Working at a magazine is rad, you guys seriously, every day we get to talk to dudes from TV shows and movies that we totally crack up over, and today that dude is DJ Qualls. Back in '95, this dude broke onto the scene in National Lampoon's Senior Trip; then in 2000 he killed it in Road Trip, and by '02 with The New Guy we were real deal fans. (The soundtrack to that movie is very rad, by the way.)
Well, DJ is in a show on FXX called Legit which returns for its second season next week, and we were stoked to catch up with him! We got to ask our five questions and Qualls even obliged us with a few more. Check out his answers below and make sure not to miss the season premiere of Legit Season 2 on Wednesday, February 26th at 10pm Eastern!
What was your favorite cartoon/TV show as a kid?I was obsessed with the Little Rascals when I was really little, maybe 5 years old to around 9. I loved that the kids got to do adult things like drive cars around town and put on shows. Of course the cars were powered by squirrels running on a conveyer belt and the shows sucked, but at 5, that stuff doesn't matter.
I remember my first crush was Patty Duke from the Patty Duke show. I think I was 10. I had no idea of the concept of reruns and when I found out that the show was made in the 60s and she was actually in her late 40s or something, I was DESTROYED!
Other than that, Scooby Doo, Voltron, Gilligan's Island, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeanie. I was a compulsive tv watcher, especially Nick at Night. I grew up in a tiny town in Tennessee. Television was my window into the world. Watching didn't make me an idiot, it sparked my imagination. Showed me how big the world was, what was possible and I wanted to be a part of all of it.
What was the first live show you went to?Ok, this is an embarrassing question. My first show was Poison. I can't lie, I loved them. I still kinda do. It was the 90s and if you lived in the south and you didn't wear a uniform of camouflage and John Deer accessories, you probably liked Poison. Talk Dirty to Me is, to this day, my karaoke song. I also really liked REM and the Indigo Girls, all that kind of angst-y alternative music...10,000 Maniacs.
What was the first album you bought?The first album I bought was Purple Rain. I bought the cassette at a yard sale. I had the Queen soundtrack to Flash Gordon before that, but I didn't buy it. I used to play it on the front porch on my Micky Mouse record player. The dicky neighborhood once threw rocks at me for playing Queen. I didn't care, I knew I was going to do some cool shit when I got older.
What posters were hanging on your bedroom wall growing up?My dad and step mother were really kind of crazy about their house. I don't remember being able to put anything up on the walls. Funny, they let me have a job, drive around at all hours, stay out late, but shit would go down if the house got banged up. Until I was maybe 15, I had the Lost Boys movie poster on my wall. I thought it was the coolest movie ever. That and Less than Zero. Drugs, rich kids, Vampirism, lack of adult supervision...hell yeah. Hmmm, maybe parents SHOULD pay attention to what their kids watched. Looking at myself as an adult, some of that late 80s, early 90s teen rebellion stuff probably fucked me up a little. Im fun at parties, though.
What was your first car?First car was an very used 1985 Pontiac Sunbird. It was silver and black, manual, with only an am/fm radio and no air condition. It was hot as hell in the summer. I loved that car. It made me feel like a G.
Where's the best place to eat?My favorite place to eat in the entire world is Giorgio Baldi in Santa Monica. Order the creamed corn and white truffle agnolotti (its a small ravioli). Save a piece of bread from the basket for that sauce. It's THAT good. The place is a little expensive, but treat yourself. I promise you are going to die one day and you should experience this place before that.
Best/Worst advice you’ve ever received?Best advice I've ever been given? Warning, it's graphic. My grandpa once told me never to put my dick somewhere I wouldn't put my mouth first. It is advice that has been worth its weigh in gold.
Worst advice? I can't think of anything that would qualify as worst advice. My whole life, Ive had a pretty good idea of who and was and what is right for me. If someone comes at me with crazy off base advice, I usually just thank them and forget it.
Here's something. I was at LAX in the first class lounge really early on in my career and the guy who placed Horseshack from Welcome Back Kotter hinted to me that I should get plastic surgery, specifically a nose job. He said that if he had done it when he was on tv, his career wouldn't have died. At some point, I got into the mirror and scrunched my nose up to make it smaller and my whole face kinda disappeared. Then I thought, "Dude, do you have any idea how hard it is to break through in Hollywood?' I was lucky enough to do it, lucky enough to still have a healthy career 14 years later. Im so glad I didn't get plastic surgery. I will probably get it done in maybe 5 to 10 years, though. Your nose and ears keep growing and I don't have the hairline for that much cartilage.
If you weren't acting what would you be doing?If I didn't become an actor, I'd definitely have a law degree. Unfortunately, Im not a 9 to 5 type of guy, so I would be buried in student loans. I love art and would like to be an art historian and collector, but that takes a good cash reserve or a high paying job just to get started. What job would I do to allow me to be around and collect art? I dunno...Identity Theft?