Information Diet: Nat Faxon

Ben and Kate star keeps it old school when it comes to news


Age 37

Accomplishments Star of Fox's Ben and Kate, Academy Award Winner for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Descendants

Base Los Angeles

What’s the first information you consume in the morning?

The newspaper. I’m still old school in the way I gather my information, so I’m one of the few subscribers to the L.A. Times. Still get it delivered. There’s something about the tangible aspect that I enjoy, holding on to it and flipping through. It helps me get the gist of what’s going on in the world before going to work.

Would you call yourself digitally savvy?

It takes me awhile to get involved in the most recent technology. It’s a sad state of affairs. I pretty much had a pager until a couple of years ago. I just got a Twitter account. It was encouraged by my TV show (Ben and Kate) to reach out to fans and get them on board. I’m still sort of learning in terms of what I can do with the platform but getting my news on there is slightly foreign to me.

What occupies your mind in the car, on the subway, train or bus?

On my way to work I’ll put on NPR, and I will act like I’m more intelligent than I am. It makes me feel super cultured. I’m also listening to music, pretty much whatever’s on the radio. Out here in the morning, NPR has this show called Morning Becomes Eclectic, and it plays independent stuff, which is the only way I can figure out the new bands. I’m also usually thinking about the lines I need to memorize.

Are you a TV junkie or on an airtime-restricted diet? What do you watch, and how?

I don’t watch a ton of TV with the exception of a few shows that I have DVR’d. I like one-hour dramas from HBO and Showtime. Enjoy Homeland, Boardwalk Empire, Mad Men. There’s a nice sort of escapism with that type of programming. But if I don’t get in on the ground floor, it’s too hard to catch up. I’m not involved in Breaking Bad or The Wire—there’s just no time to get caught up and into them.

Before bed, do you bite into a novel, graze on Twitter or fast until morning?

I’ll usually get on my phone and play Words With Friends for a while. You know, catch the big moves that need to be made. Then I’ll probably revisit the paper. I keep books on my nightstand forever, but I just don’t get to them. It’s easier to read an article from the newspaper than to keep reading the same page over and over.

Give us the skinny on your favorite app.

Words With Friends is definitely up there. I love to surf. I use the Surfline app for forecasts and for its live cams of the beach. Shazam is great too.

With such a bloated media universe, how do you cut out the fat?

I just enjoy the things that I enjoy. I’m not closed-minded, but I try to limit my time focusing on things I can control. On Twitter, I’ll feel guilty not responding to every reply, but you only have so much time in a day. I think my head would explode.