Talking ‘A.C.O.D.,’ ‘Parks and Rec,’ & ‘Walter Mitty’ With Adam Scott

Dealing with the strain of divorce can be pretty psychologically ravaging territory. Not only for those whose marriage has come to an end, but for the children, friends, and relatives left in its wake. Whether you’re five, fifteen, or thirty-five divorce creates a schism in your foundation, and although those wounds may mend themselves with time, it can certainly be a life-altering experience to undergo. And when it comes to cinematic portrayals of divorce, the relationships shown usually tend to be on the brutal side of things, exposing the heartbreaking and painful aftermath of a family broken apart. But with Stu Zicherman’s directorial debut A.C.O.D. we get an entertaining glimpse at divorce on screen, with a comedy about a man who thinks he’s put his parents strange past behind him and has his life totally in control, only to find himself back in the chaos of it all.

Starring the always enjoyable to watch Adam Scott, the film focuses on Carter an A.C.O.D.—“Adult Child of Divorce”—and seemingly well-adjusted guy with a great job, lovely girlfriend, and his life totally in check. But when his younger brother rushes into a engagement, Carter is forced to reunite his bizarre parents (played by Catherine O’Hara and Richard Jenkins)—after not speaking for 20 years—and set them on an amicable path to appear at the wedding. But upon returning to his childhood therapist (played by Jane Lynch) he soon learns that the sessions the two shared as a child were used as a case study in a book about child of divorced families. From there, Carter is forced to reexamine everything that’s happened since his youth and begins to unravel his controlled exterior and become a child again amidst the whirlwind of his family. Co-starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead as his girlfriend and Amy Poehler as his evil stepmother, A.C.O.D. proves a perfect film for Scott to helm, and a refreshing new comedic voice from Zicherman.
 
So between A.C.O.D., his role on as Ben Wyatt on Parks and Recreation, and his upcoming role in Ben Stiller’s The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Scott certainly has his hands full. But last week, I got the chance to sit down with him to talk about what drew him to this movie, the pleasure of working with friends, and taking on new challenges.
 
I’ve got to admit, for all the people I’ve interviewed, it’s really bizarre meeting you, consindering I fall asleep to Parks and Rec almost every night. It’s probably the only show I’ve watch more than Frasier.
Oh, I think it’s a good show for that. It’s comforting. I do the same thing with Friday Night Lights.
 
So do you cry as you fall asleep?
Yeah, that show, man, it kills me. It’s so great.
 
So how did you first get involved with A.C.O.D and what attracted you to the script?
It was sent to me and I read it and just loved it. It reminded me a little bit of Flirting With Disaster, which is one of my favorite movies. So I said yes right away because I loved it and it was the opportunity to be a lead in a movie; so I kind of just jumped at the chance.
 
What I enjoyed about it was that it had a similar tone to a lot of really great other comedies but tackled a topic that really hasn’t been explored too much in the comedy.
Yeah, it’s a little unmined. I also liked how the lead character starts as this grownup who feels like he has everything wired and is taking the grownup position—perfect job, perfect girlfriend, has everything in control—and then slowly as things unravel throughout the movie he becomes a kid again and loses control and needs someone to take care of him a little bit. I thought that was interesting because it’s usually the other way around. 
 
Did you find he was an easy person to tap into?
My experience with divorce in my family was completely different, but I understood it. I understood the control thing, because as you get older you want more and more control in your life so you don’t lose your mind.
 
It was interesting to watch because my parents got divorced when I was 15 and I thought that I was fine and then now I look back and see I was a total mess.
Absolutely. Mine divorced when I was five, but it was so nice, we had a great childhood and there was no animosity whatsoever. So I didn’t relate to that part of it, but I think we’re all curious about our childhood as we get older and it gets more and more interesting to unravel what was going on.
 
And it’s nice to see a movie about divorce that’s light and enjoyable.
Rather than Kramer vs. Kramer, right?
 
When I was first starting college, I remember taking film classes and getting really snobby about what I watched, so my roommates made me watch Stepbrothers with them. And of course, I fell in love. So when I first found out about A.C.O.D. I was excited to see you and Richard Jenkins reunited as father and son. How is he to work with?
Yes! Oh, he’s the best. He’s such a lovely guy. It’s so fun doing scenes with him because you have no idea what he’s going to do.
 
I love seeing him get really worked up.
Yes, it’s hilarious. That dude is the best, he can do everything.
 
In the comedy world, you tend to work with a lot of the same people frequently—whether it’s Lizzy Caplan or Amy Poehler, etc.—does that create a really easy and trusting atmosphere on set and just make the process that much more enjoyable?
It’s really fun because you’re just making stuff with your friends, and that’s the best—I love that. It makes everything really easy and fun. But that being said, I had never worked with Catherine O’Hara before. It was always a dream to, so that was really great to be able to do that and now, I’m not going to call her a friend because that would be a little presumptious, but we have worked together since and I hope to work with her many, many times. 
 
How was it working with Amy in this film where you two have such a contentious relationship and aren’t the perfect couple we’ve come to know and love as Ben and Leslie.
It was really fun—and really easy because we really do hate each other in real life. But it’s super fun doing anything with Amy, so it was great.
 
When you first started on Parks and Rec, did you know you were going to be there long-term?
I knew I was going to be on the show permanently, but I didn’t know that we would get married. I knew there was going to be some sort of romance down the road, but it was not formed just because they didn’t know how we would get along or how our chemistry would be or whatever. But I never would have guessed we would get married; it’s really great. I remember when we were making A.C.O.D. Amy and I were talking on set and I said I thought they should get married, we liked that idea. And so we were theoretically talking about it, and then six months later we were shooting the wedding episode.
 
Have you seen any of the fan-made Ben and Leslie videos online? They’re pretty ridiculous.
I saw one. Yeah,  it was pretty intense. They’re all very sweet though.
 
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As someone that navigates between television and film, how do you go about choosing projects?
I have a finite amount of time when the show isn’t shooting, so I just try to find something interesting to fit in there. I got lucky the summer before last, I got to do A.C.O.D. and Walter Mitty during hiatus—which was really great. Sometimes the timing works out and then sometimes it just doesn’t and you miss out on stuff because the show’s happening, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. The show is so fun and everyone is great and everyone is friends. It’s the best.
 
I’m seeing Walter Mitty this Saturday.
Oh, me too!
 
For the first time?

Yeah, I haven’t seen it yet.
 
Can you tell me a little bit about the experience of working on that?
It was really fun and just fascinating. It’s such a big, epic movie. Watching Stiller direct was just amazing. We did a bunch of stunts and stuff with wires and all that, which I hadn’t done before. So that was a blast. I loved every second of it. It was just an experience.
 
Are you always looking for things you haven’t done before?
Yeah, and Mitty was definitely one of those experiences. It was lots of stuff I hadn’t done before.
 
And with A.C.O.D., how was the task of taking on the lead role?
It was fun, but the two times I’d done it before I at least had a day off here and there. But with this one, it was just like all day everyday on camera, which was really, really a blast and exhausting but in a good way. We shot it in 24 days, which was really quick, so by the end I was super tired, but you have eat breakfast and get plenty of sleep or you will crater in on yourself. Halfway through shooting I freaked out a little bit, just because the pressure of, if I suck in this the movie will suck kind of got to me. But Stu talked me down and it was fine.
 
I’d imagine with the people in the cast there was a lot of improv going on? Or was it a really tight script?
A little bit here and there. We were moving so fast that there wasn’t a whole lot of time and the script was in such good shape that we didn’t really need it. 
 
You’ve been working on writing and producing for yourself, what’s next for you with that?
I’m not totally sure. We’re still working on The Greatest Event in Television History. We have one that airs November 7th and another one coming up. Those are really fun to do and hopefully we’ll do more of those down the road. We’re looking to make a movie sometime in the next couple years. It just feels really great to create something from the ground up and just make something, again, through friends— it’s really satisfying. 
 
Are there any favorite roles you’ve played or experiences that you’ve enjoyed the most working?
Party Down will always have a special place in my heart. Stepbrothers too. And Parks. Those are the three things that really kind of always just stick with me. I miss the Party Down folks, but Parks is just such a perfect, perfect job; I hope it never ends. I love it. But I loved Vicious Kind too. 
 
Between TV and film you really do seem to pop up everywhere. Do you enjoy that constant state or working and being in motion taking on different projects?
Yeah, I like to stay busy. But I have two kids, so I like to stay busy but I also like to have time to let them get to know me a little bit. So I try to work and be with them and other than that I don’t really do anything. I just like to work and then hang out with my wife and my kids.
 
Well that sounds nice.
Yeah! I mean, it’s plenty, right?
 
Do you enjoy the dramatic roles just as much as the comedy?
Yeah. I haven’t done that in a while, but I’m hoping to find something else dramatic to do soon.

Ben Stiller’s ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ Gets a New Trailer + See the NYFF Q&A

Although exuberant in its visual style and Ben Stiller’s biggest directorial undertaking yet, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty ends up leaving you sugar high but not wholly satisfied. Like a two-hour commercial for life (not LIFE, ironically) it’s a fun ride if you’re up for a heavy serving of sentiment and characters that lack the excitement the script tries to convince you they demand. Peppered with a inspiring music, Mitty remains engaging, does entertain and bring laughs, and in the way that’s sure enough to be a commercial hit. Premiering at NYFF this past weekend, Stiller’s film is definitely one for the masses and say, not one for the same audience that’s drooling in anticipation to see Stray Dogs

However, with the first trailer for the feature, we saw a near-silent visual trip through the film that surely looked promising. And today we’re given another glimpse that tells us more about the story of Walter Mitty (played by Stiller), an ambivalent man stuck floating through life, deterred by his daydreams. Co-starring  Kristen Wiig, Kathryn Hahn, Adam Scott, Patton Oswalt and Sean Penn, the film won’t have its theatrical release until Christmas but in the meantime, you can check out the new trailer, as well as the press conference given after the film this past Saturday.

 

‘Drunk History’ Web Series Becoming Actual TV Show

In the early days of Funny or Die, there was Pearl the Landlord and Will Ferrell and not much else. Most of the videos and series would probably fall more in the “Die” category, but then there was “Drunk History,” which had a little something for everyone. There’s booze, there’s history, there’s some excellent voiceover work from funny people like Jen Kirkman, and some very famous people being forced to act out their interpretations of history.

Don Cheadle plays Frederick Douglass; Michael Cera opens the series as Alexander Hamilton, and a lot of . Plus, you learn things, sort of! Probably more about the importance of holding your booze than history, but some history, probably. Maybe. Anyway, it’s going to be a real TV show on Comedy Central, which means it might not be as fun because you probably have to tone it down, or it might be even more funnier because it opens the tent for more funny people to participate. Whichever.

Drunk History makes its slightly-larger-screen debut on July 9th. Creator Derek Waters will host the show, which takes “viewers and students of history (the late-night cramming/Cliff Notes version) on a tour of cities across America… to explore their rich culture and history via historical reenactments with a twist… of lime.”

And the cast looks pretty solid. Notable guest stars this season include Lisa Bonet, Connie Britton, a returning Michael Cera, Terry Crews (fresh off his Arrested Development appearance), Dave Grohl, Tony Hale, Kyle Kinane, Natasha Leggero, Stephen Merchant, Bob Odenkirk, Aubrey Plaza, Jason Schwartzman, Adam Scott, Jenny Slate, Bradley Whitford, Kristen Wiig and the Wilson brothers. There are a lot of questions, and this cast has a lot of potential, but what I’m wondering is what president Bradley Whitford will be playing, and how many not-so-subtle West Wing references there will be.

Watch two of the most popular episodes, the premiere with Michael Cera reenacting the death of Alexander Hamilton and a wine-drunk Jen Kirkman narrating the relationship between Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, referring to the latter as “Richard Dreyfuss” and asking if she took her pants off or not.

Marc Maron Has a Lot of Very Funny People on His New Show

Marc Maron had a lot of very funny people on his other show, too, but that’s beside the point. The comedian and host of the popular WTF podcast has a new show coming up on IFC, and it appears to be a Louie-esque combination of his professional life (in this case, recording the podcast as opposed to standup) and a scripted narrative where he plays a character based on himself.

The comedy in Maron, for the most part, seems pretty relationship-based, focusing on his parents (Judd Hirsch of Ordinary People plays his dad), his girlfriend, played by Mad Men’s Nora Zehetner, who at one point asks him why he’s cool with her peeing on him but not okay with her making him banana bread (he doesn’t know either and Andy Kindler (Bob’s Burgers), who plays his friend. But with the podcast sections, the roster becomes even more stacked, with, from what we could tell, appearances from Denis Leary, Jeff Garlin, Ken Jeong, Aubrey Plaza and Adam Scott, and hopefully lots more funny people. Maron premieres on IFC on May 3rd, but in the meantime, see who else you can spot in the trailer below.

Imagine What Could Have Been With the Original Casting Sheet for ‘The Office’

We’ve all seen the initial casting options for The Godfather, but what’s even more unfathomable than Dusty Horffamn playing Michael Corleone is the recently revealed original sign-in sheet from the first day of auditions for The Office, a list which is totally cool and hilarious to think about. 

Rainn Wilson posted a photo of the list on Facebook yesterday, saying, "This is the original sign-in sheet for the first day of casting for The Office given to me by Allison Jones, our incredible casting agent…I was the very first person to audition for the series, 11/06/03. Notice all the amazing talent on the sheet, including the amazing #13! This is perhaps the greatest Office keepsake I have. So grateful for the best job I will ever have"—signed "Rain ‘Benedict Cumberbatch’ Wilson."

It’s hard to imagine a Dwight Schrute more ridiculous and wonderful than Wilson but if there was ever man to take it over it’s pretty great to imagine it as UCB legend Matt Besser in the role. Mary Lynn Rajskub was one of the options for Pam, which totally makes sense, but Hamish Linklater has Jim?! Nope! Adam Scott, okay yeah maybe but then would he ever have found his Leslie Knope? 

And where would Wilson, Jenna Fischer, Steve Carell, and whole cast be right now if they handed landed the role? Would Wilson always be remebered as that dud who worked at Rolling Stone in Almost Famous or for his creepy stint as Arthur Martin on Six Feet Under

Take a look below.

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There’s a Pinterest Wedding Album for Ben Wyatt and Leslie Knope and It’s Adorable

It’s another gloomy Wednesday and as you sit at your desk attempting to post-pone your existential crisis until 7pm some delightful distraction is indeed needed. And what better way to warm your cold heart than with the adorableness of your favorite fictional couple? Yes, last week on Parks and Recreation we saw the indefatigable Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) and her perfect soul mate Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott) finally tie the knot. As they said their vows of “I love you and I like you,” we all wept at our own romance-less lives but were also overwhelmed with the charmingly cute nature of everyone in Pawnee.

And now, to compliment the episode, there is a Ben and Leslie “wedding album” on Pinterest. Not only do we see the delightful couple gazing lovingly into one another eyes but we’ve got some meaty shots of Andy Dwyer (Chris Pratt) strumming away on guitar, Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman) giving a toast, and Chris Traeger (Rob Lowe) sitting beautifully with dog, Champion to complete the precious piece of promotional genius. Take a look, try not to shed and tear, and maybe listen to "5000 Candles in the Wind" while doing so. Enjoy.

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Catch Up With ‘Burning Love’ Season Two

For fans of The State, Party Down, Reno 911!, and just about every live-action show on Adult Swim, Yahoo!’s unexpected foray into deadpan parody, Burning Love, was a nonstop joy. Ken Marino, in particular, as an idiot firefighter trying to find a soul mate via reality TV series, was pitch-perfect. This time around, the tables are turned, and former contestant Julie Gristlewhite (played as unhinged by the hilarious June Diane Raphael) is in the position of bachelorette and grand prize.

Competing for her damaged affections is a murder’s row of funny dudes: Nick Kroll, Rob Huebel, Joe Lo Truglio, Michael Cera, Adam Scott—hell, even Jerry O’Connell and Colin Hanks are in the mix. Though we bet that nothing can top Jennifer Aniston’s turn in the original. Check out the extended trailer for season two below, then go hit up the first two episodes of it, which have already "aired." I promise that the weirdness of going to yahoo.com wears off eventually (no it doesn’t).

Follow Miles Klee on Twitter.

Adam Scott Dons a Tux for Hollywood Circle Jerk

It’s kind of impossible not to love Adam Scott. And when he shows up in a tux? Even better. So last night, the Parks and Rec star turned up for a late-night appearance on Conan in full dress—simply for the season, Academy Award season. Scott went on to say the reason for his fancy duds was because "it’s good to be prepared because at any moment I could be asked to present something or get nominated for something—neither of which has happened." He continued by proclaiming that, "There’s only like a five-month period every year where Hollywood gets to, you know, stand around in a circle and jerk each other off so I wanted to be prepared." Good thinkin, Scott. 

Check out the full clip below.

‘Bachelorette’ Trailer Promises ‘The Hangover’-Slash-‘Bridesmaids’ But With Chicks (And Adam Scott)

Feminism has won, everybody! Hollywood is now making the same film over and over again but doing it with ladies. Not that I’m complaining — especially if it means Bachelorette puts Rebel Wilson, Adam Scott and Isla Fisher all in the same film. Check out the trailer after the jump.

Bachelorette stars Kirsten Dunst (in the bitchy Rose Byrne role from Bridesmaids), Lizzy Caplan and Isla Fisher (apparently reprising her manic drunk girl role from The Wedding Crashers) as high school friends of Rebel Wilson’s character, who is getting married. You know who is not happy that their 10-whole-dress-sizes-larger friend is getting hitched before they do? These girls. James Marsden and Adam Scott are also on hand, seemingly as extraordinarily hot members of the wedding party.

 

 

Bachelorette comes to video-on-demand on August 10, says the ol’ IMDB, and will have limited release in theaters September 7.