Variety is doing an excellent series called "Actors on Actors," where they have two famous people Zoom with one another and talk about Hollywood. I have really enjoyed this series, and there's something valuable to learn through every conversation. In one of their most recent editions, Chris Rock and Nicole Kidman sit down for a conversation. 

The topics range from taking risks to TV versus movies, and to other great artists, like Aaron Sorkin. I loved one Kidman quote about risks in her career.

She said, "I feel like people who are incredibly critical have a very hard time actually doing anything. You’re deeply critical of everything; you’re setting the bar so high—you’re never, ever gonna hit it yourself. And I’ve got friends like this who can analyze, trash, destroy something and like very few things… But at the same time, they do very little.”

Check out the whole conversation below. 

They also discussed Kidman's new movie, the Sorkin film Being the Ricardos, which follows Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz as they create their landmark TV show, I Love Lucy.

Kidman, talking about Ball, said, “She was a trailblazer. She formed her production company. Desi was Cuban, and she had to fight to get him on the show. They had just so many things in their marriage that are so relevant today, and what she was also dealing with in terms of everything that artists deal with, where you’re up against big corporations. And you’re like, ‘No, this is art.'”

Rock thoughtfully listened to this and then spoke about his own upbringing and the women in his life who helped shape his career. People like his mother and then comedy bookers who believed in him and other comedians who schooled him.

Rock said, "When I was starting out as a comedian, you know, Joy Behar and Susie Essman took me under their wing. I just always was around these powerful women. I mean, even in comedy, the clubs were run by women.”

Even more than that, Rock talked about how he has a policy on set, saying, “I’ve fired people because they couldn’t listen to a woman. I was like, ‘How come he’s not doing…?’ And then I realize, ‘Oh.'”

Rock expanded on that idea later, saying, “Let’s not downplay the fact [of] how hard it must’ve been to be a woman at that time going through, you know, just like, ‘I’m the boss. Not him. I’m the boss.'” He added, “Everybody talks about how stand-up is a boys’ club, but stand-up’s been run by a lot of women for a lot of years. Even right now, it’s Estee [Adoram] at the Comedy Cellar in New York. Lots of powerful women that called the shots.”

This deep respect the actors shared for each other and for women in their lives and for the ones who trailblazed Hollywood was palpable. I found the whole conversation really informative for what went into their careers and made them the people sitting in front of us today. 

What did you glean from the conversation? 

Let me know in the comments.