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In which John and Turtles All the Way Down star Isabela Merced discuss acting, color, the deep love of parents, and compassion toward one's self.
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0:00 - 0:10
Isabela: I don't normally do this. I'm not normally myself on camera. 
John: Funny that you should mention that because I'm not normally someone else. 
[Talking over each other]
John: So for me, this is super uncomfortable. 
Isabela: Okay, so we're switching places!

0:10 - 0:28
John: Good morning Hank, it's Tuesday. I'm joined by Isabela Merced, the star of Turtles All The Way Down. She plays Aza, she's brilliant—
Isabela: I'm with John and he's an amazing writer, but also, he's an actor. 
John: Today's the day that we're filming the cameo, and it's so physically uncomfortable. 

0:28 - 0:44
John: How does acting work? 
Isabela: Acting is a weird thing to be into because you can't just do it whenever. Like singing, you can just start singing—
John: [Nodding] Right. 
Isabela: and someone goes, "you sing! Sing a song! Oh, you act? Act something!" You can't just do that.

0:44 - 0:58
John: You're very, very good. You were just 'her' for me, and now when I think of her, I think of you as her. 
Isabela: That's such an awesome thing to hear as an actor because that's just so reassuring and that's all we look for.

0:58 - 1:10
Isabela: Like literally, we're in this career path because we need reassurance from people. And validation
John: [laughs] It's true for writers as well, actually. 
Isabela: yeah, so. It's amazing to hear that from the person who created it. 

1:10 - 1:27
Isabela: I'm curious about that because I wondered what you envisioned in your head. Did Aza have a face for you, for a minute?
John: That's a great question. Not really. 
Isabela: She was just you with a wig on?
[Both burst out laughing]
John: That's a little too close. It's too good!

1:30 - 1:47
Isabela: I also copied you. 
John: Right. 
Isabela: I copied the way you talk in a way. When we film probably the most difficult scene in the movie— which was, in my opinion—the climax of the movie, with the hand sanitizer. I don't even remember doing that. I just blacked out in that moment. 

1:47 - 2:00
Isabela: I can't remember! It was the weirdest thing.
John: It was painful, I just wanted to stop it, and turn all the lights on, and make sure everyone was okay. 
Isabela: It was the papa in you. 

2:00 - 2:11 
John: Yeah, yeah. Probably the dad in me. 
Isabela: You were looking out for everyone.
John: But also I can feel empathy for Aza that I struggle to feel about myself. 

2:11 - 2:22
John: When I feel really sick, a lot of times I struggle to show myself the same kind of compassion. 
Isabela: That's so true. Yeah, I've learnt that from this, for sure. That I need to give myself a break. 

2:22 - 2:26
John: That was intense, so now I have to think about questions I want to ask you. 
Isabela: Lighthearted ones? 
John: Oh yeah! 

2:26 - 2:40
John: Okay I've got a lighthearted one. 
Isabela: Okay. 
John: What's your favourite colour? 
Isabela: Oh... I think Sage green. Sage green, yeah.

2:40 - 2:45
John: And who is your favourite member of the rock band, The Beatles? 
Isabela: Oh no, I watched your video with [???], you can't even catch me with this one. 
John: God damn!

2:45 - 2:54
John: Well The Beatles thing isn't going to play, damn it. 
Isabela: Wait, what's your favourite colour?
John: Green! 
Isabela: Green! [Starts laughing]
John: It's my whole identity! 

2:54 - 3:03
Isabela: Is it actually your favourite colour? 
John: That's a great question.
Isabela: Do you feel like it was a predetermined thing?
John: I don't know. 
Isabela: You don't. 

3:03 - 3:13
John: There's some really deep blues that I like.
Isabela: Almost like when the sky is almost completely dark.
John: When the sky.. when the sun is... yes. 
Isabela: On the farthest end of the sky. 
John: I have a new favourite colour. 

3:13 - 3:22
John: I have the "Dad-Who-Has-Been-In-Therapy-Since-The-Age-Of-13" energy, so like any time my kids are talking to me about feelings, it's like 'lean in'. 

3:22 - 3:30
Isabela: I wonder if when I'm a parent I'm always going to want them to share things. But I also don't want to look too desperate? 
John: That's so true. That is so well put. 
Isabela: So, how do you do that? 

3:30 - 3:36
John: I don't know! Because I come across as super desperate.
Isabela: And they can sense it too!
John: Yes! And then they pull back.
Isabela: Like they sense it, And then they back away. mmhm. 

3:36 - 3:51
Isabela: What's your favourite animal? 
John: Humans. What about you? 
Isabela: I like dogs, I think dogs—
John: Oh your dog is the best! 
Isabela: I can place a bet on dogs. 
John: I love your dog! I take it back. My favourite species of animal is your dog. 

3:51 - 4:00 
Isabela: Is Bon Bon! 
John: Oh God. Isabela has to get back to work, and also I have to get back to work. 
Isabela: Oh yeah, you're going to. Yeah. Hank, I'll see you on Friday!