My 5 Minutes with the President

Actor would ask Obama how he keeps a level head

Veteran actor Josh Pais can be seen in more than 85 feature films and television shows. 

His first big movie role was Raphael in “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” More recently, he starred in Lynn Shelton’s “Touchy Feely,” which premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Other recent Pais films include “Arbitrage,” “Price Check,” “Leaves of Grass,” “Please Give,” “Adventureland,” “Synecdoche, New York” and “Scream 3.” 

{mosads}On the small screen, Pais is currently in Showtime’s series “Ray Donovan.” Pais is the creator of Committed Impulse Actor Training.


ROBIN BRONK: If you had five minutes in the Oval Office with President Obama, what would you discuss with him? What issue would you like him to know about?

Josh Pais: “So, Prez, you’re so poised. So focused. So centered. How do you keep going when you’re faced with huge decisions and opposition? As seems to be inevitable with your job, people are just going to say crap about you (as well as praise, of course). So, how do you keep a level head in the midst of a storm?” 

I’d also like him to know that I have a movie that opened this fall called “Touchy Feely” (it’s On Demand as well). And, I’d like him to watch it.

RB: If you could ask the president one question, what would that be?

JP: Do you ever dance around the White House and say to yourself, “Holycrap, I’m the PRESIDENT!!!!?”

RB: What piece of advice would you give President Obama?

JP: Breathe deep. Be honest. Reflect on what your dreams were as a younger man. This is your time. It’s no mistake you were brought into this office twice. Do what you know is right. And, here’s some advice if you were ever to find yourself in a predicament where you have to eat your words … saying something off the cuff happens to all of us. Better to say you made a rash statement than take steps that could escalate into chaos.

RB: If you were going to send the president to one of your favorite places in the United States for one day, where would that be? Why?

JP: I’d send him up into the peaceful Catskill Mountains to embrace the beauty and the quiet, in order to recharge.

RB: What CD/piece of music would you recommend that the president add to his collection? Why?

JP: Gotan Project. Put this on, Prez. Go ahead. Put the kids to sleep, have a mojito with your beautiful woman and dance around the White House.

RB: Would you ever consider a political career?

JP: Only if I received residuals.


Bronk is CEO of The Creative Coalition — the leading national, nonprofit, nonpartisan public advocacy organization of the entertainment industry. Bronk is a frequent speaker on the role of the entertainment industry in public advocacy campaigns and represents The Creative Coalition and its legislative agenda before members of Congress and the White House. She produced the feature film “Poliwood,” airing on Showtime, and edited the recently published book Art & Soul. Bronk pens this weekly column with assistance from Alex Zaglin.

Tags Human Interest Josh Pais

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