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Ordinary People?

Michael T. Weiss once appeared as a guest on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno." Intrigued to learn (from his resume) that Weiss had featured prominently in Robert Redford's Oscar-winning film, Ordinary People, Leno asked him about it on the show:

Leno: I figured, you know, I saw Ordinary People. You know, it started to stick in my craw, 'cause I know sometimes actors exaggerate. Wouldn't you say?

Weiss: Well, we need to get work mostly.

Leno: I know. But, didn't Timothy Hutton win Best Actor? It won Best Picture. Robert Redford. I think: "Gee, this guy's in the movie." So, I said to someone, "Get me the movie." I watched the movie, and I couldn't find you. Then I looked at the credits, and what I found was -- I finally found you, and you know, you were, like, you were in the movie. No [preempting Weiss's attempted interruption], and I wanna show people. I think this is a pivotal scene. I think this is the part where you make the film, where you stand out as an actor. This is on his resume: Ordinary People, Academy Award winning... I'm looking, and I'm going, "Wow, this guy's done some stuff!" I want you to look for Michael. Here we go. Show the scene.

[The clip rolls.]

Leno: We're gonna freeze it. Okay, and can we circle where he is? That's you there. That's it. That's all. That's your whole scene. That's it. That was the whole movie, wasn't it? ... Did you even meet Robert Redford? Did you even get to meet him?

Weiss: I was very excited to get that job. I made thirty dollars... I stood outside in the freezing cold for twelve hours.

Leno: Really? Just for that one little scene?

Weiss: But I knew I wanted to be an actor.

Leno: Well, there you go. And Robert Redford, did he direct you?

Weiss: He did. He said: "Move over there. Good."

[Weiss's most embarrassing moment? "I had a few parties. When my parents were out of town, I invited everyone over... I went to prom with this girl, who was all pretty and all dressed up and spent thousands of dollars on her dress. And she was all very excited, and everybody brought a bottle of liquor. And in those days, I didn't know you weren't supposed to mix tequila, and vodka, and gin, and wine, and beer in, like, 15 minutes. So, I puked on Kendall Johnson... All over her dress."]

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