Hey Reddit, I did one of these before. It was so fun that I'm back for round two.

I have a movie out in theaters now (Adult World) and another coming out in two weeks (Bag Man).

I'm also a board member at Freedom of the Press Foundation. We're doing some amazing work restoring and defending the First and Fourth Amendments, helping to protect journalists and build a movement to restore our rights to privacy and free speech. Edward Snowden just joined our board.

I just put up a $5K matching grant for all the orgs we support. Our latest crowd-funding effort is for encryption tools for journalists. Go here to help our efforts, or spread the word: https://pressfreedomfoundation.org

But I'm here so you can ask me anything. Have at it.

Proof it's me: https://twitter.com/johncusack/status/435521468316000256

Comments: 4245 • Responses: 67  • Date: 

Idleworker1883 karma


What's the deal with your characters being so bad at picking hotel/motel accommodations?

johncusackFPF2195 karma


OctoberGloryMaple1420 karma

I loved the movie "1408." You were great! Very suspenseful. Will you and Samuel L. Jackson ever do another scary movie together?

johncusackFPF2447 karma

Working on The Cell right now! Stephen King.

I_Am_Not_Satan507 karma


DaChewy33521 karma

Don't listen to him Mr. Cusack; I think he might be Satan.

johncusackFPF994 karma

or the raggedy man

ThisICannotForgive1066 karma

John, you were a big supporter of Obama before he was elected, and I believe even attended his inauguration. Considering how disappointing he has been on so many levels (prosecution of whistleblowers, "most transparent administration ever" etc), do you think the political process in this country is irreparably broken? Do you think a President has the power to keep the promises that Obama made pre-election?

johncusackFPF3375 karma

Our constitutional system, with its checks and balances and protection of rights, has been under attack since 9/11... The Fourth Amendment is near death; and President Obama’s remedies in his speech, are no better than band-aids and aspirin, are in reality even less than that. His speeches seem to be designed and intended only to improve the public’s mood about the way things are and will remain, to restore confidence in a system that does not deserve trust.

The president is showing no signs of being in control of the intelligence community; either it controls him, or they simply are in sync, and in full agreement-- he ended up rejecting even the recommendations of his own hand-picked panels. He gives lip service to the problems in his speeches but we know by now the vast difference between his rhetocic and policy..

quasipalm517 karma


johncusackFPF1241 karma

been on it for years probably

Push-it-real-good1064 karma

If you were to stand outside my bedroom window holding up a boom box, what song would you play for me?

johncusackFPF1903 karma

I probably wouldn't do that..cause I did that in a movie you know..

lookitzpancakes778 karma

Hi John!

I have a dear friend named Jimmy Ambrose who is hopelessly obsessed with your entire career. He respects you tremendously and hasn't shut up about it for the decade and a half I've known him. I think it would make his year if you acknowledged him somehow. I hope that you read this through the deluge of comments you're likely to receive.


johncusackFPF1395 karma

Hello Jimmy Ambrose, I wish you the best. Follow me @johncusack and I'll say hi

ravici775 karma

First, Grosse Point Blank. One of my "must see" movies - so many threads through the movie... and hilarious. Second, what do you see as the biggest change coming to Hollywood & consumer viewing? Are you ready for those changes?

johncusackFPF829 karma

Yes, I kind of love them. The ability to directly tell people who want to see your stuff that didn't exist before. The film business is not what it was...big tent pole cartoons in place of adult film studios following Madison Ave. in creating a youth fetish vibe where everything has to be about 20 year olds. TV's taking that space film used to, and I love the idea of giving a film directly to audience. I'm going to do that soon with a small film I made call Dictablonda.

I'm all for change. And think we will always need stories and myths..

johncusackFPF783 karma

For example, Adult World, a very small little film that has no backing or muscle can get directly bought because Emma Roberts and I can tell anyone interested where to get it. When I was a kid no one saw those films. Now you can always find your audience.

Mr_Sceintist744 karma

Does John Malkovich hang out with you?

johncusackFPF1181 karma

Yes actually! Old friends from before the film and I loved him as a stage and film actor and one of the funniest, smartest guys i know.. one of my favorite dinner companions

johncusackFPF910 karma

He's in Chicago often and just saw him in Puerto Rico

roo_the_boo731 karma

High Fidelity is one of my most favourite movies of all time! How was your experience working on it with Jack Black?

johncusackFPF1037 karma

I love Jack, one of the sweetest, funniest guys I've ever met.. I'm only pissed I can't figure out how to work with him again.. but I'm stubborn!

SwollbrahamLincoln662 karma

Mr. Cusack, if you are being 100% honest to yourself, how many five year olds do you think you could beat in a fight? Like, say you had to face one at a time, there were no breaks between contender, and it was hand to hand. Edit: Thanks John Cusack for the gold!!!

johncusackFPF951 karma

like 400 totally..

reddittemp2554 karma

Why are you a bad guy in every movie now? You're pissing off my wife.

johncusackFPF565 karma

I got some good guys coming next year

garshultz530 karma

What kinds of changes would you like to see made to US law to protect journalists?

johncusackFPF1262 karma

First thing we need to do is repeal the Espionage Act. It's a law intended for spies being used against journalists' sources. And as my friend Dan Ellsberg says (he was the first source prosecuted under the Act), it's blatantly unconstitutional. Here's something we wrote explaining why the law is inherently unfair: https://pressfreedomfoundation.org/blog/2013/12/if-snowden-returned-us-trial-all-whistleblower-evidence-would-likely-be-inadmissible

Another thing we need to do is guarantee the rights of journalists crossing the border. Right now, my two fellow board members, Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, both US citizens, don't think it's safe to return to the US because they could be detained or arrested crossing the border. This is unacceptable, just as it's unacceptable for all the Muslim Americans that are unjustifiably detained every year. There's a great HuffPost piece on this, by one of their journalists who is regularly stopped for the crime of being Muslim: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ahmed-shihabeldin/why-i-hate-coming-home-to_b_4676404.html?utm_hp_ref=tw

Here's something I wrote for the Guardian about how Eric Holder needs to guarantee these journalists safe passage back to the US: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/18/eric-holder-guarantee-nsa-reporters-rights

real-eyes500 karma

What exactly do you not like about Better Off Dead? It's gotten better with age as a send-up of eighties movie tropes, and is entertaining from beginning to end as far as I can tell.

johncusackFPF692 karma

It's kind of been blown way out of proportion... I feel bad people think I hate it, I don't.. I'm glad people are so fond of it. I gave a interview where someone sort of misquoted me...

Emleaux615 karma

Now that's a real shame when folks be misquotin' a perfectly good white boy like that...

johncusackFPF472 karma

Agree.. I wish Steve Holland nothing but the best and am sorry he feels bad after all these years..truly. I'm sure he's fine of course, and when people love your movie after many years he should take satisfaction in that, as I'm sure he does.

real-eyes87 karma

There was a piece in EW about the movie when it came on Blu-ray not too long ago, the account that 'Savage' Steve Holland gives doesn't paint a pretty picture.


johncusackFPF314 karma

I was like 17...I don't even remember it all that well. It was an awesome script...did my best..all good

lobstahfingah451 karma

Also: How did you get Edward Snowden to join your organization? I imagine he's a hard guy to get a hold of. Do you guys support The Tor Project? Thanks!

johncusackFPF773 karma

Yes we do support Tor, check it out: https://pressfreedomfoundation.org

As far as talking to ed, our board has on it the two reporters who broke his stories, Laura and Glenn..

grimskrotum418 karma

Thanks for doing this John! And thank you for FPF! Excellent foundation.

High Fidelity has always been my favorite movie of all time, can you tell us a little bit about your experiences off camera with Jack Black and Tim Robbins? That movie sounded so fun to make!

johncusackFPF500 karma

Old friends.. Jack I didn't know as well as Tim... but we were all banging around LA together.. great guys

johncusackFPF407 karma

hey this was fun gotta run..you follow me on @johncusack on twitter... if a good time was had by all i'll come back and do it again... happy monday to all jc

homefair387 karma

You are President Obama for a day, tomorrow let's say. What are your priorities?

johncusackFPF1499 karma

End assassination programs and end the mass surveillance programs by executive order, bring home our troops from Afghanistan, pass an infrastructure bill to rebuild public works and put people to work... to name a few things.

karadrama308 karma

What movie role would you accept in a heartbeat if it's offered to you?

johncusackFPF678 karma

Doctor Sleep

ChumdogMillionaire308 karma

Hey John, I know previously you spoke out about your feelings towards the war in Iraq, and the Bush administration. It's wonderful how open you are about your political views. What are you feelings about how much progress has been made, and the steps being taken by today's government to end it?

johncusackFPF903 karma

Complicated ...in many ways we have not righted the wrongs on the power grab made after the tragedy of 9/11...Obama took an oath to restore and defend the Constitution that was not written in a way the nation security state and the neocons and Dick Cheney would openly prefer. He's failed miserably in that regard. We don't live in the country our fathers did..

The Bill of Rights is not written for the convenience or aspirations of presidents or their subordinates. It is meant to help us defend our freedoms from them: to prevent them from “doing their job” (even if they see that as “protecting us”) or from serving their own interests (consciously or not) in ways that impinge on our core freedoms.

petrichorrr276 karma

Its good to see someone in the public eye not afraid to speak negatively about the Obama administration. It still bothers me to see people blindly supporting him when he's done so much harmful shit.

johncusackFPF538 karma

Is democracy even possible, with the existence of these mass surveillance programs te the authority executive branch and government has claimed since 9-11? it was a power grab

can people really say “I have nothing to hide, so why should I worry?” are we that far gone that intdocrinated to defer to power? Do they, or care about, what their representatives in Congress might have to hide? Or judges? Or in particular, journalists and their sources?

Without investigative journalism, there is little or no chance of remaining a constitutional, democratic rights. Without anonymity of sources, there will be little or no investigative reporting.
lawyer client privilege? good luck ..not if its all collected at the servers. as dan ellsberg reiterated time and time again to us at FPF

Given the current capabilities and practices of NSA, FBI, CIA—no reporter can promise, in good faith, anonymity to any sources. With the destruction of the Fourth Amendment (as it applies to sources and journalists) the First Amendment protection of freedom of the press (and even, speech and freedom of assembly) is fatally undermined: and with it, the prospects of democracy.

thanks to FPF board member ed snowden we are in a constitutional crises -- and we finally all know it-- people know its a fight.. we had a mission creep Executive coup that occurred after 9-11, with the full complicity of Congress. there’s a chance,now that Snowden’s awakened us to how far down our democracy has fallen and we have an opportunity to rise to the challenge .

The First or Fourth Amendments need to be guarded as much as the second if we are to have any hope..

johncusackFPF292 karma

I didn’t really expect Obama actually to expand Bush’s practices of secrecy (after promising unprecedented transparency): multiple prosecutions of leakers, expanded use of state secrets privilege, greater authority of government operations in national and homeland security field ,expansion of surveillance state. i dont think anyone saw that comming, really..or to the extent which he went all in with the bush cheny version of constitution not the one they all swore an oath too.. Obama speaks of trusting NSA and himself, he says nothing of the historic record in the 60’s under LBJ& Nixon,actions against antiwar groups including the Quakers and Catholics, black activists, civil liberties groups, any critics of the FBI including those who wrote letters to newspapers. Along with the FBI, CIA and Army. All done by family men, in the FBI largely churchgoing Catholics from Catholic universities like Fordham and Notre Dame and Georgetown. (nobody denys this history,)

That was exposed and ended by antiwar activists in Media, Pa., in an act as courageous as Snowden’s own civil disobedience, and Manning’s; by reporters leaks (to Hersh and others); strong investigations by Church and Pike, leading to legislative reforms.

Without leaks, we would know nothing of the latter crimes.

IF torture is not going on right now ) that is solely because of leaks. Is there any reason to believe that Obama or Bush would have stopped any of these without public awareness from leaks? Just on the basis of internal investigation, and yet we are asked t trust officials - one who has already lied to congress-- about the dangers,and harm to Americans or others on a vast scale? Should we trust them?

In the matter of judgment as to what the public should know and needs to know about NSA or DOD, yes, the judgment of Snowden has proven more reliable than that of, say Diane Feinstein, or Clapper or Alexander

abnospam282 karma

What is the real story between Piven and you?

johncusackFPF445 karma

Grew up together in chicago. Old friend...

10209110192 karma

still feuding?

johncusackFPF287 karma

no way man nothing but love

wjkm278 karma

Favourite moment of filming Hot Tub Time Machine?

johncusackFPF667 karma

Finishing the cut in the studio alone with my producing partner...Fighting and winning and getting all the things in the film that the audiences liked -- and being 100% right...

lilliesandroses245 karma

Hey John, why do you continue to ignore my engagement proposals?

johncusackFPF472 karma

i guess im shy

manlymen231 karma

Hey John, nice to meet you.

How did you meet Hunter s. Thompson? what was he like?

johncusackFPF404 karma

southern gentleman, dangerous character, hilarious, and always the smartest guy in the room.

parker_dub185 karma

Does it bother you (like it bothers us) that you have never been in serious consideration for an Oscar?

johncusackFPF529 karma

No.. not at all--there a lot of politics to awards stuff... I've been very lucky to be kind of in Hollywood and outside it at same time. I don't know how but it's seems to work. I'm very grateful...

Rainbow-174 karma

Hey John, I hope I'm not too late!

I heard that you had a big hand in picking the (awesome) soundtrack for High Fidelity. Are you a big music/record guy? How did you go about picking the songs, knowing that they had to be "snob-approved"?

johncusackFPF384 karma

It was no problem as I'm a snob..

digitereedoo167 karma

Thank you for this John. I have two questions: 1) given that you are a HUGE supporter of journalistic freedom and restoration of privacy, how would you handle those that continue to invade our privacy online (read: criminals) and 2) can you give us a personal anecdote, or tipping point that led you to bring your voice to this cause?

johncusackFPF386 karma

Interesting what Ed Snowden revealed was criminal activity at the highest levels of government.. Remember the hysteria and the slurs? They threw everything at him to discredit him and render him harmless. In a way the hysteria is a very reliable indicator of state abuse...who is abusing privacy the most? Now it's the state.

wogsy143 karma

How are your kickboxing skills going? You still train martial arts?

And what was it like training with the amazing Benny "The Jet" Urquidez? Im sure you have seen that fight scene with him and Jackie Chan in wheels on meals?

johncusackFPF183 karma

Benny is grandmaster... the best of the best an honor to be with him always. That fight scene is amazing

noirjet135 karma

How did you get involved with Freedom of the Press Foundation? Can you talk about something you're proud of as a result of your involvement?

johncusackFPF242 karma

I'm proud of everything we've done. It was pretty awesome to get professional stenographers into the Chelsea Manning trial when the government refused to release their own transcripts. We forced transparency where there wasn't any before. We funded Alexa O'Brien to cover that trial too, who is amazing. Xeni and Rainey did amazing work for us to make it all happen too.

TexasAmy124 karma

Given your fearlessness regarding third rail subjects and your passion for social justice issues - do you have any documentary projects planned or see them as a part of your filmmaking future?

johncusackFPF180 karma

yes working on some idea with trevor timm..

Futsi115 karma

What book or movie do you find inspiring?

johncusackFPF168 karma

Right now, I'm very into Edward Dahlberg.

WhyLisaWhy109 karma

How many games will the Cubs win this year?

johncusackFPF240 karma

85? I'm hoping..

johncusackFPF105 karma

ok guys thanks for having me and ill take a few more then gotta go eat!

Sega199399 karma

Do you smoke cannabis? and or support legalization?

johncusackFPF298 karma

support legalization but don't like the drug personally

johncusackFPF338 karma

The war on drugs is an abysmal failure and does more harm then good and feeds the privatized prison industry and produces more addiction, not less.

Read Gabor Mate's excellent "In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts" for more info on that..

elric71888 karma

Have you ever voted for a Republican?

johncusackFPF314 karma

no... the system is so badly broken that at this point I think all the pressure has to come from outside the sytem...its interesting to realize that the left is now (as far as domestic policy is concerned) far to the right of Richard Nixon..

heykim86 karma

How long have you known Daniel Ellsberg ?

johncusackFPF147 karma

It's been my great pleasure to learn from Dan and become his friend ever since we started FPF a year and a half ago.

heykim85 karma

Can you tell us how you came to join the Freedom of Press Board ?

johncusackFPF141 karma

I think my friends JP Barlow and Xeni Jardin first got in contact with me and told me about the amazing idea behind FPF a few weeks before we ended up launching. We all similar political interests, and I either knew most of the people on the board or admired their work.

I've been writing and doing advocacy work around the same issues for a while. See these interviews I did with Constitutional law scholar and my friend Jon Turley:



And the interview with Naomi Klein on the Shock Doctrine while I was doing the satire film War Inc.: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-cusack/huffpost-exclusive-my-int_b_65990.html

I was also tight with Hunter S Thompson, so I've known writers and journalists most of my life.

thelostdolphin15 karma

Xeni Jardin is a sweetheart and a good person to follow on Twitter.

johncusackFPF18 karma

one of my favorite humans;)

ryano99378 karma

Are we gonna see you at any Cubs games this year?

johncusackFPF150 karma

As many as I can.

davemeggett76 karma

Do you think Hollywood cares more about the Democratic platform than true liberal ideals?

johncusackFPF211 karma

I don't think Hollywood thinks in a group and I certainly don't know what that group would think if it did ... we are in a free fall

Scblake68 karma

John, I respect your support and work on the right to privacy and journalistic freedom. Does your organization extend its views on privacy rights to health and health care? And how do you, or do you see any similarities in terms of policy solutions?

johncusackFPF136 karma

We're promoting a bunch of great encryption tools as a way for journalists and sources to talk safely to each other, but it's important to remember the tools can and should be used by everyone. Mass surveillance means everyone's communications are being collected. Doctor-Client privilege, lawyer-client privilege, and others are all being trampled. We focus on protecting press freedom, but we fight for the privacy rights of everyone.

badog6262 karma

How did you feel about The Jack Bull? I really enjoyed it.

johncusackFPF109 karma

I loved it. My dad wrote it, so was a very special film for me.

ZackyBeatz56 karma

Have you ever thought about entering the political scene ?.

You could be one of the few that is not corrupted.

johncusackFPF141 karma

fpf is political.. im working on it now not as an elected official

Jorion55 karma

Hi, John! Loved you in Hot Tub Time Machine.

If you could go visit any point in human history, where/when would you go?

johncusackFPF124 karma

I'll show you when we do the TV show

Oh_abalard54 karma

Considering you're here to promote freedom for journalists I was wondering what your thoughts on the work of reporters like Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill is?

johncusackFPF83 karma

Glenn and Jeremy are both friends who I admire very much, and Glenn and I sit on the Freedom of the Press Foundation board together

johncusackFPF108 karma

I think they exemplify what adversarial journalist should be as a check to power..

They understood as HST did--- that the root of all corruption comes for journalism adopting a clubby country club insider type relationship with the individuals and institutions they cover...that's bad for democracy.

chrisco8353 karma

Do you believe in conspiracies? I know you are political but I wonder about your conspiracy views.

johncusackFPF157 karma

I believe in these types -- open conspiracies to smear patriot whistleblowers and criminalize journalism http://boingboing.net/2013/06/17/the-snowden-principle.html

XcryptoKid40 karma

John - I'm a true long time fan. I've seen all your movies and will continue to do so. You're a hell of an actor and I appreciate your dedication, intelligence, and great community work. Keep it up.

No questions. Just wanted to say Thank You.

johncusackFPF46 karma

thanks sir

educated_teacher39 karma

Hey John,

Were you playing the same character in War, Inc. as you were in Gross Pointe Blank?

If so, will there be a third installment in this series? Maybe one focused on Snowden-themed intelligence issues?

Thanks man! I've been a fan for many years, and look forward to catching all of your future releases.

edit:: Loved Ice harvest, just saw it a few days ago for the first time. Well done.

johncusackFPF46 karma

I think two were good ... but who knows

finntastick30 karma

How was working with Scott Coffey?

johncusackFPF52 karma

Terrific guy and a talented man...was so fun working with him. A real artist.

Dittybopper26 karma

John I have nothing to ask but would like to say I am a fan and enjoy your acting. I hope your IAMA goes well. Oh, I particularly like the encryption for journalists!

johncusackFPF57 karma

Many thanks! I just put up $5,000 in matching funds to support these great encryption tools for journalists. If you want to help, you can go here: https://pressfreedomfoundation.org

thebostonhope12 karma

Have you ever kept any of the props from your movies? If so, which ones?

johncusackFPF19 karma

I have a few trinkets here and there but I'm not a collector type.. I love the idea but I seem to want to get rid of old stuff..

johncusackFPF8 karma

you can follow me @johncusack on twitter

Mollinator5 karma

hey John, Thanks for doing an AMA. I have a question I have wanted to ask you for 10 years... I got to meet you once. I was at the Democratic National Convention in 2004 in Boston. I saw you outside of the event. I was nervous, but I walked right up to you and told you I was a big fan and that Serendipity was one of my favorite movies of all time. (I was a 19 year old female college student) You rolled your eyes and walked away from me. It really upset me, and changed my opinion of you ever since. What gives? Do hate you that movie or something? Why be so rude to a young fan? It took a ton of courage for me to tell you that, and you squashed me.

johncusackFPF5 karma

its hard to explain to someone that its hard to be approached all the time and have patience all the time-- sometimes your in public and in the middle of a though and its hard to be gracious... if i was rude i apologize.. hope your well.

GabrielDunn4 karma

Why do you hate on Savage Steve Holland and Better Off Dead...it was one of the funniest moves ever and really contributed to your success. People love you for it, but you act like he did you a disservice with the final cut.

johncusackFPF4 karma

i awsered that i dont hate in anybody.. truly..

InMyCity7133 karma

What was it like watching that Mustang drug through the watch tower in Con Air? Or was it a Stingray...

johncusackFPF15 karma