This is George Carlin as Cardinal Glick during the DOGMA shoot in Pittsburgh, circa 1998.
The first time I met George Carlin was May of 1997 at the Conan O’Brien show, back when they used to shoot it in New York City. I was there to promote CHASING AMY and when I found out Carlin was gonna be on the same show, I nearly shit myself. He’d always been a hero and a role model to me, so I brought a DOGMA script along in hopes of asking Curious George to play Cardinal Glick - the marketing maven behind the Buddy Christ.
But shortly before the show, Brenda - George’s wife of 36 years - lost her battle with liver caner. Ever the professional, George kept his Conan booking, but you could tell he was heartbroken. I didn’t bug him with DOGMA that night.
I’d meet the master again a month later at the Four Seasons in Los Angeles. He’d already read DOGMA and we were grabbing lunch to talk about whether or not he wanted to be in it. He said he was into it but had one request.
George asked if Cardinal Glick could have a bandage on his finger, which would hide George Carlin’s wedding band. Because, he said, he wasn’t ready to take it off just yet.
I miss his mind.
Not going to lie: this did make me tear up a bit.
::sigh:: A few, a very few, stories make the set (TV or film) sound much more like a place of work, you know? It may not be a nine to five, and HELLO CRAFT SERVICES, but it’s the office and putting on a character and costume isn’t always taking off yourself. There isn’t a computer to set the wallpaper to pictures of the puppies, or a desk to rest a picture of your spouse, or a cube wall on which to pin a crayon masterpiece from your kid. You have to take what you can when it comes to keepsakes, and if that’s a ring under a bandaid while playing a man who’d never know the happiness of being married to your wife, well—that’s an easy call. Sad, but easy.