Let me set the Sundance Film Festival scene a bit: From afar, what may look like a wonderful and glorious time filled with booze and parties (and, for some people, I’m sure this is the case and good for them), isn’t quite like that for press and for the actors who are promoting their new movies. Everyone is low on sleep, and press and talent alike are herded into a pretty terrible room called the Acura Lounge to conduct interviews – terrible in that it’s not very big, everyone looks miserable, and it’s really loud.
(As I was waiting to interview Jason Schwartzman and Adam Scott, Keanu Reeves sat down right next to me at the table I was sitting at, buried his head into the table and took a short nap. None of this seemed abnormal to me.)
So, what we have ahead is three exhausted human beings trying to maintain some sort of rational discussion. That attempt pretty much failed, as this interview is kind of all over the place, but, at the same time, kind of sums up what it’s like to be at Sundance.
Scott and Schwartzman are starring together in The Overnight, a movie about two married couples (Scott plays Alex; Schwartzman plays Kurt) who spend the night together – a night that winds up being filled with booze, drugs and, yes, both Schwartzman and Scott donning prosthetic penises for one of the funniest scenes I’ve watched in a long time (I wrote more about The Overnight here). Ahead, Scott and Schwartzman discuss these prosthetic penises and a lot of other topics way too long to list (breast feeding Jude Law is one topic) – but it does end with Scott flipping the bird to one of his Parks and Recreation co-stars.
Did you two know each other before you did this movie?
Adam Scott: Slightly.
Jason Schwartzman: We had met. Not like this.
It’s easy to think that all famous people know each other.
Schwartzman: They don’t all know each other. But I’ll tell you this, at this Sundance Film Festival they do. I don’t know a lot of actors.
Yes, you do.
Schwartzman: You see people. But, Jack Black and Jason Segel I’ve known for over ten years and they have movies here and we all showed our movies yesterday … this lineup at Sundance, it’s a communal feeling.
Scott: It’s so weird; I don’t think I’ll ever feel like I’m really a part of show business.
What does that mean? You’ve been doing this a long time.
Scott: No, I know. But, being a fan for so long with my face pressed up against the glass for so long – but, now, I have a similar experience as Jason. Like, running into friends out and about at Sundance and I’m like, “Oh, wait, we’re all friends … it feels nice. I feel like we’re all making stuff.”
Schwartzman: The only people I’ve seen today are those people. And there are a million great actors here. I’ve seen Chris Pine a million times and I don’t know him.
Adam could approach him and say, “I was also in a Star Trek movie.”
Scott: Oh, I should do that! I love him, he’s really, really good.
Schwartzman: He’s really tall.
Scott: He is super tall.
Schwartzman: Did he grow? Did he get bigger?
Scott: He looks like a real movie star-looking guy, so I expected him to be short.
Did you know Adam was in a Star Trek movie?
Schwartzman: You were in a Star Trek movie?
Scott: Yeah, Star Trek: First Contact.
Schwartzman: I didn’t know that.
Scott: Yeah, I’m in it for five seconds and I get blown up.
Schwartzman: I’ll tell you one movie I love: Galaxy Quest.
Scott: Aw, man! I want to see it again. I want to show my kids that.
Schwartzman: Remember Sam Rockwell’s like, “I’m crewmember one! I die immediately!”
Scott: Sam Rockwell, there’s another one. What a good egg.
What was it like when you first saw the prosthetic penises you’d have to wear?
Schwartzman: I smiled. I don’t mean to say I’ve always wanted to wear a prosthetic, but I’ve never worn a prosthetic of any kind. That’s not true, I wore prosthetic breasts once.
Schwartzman: In I Heart Huckabees we had this scene that got cut out of it where I’m nursing Jude Law.
Scott: Oh, my God.
Schwartzman: Anyway, I’m nursing him and wearing these fake breasts and, oddly enough, they pumped soymilk through the breasts. It was so ridiculous. Anyway, that’s an aside. What do you call it? A tangent. But, the prosthetic penis, I’ve never worn anything like it. It was fun! It was liberating!
Scott: Yeah! I mean, once you’re out there and you’re like, “alright, I’m naked” – because you have a prosthetic penis on, but you’re naked. So, after a minute or so, everybody has seen it, so I can relax. And then we just hung out in the swimming pool all night. It was great.
I’d watch another movie with Alex and Kurt (their characters in The Overnight).
Schwartzman: We could do that.
Scott: Yeah, we can do a sequel.
Schwartzman: I would do it.
Scott: I would do it, too.
Though, Jason needs to bring back that fun hat he wears in his first scene.
Schwartzman: I own that hat. It’s called a Stetson Open Road. It’s what LBJ wore.
Scott: You know what’s so funny? I just recently re-watched There Will Be Blood again and I was like, “It’s Jason in The Overnight.”
You’re the first person to make that comparison.
Scott: It’s funny, I haven’t seen There Will Be Blood for years. When did it come out, five years ago?
It was 2007.
Scott: Wow. It’s funny, watching it now, you realize that movie was incredibly influential on fashion. What that movie, he looks like a hipster in Brooklyn or something.
Did you subconsciously buy the hat because of There Will Be Blood?
Schwartzman: No, I bought the hat in Austin…
Scott: That’s a badass hat.
Schwartzman: There was a store and they had hats and I decided I was going to buy a present for myself. They had Stetson hats and it looked far away hanging on the wall. I said, “How about that one?” And they said, “No one has bought that hat in years.” And I thought, OK, that sounds pretty good.
And now it’s in a movie.
Schwartzman: And now it’s in a movie.
It’s weird watching Parks and Recreation end because it’s not just the show ending, but it’s also kind of the end of NBC’s focus on comedy.
Scott: Well, Marry Me is really good…
But there is a shift away.
Scott: Yeah, I think they have really good instincts over there and really good taste. I just think that coming up with perfect shows that are going to strike a chord with America is really hard. And then putting it on at the exact right time of year on the exact perfect night at the right time is really difficult. And I think people jump to criticize TV networks for things that are deceptively simple that are actually really tough. Yeah, I think it might be the end of an era, but they’re always trying to try different stuff.
Do you want to do another series? I assume you don’t have as much time for movies like this when you’re busy with television.
Scott: I’m not sure. I love TV, but it’s all kind of the same now. It’s just like, is it something that I want to do that I think I can be good in or not? It’s more that than “Is it a movie or a TV show?”
Schwartzman: I agree. We were talking earlier; it’s so hard to get anything made.
I feel it is and it isn’t. There are certainly more independent movies now than there were 15 years ago.
Schwartzman: Yeah, that’s true. There seems to be a circuit of young filmmakers who all know each other, too.
[Adam Scott extends his middle finger at someone behind me.]
Who are you flipping off?
Scott: Nick Offerman.
Mike Ryan has written for The Huffington Post, Wired, Vanity Fair and GQ. He is senior entertainment writer at Uproxx. You can contact him directly on Twitter.