party lines

Adam Scott and Jason Schwartzman on Their Sundance Comedy The Overnight and Prosthetic Penises

Photo: Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images for Sundance

Earlier this Sundance, Vulture Kyle brought you the news of Adam Scott and Jason Schwartzman going full frontal side-by-side in their hilarious new Los Angeles swingers movie, The Overnight (which also features Taylor Schilling and Judith Godrèche as their respective wives). There is so much to love about this movie, in which two couples with kids try to spark a new friendship, from paintings of buttholes to spontaneous pit stops at happy-endings massage parlors. But the centerpiece of the movie comes [SPOILER] when Schwartzman’s character drops trou to go skinny dipping at a dinner party and reveals a giant horse penis, which sends Scott’s character into a spiral of insecurity about his own micropenis — until his new well-endowed friend gets him to love his body … and do a naked dance that gives new meaning to the phrase swinging dicks. As I waited around to talk to Scott and Schwartzman, there wasn’t an interview I overheard where they weren’t talking about their members. And I wasn’t about to stop the trend. Here’s what they had to say.

Have you been able to get through any of these interviews without talking about your penises?
Adam Scott: No, I think it’s a pretty hot topic.
Jason Schwartzman: It is a hot topic, but when you say “your penises,” honestly, I do feel slightly like it’s cheating, because—
Scott: —it’s not our penises.
Schwartzman: Because they are prosthetics, I really do feel like we can talk about this, and it’s quite easy to talk about.
Scott: Yeah, totally.
Schwartzman: Honestly, it’s more scary to just talk about — not scary to talk about, but — what was more scary was just being on set and like, I’m just, like, shy about my body, I guess? So it was scarier just to be naked, than to—
Scott: Than to have a fake penis.
Schwartzman: I wasn’t thinking about the penis, because aside from that thing there, you are totally nude. And it’s pretty scary, but it’s liberating, too.

Does having a prosthetic make a nude scene easier?
Schwartzman: For sure.
Scott: Yeah, I mean, it’s weird because it’s prosthetic, but it looks real, and you’re naked otherwise, so you may as well just be naked, but for whatever reason, it makes the whole thing a lot easier. And people around you are far more comfortable—
Schwartzman: —touching it! [Laughs.]
Scott: If there was just a naked man on set, the fact that everyone knows it’s fake makes everyone more comfortable.
Schwartzman: Absolutely, absolutely. Honestly, it was very cool, just the whole crew. Everyone was in good spirits about it. And also, I feel like the prosthetics were great for the movie, because they … each had their own function in the movie. One, my coming out, prosthetically, is sort of a plot twist, or a plot escalation, which is, this night is going further. This isn’t just a pizza party anymore. And Adam’s is a character breakthrough.
Scott: Yeah, totally.
Schwartzman: I think it’s cool. It’s not just like two guys just wearing prosthetic penises; they each have a major function.
Scott: Yeah, it’s not gratuitous.
Schwartzman: If you took out those scenes, the movie doesn’t work. And that’s important, because sometimes you’ll see nudity and be like, you could take that out and it wouldn’t — they were doing that for effect. But ours, actually, it’s an integral part of where this thing is going.

And were you able to select your own prosthetic?
Scott: Oh, no, the director [Patrick Brice] chose them.

Adam, you and your wife, Naomi, produced the movie. You didn’t have any input?
Scott: Actually, I did. My wife and I did; we just looked at photos and stuff, but yeah Patrick chose them.
Schwartzman: [sighs] When you’re not a producer and just an actor, you just get whatever prosthetic they give you.
Scott: You just get any penis slapped on you that they choose.
Schwartzman: Any ol’ penis glued right on.

There’s a kind of easy bisexuality to the movie. Like no one is particularly shocked by the fluid couplings that seem to occur. Was that something you were eager to depict?
Schwartzman: I don’t know. This is new to these people. I think they’re all scared. Even Kurt [Schwartzman’s character], who, theoretically, is trying to motivate this at the earliest, I think is nervous, too. Like he didn’t expect maybe this to happen.
Scott: I think it’s really lovely. I think it’s really nice.

The movie opens with Adam and Taylor’s characters trying to have hot sex and getting interrupted by their kids. Is that something you two related to as parents?
Scott: Oh, yeah …
Schwartzman: Well, I think more than anything, what I related to was the idea of making friends at a point in your life — because people probably have really good friends back home, and then they move to a new place. After this movie was made, two of our really close friends in L.A., husband and wife, moved to Austin. And I was thinking, What do they do? How are they going to do that now? Are they going to make new friends? So I thought about this movie in terms of them now, sort of relocating. Because we’ve never really lived anywhere else. How hard must that be at a certain point in your life? Because I think of best friends and stuff as being open with them. And best friends sometimes typically seem to be there during some big thing in your life that they kind of help you through, but if you’re making new friends at a certain age, are you updating them on what’s happened in your life? Do you let them in on things? And at what point do you just say, “I don’t really have time or room to make a new buddy.” Anyway, that’s interesting to me.
Scott: And knowing that who would be your peers in this town probably don’t have time or desire to make friends with you either. It’s just hard. It’s a hard time to try and make friends.
Schwartzman: And meeting people of a similar age as parents of your kids’ friends. Being smushed together with them.

How did you two become friends?
Scott: We had met before, but never worked together. Jason was on Parks and Rec once, but we didn’t do scenes together, but yeah, this movie.
Schwartzman: A big part of the reason why I wanted to do this — I loved this movie, but even before I read the script, when you get sent a script, it has a little kind of biography of who’s in it, who’s making it, what they shooting dates are. It’s a little summary, and I see Adam Scott, and I think, Okay, this is exciting to me.
Scott: That’s super nice of you to say.
Schwartzman: No, I was like [claps]. I’ve got to read this. Let’s go.
Scott: That is so nice.

And at this point in your life, have you had dinner parties that have devolved in some sort of incredible fashion?
Schwartzman: I never have.
Scott: Eh, I wish.
Schwartzman: I’ve been to dinner parties that have devolved into some kind of a fight, but never sexual innuendos.
Scott: You know, remember The Anniversary Party? How great that movie was — I loved that movie. And I remember soon after that movie came out, we had a dinner party that devolved into a rip-it-up awesome night, and I was like, “Did all these people see The Anniversary Party? Is that why this is happening?” Because it felt so similar. There wasn’t any, like, swinging or anything, but it was just a great night. I’ve never been to a dinner party that goes off the rails this hard.
Schwartzman: My favorite movie party of all time: Shampoo. The party scene in Shampoo, it’s just so fucking amazing. It’s just that scene, like the whole last chunk of it is that big party, right? And it’s “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” playing, and it’s amazing.
Scott: Yeah, so good.

Are you trying to give the L.A. swingers community a voice?
Schwartzman: Like, are we shining a spotlight? Is there an underground movement … I’m curious. Do I know anyone who’s knowingly hooking up with each other?

Adam, you nodded like you knew stuff about swinging.
Scott: No, no, oh my God.
Schwartzman: I go to this restaurant called Swingers, and I love the movie Swingers, but I don’t know.
Scott: Like an underground faction of people who swing? I have no idea.
Schwartzman: I bet you it’s soon to come.
Scott: I bet that there probably is.
Schwartzman: Like, Dumpster diving is over; swinging is the new trend.
Scott: I don’t know how that could work. How a marriage could work if you swing. I don’t see that working.
Schwartzman: Well, it asks us to redefine the word marriage.
Scott: Yes, it does.
Schwartzman: “Mawidge. Mawidge is what brings us here today.”

Wait, what did you say?
Schwartzman: It’s from Princess Bride. I like saying the word marriage differently. I feel like some psychoanalyst would be like, “Why is he doing that?”

Maybe this movie is making a difference. Maybe you’ll bring people out of their shells.
Scott: Oh my God. I wonder if it’ll cause swinging.
Schwartzman: [As a news anchor] “Since the release of the film, swinging culture is on the rise. Key parties are at an all-time high. Uber’s out, swinging’s in!”

Scott and Schwartzman on The Overnight, Penises