Actors Jenny Slate and Zachary Quinto premiered their new film, “Aardvark,” at the Tribeca Film Festival over the weekend. But first, they sat with Moneyish to talk about their first jobs, favorite indulgence, and buyer’s remorse.
Before Jenny Slate and Zachary Quinto were hot, they were making minimum wage.
These days, the actors have their choice of big-budget films like “The Secret Life of Pets” and “Star Trek,” and indie projects like “Aardvark,” their new film which just premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. (Quinto plays a man troubled by his relationship with his brother and prone to hallucinations; Slate plays his therapist.)
But when both actors were younger, they took jobs they either hated or failed at miserably.
Quinto’s first job was at a hardware store (“much to my chagrin”) cutting keys and mixing paint, until he got fired.
“I wrote a note to my aunt who I was going to visit, on stationery from the hardware store on one of my shifts at the cash register,” Quinto explains. “I was like, ‘I hate my job so much, my boss is such an asshole.’”
He accidentally left that note on the register — and his boss found it. Quinto was fired.
“That is such a pure, beautiful little story,” Slate says. “That’s like an episode of ‘Boy Meets World.’”
Slate didn’t fare much better in her first job. “I was a town soccer referee and I made $3 a game,” she says. “I was afraid of the ball. The parents yelled at me and I couldn’t pay attention.”
She was in seventh grade and saved $18 after six games.
“I took that money and I bought a stuffed rabbit that had really long legs and I loved it,” she says.
The actors have come a long way since, enjoying success on television and film. But they still love the occasional freebie — and still have the occasional moment of buyer’s remorse.
Slate says getting free face creams and being able to enjoy the hotel minibar on somebody else’s dime still feels special.
“With my parents, it was like ‘You’re not touching that! Don’t even look at that little fridge. It’s not for you.’” she says. “So popping open the mini-fridge and drinking the Coca-Cola makes me feel like a queeeeeeeeeen.”
When she’s shopping for clothes — one of her indulgences, especially dresses — Slate always feels obligated to buy something if an employee comments on how she looks. “It’s absolutely insane,” she says. “I get so anxious when I’m buying it, I’m hoping that someone will yank me through the ceiling. Just make this thing stop.”
The clothes she buys often end up with her sister.
For his part, Quinto tries to Marie Kondo his life and keep away the clutter (he still loves free candles — event planners, take note), but he’s vulnerable to the occasional purchasing mishap.
He once ordered a couch and it arrived at his house in the wrong color. “The company went out of business and they were like, ‘you’re lucky you even got the couch,’” he recalls, “so we had to get the couch reupholstered. That was remorseful.”
For more from Slate and Quinto on “Aardvark” and their money habits, watch the video.
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