Richard Linklater on Casting Alex Jones in ‘Waking Life’: ‘I Just Thought He Was Kind of Funny’

17 years later, he thinks it's "insane" that the InfoWars host is taken seriously.
Alex Jones Waking Life

Alex Jones may have been banned from Facebook and YouTube, but the Deep State can never take away his “Waking Life” cameo. We have Richard Linklater to thank for the InfoWars host, conspiracy theorist, and Sandy Hook truther’s most notable film performance, not that Jones was as dangerously unhinged back in 2001. That’s according to the filmmaker himself, who in a Daily Beast interview said that Jones was simply “this hyper guy that we’d all kind of make fun of” back then.

A mere public-access TV host when he auditioned for a role in Linklater’s rotoscoped meditation on the nature of consciousness and reality, Jones is now a hugely controversial (and frighteningly influential) peddler of baseless conspiracies. 17 years ago, however, “he wasn’t so virulent, he just had all that energy,” Linklater added. “I just thought he was kind of funny.”

And, to be fair, Jones’ brief megaphone rant in the film is in keeping with its overall tone. “You know, I haven’t talked to him in years,” Linklater said. “I talked to him a bit during the Bush-Cheney years. He always positioned himself as anti. So when you’re anti, he’s your bedfellow.”

The writer/director also finds it odd that Jones is “taken seriously on a national level. I would have never thought I’d see the day when the president of the United States knew who he was, much less going on his show. It’s crazy, it’s insane, but it fits our times.”

Here’s Jones’ “Waking Life” scene:

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