David Rasche at the 1st Annual Nautica Oceana City & Sea Party hosted by Cobie Smulders and Alexandra Cousteau Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze
David Rasche of Armando Iannucci's In The Loop and Joel Coen and Ethan Coen's Burn After Reading spoke with me about composting, protecting the oceans, connecting the dots with Alan Rickman, Kate Winslet and Livia Firth's (aka Livia Giuggioli) fast fashion alert. Other guests in support of Oceana included Eric West, Tashiana Washington, Leslie Lopez, Alexis Witt, Miguelina Gambaccini, Sasheer Zamata, Ty Hickson, Ariya Ghahramani, Brent Lamberti, Faith Briggs, and Scott Gomez. Matt Littlejohn and Nancy Golden of Oceana's Executive Committee and Jonathan Frank were on board.
SNL's Sasheer Zamata looking cool Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze
Anne-Katrin Titze: What is your connection to Oceana?
David Rasche: I was invited because I know Peggy Siegal, the woman who runs the party.
AKT: And you have a connection to the cause, yes?
DR: It's sort of like this. If you drink a bottle of vodka, just drink it down, you would think, well, I'm fine. Right? I feel absolutely fine. This couldn't possibly hurt me, this clear liquid? And then in a few minutes you would feel worse and you would feel worse and worse. And that, I think, is what's happening with us and the ocean.
We throw all of this stuff in, we think, oh, this is just a little bit. It couldn't possibly hurt, the ocean is so big. But now we are finding out it's not so big. With all the miles and miles and miles of plastic all over the place, you can't imagine it.
AKT: Did you read in the paper last week that restaurants here in New York don't even have to compost? That's an insane amount of garbage.
DR: Yes, it's insane. I just was in Morocco. There is no garbage, because the animals eat it, right.
AKT: If they can eat it. If it's not in plastic bags.
DR: Plastic is a problem. I compost. I do it on my own. We have a little place in Massachusetts and compost there. I am not active with any group about the ocean, but I am sympathetic. There's just too much going on. It's like smoking a cigarette. You look at the package and think, well, this is just a little white thing. And then you light it and you think, this couldn't possibly hurt me. And it's the same thing. We're flying everywhere and using too much stuff.
Sun setting at the Nautica Oceana City & Sea Party - Gansevoort Park Avenue Rooftop Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze
AKT: Were you a smoker?
DR: I was. But not anymore. I mean, we don't think it will hurt us. We think, I'll just fly to Los Angeles, the flight is very comfortable. It's very hard to connect what you're doing with what the effects are like.
AKT: I am connecting some dots with a few conversations I've had over the past month. One was with Livia Firth on the dangers of fast fashion and her Green Carpet Challenge. She suggested that we don't buy any clothing we won't wear at least 30 times. I asked Alan Rickman on the red carpet with Kate Winslet last week.
DR: I qualify. I would say the jeans maybe three times, and everything else, at least 30. And I do compost. It's pretty crazy - all those vegetables from when you're cooking, it all just goes in the landfill and it could just be making dirt.
AKT: You, as an actor, as someone in the public eye, have a voice. People often are unaware, because they can be.
DR: I think if the weather changes, it will get people's attention.
Coming up, a conversation with Senior Advisor to Oceana and Expedition Blue Planet filmmaker, Alexandra Cousteau.
Read my conversation with Cobie Smulders on the impact cinema can have and the work she is doing with Oceana.