I'm an actor from movies such as DAZED & CONFUSED, Saving Private Ryan, The Hebrew Hammer and 2 Days in Paris. I've 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. I have released 3 self-produced records under the moniker The Goldberg Sisters, and has written & directed 3 films. I am also a photographer, and was once a Viner.

I recently wrapped production on NO WAY JOSE, which I wrote, directed, produced, and starred in. The film also stars Ahna O'Reilly, Emily Osment, Gillian Jacobs, and Pat Healy. In this "Coming of Middle Age Comedy" I play Jose Stern, an erstwhile indie-rocker on the verge of turning 40, relegated to playing children's birthday parties and has just been kicked to the curb by my fiancé. NO WAY JOSE is arriving on DVD and Digital HD July 7 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Check out the trailer here!

Here to answer your questions, so ask away!


/r/IAmA mod /u/courtiebabe420 is here helping me out via phone today.


Comments: 151 • Responses: 44  • Date: 

GeorgeLovesBOSCO25 karma

Hey Eddie, do you still think Chandler had sex with your girlfriend and killed your fish?

MrAdamGoldberg28 karma

I don't know as Eddie suffers from dementia now and as no recollection of a man named Chandler.

ibru7 karma

Hi, Adam.

Thanks for doing this AMA.


You played 'Mike' in one of my all-time favourite movies, Dazed and Confused. In the 'confession' scene in the car with Cynthia and Tony, Tony questioned what Mike wanted to do if he wasn't going to go to law school. Mike replied, "I wanna dance!" If he had followed through with his wish, what genre of dance do you think he'd have chosen and do you think he'd have been able to make a nice little career out of it?

MrAdamGoldberg10 karma

Ha! I improvised that line in rehearsal so I always love hearing it when people yell it at me from moving cars. I think he definitely would have gone Martha Graham style…but become easily frustrated and sued probably after injuring himself.

ingloriousmanterds6 karma

The Hebrew Hammer has a special place in my heart; it's is my all time favorite Hanukkah movie ever and actually helped me form a great friendship with my screenwriting professor. What was the best day on set shooting that movie?

MrAdamGoldberg5 karma

Lovely. That was a lot of fun. Andy Dick and I had a lot of fun, he cracks me up. Loved Judy, she was my choice for the part. We just generally had a blast. Mario was badass, his dad super badass. That was a cool day, meeting Melvin. A horrible day was one of the climatic scenes and I had just the worst migrainous hangover. I used to really be able to tie one on in those days, particularly in NYC, and in the throes of a breakup (which actually had occurred months before, but tell that to my psyche).

shaneration6 karma

Love you as an actor, but I absolutely HATED you in Saving Private Ryan (because of the stabbing scene). I mean, seriously, every time I saw you after that I would scream at my tv FUCKING KILL HIM YOU PUSSY. So that's a pretty good testament to your acting chops. I guess my question is, how much did you hate yourself after shooting that scene?

MrAdamGoldberg19 karma

I loved myself after shooting that scene. I hate myself more or less the rest of the time for matters totally unrelated.

[deleted]1 karma


shaneration2 karma

So, uh, who is your favorite photographer from history?

MrAdamGoldberg4 karma

tough question. off top of head: William Eggelston (who signed my Mamiya Super 23, a camera he used to use)…uh, Emmet Gowin….Robert Frank….Weegee…David Lynch….didn't know vivan maier until the movie(s) about her but super impressed….arbus…not enough sleep to do this question justice!

cuntrocious5 karma

Hey Adam! So I'm sure that we can't ever expect an FX Fargo Spinoff series with the hitmen, but let me just say that I think it'd be a huge success. You and Mr.Harvard's characters were super on point. How was it working with the FX Fargo crew? Did you enjoy it?

MrAdamGoldberg9 karma

Yes, that would be a lot of fun….and work. It was SUPER challenging, due to the fact I was editing my movie "No Way Jose," learning sign language, and trying to keep from freezing. But I loved working with Russell and my sign language coach Catherine, and Noah who created the show and with whom i did The Unusuals. He always allows me lots of input and is super collaborative but at the same time he gives you such great stuff to work with, you don't ever have to stray far from the page.

lucusmarcus4 karma

How is Jim Gaffigan to work with? Looking forward to the show and your new movie.

MrAdamGoldberg5 karma

He's a pleasure and a funny mofo. We kept each other laughing. When we weren't crying. Thanks!!

LynnTanner4 karma

Hi Adam, I think reddit is shitting you, they linked Adam F. Goldberg's Wikipedia page to your name in the schedule. NOT ACCEPTABLE! IS IT?

MrAdamGoldberg17 karma

my wife just informed me of this. ironic, given that this nomenclature confusion has become alas the bane of if not my existence then at least my twitter account.

devianaut3 karma

thanks for taking the time to do an ama, adam! I've always enjoyed your roles, be it large or small films. also, I absolutely love your photography!

my recent favorite film of yours was [untitled] - what was your experience like and also do you have any memorable or funny stories to tell from that film?

MrAdamGoldberg3 karma

Thank you so much, photography is a major passion. I too am super fond of that film. I don't know about any crazy stories per se, just that performing the musical sequences were perhaps the most fun and challenging as we were actually performing them in addition to performing to "playback" of david lang's brilliant compositions.

rubyaran3 karma

Hi Adam. Your work means so much to me, and you as an artist have inspired me as no other has. I’m only in high school now, but I want to get started on working on films. What advice do you have for an aspiring filmmaker who wants to make work like yours? How and where do I begin?

P.S. I’ve heard before that you don’t enjoy playing live, do you think this might change? I would love to see you perform.

MrAdamGoldberg4 karma

Hi thanks so much. Means a lot. I think just making stuff leads to stuff. Find a camera, start shooting, involve your friends, be active in the community. Art I think leads to art. I don't foresee playing live in the near future but there are a few performances here and there on the web, youtube, etc. Thanks so much!

JustAnotherSexyTaco2 karma

Hello! Thanks for doing this AMA!

Will you ask me a question?

MrAdamGoldberg6 karma

what are you wearing?

Epic_Mile2 karma

How similar is Jim Gaffigan's character to real life Jim Gaffigan? What is it like working with him?

MrAdamGoldberg7 karma

The character is probably a far less self aware version of real Jim. We had a lot of fun and food.

LeonardZelig2 karma

Caught you live in Paris a few years back opening for the Dears. Loved the show and have been enjoying The Goldberg Sisters ever since, and really everything you do!

How much of a priority is The Goldberg Sisters for you and can we expect more?

MrAdamGoldberg3 karma

Wow. That was the most uncomfortable experience I've maybe ever had and I've had a lot of them. But that means an awful lot. I had a horrible migraine and we had been traveling for days, but playing very little and struggling to make record that was recorded utilizing 10s of tracks somehow playable as a trio w/no drums and loop pedals. Wow, nuts. Thanks again. It's a huge priority and a I have a backlog of hundreds of songs that I need to whittle down into another record. Thanks again!

spiritguideTO2 karma

1)What was it like working with Marc Maron? 2)What did you think of his interview with President Obama?

MrAdamGoldberg5 karma

marc is a pal now, we had such a blast doing that show. We're talking about writing something together. I absolutely was impressed with the interview and felt it struck a lovely balance between being faithful to marc's show and respecting the Office.

tcg28152 karma

Hello Mr. Goldberg, I loved Mr. Numbers in the recent Fargo TV show. What was it like working on the show? Since the second season is going back in time a few years from the first season, any chance we will see Mr. Numbers and Mr. Wrench again?

MrAdamGoldberg5 karma

Thanks! Nope, not on season two. Loved doing it….well, actually it was quite challenging, as I was editing my feature I had only just completed shooting, "No Way Jose," days before beginning Fargo and I had a lot to learn, namely the ASL sign language. And it was freezing. I mean 30 below at one point. But I kept muttering through chattering teeth to self "This is worth it this is worth it…" and it was!

allidoiskalekalekale2 karma

Adam, you say "was once a Viner." What happened to your illustrious Vine career?

MrAdamGoldberg1 karma

I went to deep man, needed to come up for air. Also began work on my film, now out, "No Way Jose," that very same year.

jewitch1 karma

Hi Adam. I am often told I look like you. Like all the time. But I also get told I look like Alfred Molina. I once saw you at Freestyle photo but didn't think to bother you. Do people also tell you you look like me or Alfred Molina?

MrAdamGoldberg2 karma

I have often wondered why I haven't played a relative of Molina and why you haven't played my brother. I love Freestyle! Right on.

EvaBerry1 karma

Is being a celebrity really as glamorous as it sounds?

MrAdamGoldberg7 karma

you'd have to ask a celebrity!

uplawyered9131 karma

You've done a lot over the years in the entertainment industry. What is something you haven't done that you want to do still?

If you weren't working in this industry, what do you think you would do instead?

MrAdamGoldberg5 karma

I would like to direct something perhaps I did not write, so far having only directed my smaller self or co-writtenfilms. I'd actually like to direct commercials and focus strictly on the visuals, since I am a very visual person. I would love to find a way out of the industry. Hmmm….I often think of farming. Except for the fact that I would be an abject failure as a farmer.

Rico_Rizzo1 karma

Mr. Goldberg, Dazed and Confused is one of my favorite movies. What is your fondest memory of being on that set?

Also - Do you still just wanna dance???

MrAdamGoldberg5 karma

Always wanna dance. Though I'm achier than even I was at the time of making that film. I loved the whole experience, but the fight scene was a personal highlight of my life up until that point. Thanks!

SugarbakerExpress1 karma

Huge fan for a super long time. I'm dying to get some clarification for my own prurient interest: You make several references in social media about being into "big guys", and it's got the gay bear community all a fluff, but we also know you've got a wife. It would make it easier for us to lust after you if you could clarify?

I mean...we're still going to lust after you, but a glimmer of hope goes a long way. :D

MrAdamGoldberg3 karma

Wow, who knew? I guess I had early aspirations or you might say ass-pirations to being a gay icon. But alas my wife is not a beard, though I am a beard fan and wearer. But please keep lusting, keep the fire alive.

profound_whatever1 karma

Hi Adam! I'm in need of some new music, so I'm wondering if you could help me out. What songs would you choose as the soundtrack if you were:

  • Unlocking the secrets of the universe?

  • Catching your lover's eyes from across a smoky bar?

  • Saving the world through the power of music?

  • Stalking a dangerous criminal through a blizzard?

PS You had one of my all-time favorite two-word deliveries, in Untitled: "That's……. wise."

MrAdamGoldberg4 karma

At the risk of being painfully self-promotional, I would recommend all 3 The Goldberg Sisters records, particularly re: universe secrets. but also Bridget St. John, Karen Dalton, Vashti Bunyan. Glad you liked Untitled!!

ShadyCrow1 karma

Hey Adam -- I'm sure you get sick of questions about Saving Private Ryan, but I have to tell you, your death scene in that really rocked me -- it's an indelible memory in my theater-going experience. Can you speak to anything about shooting this scene specifically? Was it an intensely emotional experience?

MrAdamGoldberg2 karma

It was both emotional and exciting. Strangely cathartic to face down your mortality like that. It was a physically challenging scene to shoot. They made a whole in the floor, I was basically standing on it and leaning back to appear as though I was lying down, put my arms through a prosthetic chest and leg dummy basically, so he could stab "me." Managing to make that appear real and painful was probably the biggest challenge. Thanks!

rubyaran1 karma

Just ordered my No Way Jose DVD, I'm so excited. Did your own life influence this script and the characters? Do you consider yourself to be a lot like the character you play?

MrAdamGoldberg1 karma

Thanks!! yes, this was extremely autobiographical, albeit exaggerated. Many of the characters are actual friends, some of whom are non-actors playing some version of themselves. It was a very homespun affair. Thanks again and enjoy!

starfares0 karma

hi adam! your photography has recently inspired me to get back into it myself, as well as grabbing a polaroid sun 600 from the impossible project. i've done film photography all my life but i had barely touched instant film, except for a brief period of time where i owned one as a kid. what would be your advice? and what is it about instant film that you favor?

MrAdamGoldberg2 karma

Great! Well, unfortunately my best advise is also the most costly. Shoot a lot! Especially with IP film and expired film which can have surprising and often wonderfully surprising results. But the more you shoot, the more control you will have and then you can shoot a little less to get what you're after! Have fun!

LynnTanner0 karma

  1. Are you planning on touring Europe again with with The Goldberg Sisters? Maybe when your litte is taller. Or is this time over? If so, please come to Germany as well.

  2. How do you deal with the Fargo fan fiction about Mr. Numbers and Mr. Wrench? Are you flattered? Or maybe a bit confused like I am?

Then, thank you for the AMA, I'm a huge fan and cannot wait to see No Way Jose. I already rented it, but I also have seen it'll come out on DVD in Germany as well. Thank you for that!

MrAdamGoldberg0 karma

  1. I was compelled my my brief time with a record label to do that "tour" which was quite difficult as I'm a terrible traveller and had to figure out a way to perform music that was really designed for a huge band to play, rather than a small trio of us using lots of loops, etc. That said I love Europe.
  2. I had known very little about fan fiction in general so I found that world just fascinating in general. So nice of you to say, and thank you so much for the support!

ShadyCrow0 karma

So be honest: back when you won the role of Oreo Man, did you see yourself directing features before you turned 40? Was that a dream at that point?

MrAdamGoldberg1 karma

I was stoked man. Turned 20 that day. I thought the future couldn't get any brighter. but yes, I had been making short films since I was a teen.

ShadyCrow0 karma

Hey Adam, thanks for doing this -- really dig your style, your skills, and the things in life that you care about. My question: I'm sure you have as complicated a relationship with critics as any artist, but I'm wondering if you're aware of The Dissolve and that they announced that they're closing shop today? As a film fan it's distressing to see the best site we've ever had about movies can't be sustained, and I'm wondering your thoughts on the value of intelligent analysis of film by people who don't make movies?

MrAdamGoldberg2 karma

Thanks so much, means a lot. You just brought my attention to The Dissolve's dissolution. I have long been concerned about a decided lack of thoughtful and meaningful discourse on film. I for years wanted to write a movie called The Critic about an angry and maybe destructive film critic. Not as revenge. Simply because the lifestyle and psychology of a mainstream critic is fascinating to me. And because I believe also being a film critic and fan does not preclude one and shouldn't preclude one from being a creative producer of work, i.e, godard, truffaut, etc….But often times it seems there is a "can't do, but can criticize" element to a field which I should think would want to celebrate the effort of artists, not merely the final result. But maybe this is being a little too easy on the artist. Not sure.

liamquane0 karma

What was it like working with Steven Spielberg? what was his directorial process like if you know? :~) thank you

MrAdamGoldberg1 karma

He didn't shot list or storyboard that movie, so far as we could tell. He wanted to shoot more from the hip, unlike Amistad, which he had just made. He wanted to utilize the an improvisational quality both camera wise and actor wise. It was almost impossible to track what he was doing, so much was in his head. How anyone could pull that off on that scale, boggles the mind.

liamquane0 karma

What is your writing process like, do you plan methodically or do you just jump straight in?

MrAdamGoldberg1 karma

It usually begins with an idea, some rough outline, then jumping in. I can't seem to fully conjure the big picture -- i.e a fully fleshed out outline or board -- until I get to know the characters and tone a little bit by writing about them, if even I end up scrapping that later.

liamquane0 karma

Do you have any screenwriting advice?

MrAdamGoldberg2 karma

Write past your insecurities about writing, write past the things which may be stumping you, and go back to them later. I don't do this nearly enough and it's a big impediment to my writing. Boringly, I find the sticky note thing to be really super affective.

liamquane0 karma

What was it like working with Ron Howard?

MrAdamGoldberg1 karma

Love that guy, meant to mention him in q about directors who stand out. Truly truly generous, nice, collaborative, and generally a pleasure just to talk to.

feverishpoptart0 karma

Hello! Did you quit Meerkat for good? If so, it was fun while it lasted.

MrAdamGoldberg2 karma

Hmmmm…I guess I should get back on and promote my film, but what I found so compelling about it was its creative possibilities, but I also found it frustrating because the audience for such things was either small or fleeting given the amount of effort I tend to put into such things. Hmmm...

liamquane0 karma

Hi Mr. Goldberg, Huge Fan! Can I ask; do you have any directorial advice? Thank you :~)

MrAdamGoldberg1 karma

Ha, same answer I just gave. Be nice and respectful. Actors are vulnerable, name out there, sometimes literally. You can still get what you want -- and often times it's much easier to get what you want -- if you respect the process an actor needs to go through to understand what he or she is doing. I think all directors should have to at a least act a little bit, if just in an acting class. Thanks!!

liamquane0 karma

What is the best thing a director can do for you on set?

MrAdamGoldberg1 karma

BE NICE. Be respectful.

liamquane0 karma

What was it like working on Friends?

MrAdamGoldberg1 karma

a little intimating to start, they were already all so tight, but everybody was real generous, and we had lot of laughs, lots and lots of fun.

liamquane0 karma

How did you go from playing Eddie on Friends to Jimmy on Joey?

MrAdamGoldberg1 karma

Got a call one day, living in hotel, just booted to the curb by my ex-lady at the time, "wanna do joey?" sure I do, love Matt, came to love the whole bunch of them.

liamquane0 karma

What was it like working with David Fincher?

MrAdamGoldberg1 karma

Ahhhh, just spoke of him. Super hard and super wonderful. I love this guy. We tried to do Panic Room together but I had a scheduling issue. I would do just about anything for him -- case in point, Zodiac, wherein I said I'd do craft service, and they said, we have this tiny part and I said yes without even reading it.



Two questions:

  1. You were fantastic in Fargo (and I mean fantastic, one of the best characters in the show). Were you doing actual sign language in the show, and if so, was that difficult to get down?

  2. When you brush your teeth, do you put the toothpaste or water on the toothbrush first (and if you say you don't use water and rawdog it I will be sad)?

MrAdamGoldberg3 karma

  1. Thank you! Yes, had to learn ASL on my days off from "No Way Jose" the movie I was directing just before Fargo started shooting. And then I'd learn as we went along. Russell was a huge help and I had a wonderful coach named Catherine MacKinnon.
  2. I've never heard of not using water. That just seems sad.

ShadyCrow0 karma

Hey man, just watched NO WAY JOSE and I really, really dug it. I'm sure you get this a lot these days, but in all the movies you've made (and in some of your acting roles, too) I get the same vibes than I get from Cassavetes (my favorite filmmaker). The long scenes that just get to breathe makes it feel so real and it just moves me in a way that even well-made schmaltz never van. I'm guessing the Cassavetes feel is no accident? You're a fan? Keep up the stellar work, man.

MrAdamGoldberg1 karma

ha! you got my number.I actually kept trying to not use him as a frame of reference as I so often do on films I've made, in an attempt to be bit more accessible. I would argue his influence on me was and is more about his process than perhaps his output. Many of these roles were written for friends to play some version of themselves. Many of them not actors or not primarily actors (exceptions being, Ahna, Emily, Gillian,Anna)…and we rehearsed like crazy. I shot almost every scene on a 5d first during rehearsal and edited them to get a sense of how i wanted to shoot, block, and rewrite. Thanks so much!!

liamquane0 karma

What is your process like for directing actors?

MrAdamGoldberg1 karma

I like to rely very heavily on rehearsal process, on getting to know actors personally, on their input and intelligence. I like to find traits i them that we might be able to utilize in the character. This isn't always the approach but often the one I find can be very affective Thanks for asking!

liamquane0 karma

Do you have any advice on set control?

MrAdamGoldberg1 karma

Ha! Snapping is probably not advisable but I can't say that I haven't employed that device. I think constant regrouping can help, just reasserting the terms with your crew, in a way which is firm but empathic. Sounds good in theory anyway right? :)

liamquane0 karma

Are there certain directors you have worked with that stand out from others? if so what makes them stand out?

MrAdamGoldberg1 karma

I worked with David Fincher, only briefly, on Zodiac (though we initially tried to work together on Panic Room, but I was stuck on a short lived tv show, shit!) and he is one of a kind to be sure. Unbelievably meticulous and masterful but also generous to actors. Rick Linklater will always be a role model, a uniquely collaborative and special filmmaker. Spielberg, couldn't even track his genius, so fluent in his craft. Tony Scott, one of the dearest people I ever worked for. Miss him a lot.

Eddie_Cantor-1 karma

Big fan, Mr. Goldberg. What do you think of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict? And would you ever use the topic to sabotage a game of Truth or Dare?

MrAdamGoldberg1 karma

Only to intoxicate a beautiful woman named Roxanne Daner with my clumsy attempt at intelligent conversation. Thanks for your question Eddie!