Adam Goldberg is an actor from movies such as DAZED & CONFUSED, Saving Private Ryan, The Hebrew Hammer and 2 Days in Paris. He's also been a prominent guest star on many television shows such as Friends and Entourage, while starring in several others as a regular, the names of which have escaped him. He has released 3 self-produced records under the moniker The Goldberg Sisters, and has written & directed 3 films, the third of which, No Way Jose, he is currently editing. He is also a photographer, was once a Viner, and is currently typing this bio. Feel free to ask him anything: he may or may not be in the bathroom at the time.

HEY GUYS, I GOTTA GO TO MY SHRINK. Although I'm not sure I'll have anything left to say to him. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR (MAINLY) THOUGHTFUL AND SUPER NICE QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS. I'll be doing this again, great community. Best to you all! xoag

Comments: 159 • Responses: 42  • Date: 

ronson191124 karma

Just want to say that the Hebrew Hammer is one of my favorite films. What was making that one like?

MrAdamGoldberg24 karma

I remember being hungover a lot. It was actually a bit of strange time. Not long before I had moved back to Los Angeles from New York, in the throes of a breakup and not long after 9/11. So this was the first time I was back. I was staying in The Chelsea Hotel -- pre-gentrification--living out dreams/nightmares of being a fucked up artist, writing songs, many of which would later be recorded on my first album. And by day, doing a Zucker Bros-esque comedy. But it was a lot of fun, though quite a lot of work. I felt a heavy burden, which is ironic given the nature of the material. But it was my first proper "lead" role really.

underdabridge19 karma


I just wanted to say that on Friends you made me want to stab you through the heart, and then in Saving Private Ryan watching you get stabbed through the heart was fucking devastating. So...

You're a good actor or something.

MrAdamGoldberg31 karma

Definitely something.


Hey man! Dug you on Entourage and digging Fargo. When you shook Lester's hand and say, "see you soon Lester" and acted all nonchalant in front of the deputy was some ballin acting. We the viewer know you're this "bad" guy but if we didn't you would have no idea. Just look like two dudes looking into vacation info. Keep up the good work man! I just realized I didn't ask you a question at all.

MrAdamGoldberg27 karma

I'm gonna answer anyway. The answer is green, but on Mondays sometimes, fuchsia.

steveagee10 karma

Adam, how are you today? Are you dizzy? Scared? Sore? - Agee

MrAdamGoldberg19 karma

Awful vertigo after a night developing photos and making a fucking vine to promote this that nobody bothered to look at anyway. Reminded of why I left. Woke with vertigo. Eating a bagel now. How are you doing?

mrslipple10 karma

Do you still wanna dance?

MrAdamGoldberg20 karma

No, I'm dead in inside.

dayofthedead2048 karma

Hi Adam, Thanks for doing this ama! I’m a big fan. Saving Private Ryan is actually my favorite film of all time.

My question is I heard you and your fellow cast members of Saving Private Ryan had to endure boot camp before shooting. I also heard everyone wanted to quit almost immediately but Tom Hanks motivated everyone to stay – is this story true?

Also your character in Private Ryan had one of the most horrible death scenes I’ve ever seen in a movie – how did you mentally prepare yourself for that scene? It seemed like you two were actually trading blows – did you and the other actor hurt one another while filming that scene?

MrAdamGoldberg19 karma

Thanks. Yeah, the stories are true. We were all pussies and Hanks was a champ. But honestly, he was the glue that kept us together during that fairly grueling period. So, in many ways, was the guy who was riding our asses, for whom I will always have tons of respect --Captain Dale Dye. He put a little tough guy in me. That scene was cathartic in some ways. It was, in a strange way, a wonderful day. But yes, I was slathered in Arnica the day after, bruised and sore as hell.

2th8 karma

Hey Adam, first off, on behalf of the other mods over at /r/FargoTV we would love to invite you over to our little subreddit to join in on discussions for the latest episodes of the show. Second, as a fellow Jew, I feel that there are not enough Hebrew heroes out there today. And there are certainly not enough films about them. How do you, the Hebrew Hammer, plan to rectify this situation?

MrAdamGoldberg12 karma

That's cool, let me look into that. I'm getting horrible carpal tunnel by doing this, but let's see what a few analgesics to do rectify that. Well, to be fair to my mother, I'm a half-Jew. But in terms of rectifying, I plan on existing as long as humanly possible.

the_aptly_named8 karma

You are literally answering everyone's question, and I'm just sitting here with my dick in my question, sorry.

MrAdamGoldberg31 karma

I also am answering every question with my dick in my hand, so you really have no excuse.

NotafanofKorn7 karma

Hey Adam, love your work! 2 Questions: 1) What was it like filming 2 Days in Paris with Julie Delpy? 2) How hard was it to learn the sign language language for your role in Fargo?

MrAdamGoldberg17 karma

Hi there....Well....she and I were/are ex-boyfriend/girlfriends. So, some of the same issues that arose during our relationship (and are somewhat chronicled in the film) certainly came up during the shooting. I love the film too but it was a meta-bizarro experience. We had been workshoping it for a year by ourselves, then suddenly we were in France making what in some ways felt like this little home movie, but with everybody watching. It was a very collaborative affair and in spite of our differences, I'll always be grateful to her for that.

Hard, but not as hard as I had feared. I was really concerned I may not be able to do the role, because I was directing a film, right up until the weekend before my first, ASL heavy, scene in Fargo a couple days later. I just feared I wouldn't be able to do it justice. But Catherine, my tutor, and Russell were super supportive and incredibly helpful. So thanks to them....

seekup417 karma

Hi Adam, I'm curious looking back to Dazed and Confused what was the vibe like on set, did you feel like you were making a movie that would be held in such high regard 20 years later. Such an amazing cast that went on to do some great things. The fight you pick with Nicky Katt has always been a favorite scene for me.

MrAdamGoldberg12 karma

to be honest, yeah! We sort of did know we were making a great, cult-like movie. But we were also really young and full of hubris. Also, the track record of the casting director, Don Phillips (fast times, etc) and the producers was in line with the notion this could be something special. i mean, it was clearly less mainstream than films like Animal House and Fast Times, but I was a huge fan of Rick's first film, Slacker, and this was sort of the film at the time everybody wanted to be in. I was super excited. And we destroyed that hotel. We had a lot of fun...Although I think I might have thought I was miserable at the time, looking back,I realize I was having my equivalent of a lot fun. Yeah, the fight scene sold me. I wanted to do the movie if for not other reason, than that alone.

JWoodzy6 karma

Was the amount of partying behind the scenes of Dazed and Confused as crazy as everyone says it was?

MrAdamGoldberg8 karma

yes. and yes.

soapandfoam6 karma

You're a genius actor and I loved you in 2 days in Paris. How much was improvised and how was that process? Also any great stories on set with the beautiful Julie Delpy?

MrAdamGoldberg9 karma

Well, we don't have enough bandwith to get into Julie stories...She and I went out for a year and a half, years before making that film. So much of the dynamic you see on screen, reflected ours off screen. It also seeped back into the actual making of the film, so that too is another story. But in sum, yes there was a lot of improvisation. That was the big impetus for me to do it, because I love to improvise. And she's a great improviser as well. We workshopped it together for a yea, prior to shooting and some scenes for sure were "written" out while still others would say, "Jack tries to buy a burger, but the lady doesn't understand him." Etc. Thanks for your comment.

Aclockworkamber6 karma

Hey, Adam! I love your ability to do 'neurotic' well. Often, with the best character actors, I think it stems from some center of reality. Do you deal with anxiousness or idiosyncrasies that you carry on screen?

Also, where's the wood chipper? =)

MrAdamGoldberg9 karma

I'm super centered and always calm. I have no idea what you're talking about. Actually, take a look at my response to Steve Agee's question up there; he and I have a blog actually on Tumblr where we chronicle our misery.

Wclewis5 karma

Hey Adam, thanks for doing an AMA!

What is your favorite thing to do on your off time?

MrAdamGoldberg8 karma

I'm a fairly avid, nay, obsessive photographer and music maker.

ronson19115 karma

What was it like working with Steven Spielberg on Saving Private Ryan?

MrAdamGoldberg13 karma

super collaborative guy. Didn't imagine he'd be so....A great, grueling experience.

Call_Me_Jimmy5 karma

Hey Adam!

Your death scene in saving private ryan is one of my all time favorite scenes. It's so damn powerful and you can feel the characters despair of what is about to happend.

How great was it to work on that movie with such a awesome director and cast?

Do you have any funny stories from the set?

Best wishes from Sweden!

MrAdamGoldberg11 karma

Yes, that scene was one of my favorites to do. I'm glad it affected you. It was actually a last minute change to the script. Initially I was just supposed to get shot while running, but I think Dale Dye (as he tells it anyway)had been talking to Steven about my skills in boot camp with bayonet and how I should have a hand to hand death scene. Steven was wonderful, directing that scene. It was like a three way conversation between the three of us -- Steven, myself, the other actor -- in a way. Both Steven and I wanted it to be as realistic as possible so we talked a lot about that.

We, the guys, had a lot of fun. We were pretty burnt most of the time, but hung out like a little family, lived together, etc. It was a good group.

zach_fell5 karma

Hi Adam! Big fan.

I'm wondering why you got out of Vine? You post occasionally but it seems like you're frustrated with the app - do you think all the changes in the community and popular people fueled your decision? And do you think that other 'big name' viners got out for similar reasons as you?

Thanks so much! I found out about you through Vine and fell in love with your music through that medium, for what it's worth.

MrAdamGoldberg7 karma

ha. Well, made a Vine to "promote" this. But yeah, just sort of burnt out. And I've been making a feature since August. Currently editing it, so that's a pretty consuming task which sort of quells the filmmaking urge in me. But yeah, it was inevitable it would become a sort of short form youtube and commodified, which is fine of course, just maybe not as "pure" fun as it once was. Thanks and best to you...

sharkey993 karma

Hi Adam, thanks for talking with us! I love your work, especially so in Saving Private Ryan. I was particularly impressed by your ability to convey your character's personal struggle with the situation he was in. I was wondering what kinds of research you did for the role? Thank you!

MrAdamGoldberg7 karma

Thanks so much. Watched LOTS of documentaries and read a lot of Stephen Ambrose books. Plus our boot camp really took the world out of the realm of history books and helped put it into our bones.

Thinkyt3 karma

If could could be an actor in any book to movie creation (or remake) what would it be?

MrAdamGoldberg4 karma

There's a book called Stern that actually Winona Ryder told me about when I met her once. She had seen a film I had directed, I Love Your Work, and said it reminded her of the sort of fever-dreamish book, Stern. So then I read that, and thought she was right on. I also spent a good part of the '90s madly in love with her, so I could have been partial to her suggestion.

dicklaurent973 karma

  1. Are you and your partner from Fargo supposed to be a reference to Ratzo Rizzo and Joe Buck from Midnight Cowboy? The fact that your characters from the show dress, respectively, like the ones from the movie leaves me inquisitive.

  2. How do you feel about your performance in Dazed and Confused 21 years later?

MrAdamGoldberg7 karma

It honestly only crossed my mind when a journalist brought it up. Our only note or insight really into our characters was that we were an old married couple, which I guess is not dissimilar also to Midnight Cowboy.

Honestly, I don't love it.I was too excited and too cerebral an actor then. I was in my head....except maybe for the fight scene, that felt very honest...though physical acting often does. But I the movie is definitely one of the most defining experiences in my life.

Rrrrobertttt3 karma

Are you related to the other Adam Golberg who created The Goldbergs?

MrAdamGoldberg8 karma

No, because I would have said to him, hey you sure you wanna name the main character Adam Goldberg, do you think maybe there might be some confusion. Actually I would have bee less passive aggressive than that if we were related.

mewithoutCthulhu3 karma

As a musician and photographer, using your status are there any other musicians or photographers that you would recommend checking out or that you think deserve more attention than they currently get?

MrAdamGoldberg5 karma

Well, there's a lot probably. If you look at some of the people I follow on Tumblr and Instagram you'll get a sense of some of the photographers I really dig. A pal of mine, Ben Parks, does wonderful stuff. Well, we're pals because he does wonderful stuff, we "met" online,then became real world photo pals and collaborators. There's great musicians I work with, Andrew Lynch, Aaron Espinoza of Earlimart, who are tremendously talented songwriters and musicians.

PandoraBlackBox3 karma

With who do u wanna collaborate someday ?

Ur best memories on set : tv shows and movies ?

Any phobia?

MrAdamGoldberg5 karma

The question, isn't "any phobia?" But, "Are there any phobias you don't have." ;) Probably directing my own films, which is both the most stressful but also among the most fulfilling experiences. There's a lot of great memories. But Dazed and Confused was like the condensed college experience I never had (after dropping out after my Freshman year). I mean, who doesn't like to go the shooting range with a bunch of insane 20 yr old actors after binging all night on booze and getting chased around by the hotel security guard. Actually, I don't. Not a big shooting range fan. But I did enjoy pissing off the security guard.

clungedestroyer50002 karma

How did you manage to let Peter Burke disarm you?

MrAdamGoldberg9 karma

is that from white collar? They paid me so I let him.

limeman212 karma

What was your favorite movie you have ever acted in or directed?

MrAdamGoldberg8 karma

Well, I'm partial to the movies I've directed, those are very special to me. The current one, that I'm editing now, is a bit, or actually a lot, more accessible than the other two I made, so maybe a few more people will see this one. Anyway, as an actor, Dazed and Confused was such a seminal experience, so in some ways it will always be my favorite. Other than a small part in Mr. Saturday Night, it was really my first film, my first location shoot Others I'm proud of are Saving Private Ryan, Beautiful Mind, 2 Days in Paris, a little film I did called Untitled. I like that one a lot.

letitgoelsa2 karma

What's your favorite food? Movie? Book?

MrAdamGoldberg7 karma

Probably sushi, but big fan of all food Asian. Too many movies...Lost Highway, Double Indemnity, Modern Romance, Taxi Driver, Stardust Memories, Breathless, The Odd Couple, The Long Goodbye, Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice....I could go all day. I have a hard time reading. ADD, bad vision, or tv baby? But the last great book I read was Nabakov's "Despair."

InternetSpacePolice2 karma

Apple juice or orange juice?

MrAdamGoldberg11 karma

I have orange juice in front of me as I type this. But I'm sitting on a jar of apple juice.

Bigassbird2 karma

Eddie! You have any luck on the tables lately?

Seriously. How can you act crazy so well?

PS Private Ryan was mine and my husbands first date movie. Is that weird? Some people think it's weird.

MrAdamGoldberg7 karma

The first date I took my longtime girlfriend on was a gruesome and depressing Iraq war documentary called "No End in Sight."

BlazyBlaze2 karma


First, thanks for doing this AMA. Loved your work in SPR and D&C, but The Hebrew Hammer? Aww man, My jewish/Israeli sides were aching after 10 minutes into that movie.

So my question might be a bit heavy, so Id understand if youd prefer not to answer. I was wondering how do you see yourself as someone with jewish heritage? Are you more of a secular type or do you still practice some traditions (Yom Kipur, Passover etc.)? And if you do than does it serve a religious or a traditional purpose for you?

And youre always welcome for latkes if your ever around the 'chood, just dont forget the mani.

MrAdamGoldberg7 karma

Thanks. I'm half Jewish. My mother isn't Jewish, though I believe it was as much her idea as anyone's to send me to Jewish day school, which I attended until I was 11. By the time I turned 13 I was too burned out for a Bar Mitzvah. I feel Jewish culturally to be sure, but also have fought the notion that one's heritage or part of one's heritage should define them or their creativity. It certainly has been complex, more than I would have imagined, being an actor so readily identified with the culture. I grew up doing plays like Our Town, you know? It didn't matter what I "was" in reality. Becoming an actor and being Jewish or identified as Jewish also makes you keenly aware of the dormant -- and sometimes not very latent-- anti-semitism that exists at there. I grew up in a bubble in that regard. It's disheartening and disgraceful obviously that it exists such as it does. And I'm acutely sensitive to what I think is a very casual racism that exists that a lot of people take for granted. I'm not talking about skinhead stuff, but everyday, pretty pervasive stuff. "Neurotic Jew." etc. Thanks for your question.

eirikdenrode2 karma

Hello Adam! I'm a fan of your photography through instagram and tumblr. Any chance of an exhibit in northern California soon? Galleries in SF/Oakland, CJM, etc?

MrAdamGoldberg5 karma

Hey, thanks so much. I've been wanting to curate the stuff for a while, but just haven't made it happen. It took me about a year to just put together a book (not for sale, but a nice hardcover I use as a portfolio). But I do intend to at some point. I'd like actually to do an exhibition of my blog on Tumblr: photos, music, videos, but real world. Thanks so much again.

Saucy_Wrench1 karma

What took you away from Vine? I used to live for yours.

MrAdamGoldberg3 karma

Well, it was probably verging on unhealthy, my obsession with the app in its early days. So, mainly just burnt out, but also spend a better part of the last 6 months making a feature, which is like 5400 Vines or something. Thanks for being there though!

deuce_hobo1 karma

Just wanted to say, I was the guy who watched "Head Cases". I actually didn't think it was bad. I did drink a lot back then, though...

MrAdamGoldberg3 karma

not as much as i did.


Favorite moment filming Dazed and Confused?

Best Regards,

MrAdamGoldberg6 karma

fight scene.

Voisla1 karma

I loved 2 Days in Paris. What are some of your favorite spots in Paris?

MrAdamGoldberg2 karma

I'm always so confused in Paris (not unlike me in the film). I never know where the hell I am, just that wherever it is I'm struck and inspired by its beauty.

dndplosion9131 karma

Do you feel "famous"? And what is something about fame that the average Joe can't necessarily comprehend? Love your movies, by the way.

MrAdamGoldberg3 karma

i feel fame-ish. I made a movie, called I Love Your Work, the working premise being, what if a guy who was a fan of movies and perhaps paranoid, verging on schizophrenic really, became a famous actor. I sort of addressed the issue of the average joe becoming famous a little there, albeit in a sort of abstract way. But I was always a performer, a ham, etc, so it seemed inevitable that I'd be some sort of jester.

RamsesThePigeon1 karma


MrAdamGoldberg5 karma

I have little recollection of such an encounter, but I also forget the names of my relatives. I don't recall being mistake for Roth, in person anyway. But like I said, my brain's a sieve. I just wanna get through Jose, but I definitely have some ideas cooking. We'll see, gotta make some bread now after a year self-producing a record and a film, but did this pilot for Jim Gaffigan, we'll see what happens there.

sillstaw1 karma

Your Tumblr features a lot of analogue photography. What do you think of digital photography? Also, do you prefer shooting movies on film as well?

MrAdamGoldberg4 karma

I do prefer film. But I have Leica digital camera that I also like quite a lot, but it's nothing like my m6. I'm not sure it will ever be anything more than just immediately gratifying. That said, I just started processing my own film so I can have a bit more of that immediacy. My current film I shot on the Red and yes I prefer film. Not just the look, but the technical aspects of digital -- though I must admit allowed me to shoot A LOT -- I found depressing. Calibrating this and that. With film, you picked a stock and a lighting scheme and that was sort of that. Now, we have to color time all these raw files and though I know some people like that, I like going in sort of creating the look before hand. Thanks for your question.

shtaaap1 karma

Hey adam! i'm an aspiring actor and would love to know what your first real gig was? and when was that moment you realised you actually made it in the acting business! Cheers from Ireland!..

MrAdamGoldberg2 karma

My first gig, other than plays in local theaters, I did growing up, was a small part of a Southern "John" in two scenes with a prostitute, on a pilot for a James Earl Jones show called "Gabriel's Fire." I was 19. I was ecstatic.I sat down with my girlfriend at the time, with my mom, maybe some friends, and watched the episode with a copy of the script in my hand, so I'd know when my scenes were coming up. They never did. Cut out. But within about a year and a half was doing Dazed and Confused, and while still broke, it certainly raised the bar and was a super exciting period. I'll let you know if I ever think I've made it though.

Jetsetter231 karma

Hello AG! I can't believe nobody has asked you your desert island music selections. Since I know you have excellent taste in music... I will. Name 5 albums you can't live without.

Also--- you can only shoot with one camera and one type of film for a month. What do you choose? :o)

MrAdamGoldberg3 karma

Hey you!.... 1. bowie - ziggy stardust 2. miles davis - kind of blue 3. elvis costello - this year's model 4.dionne warwick - bert bacharach collection 5. john lennon - plastic ono

hmmmmmm.....mamiya universal pola 669

AutoBond0 karma

Have you ever snuck up behind William Shattner and said, "He's a Grup! Bump! Bump!"

MrAdamGoldberg4 karma

No, but his description of his home theater to me was a highlight of my life both personally and professionally.

angryitdad-1 karma

Did anyone else think this was the guy from Harmontown?

MrAdamGoldberg11 karma

yeah, I did. I was pretty bummed when I realized it was me.

pigtickler-14 karma

You and the deaf guy are not very good on Fargo. Can you apologize to me for this?

MrAdamGoldberg14 karma

Yeah, I'm sorry.