Kodachrome is a movie I’ve been dreading to talk about. This isn’t something that one usually says to the star of the movie during an interview, but these are unique circumstances. First of all, I saw Kodachrome back in September at the Toronto Film Festival (and it’s on Netflix as of right now) and I really enjoyed it. I certainly wasn’t expecting to cry during a movie starring Jason Sudeikis, but cry I did because there’s something about movies about fathers and sons that always get me.
In Kodachrome, Sudeikis plays Ben, who is reconciling with his dying father (Ed Harris) as they, and his father’s caregiver (Elizabeth Olsen), drive from New York to Kansas on a mission to get a roll of Kodachrome film developed at the last developer to still do that before they close up shop forever. It’s one of those movies that when you walk out it makes you think, You know, I want to work on having a better relationship with my father. (Well, at least until you see the next movie at a film festival and your thoughts change to You know, maybe Tonya Harding got a raw deal?)
Then, in November, my father died suddenly. And since then I’ve thought a lot about this movie. At the end of the film, Ben receives a kind of closure that I wish I could find. I haven’t given up though. And I think about the ending to this movie a lot.
Poor Jason Sudeikis, he didn’t quite know what he was getting into here. I’ve always enjoyed my experiences with him and, over the years, we’ve developed what I would call a good professional relationship. It’s because of that, and the fact that I think he’s really terrific in this film, that I decided I wanted to talk to him about it – but I also knew a lot of personal baggage was going to come out given the subject matter, and it certainly did. Sudeikis, for his part, never shied away from the topic, even as I was profusely apologizing once it got “heavy.” At times it felt like Sudeikis was my personal therapist – to the point that I considered not including good chunks of this conversation in the printed interview, but in the end decided to go ahead and run it. Because maybe someone else out there going through something like this will get something out of it. (Anyway, all of this is here to say that I know there’s a lot of “me” in this interview and that’s certainly never the goal, but that’s the way it turned out.)
Jason Sudeikis: How are you doing, dude?
I’m alright. How are you?
I’m okay. We’ve been out in LA, so…
I saw you were on James Corden’s show. What else are you doing out there?
Well, I’m doing some work on a situation comedy and I’ll leave that vague. But also Olivia [Wilde] is directing this movie [Booksmart], so by proxy we’ve missed the horrible New York winter. I don’t mind the snow…
But in April?
A friend of mine lives near you now and he said he saw you outside looking at the eclipse when that happened.
Oh that was my favorite thing about the eclipse. We were all out there and people were all sharing the different homemade devices. Our friends brought over the best thing. He made something beautiful like you’d see on Mr. Wizard. It felt like a sci-fi movie and everyone was outside staring up. It was great.
We were driving to Vermont and pulled over at a rest area McDonald’s and it was the same thing. Everyone in the parking lot looking up. That’s what an alien invasion would look like.
That’s exactly right. Though, people would probably have their fucking phones out.
Well, I tried that, but it didn’t work.
[Laughs.] Okay, me too. We tried like five different cameras and we were like, argh, that didn’t work!
How will I ever remember this eclipse without this picture of bright white?
I know! Oh well, we tried.
I saw this movie at Toronto and really loved it…
Did you rewatch it?
I haven’t. But there’s a lot of the band Live in this movie. In Toronto I used valuable pre-bought international data to download “All Over You” right after I saw this.
Oh hell yeah. I remember seeing them in Sandstone in Kansas City. What was it called after that?