When I interviewed Andy Samberg at the press day for “That’s My Boy,” he was joined by Adam Sandler, and it was a rowdy, loose conversation, which seems fitting based on the movie itself.
When we sat down to talk about his new film “Celeste and Jesse Forever,” though, there was a very different mood in the room. And while Samberg may be incredibly self-deprecating in the interview about his own abilities as an actor, he should be proud of the work he does in the film. It’s an indication that there’s more to him than we’ve seen so far in films like “Hot Rod” or during his run on “Saturday Night Live.”
We went pretty far out of our way not to talk about either SNL or “That’s My Boy” during this conversation, and while that may sound limiting, I think there’s enough to discuss in “C&JF,” and the time zipped by as it always seems to during these interviews. Samberg has an innate likability that was important to his part in the film, and I think people will be surprised by him when they see it.
What’s nice about the current crop of SNL graduates is that they aren’t making the moves that we’d typically expect from people leaving the show. There’s been this precedent set over the years that you’re almost expected to just make big broad comedy movies after SNL, and little by little, I think that expectation is crumbling. That’s a good thing, because obviously, you’re dealing with actors who are capable of more than just one thing, and it seems like taking a chance on one of these guys has a pretty high ratio of success.
We also talked a bit about the way his Lonely Island cohorts are enjoying some big moments of their own this year, including Jorma Taccone and his much-discussed role on “Girls” this year. I’m glad to see it freaks Samberg out to hear women talking about Jorma as a sex object, because that’s one of those “who could have guessed?” moments that makes pop culture such a constant, weird surprise.
I have a feeling this is going to turn out to be an important career moment for Samberg, no matter how the film does in general release, because people in the industry will see it and it will change the sorts of things he is offered. And based on the work he does here, that’s a good thing.
“Celeste & Jesse Forever” opens in limited release on Friday.