A thing you learn when you repeatedly ask famous people whether or not a hot dog is a sandwich is that some of them aren’t particularly interested in that question.
Paul Giamatti has an Emmy, two Golden Globes, four Screen Actors Guild awards, an Independent Spirit award, a Television Critics Association award, and, to use a technical term, a fuckton of citations from critics organizations around the world. He’s also an Oscar nominee (for Cinderella Man) and belongs to that most exclusive of clubs: actors who are so good in critically acclaimed movies (in this case, Sideways) that you just assume they were nominated even though they actually weren’t (see also: David Oyelowo, Selma; Uma Thurman, Kill Bill).
He’s done O’Neill (The Iceman Cometh), Chekhov (The Three Sisters), and Stoppard (Arcadia) on Broadway. He was Harvey Pekar and John Adams. He’s a dominant force on Billions and is executive producing the quietly compelling new AMC gem Lodge 49.
He answered politely, but boy oh boy, Paul Giamatti did not give even one tiny shit about this question. And that’s fair. He’s Paul Fucking Giamatti.
Lodge 49 is pretty great, but even if it weren’t, we’d still tune in and watch, because we sort of feel like we owe him that much.
The Takeout: Is a hot dog sandwich?
Paul Giamatti: No.
TO: Definitely not a sandwich.
PG: I don’t think so.
TO: Why is it not a sandwich?
PG: Bread. It’s not two pieces of bread with meat in between. It’s one piece of bread.
TO: With meat tucked inside?
PG: Yeah. A sandwich is two pieces of bread with something in between. It’s not a sandwich. Thanks.
Thus ends the conversation. Before he finishes turning away, he has already forgotten it ever happened.