PLAYBOY: You’re working with Lucasfilm on a top secret comedy project set in the Star Wars universe. What can you say about it?
GREEN: Nothing really, because it keeps changing. What I can talk about is working with George. People don’t realize he’s a very normal guy. He’s taken a lot of beatings because people don’t understand him as a personality. He’s shy, though, and on top of that, imagine what it’s like to be George Lucas. Every day for the past 30 years every male on the planet who meets George just gets glitched, bugged out. I did. I was like, “Duh,” when I first met him. I made him sign my laminate. But now I just go, “Hey, George, good to see you.” And he makes fun of me. He knows I love the toys, so he’ll give me shit about that. I just say, “Man, that’s money in your pocket. Don’t give me shit about buying your toys!
PLAYBOY: Do you think you like toys so much because you never got to have a childhood? After all, you were nine when you made The Hotel New Hampshire, which co-starred Nastassja Kinski as a sexy lesbian in a bear suit.
GREEN: That’s an interesting theory. But no, I had good relationships with my parents. Nobody was chaining me to a chair or forcing me to tap-dance when I really wanted to go to the school prom. I was like normal kids. I spent most of my childhood being alienated and getting beat up and being persecuted for things I thought were important.
PLAYBOY: What did you think was important?
GREEN: Liking Spider-Man and watching movies and wanting to sing and act. I always found adult relationships more satisfying than the goofy social microcosms of school. One of the benefits of working as a kid is that you quickly see beyond high school. I said, “I ain’t fucking wasting my time here.
PLAYBOY: Was it hard going through puberty with hot co-stars?
GREEN: That’s the thing. From a young age I was allowed to get close to attractive women. I started dating when I was young. I’ve studied the species and our mating habits and all that. I didn’t have the same kind of peeking-into-the-shower desire many teenagers have. By the time I was on the set of Austin Powers, interacting with the fembots, I was already calm enough as a man not to ogle them or run to my trailer to take care of business.
PLAYBOY: How did you avoid the coke-snorting, 7-Eleven-robbing plight of other child stars?
GREEN: I was always kind of scientific about the whole world of partying and stuff. I remember going to Hollywood parties and seeing the effects drugs had on people. I was probably 12 or 13 when I saw cocaine for the first time. People were smoking all kinds of pipes and one-hit cigarettes and joints. For a long time I’d just watch and observe. And I’d also read scientific studies of LSD and its effects.
PLAYBOY: What about a time when you weren’t so controlled with controlled substances?
GREEN: I had a huge eye-opening experience on LSD when I was 17. I realized how much I had become self-consumed, how much attention I was paying to my own details and not enough to the world or people around me. It was like, Oh my gosh, there are worlds upon worlds directly before my eyes and all I’ve got to do is interact. I would never do acid again, but I’m actually glad I did it when I did.
PLAYBOY: What about now? Your comedy is definitely stoner friendly.
GREEN: Oh man, I meet a lot of people who want to get high with me. Every time I get approached by people they’re like, “Yo, bro, let’s hit this thing.” I’m like, “That’s just not what’s happening, man.” People try to give me pot or paraphernalia. I tell them, “You’ve got to think about this. We’re strangers, you’re handing me a controlled substance, and I don’t know shit about you. Is there anthrax in this? Because I’m not going to party down with you and your fucking anthrax."
PLAYBOY: What do you like to do when you’re not working?
GREEN: Travel. That’s how I spend my money. A buddy of mine and I took a trip from Africa to Micronesia. It was awesome. Thailand, Palau. I don’t buy watches or jewelry, but I’ll spend a shitload on a trip to Dubai.
PLAYBOY: Did people recognize you?
GREEN: Shit, yeah. Dubai was crazy. I’m weird famous in Dubai because there’s so much Western business there and the people are adopting Western culture. Everywhere I went, I got tagged. I passed by this straight-up sheik with the full getup. He walked past me and went “Hey” with the little head nod. I was like, “No shit. All right, man. Good to know The Italian Job and Austin Powers made it this far.” We’re living in crazy times.
PLAYBOY: Finally, share with us your most awkward celebrity run-in.
GREEN: I was invited to Julia Roberts’s birthday at [producer] Jerry Weintraub’s house when they were making Ocean’s Eleven. I brought my buddy Dan. I said, “We’ll probably be the only guys at this party who aren’t above the title. I’m just putting that out there.” And it wasn’t just any cast; it was the fucking cast of Ocean’s Eleven. We were both freaking out, so I said, “Let’s just pretend we’re going to my friend Phil’s birthday.” As we drive up, Dan says, “I hope Phil likes our present. I hope Phil has good cake.” Jennifer Aniston pulls in right behind us and Dan goes, “Oh look, there’s Phil Aniston.” Anyway, we started laughing and felt comfortable. Next thing I know George Clooney’s talking to us and we’re like, Oh yeah, we’re the shit!