The 2016 Best Picture Actors and Actresses I’d Most Want to Smoke With
If you were to ask me how often I think about smoking with celebrities, my answer would be “Every goddamn day,” because it’s a fact. I’ve been smoking for a cool eight years now, and up until this point my smoke-with-celebs count remains at zero. Why? Is it because I don’t smoke high-caliber cannabis? Nope. Is it because I ain’t shit so I don’t know any celebrities? Yup.
I was watching all of the Best Picture nominees and halfway through the list, I found myself wondering what it would be like to smoke with some of the actors in each movie. Next thing I know, well, I had a list of names and what I think the experience would be like. Should I share? Don’t worry, I’m going to regardless of your answer.
Arrival: Jeremy Renner
I’d love to sit and pass an L back and forth with Jeremy Renner while we discuss why he doesn’t get the respect he deserves. Because he doesn’t. He doesn’t get lead roles, he always has to play a villain, and outside of Arrival, it’s always some action flick. That boy has range, though. Jeremy Renner is easily one of the most underrated actors in all of Hollywood, but no one has seemed to notice. I’m sure he has, though.
However, I’d be scared of his answer because Jeremy Renner looks like one of those guys who can go from 0-100 real quick. Like, out of nowhere, I could see him turning, “Why are you so underrated?” into “Why are you a terrible actor?”, which would absolutely ruin my high because the last thing I want to do while smoking is argue. And all my friends that try and start sports debates while we’re smoking can attest to that. So the experience would be cool and informational, until it became confrontational, and I’d have to be like “Yo bro, you’re not really an Avenger. Sit down before the hands get to moving.”
Fences: Denzel Washington
This one’s easy. You already know who I’m picking: Coach Boone, of course. Denzel Washington would be an excellent person to smoke with, because when I smoke, I sometimes love to have a good deep conversation. And as I sit here typing this, I’m actually watching a video of Denzel talk about how what you have in life doesn’t matter, but instead, what you do with what you have is what matters. That’s the type of shit I need to hear when I’m midway through a blunt.
Smoking with Denzel would damn near be a religious experience because he’d be dropping knowledge grapes left and right and I’d just be sitting there like “Woooow, he really is like this in real everyday life. Even when smoking.” I also picturing him coughing a lot, but instead of admitting he has baby lungs, he’d just look at the blunt like “So let me get this straight. You’re presenting me with the best green I’ve ever smoked? Is that what you’re telling me?” Ya know, just like every single one of his movies.
Hacksaw Ridge: Andrew Garfield
This one’s a toss-up between Andrew Garfield and Vince Vaughn, but I’d probably lean more towards Andrew Garfield because he seems like a nice guy. Vince Vaughn doesn’t. Like, he’s super cool and hilarious in his movies, but for some reason, I just feel like he’d be an absolute dick in person. Like one of those people whose sarcasm is fun at first, but an hour into the night, you’re ready to rip his neck from his body because he won’t cut the smart-aleck shit.
Andrew Garfield, on the other hand, just seems like a very happy-to-be-here kind of guy. Because even in his movies when he has to do an “I’m a hard-ass” scene, there’s still a softness to it that makes you want to say, “Hey man, that was cute.” Only problem is Andy G seems like he’d probably want to smoke a bowl instead of hitting the blunt, and I’d have to explain to him that we aren’t here to play games; we’re here to go to infinity and beyond. A bowl can give you a cool little buzz, but a blunt is going to take us to the top of the building on some Spiderman shit. He’d know all about Spider-Man shit.
Hell or High Water: Jeff Bridges
This one’s pretty easy and obvious. If I could smoke with any actor from Hell or High Water, it’d be Jeff “The Big Lebowski” Bridges. DUH. What, you thought I was going to pick Chris Pine? Hell no. Dude’s too handsome and I wouldn’t want to be around that shit for an extended period of time. He’d probably be pulling out his phone, complaining about how many DMs he’s receiving from Instagram models, and I just don’t need that social esteem killer. Especially not when I’m toking on sum’n strong, nahmean?
But Jeff Bridges? That man’s a legend in the game and I feel like he could tell me all kinds of interesting things during a session. You already know he has hella before-social-media stories about Hollywood starlets that he’s run through or parties that he’s attended, and ya know what? I’ve got a gram for that. I’ve got a gram and a White Owl, or as I like to call it, a grammer jammer, for that. I also feel like he’d have grill master advice about the proper way to cook a steak, on some original Salt Bae shit, and ya know what? Summer’s right around the corner, so I’m here for that, too.
Hidden Figures: All the Ladies
I want to smoke with all three actresses from this movie: Octavia Spencer, Taraji P. Henson, and Janelle Monae. I wouldn’t even talk. though. I’d just sit back and soak up the Black Girl Magic while in absolute awe of how shiny Taraji and Janelle’s legs are. For some reason, I just assume they’re always red-carpet-ready.
But even past their looks, their minds are on a level that I probably can’t even comprehend. So I’d sit back and shut up, while “staying in a kid’s place,” just like my grandma used to tell me to do when I would try to sit with the adults at Thanksgiving. Octavia Spencer reminds me of that. You can look at the character she played and tell that it gets no more mother-like than her. She was in charge of a whole group of on-demand geniuses, so you knoooow she has game to share with you. We’d probably get high and then she’d start talking about her secret potato salad recipe.
Taraji, on the other hand, is what I like to call a Beautiful Ratchet. She’d probably grab the sack and immediately start breaking down the goods like a pro. I’d offer her a grinder and she’d scoff at me on some “it smokes better this way” type shit. I wouldn’t even respond, would just set the grinder down and stare at Twitter until she’s done twisting. That just how I envision Taraji. My first introduction with her was Yvette in Baby Boy, so that’s how I choose to see her for the rest of eternity.
And then Janelle Monae, she seems like she wouldn’t even smoke. She’d just politely match on it, but say something slick like “But hey, if you like it, I love it,” to make you feel okay about your habits. Then I’d get high and over-anxious about how pretty and close to me she is and say some weird shit like, “Did you know it takes a whole pride of lions to take down a hippopotamus?” Yeah, that’s how smoking with Octavia Spencer, Taraji P. Henson, and Janelle Monae would be.
La La Land: Ryan Gosling
If I could smoke with any actor/actress from this movie, it’d 100% be Ryan Gosling and I’ll tell you why: I WANT TO KNOW THE SECRET OF HOW HE GOT EVA MENDES. I just want answers, Sway. And that’s what a session with Ryan Gosling would revolve around: him giving me the gift of Hollywood gab and how to attract my favorite vixens.
That is, until he started mumbling and I could no longer understand what he was saying. I know a lot of people who get high and start mumbling when they talk without even knowing it. Ryan Gosling is definitely one of those types. You can just tell by his whole “I’m cooler than everyone here” vibe. He’d be trying so hard to maintain his whole Frank Sinatra-talk-low-and-smooth-mystique that he’d completely forget he has to actually open his lips to talk. And I’d be so high that I wouldn’t even mind because the whole time I’d be sitting there in silence, thinking, “Yo, but really…how…the fuck…Eva Mendes?” And that would be our smoke session.
Lion: Nicole Kidman
Well, considering the only two real options here are Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman, I’m going with Nicole Kidman. And here’s why: Dev Patel seems spazzy. Like, his character in Lion went through that mental breakdown phase and he played that up way too well to not have experienced it before. So I’m scared that I’d pass the blunt to Dev, he’d hit it a few times, and then freak the fuck out like my friend Kyle who once got too high and anxious that he actually made me pull the car off the highway so he could step out and get some fresh air. That’s the vibe I get from Dev. And those type of smokers always mess up my high.
Nicole Kidman, on the other hand, seems cool as shit. She seems so nice and wholesome that I’d pass her some smoke and she’d say, “Oh, for me? Oh gosh, you shouldn’t have.” But I did, Nicole, I did. Then she’d start feeling good and suddenly she’s let down her barriers and is telling me about the crazy party life she and Keith Urban live. I like those kind of smoker conversations, so Nicole Kidman is alright by me.
Manchester by the Sea: Casey Affleck
This is a tough one, but I’d have to go with Casey Affleck. And the only reason would be to see if he’s as trash of a human as the stories about him suggest. I mean, I’m not putting it past him. If Ben Affleck can cheat on Jennifer Garner, there’s no telling what his little brother is capable of.
But I honestly think the experience would be trash. When I look at all the characters he’s played, especially who he was in Manchester by the Sea, Triple 9, and Gone Baby Gone, I’d expect him to be extremely tense and paranoid. Just seems like he couldn’t handle it. He’d probably hit the strong and start rocking back and forth while reacting like a bird to every single noise or movement around him. I’d ask him a question and he’d look at me all wide-eyed like “Huh?! What?!”, and I’d just be like never mind, bro. Then I’d step out of the room and text my friends like “Yo, I believe everything now.”
Moonlight: Mahershala Ali
My choice from this movie would DEFINITELY be Mahershala Ali. For some reason, he’s the most interesting man in Hollywood to me right now (next to Donald Glover). I just feel like he has a bunch of Black Man Wisdom to pass down to me, and there would be no better time to do that than while we’re having a little session. It would be amazing.
I can already see it. We’d be posted on the couch, I’d pass him a blunt, then ask if he wants a Sprite from the kitchen. He’d tell me some G shit like Sprite was manufactured to be the downfall of our people and I’d be like “YOOO…Tell me more.”
I knew Mahershala Ali had some game to offer the world when he played Cottonmouth in Luke Cage so perfectly, but I ESPECIALLY knew when I watched his SAG Award speech. Bottom line, I’d walk out of this session 10 times better of a human than I was before entering it. It would be a mad educational and uplifting experience.
Dante Jordan is a writer living in Dallas, TX. He enjoys overdosing on mac and cheese, avoiding his coworkers, and complaining about being broke while dropping $30 on margaritas at any given opportunity. Follow him on Twitter @Dante_Jordan.