests questions ranging from "What's your favorite Muppet?" to "What's your conception of the afterlife?" More recently, Long has starred in in the film The Wave and the Netflix series Giri/Haji.
In a conversation with NPR's Ask Me Another host Ophira Eisenberg at the Bell House in Brooklyn, New York, Long explained the origins of his podcast, what it was like to interview his 103-year-old grandmother, and what emojis reveal about a person.
Then, inspired by his podcast, Life Is Short, Justin Long plays a game of "Shorter or Longer?"
On deciphering his dad's texts:
"He started ending sentences with 'LOL' — but oftentimes they were sentences that were either urgent or about some illness. 'Your mother had a checkup today and her blood pressure is dangerously high. LOL.' And I realized at a certain point that he meant 'lots of love...' It makes more sense that it means 'lots of love' [and not] 'laughing out loud.' When you write that, how often are you really laughing out loud?"
On interviewing his grandmother on his podcast:
"[It's] very strange just to get her out of the house and into a studio. That's a whole thing for her... We've had such a nice response. We've been printing out the emails we've been getting about her and sending it to her and she's been loving reading them. She's just the best."
On getting recognized at the Apple store:
Long played the Mac in Apple's "Get a Mac" ad campaign, opposite humorist John Hodgman.
"It was always funny going into the Apple store... I was met with a mix of novelty and annoyance. It was an interesting combination of 'Oh, it's that guy!' but 'Ugh, it's that guy.'"
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