Jason Sudeikis has never seen Game of Thrones – which works out well, because Maisie Willams has never seen Sudeikis on Saturday Night Live. So, yes, here are two actors coming together for a new film, who both come from extremely popular television series, yet neither has seen the other’s work. And you know what?: This all seems to work out for the best for them because there are no preconceived notions. Or, maybe more importantly, it stops Sudeikis from asking Williams about Arya Stark and Game of Thrones spoilers. (Which, yes, most human beings would probably do.)
This was supposed to be a longer interview, but Maisie Williams was running late to another event (and was trying to eat something before she left), so our time was brief. Though, after Williams left, I spoke to Sudeikis for a bit longer – specifically about two of his most popular SNL sketches (and two of this reporter’s favorite SNL sketches). We’re going to save that part of the interview for a separate post because a) it’s pretty long and b) Sudeikis went into so much wonderful detail, it deserves its own post. (Frankly, it belongs in a museum, but its own post will have to suffice.)
In The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (which premiered Thursday night at the Tribeca Film Festival), Sudeikis isn’t playing the cocksure character we’re used to seeing from him. Sudeikis’ Henry is a broken man, still recovering from the death of his wife (played by Jessica Biel, who is also one of the film’s producers). While still grieving, Henry meets Millie (Williams), a New Orleans vagabond of sorts who ran away from an abusive home. Together, they set out on building a raft out of scrap parts. Of course, everyone else thinks they are crazy.
Ahead, Sudeikis and Willaims discuss how they barely know anything about each other’s other work, and Sudeikis discusses why this role is so important to him, even though it wasn’t a conscious effort to play a “different” type of character.
This is a fun pairing in this movie with you two.
Sudeikis: Well, thanks.
It should continue. It can be like Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor.
Sudeikis: Sure, yeah. Happily, yeah.
Had you two met before?
Sudeikis: We had never met. And I’ll speak for Maisie, only because I know the answer and she is chewing. Maisie had seen We’re the Millers, with her friend Will Poulter, who played my fake son in that movie. A guy I love dearly. But, I had never seen Game of Thrones…
Sudeikis: Yeah, yeah. And I still haven’t. And by the time Maisie was attached to it, by that point I wasn’t going to watch it. Only because I want to know her as Millie. If I’ve gotten this far…
But now you could watch Game of Thrones.
Sudeikis: Now I could.
You have a lot of catching up to do.
Sudeikis: I know.
Williams: Yeah, we filmed this a year ago, but here we are.
Sudeikis: Still, it doesn’t matter. Nope. I still need to wait until the movie comes out. We’ll see. Not until the movie is on DVD. When the Blu-ray comes out, then HBO Go, here I come.
Williams: [Laughing] Okay.
Sudeikis: No, I’m going to download it all illegally. I’m going to BitTorrent the whole thing. I’m going to learn BitTorrent and download it. I’m going to buy a laptop, the whole bit.
You saw We’re the Millers, but did you know Jason at all from SNL?
Williams: No. I feel like I approached it in the same way. Where I’m like, “Okay, I know this guy, but…” I was happy to take him as I meet him and our relationship, as it grows that way. It’s like how you would learn about any other person. It’s just so happens you do interviews and actors open themselves up to the world. But, it’s nice to still meet people as organically as you can, just like you would meet a stranger in the street.
It sounds better that Jason’s never seen Game of Thrones. He’s not asking you for spoilers.
Williams: Right! Exactly! It’s just two people who are doing this movie together and your relationship grows and it’s very, very natural.
Sudeikis: I get to stand and sit next to you a lot of the times when people ask those things.