Interviews, in any sense of the word, can be a little weird. Whether it’s a job interview or an interview for a publication, whether you’re being interviewed or doing the interviewing, it’s just a strange concept: two people who often really don’t know each other that well, if at all, sitting down and talking. Except it turns out that having an interview with someone you know better than anyone — yourself — is actually the weirdest thing of all.
Peter “Stoney” Emshwiller has been planning out an interview with himself for the past 38 years. When he was 18, with the help of his filmmaker father, he sat down and recorded a ton of footage of himself interviewing an invisible future version of himself. So, yeah, that probably looked strange. . . a teen sitting in a chair recording himself having a one-sided conversation with nobody. Then, 38 years later, at age 56, Stoney sat down and did it again, responding to all the questions his 18-year-old self had asked. And it’s completely blowing our MINDS.
First of all, the two are dressed the same — in a gray shirt and a brown blazer — and although you can clearly see similarities in their faces, you can also see the stark differences, as if you’re witnessing 38 years pass in a flash. The way it’s edited makes it look as though they’re sitting across from each other in the same room, having a conversation. Teen Stoney had hoped his older self would be massively famous, but 56-year-old Stoney has some good advice for his younger self.
Stoney started a fundraising page on RocketHub, calling his project “Later That Same Life” and describing it as a “time-travel talk show” (which we can see — this whole thing totally has some Back to the Future vibes). On the page, he explained how he managed to create such a convincing interview back when he was 18 and had nothing to go off. “During this one-way conversation, I asked my older self tons of questions about my future – from career to family to art to friendships to sex,” he explained. “Then I recorded many different reactions to each possible answer, ranging from polite nods, to joy, sadness, annoyance, surprise, and outright horror.”