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Actor-comedian Jeff Garlin is in town this week on double duty — he’s promoting the sixth (and final?) season of Curb Your Enthusiasm, in which he plays Larry David’s hapless manager Jeff, and his new movie I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With, which he wrote, directed, and starred in (alongside Bonnie Hunt and Sarah Silverman). He spoke with Vulture about crappy movies, Fashion Week, and why he hates acting.
Your new movie looks adorable.
It’s a big bowl of adorable.
Did you always want Sarah Silverman in it?
I wrote the part for her, yes. She was the person in it from the get-go. Good thing she said yes, and good thing she became a star.
And the new season of CYE starts Sunday! Are you excited?
I’m excited that it’s really good. It’s so exciting to have a movie or a TV show and know that people are going to watch it and not be disappointed. And I’ve done my share of crappy movies and different things, and, you know, it’s really difficult to do interviews and promote something when it’s not very good.
Any big guest stars this season?
Yeah, we have Ben Stiller, John McEnroe, and Vivica Fox. She’s in all the episodes actually.
Vivica Fox, huh? Was it cool to have her on set?
Well, I didn’t hang out with her. Professionally she was wonderful. I didn’t hang out in her trailer or anything. I don’t get excited with pretty actresses.
You’re in New York to do press right now. Why come during Fashion Week?
I just need to get my fashions out there.
I’m assuming you aren’t going to any shows.
I’d be the last guy on earth to go.
It’s an interesting scene.
I’m sure it is. One that I could make fun of. But I really have no interest in that sort of thing. I read GQ and Esquire and that sort of thing. I like classic fashions; it just doesn’t affect me as a 45-year-old man.
In your work, your fictional self gets called fat a lot, by your wife in CYE and your mom in the new movie.
Yeah, she says, “Don’t wear that shirt, it makes you look fat.” I say, “I am fat! If anything, I make the shirt look fat.” That’s actual dialogue between my mother and I in real life. I remembered it.
What did she think about your using it in the movie?
She didn’t even notice because she’s told me a million times that that shirt makes me look fat. That was the one time I had a response besides “Leave me alone, Mom!”
Is this the last season of CYE?
Well, I’m not going to direct anymore, but I won’t be the jerkoff who stops doing it and stops the show. I’ll keep doing it, but I think this is our last season.
Did you know it when you were working on it?
Yeah. I thought every year was our last season. It was supposed to be last season.
What will you do when it’s over?
I can’t stand producing; I can’t stand acting. Well, maybe not can’t stand. I prefer writing, directing and doing stand-up. Unless you’re in a Coen brothers or a Martin Scorsese movie, or some really cool independent movie, acting is a drag.
How do you put up with it?
You get paid a lot. If I get paid a lot, I’m happy to act in any piece of crap.