Adam Scott is a very busy man. Fresh off wrapping five seasons on Parks and Recreation, the actor is staying active on the producing side as the co-head of Gettin’ Rad Productions, the company behind this year’s indie sleeper The Overnight and the upcoming directorial debut from SNL writer Chris Kelly, Other People. I had a chance to talk with Adam about teaming up with the Duplass brothers on The Overnight, his thoughts on last month’s real life Santa Catalina Wine Mixer, and the only other band besides U2 that could get him and Scott Aukerman into a podcast studio.
How did you and your wife/producing partner Naomi team up with the Duplass brothers?
We’ve been friends with them for a while and have been looking for something to do together. And Mark brought us this script that introduced us to Patrick [Brice, writer/director] and said, “I think you guys should produce this.” It was pretty generous of him because this script was terrific and ready to go. So, we just started getting our ducks in a row and finding people and making our dream cast list and, weirdly, we got them all and sort of went from there. We shot it quickly in 11 days. We shot it really fast.
The Overnight has a lot of funny moments but there’s this undercurrent of anxiety while watching it, almost as if it could change into a thriller or even a horror movie at any moment. I felt a big part of that was Jason Schwartzman and Judith Godrèche’s performances as this wealthy Silverlake couple with a bunch of secrets. What were you looking for when casting the roles that Jason and Judith ended up filling?
We just wanted to find good, funny people. Jason is incredible, we were lucky to get him. Judith was actually already attached to it because she knew Patrick and Mark before Naomi and I came on. She was like the one sexy French mom Patrick knew so he kind of cast her even before it was a real movie. But I agree. I feel a lot of that is the film making. In a way, we have friends who described it as a horror movie where sex is the monster.
So I’m sure you’ve been asked ad nauseam about the prosthetic penises in the film but I want to ask about the butthole paintings. How did you go about commissioning two dozen butthole paintings for the scene where Schwartzman’s character shows off his collection of artwork?
That was Theresa Guleserian, our production designer, who painted all of those in one night because she had found someone to make them, but then that person flaked out right before we shot the scene. So the night before we had to shoot, Theresa stayed up all night painting those. And she did a great job.
Your production company Gettin’ Rad has made The Overnight, this quiet indie about two struggling marriages, and the absurdist Greatest Event In Television History specials for Adult Swim. With this variety in comedic projects, would you ever be interested in producing a drama or any other type of genre?
We just shot a movie this past summer that certainly has some funny stuff in it, but is more dramatic than anything we’ve done. We’re interested in everything. We’re not setting out just to make comedies. We’re just interested in finding good stuff. Stuff that speaks to us in one way or another.
Can you tell me a little about your upcoming horror Christmas movie Krampus? It seems like it straddles the line between genres but the trailer doesn’t give much away. Is there anything you can reveal about it?
Michael Dougherty, who directed it, really wanted to make a movie that harkens back to the character-driven horror movies all of us grew up with in the 80s like Gremlins and Poltergeist that feel like they take place in the real world. Movies that you could see at 12 years old with your parents. I remember going and seeing those two movies with my folks and it was a family night out. It’s pretty scary but it’s also not something kids under the age of 15 have to run away from. It is certainly scary but it doesn’t preclude the under 15 set from seeing it. And a lot of the monsters are practical puppets you could actually touch on set. Weta did all the creatures and puppets for the movie as well as the digital effects. So it’s a really nice mix of practical and digital. It’s pretty amazing.
I’m really looking forward to it. I love those movies you mentioned and they just don’t make them these days.
I know and I loved those movies growing up. And I’d go see them four times. They were just so fun to watch.
So I have to say, I’m a huge fan of U Talkin’ U2 To Me.
Oh cool. Or, not cool. [laughs]
Over the years, you’ve met the President and Vice President. But was meeting U2 in the latest episode the most surreal moment that’s happened in your life?
It was pretty intense. I think sitting there with all four of them was particularly intense. You know, even sitting with just Bono and The Edge would’ve certainly been a big deal. But the fact that all four of the guys were there and for a kid who grew up in the 80s… you know, surreal is kind of an overused word in this situation but it really was. It felt like sitting down with The Beatles or something. As a kid I thought so many times about what I would say to U2 if I got to meet them and here I was and I couldn’t think of anything because I was so freaked out.
It was a great episode. I still can’t believe it happened. Seeing it pop up on my phone was just a surreal moment as a fan of the podcast. Since U2 finally released Songs of Innocence and there’s no telling when the next album will come out, are there any other bands that both you and Scott Aukerman mutually geek out on and could perhaps start a podcast on them?
R.E.M. is the only other one we’ve seriously discussed doing another podcast about. And I don’t know if we ever will. They loom even larger for me than U2. Their catalog is enormous and they’re perfect. I think it would be a really fun one to do, it would just be a matter of finding the time and coming up with a good name.
A couple weeks ago, there was a real life version of the Santa Catalina Wine Mixer that your character in Step Brothers put on. Did they contact you about that or ask you to make an appearance?
No they didn’t. I don’t know if they contacted anyone from the movie. I heard about it on Twitter. I don’t know if I would’ve gone because it sounded like a long hot day in the sun.
I read a piece about it and it sounded like it was just bros drinking all day on the island.
Screaming “It’s the fucking Catalina Wine Mixer!” over and over again. It’s actually cool that they did it though. I think it’s really funny that it actually happened.
The Overnight is now available on iTunes.