Many people will walk into your life, but only a true friend stays with you till the end of time. Tara Joseph and Dani Behr have been through things only true friends can go through. In this episode, Tara and Dani Discuss their friends and friendship with loving and touching details. They talk about their start together, both of them, and with other people, and discuss the importance of friendship and the journeys that they have faced together.
Listen to the podcast here:
La La Landed: A Friendship’s Journey With Tara And Dani
Dani And Tara Discuss Friends And Friendship
We’re going to be talking about friends, old friends, new friends, favorite friends, friends in the UK, new friends in the US. Let’s get cracking.
It’s a very tricky thing to navigate through friendship. I was looking at it as a reason, a season or a lifetime. It’s pretty much like relationships. Some are there for a reason. Some are there for a season. Some are there for the full lifetime. I’ve got my lifetime friends since I was thirteen. I still have some of those. Do you still have those?
My oldest, nearest, dearest and one of the top ten is my friend Jackie, who I think you know.
I’ve met Jackie many times.
We became friends when we were thirteen or fourteen. We both shared the same surname, Joseph. We just hit it off immediately. I remember thinking, “She’s very loud. She’s not like me.” We both loved horses and we met through a mutual friend who also had a horse. That’s how it happened.
What age were you when you met Jackie?
I was fourteen. We went to different schools but there’s something about her. I wrote a poem about us, Jackie J. and Tara J. I can’t remember the rest of it but it was fun and cheeky. She was always much more academic than me. She did so brilliantly in school. We’ve always had a good time. She’s always been terribly honest with me and I’m godmother to both of her daughters.
Honest in the sense of has she ever made you cry with anything she said to you?
No, but she has upset me because she’s blunt in a good way. I appreciate her honesty. She’s made me go away and think about things.
What you see is what you get with her. There’s no BS. There’s just straight up.
That’s why you love Jackie because there’s no BS and what you see is what you get. She’s got a big heart and she’s smart.
Is Jackie your best friend?
Jackie is one of my best friends.
Can you have more than one or can you have a few? It means different things. Should we talk about that?
Do you want me to fire away?
Go on and tell me what you define as a best friend and why. Do you think it’s possible to have more than one?
My best friends are all in the UK because that’s the history. I’ve known them all forever. Sasha or Sashi to me, we have had so many adventures together, good and bad. She’s someone who is always there. She’s very honest. Honesty makes an honest and true friend.
When you have a history with friends and all happened to be closest friends, it happens to be in the UK because that’s where we grew up, went to school and have the early part of our adult life. When you grow up with someone and you’re in it together from the get-go, what you see is what you get and it’s very authentic. You grew up together, you learn about life together, you discover yourself with your friends in tow. The honesty is unequivocal to maybe a new friend you might get. It doesn’t mean they’re less fun or less loyal. It just means that there’s something else there that goes so deep.
That’s another level and they sometimes remember things that you completely have forgotten. One of the reasons I love Sasha is because she’s a bit crazy like me. We’re both a bit mad.
You’re not wild when you say crazy. Why do you say you’re crazy? You’re crazy with your neurosis, I would say.
I’m highly neurotic.
You get that from your mom, probably. I get my crazy from my dad. I’m impatient and crazy. I get intolerant and impatient. I get crazy about losing my temper, not temper as in angry. I get frustrated quickly, which drives me crazy. I’ll make everyone crazy around me.
You and I can get super frustrated with situations that we get in together. Let’s not forget our friendship because we’re talking about other people and I want to hear about your friends. As we’ve mentioned in the past, we do go back a long way.
You told the audiences in one of our earlier episodes about how we met, which was you were one of the gray minion, second assistant to a top UK talent agent who happened to represent me. I didn’t meet you. You’re just on the corner on the floor stacking VHS tapes and getting a few lobbed at your head at the same time by the agent. We won’t mention any names but that’s how we initially met. Later on, our working relationship developed into you and ultimately ending up managing me as my own agent. The friendships developed from there with me coming out here and then you following years later.Our girlfriends as important as your spouse or partner in life. Click To Tweet
I came here because of you. I followed you. I couldn’t be that far apart.
We don’t socialize that much and maybe because we do work together. We need to see other people. You’ll like the work wife.
I’ve had a few of those in my life.
You’ve had a few of those real ones, not real wives.
Not real wives, a few work wives.
I’ve always been on my home. You’re my first ever work wife.
We started working together in about 1997.
I was at ICM before then.
I met you at ICM and I was at ICM briefly for three months in 1997 and then I went to William Morris in 1998. You’re older than you think you are.
Maybe I was.
Yes, you were. You’re looking good, love. Tell me who’s your best friend in the UK who you miss?
I’ve got two or three. My main two, you know both of them very well, Martine and Miles. Both have very different personalities and besties for very different reasons. Miles was more like a sister to me. We’ve known each other since we were thirteen. We used to hang around the local train station. That was the place that everyone hung out back in the day. There were no phones. You had to go meet at one place and that’s where everybody hung out. It was the Dodgy Tube Station in North London. She hung out there a lot more than me because I was working quite a bit at that age. She came to my school and she was like my sister but we got really close, not until I’m about sixteen, seventeen was when we got super close.
I thought she was so cool. She was the most phenomenal singer. She was always doing Western musicals. Her mother was a musical singer as well. Her real dad was an eccentric songwriter from the ‘60s and wrote a lot of very famous songs. Her stepdad was an Elvis impersonator. He was twenty years younger than her mother. As you can imagine, I’m fifteen, sixteen. I used to go to her house all the time and her mother had this big, blonde, old 1950s-style movie star hairstyle. She was always immaculately dressed from head to toe. Even if she was sitting out all day drinking tea, she always had her hair done, full makeup and always had a cigarette in her hand and high heels.
She sounds fabulous.
She is fabulous. She’s got this twenty years younger boyfriend or husband who was an Elvis impersonator. He looked like Elvis and was literally in rhinestones as well. The two of them looked like an old Marilyn Monroe with an older Elvis. They would both sit and smoke and drink tea all day. I thought they were the coolest people in the world. My parents were so conservative, so there’s no smoking, no drinking, no nothing. They were boring to me. I used to go to her house all the time and watched her mother. My friend was smoking at age thirteen or twelve maybe, stealing her mother’s cigarettes all the time. That was what you did back then. Everybody smoked in Europe. It was what you did. I remember going to her house so we could curse, we could smoke and we could drink coffee and we sat around and had amazing stories. Her parents stayed up until 2:00 AM. My parents were in bed at 9:00 PM. For me, it was the funnest place to go. We became more like sisters. We grew up together.
My closest friends definitely are Jackie, Sasha, Emma who I met skiing and I thought Emma was part of the cool crowd and was unapproachable. She’s adorable and she makes me laugh and is married to the most wonderful guy, Gary. I love her family dearly. You’re Jewish but I don’t have very many Jewish friends. She is one of my Jewish friends. Being Jewish, that’s nice because you automatically have that connection. Tracy, I adore her. I’ve known her since I was about 25. All of the different people that I’m mentioning now, I fulfilled different things for them and they certainly fulfilled different things for me.
That’s what I was going to ask you. Certain friends offer and give you different and certain things. Jackie, Emma and Sasha, what do the three give you in the friendship that the others don’t? For me, Miles makes me laugh all day long. She is the funniest person I know and she’s my soul sister. Martine is great for fun, going out and socializing. I can go on vacation with her and her family. I have done that many times and I’m very good friends with her husband and more of the families together.
I would say Tracy brings a maternal element. There’s something very maternal about her. She’s also got a very handsome young son. I go to her if I need proper grown-up reassurance and answers to difficult questions.
When you break up in a relationship, who do you call first?
When I did break up in a relationship, I went to Tracy followed by Jackie and Sashi.
Does she give advice?
Yes, she did. She was very patient. Since I’ve moved to LA, I have made great friends. You just don’t have the history. I’ve got to give a shout-out to two. One who is my dear friend Maria, who unfortunately has now left LA and moved back to the UK but we still speak all the time. My friend Elena, who I lived half a year in Greece. They’re my two closest friends. I don’t want to go when we’re talking about a podcast donated to friendship without talking about Tanya, who was my closest friend of all time and unfortunately is no longer with us. She was my soul sister and always will be my soul sister.
Those kinds of friendships are hard to replace not just because of the history but purely the connection. When I first moved to LA, there’s a very different type of people, a couple called Annie and Terry who I’ve interviewed on my individual podcast, The Behr Essentials. They are my parents’ age and I worked with them on a couple of shows here. Terry is a producer/director and Annie is an actress. They took me under their wing and I became the daughter they never had and they became my LA parents like an aunt and uncle. They took me under their wing and looked off to me. I always stayed in their house when I used to come visit before I moved here full-time. They were phenomenal friends to me and I would never ever forget them. Maryanne is my parents’ age, but she was an amazing friend to me. LA people are extremely hospitable. The ones I’ve encountered and experienced were so hospitable. They always had open arms, they are happy to help any time and are happy to make introductions. It may be because everybody comes from somewhere else. Your friends almost become your family. It takes on a whole different dynamic.
I definitely think people are being very embracing here. I married Alyssa so I automatically had a whole new family and friends. When you are in the same-sex relationship with a woman, that woman also does become your best friend. Although I have other friends, Alyssa is my day-to-day best friend, BFF.It's so important to have close girlfriends, especially when you don't live in your hometown or you've moved across the world. Click To Tweet
I was going to say that’s probably the benefit of being a gay woman or a gay guy. You get to live and be with your best mate. If me and Miles were gay, we would have been married twenty years ago because we love each other so much. We love spending time together. Unfortunately, we like the opposite sex. It never worked out for us both but we’ve always said, “Wouldn’t it be so much easier if we were gay? We would have moved in.” I know what she likes. I know how she has her tea. She knows what I like. She’s the most phenomenal cook. It would have been brilliant. It will save me a lot of heartaches. That’s all I want to say. We’re going to do another episode on dating very soon in LA. Make sure you all stay tuned for that one. That’s going to be interesting. Who gives the best advice and why? Give me a name.
Elena gives good advice.
Is she mature, experienced or wise? What is it?
She’s very eloquent and she’s gentle. She’s got a big heart and a deep understanding. She’s got quite spiritual way with her and I’m not that person. I’m quite black and white with a bit of gray in the middle, but she’s quite spiritual and I like that.
Who’s the friend that makes you do things that you would never do with anyone else? Who brings out the crazy in you?
Look at that, no hesitation. Is she the wild one? What’s the craziest thing that Sasha has got you in trouble with? What’s happened? Did she ever nick anything at shop or do anything?
I’ve never stolen anything in my life. I’ve never done anything like that.
I stole once at age eleven. The local post office, back home, we call them rubbers. Here you called them erasers to rub out the pencils. I went into this stationery shop and stole those smelly rubber. That sounds disgusting. Do you remember back in the day, you can get the smelly pencils and stuff? I remember, “I’d love that.” I remember nicking this little smelly eraser. It smelled like pineapple. I remember going back to my dad’s office who used to give me a ride to and from school every day. I had to wait for him to finish work to get a ride home. Otherwise, it was a one-hour bus ride. I remember coming back in and he went, “Where did you get that?” It’s not like now where your kids have always got money on them. I never had a penny on me ever. My bus pass, that was it. He said, “Where did you get that from, Danielle?” I knew when he called me my full name, I was in mega trouble. I went, “I took it from the shop.” He dragged me by my ear down the high street, back into the shop and said, “My daughter has something to say to you,” in his South African accent. I had to apologize and hand him back the smelly eraser to the shopkeeper. I’ve never stolen anything again after that.
I remember going on a trip to Bodrum with Sasha when I was about 24 and she was about twenty. We met a couple of Turkish fishermen who took us away and we went on a little fishing boat. You would never do that now. It’s bloody dangerous.
You did everything your mother said no, “Do not get into a stranger’s car with a man or a stranger’s boat.”
They took us to all these remote beaches and I remember sitting there going, “Is this safe?” Surely it was safe because we both survived to tell the tale. I did get very drunk on that trip and I’m not a drinker. Sasha had to quick me along. Things went wild.
I remember Miles, we went to a Euro Disney, which is like the European Disneyland in Paris. I was asked to go there. We were launching some big new rides at Euro Disney. They invited a bunch of celebs at the time I was on TV. I got invited to all these fun things and I used to bring Miles everywhere with me. She is the funniest person I know. We would sit in our car until 4:00 AM because we don’t want to go home. We would sit and talk for four hours in our car just chatting away. We go to Euro Disney on this weekend to launch some new ride.
I remember there was a band called Boyzone. Do you remember that? They’re like a boy band, like an NSync and Backstreet Boys but the Irish version. They were very well known at the time and quite big. I remember they were on the plane flying out with us and she said, “Our mission for Euro Disney is this. We’re going to have Boyzone in our hotel room at midnight tonight singing their greatest hits.” I was like, “Really?” She went, “Really.” What happens? In our room, midnight, we’ve got the entire band standing there singing their greatest hits to us in our hotel rooms. It’s just crazy stuff that happened all the time.
I can compete like that. I can say crazy and amazing things that have happened in my work life. In my personal life with my friends, we just did stuff that you do. The difference with me when I was a teenager and when you were a teenager is that you were a celebrity when you’re a teenager and I was plain old Tara Joseph. I was doing things that people do. It was different because you were a celebrity.
The funny thing was I met all the celebs. You meet your celeb friends. They’re fun when you’re out and about, but it always came back to Miles. Martine obviously was one of my other closest friends. I went on holiday with her a lot. She had a fab place in Marbella. We used to go there a lot with her family. I loved her parents. They are so extravagant, very different from mine. I was drawn to her and her house. Her dad would pop champagne in the middle of the day which for me was everything.
What is interesting is talking about the fact that you have been a very successful celebrity and the friends that you have, I don’t mean just you but the friends that celebrities have versus the real friends that celebrities have. That’s interesting because you were talking about Miles who’s a real friend but then I bet there were friends there as well who were friends because you were somebody.
Celebs attract other celebs. It’s like, “You must be friends because you’re a celebrity too.” It was like that with Victoria Beckham, we were friends for a minute because we were both dating guys that were in the England Football Team. She was dating David Beckham at the time and I was dating Les Ferdinand. We’re going way back now. We were both the WAGS as they call it, the wives and girlfriends of the England football team. We were both schlepping over to France to go see all the games. We bonded because we were the only wives/girlfriends that were well-known and you have this thing where you’re not sure who you can trust at some level. She immediately was drawn to me and vice versa. We hung out together quite a bit. We became very friendly and I ended up in her wedding. I know you managed Victoria for a while.
I was her agent. I didn’t manage her.
Emma Bunton, I went to school with Emma “Baby Spice.” I was in the world of entertainment before she was in the Spice Girls. When she was in the band and they were performing on my show, you went to school together, so you have that immediate attraction.
It was interesting from my perspective having been an agent and now being a manager is watching the artists that you were present and the friends that they have. You can see the real friends and then you can see the hangers honors or the takers. As a manager, you can’t always say necessarily get rid of them. Sometimes you want to because you can see that these people are there for the ride, not because they love you.
I would drop two words. I’d be like, “See that over there? Be careful.” I drop it without saying too much. Can you not do that?
You can but at the same time, you have to handle it in a very delicate situation because there are certain people that wheedle their way into the artist’s life. They become so invaluable at that point in the artist’s life. That relationship will end in tears because the artist will see that this person isn’t the friend that they believed that they were. Generally, you can always see the real friends who’ve been there forever like we all have. They genuinely care and love you versus the ones who are there for a free glass of champagne.
After a few years of being in the public eye, people would say, “She changed. Did she change?” What you find is that if you come from a decent family and you have decent people around you that keep you down to earth which I was, thankfully, you don’t change. Everybody around you changes, which is something that people don’t understand. For example, you have Britney Spears or these kids that are overnight successes. They’re young and suddenly, they’re thrown into stardom and into the limelight and everyone goes, “They’ve changed.” Most of the time, it’s the people around them that changed and everybody suddenly becomes yes people. Anything you want, yes. Do you want this? Yes. Nobody has the balls to say no anymore. Have you noticed that with the celebs that you’ve looked after, that everyone else around them changes and not particularly them?You know your true friends when you haven't seen them for a year at a time and you'd pick up. Click To Tweet
Yes and the bigger someone gets, the more people become on tenterhooks because no one wants to lose their job. Everyone wants to be part of the journey. Everyone’s looking for a buck. You’ve got to be careful. I know this episode isn’t about managers, it’s about friendship. When you are representing someone, you automatically build a friendship because you care. If you’re a good manager, you definitely do care. You want to protect that person.
You spent an innate amount of time with these people. You travel with them, you’re in a hotel in the city, having meals together. This is not 9 to 5 where you switch off. You do develop a friendship because you are so engrossed in each other’s lives. The two of us didn’t do much traveling, but you knew everything personally that’s going on and you do probably with all your clients.
You have to care about them. I remember we did go on a trip once.
Where did we go? I’ve got the worst memory in the world.
We went to New York because you were doing the Vagina Monologues and I came with you.
That was in Madison Square Garden. That was amazing. That was with Oprah Winfrey and Jane Fonda. There were some amazing book shows and amazing names. That was incredible. I want to experience that once again.
That was a trip that I did with you. Another trip was when I came to do a set visit to Wales.
Rancid Aluminum, the movie with Joseph Fiennes, Sadie Frost and Rhys Ifans.
You drove me back in your BMW.
What kind of friend are you? If your friends were to describe you in three words, how would they describe Tara Joseph?
I don’t think they would say I was sensible. You see me as sensible because we’ve got all this work stuff going on. Maybe I’m more sensible than you.
You’re extremely organized. I’m sensible and responsible. I thought I was organized, but you’re extremely meticulously organized. Thank God because I can breathe a minute.
The last one I would say is caring. I do care but I’m also a nutter, highly neurotic female Jewish.
I lost that bit in the Jewish DNA. I’m way more impatient than you.
We are both so impatient. The question back to you, what three words will your friends give?
Loyal, generous and fun. I always have fun. Even if I’m in a bad mood, I’m done in three seconds. I can be with one of my girls and have a good giggle about everything. I don’t stay if I’m annoyed about something or if I’m sad about something. I can quickly switch out of it very quickly, unlike you. I have my party friends and vacation friends. I have some friends I love and I’ve known forever. Put me on vacation with them and I’ll want to kill them by the end of day two. It’s funny how certain people are better at certain things. I have certain friends that are brilliant to have a party with. I have other friends who were perfect to stay home or watch movies and have some advice with. It’s different friends for different things. For me, I’ve got to be able to call my friends at any time and then be a good ear. Girlfriends need to have another girlfriend and we’ll be talking about that another time. Our girlfriends are as important as your spouse or partner in life.
What used to upset me when I was younger is I’d be at school and some girlfriends would go off, they’d meet guys and you wouldn’t hear from them for six months because it was all about the guy. When that relationship falls apart, then they come rushing back. I was never that person.
I was a little bit in the beginning, not completely but when I was into a guy, I was in a tunnel vision for the first couple of months. I needed my little honeymoon period. I’d be still calling my girlfriends but I didn’t see them as much.
I got hurt by different people who would vanish. There was one friend I had at school who was very friendly. She was part of our group. We were all best friends at that time. She was a lot of fun and she met this guy who she consequently married. As soon as she met him, none of her friends were good enough for her. She didn’t want to know any of us. It was awful. I’ve never seen the girl since. I nearly meet her once in the street. She married someone who is very successful and has become more successful and she didn’t want to know. She hurts a lot of people.
Have you got any friends that got in the way of your relationships, past or present? Are they people that are in the air of your partner saying, “Don’t do that. You shouldn’t be with her?” Have you had any friends that get in the way?
I’ve been pretty lucky. I’ve only had two long relationships but I would say that no friends have got in the way of either of those relationships. How about you?
It’s different when it’s a guy and a girl because all Alyssa’s girlfriends or guy friends become your friends immediately. When you’re with a guy and they have their guy friends, sometimes when the guys are single and wanting to do guy stuff and pickup on party, they get a bit resentful towards you as the new girlfriend of taking their friend away from their party scene. Especially, if they’re one of the guys that pretty much pays for everything. They’re the guys that get them into the clubs or pay for dinners and their guy friends are a bit resentful of you that you’ve taken the guy away.
I can see how that can happen with a guy and a girl.
I have not altercations where we’ve had it out or anything but there have been some weird vibes and then in return, I don’t want my boyfriend to be hanging out with them. I also had that with my ex-husband, his brothers and sisters-in-law. That was all a bit weird for a while. Those dynamics are strange when you’ve got friends or other family members that get in the way of the relationship. That can be tricky. Friends, it’s so important to have close girlfriends especially when you don’t live in your hometown or you’ve moved across the world. My friends are my most favorite things on earth. I couldn’t think of anything more fun than to spend my time off with my girlfriends.
I have to say that since I met Alyssa, she does have wonderful friends. What I love about her friends is they’re not in the business at all. There were a couple who you’ve met. Since I moved to LA now, I’ve got a lot of male friends like Dan Rutstein who we interviewed. I never had very many male friends in the UK. I have loads of great friends here.
When I’m single, I hung out with my guy friends a lot because they take you under their wings. You can go out on the town and it’s quite nice to have that male company. I’m sandwiched between two brothers so I’m used to having guys around. I like the male energy a lot. It’s important to have quality time with people. You know your true friends when you haven’t seen them for a year at a time and you’d pick up. It’s the best.
When you go home and when I go home to the UK and we see these old friends, you pick up where you left off a year earlier or whatever it might be.
It’s like no time has passed. It’s quite simple. That’s our episode on friendships and we’ll get Miles on one episode. She’s so funny. We thank you for being our friends and listening to La La Landed. You can catch us on Facebook at La La Landed. Instagram @LaLaLandedPodcast and our website, LaLalanded.com. There’s all of our information and all our future episodes. We appreciate you taking the time. Please feel free to contact us with any suggestions or comments or questions you have for Tara and I. We look forward to having you back here on La La Landed very soon. Don’t forget to check out For Love and Music and The Behr Essentials and have a great day.