"I wish the pandemic could just be over so we can get back to freaking out about burning our planet" by@linh

"I wish the pandemic could just be over so we can get back to freaking out about burning our planet"

Linh Dao Smooke HackerNoon profile picture

Linh Dao Smooke

Hacker Noon Mama-in-Chief. But also like a real mom (to Norah).

On March 28 2018, Interview Magazine published Joaquin Phoenix Interview by Will Ferrell, and it became known as the greatest interview ever published. I attempted to answer them down here.

Did you know that it’s Valentine’s Day?

Yes. Not because I have it marked on my calendar, but because they will always remind you. (they = corporates and capitalism)

Can I ask you a question?

Depends on what the question is

What is Valentine’s Day?

Corporates love them. Money making hotshit.

Did you do any kind of preparation for today?

Always my morning routine.

Are they naturally black or are they dyed?

Dyed all the way. Hair is meant not to be boring.

Are you in L.A.?

Was as of 2 days ago. Here’s a picture of the Hacker Noon team meeting in person for the first time!


Is it cloudy outside?

Very. I’m also worried that it’s not cloud, but smog. I worry about the state of the world. I wish the pandemic could just be over so we could get back to freaking out about burning our planet to the ground.

I’m going to break you down, okay?


Why not?

I said sure idiot.

I think it would be great, but what do I know?

You know things

Do you remember doing that?


Are you sure?


You don’t have to answer this question if you don’t want to, but it’s the weirdest situation ever, right?


Are you doing this interview to promote something specific?

Sure. We are looking to publish our first every children’s book. Written by me, David, and our daughter Norah. Illustrated by my brother Kien. Here’s a sneak peak:


How did you see that?

We manifest our thoughts into realities.

But I have to ask you, there was a part I loved—what’s the illustrator’s name?

Kien. Here’s his site.

That was you flying off the wheelchair?

I’m everywhere.

Did you have to ride horses?

I was born in the year of the Horse! My mom always says I travel everywhere because of that. But no, I don’t ride horses.

Are you proficient in horse riding?

Not in the least.

Do you remember the name of your horse?

I’m my own horse.

Well, here’s the thing: how could you even verify this?

It’s our own words and our own drawings.

Wait a second, what?


What are we shooting?

For the stars!

This is something I’m actually doing?


How do you feel about your ability to give advice?

Very solid.

Do you have advice for me?

Here are some of my most recent ones (originally published here)

  • Expect less. Experience more. Think about it - would you rather be constantly disappointed or occasionally surprised?
  • Relatability, not pure talent, is what makes most celebrities or influencers take off.
  • EQ, not IQ, is what makes or breaks a leader. You can be a perfectly good individual contributor with great IQ, though.
  • Confidence, not “standard” beauty, is the most attractive attribute about a person.
  • Ideas are overrated. Execution is everything. I said what I said.
  • Don’t take anything too personally. Other people’s actions are almost always not about you, but a reflection of them.
  • Empathy, not display of strength, is what makes a man sexy. (Look up “female gaze”, as opposed to “male gaze”)
  • Normalize Mental Health and self care for men (and women). But especially men, who don’t usually do it. They need to talk about their feelings more.
  • Buy the dip. Sell the peak. Stay in it for the long run. If you know, you know 😉
  • People who have a lot of money, won’t talk about money. Now, replace money with just about anything. Strength, courage, talent, confidence, generosity.
  • We are way past the point of no return for Global Warming and Climate Crisis. Unfortunately, the Earth will get a few degrees warmer every couple of years, the ice caps are melting up north (and with it, come a million+ thousand-year-old viruses and diseases), and extreme weather will be more & more common occasions. For every place in the world that experience the hottest summer in about 100 years or extreme drought and wildfires, there’s a place that fails to handle extreme flood or snow for the first time (!) Tesla stock will continue to rise. More competitors will (hopefully) enter the space. Billionaires will be the first ones to try to escape Earth. (No - they don’t just do so for 11 minutes for fun).
  • The climate crisis is not even the hardest thing we will have to face as a species within 100 year span. There’s also covid. Which, unfortunately, is here to stay. It will be our generation’s defying feature, like World War I and II for the previous generations.
  • The answer to most things… is time. Grief will lessen over time. Children will eventually do the things that they are supposed to do, in time. Time, not money, is the world’s most wanted luxury.

Do you just say, “Hey, Bob. Uh, keep going for it. I don’t have any advice”?

No idiot. Also I didn’t know until just now your name is Bob.

Do you give them a slogan, like, “Reach for the stars”?

Eww no.

Isn’t it awkward?

I guess whenever you said “normalize ____” it’s always awkward.

What do you mean, ‘Go pee first?’

My best friend and I coined this term SBP (Small Bladder Problem) IYKYK.

What drew you to the role?

I was made for it.

How did you prepare for it?

By doing it.

That’s your pattern, right?


You know what?


Are you reading off prepared questions and trying to pretend that they’re just popping into your head?


In your personal life, are you sometimes a little bitch?

Absolutely. Niceness is overrated. Not kindness though.

I think western people (not you, Karen, chill) tend to overrate performative niceness over the truth. I think my VP of BD Utsav would agree with me.

Can you get a little bitchy if you’re in a bad mood?


Is that right?

I’m a Leo, so my middle is self-righteous. Hence, the answer is yes.

What drew you to that role?

It’s written in the stars, baby!

How did you prepare for it?

By my many past lives.

When you worked with M. Night Shyamalan, did you ever just once call him M. Night Shyamalamadingdong?

I would if I did.

Can I ask you about this one camera shot?


How much do you love photo shoots?

I don’t think people love seeing pictures of themselves.

You love them, don’t you?

No, i just told you.

Like a good six-hour photo shoot for a magazine?

That’s way too long. Although I did spend 2 hours creating content for my Instagram stories all of which will disappear in 24 hours so who am I to say.

What about you?

I’m good, you?

Did I wear the right jacket?

The answer is always yes.

Is denim cool?

Fashion is cyclical. So yes.

You know what?


Will you join me if I crusade?


Because bananas are basically—that’s what toddlers eat, right?

Nope. We follow this method called Baby Lead Weaning for our daughter, and she’s been eating solid food since 5 months old!

Did you watch the Super Bowl, by the way?

No. I do not understand American Football.

Oh, you know what?


Wait, say that again?


You’re doing this thing where when you really don’t want to go somewhere, you just say, “I’m not going to go”?

I don’t understand this question.

Do you not watch sporting events in general?

Nope. Not interested. I love music though.

We have three boys who are very much into sports, and they’re like, “We’re watching the Super Bowl, right Dad?”


How many dogs do you have?


Do they get along?

I don’t have to think about it!!!


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