Interview: Adam Scott of 'Bachelorette'
On raunchy comedy, 'Parks and Recreation,' the Catalina Wine Mixer and more.
With a debauched comedy attitude that suggests it's not so much trying to tickle your funnybone as rip it from your side and backstab you to death with it, "Batchelorette" stars Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher and Lizzy Kaplan as three friends who reunite by ruining a friend's wedding. Adam Scott is the guy that got away for Kaplan, but what makes the film worthy of note is how the couple's reunion plays sharp and mean before getting real and tough -- including comedy digressions like some light pick-pocketing and a beloved Scottish '90s hit single. We spoke with Scott in Los Angeles.
MSN Movies: When the director tells you that you're going to be wearing a disproportionate length of stubble in this film to rightly convey your character's skeeviness, is that a good jump on your part?
Adam Scott: Um, what?
When you find that your character's going to be unshaven…
… and that is a specific device to kind of suggest skeeviness, is that like a quick set of cheap notes for your characterization?
No. I think that was just because I was shooting "Parks" at the same time so I couldn't shave. I don't think it had anything to do with skeeviness, but if that's how it read, then fantastic.
How quick a shoot was it?
Well, I think the whole thing was like five or six weeks and I was just kind of coming in and out because I was shooting the show,, so I would fly in for a couple of days and then come back a week later and shoot a scene or two and then just kind of back and forth.
When you're literally being flown in, is that remarkably confusing insofar as you're not quite sure where everybody else is or where everyone else is connected to?
Everyone else in the movie and like …
Yeah, in terms of their pacing of scenes and you just get flown in briefly.
No, I mean, you know all my stuff is with Lizzie pretty much, and we've worked together a lot, so we kind of always kind of click in with each other and have a great time working together. And Leslye's a really easygoing director so it was actually really relaxed and fun.
It is worth noting that certainly between this and "Party Down," you spend a lot of time macking on Miss Caplan.
Has it gotten to the point where there's no preamble? Just one quick blast of breathspray and getting to the job?
No. I mean stuff like that's always awkward just 'cause there's a crew and we're friends so it's kind of weird, but we just happened to work on two jobs where we're a couple so it just kind of ended up that way.
But was part of you going, "C'mon, give me a shot at a scene where the chemistry's with Dunst or Fisher or Kyle Bornheimer somebody, anybody else?"
(laughs) Yeah, Bornheimer looks like he's a great kisser.
He just has that look like he'd understand.
All kidding about kissing Bornheimer aside, do you find that in a film like "Bachelorette" which is sort of about crossing the gulf between maturity and immaturity, is that pretty much gold for a comedic actor?
Yeah, I guess it is. I mean, you know, it's a time in life everybody has to go through, and I personally think there's nothing funnier than someone with way too much confidence who has no reason to have confidence and a lot of that is immaturity. So yeah, I think that it's kind of great kind of ripe material, you know?
When a film does as well as this did at Sundance, people talking about it what have you, and then it gets released in August, does it drop off of your mental radar until it comes back up when you go, "Yes, I have to talk about that film and take part in other people's enjoyment of it"?
No, I don’t think so. I think that, you know, Sundance is an important festival for a lot of reasons, and for a movie like this it's important to just get kind of people interested in it and start getting a little publicity. But I think the public by and large doesn't really pay that much attention. It's not like people in the entertainment industry and certainly the entertainment press pay a lot of attention to it, but I think as far as the public at large goes you're kind of starting from scratch when it ends up coming out no matter what the movie is.
Right. You create this big buzz in a relatively small space, which is still deserved, but when you take it out to the actual world it can be that you pretty start over from zero.
Yeah, pretty much. I mean it just depends on what the movie is, but it's an important starting point but I think it's probably just different for every movie, too.
I always ask people what is the moment which you're most often recognized on an unsolicited level? Like, do people walk up to you and say, "Are we having fun yet?" Do people walk up to you and say, "Hey! 'Piranha'!"? What do you people say to you? Is it mostly "Parks and Rec"?
Yeah, "Parks and Rec," "Party Down," or "Step Brothers."
Have you ever actually attended the Catalina Wine Mixer?
Have I ever what?
Actually attended the Catalina Wine Mixer.
Other than when we were filming it, no.
You just didn't buy into all the hype?
(For) the Catalina Wine Mixer? There could never be enough hype for the Catalina Wine Mixer.
Working on a film like this, does it give you a rough sense of how you feel about the mechanics of social circumstances like this? Doing so many awkward social circumstances, whether it’s a business meeting, a date, a wedding ... Does that give you a better sense of how to behave in those real like circumstances or do you just make different and more exciting errors?
Oh, I see. Yeah, you know, I guess I just always feel -- I'm usually uncomfortable no matter what so when I need to behave that way on a show or movie or something it's usually just sometimes an expression of how I'm actually feeling anyway so it's just a place to be able to place it tangibly, which is very handy.
With this and with "Friends With Kids," do you feel like you're sort of moving into this kind of off-kilter romantic lead?
I don't know. You know, that's not really for me to say. I don't feel any different, but yeah, I have no idea, no idea whatsoever.
Like you're just completely divorced from any perception the industry may or may not have of you?
Well, it's a difficult thing to gauge when you have no real perspective on it, you know? And if you get caught up in combing the Internet for what people think of you or how people perceive you, I think that's a slippery slope. And so I think what I try and do and kind of what I've seen people that I know and respect do is just kind of keep your down and try do things that interests you, that you think you could do a good job with and just sort of try and take it from there and not become bogged down with industry perception and stuff like that. If you start playing into something like that, it could be sort of a trap for yourself.
Right, so you're not walking around saying out loud, "When the hell am I going to get an action film?"
I do not do that, no.
That's not something you're empirically interested in?
Walking around shouting, "When am I going to get an action film?"
No, being in an action film. (Laughs) I'm not asking if you're interested in walking around and shouting. I’m sure that's not how you comport yourself. But I mean…
You know, I just kind of take things project by project. I mean, I love action films, you know, good action films. So I would never say never about anything certainly.
What do you hope people take away from "Bachelorette?" What do you hope people get out of it?
You know, it's just really, I hope it's just a fun, it sounds really corny, but I hope it's just a fun night at the movies for people. I think it's a really funny movie, and I think it's great to see yet another female-driven comedy, just female-driven movie period, out there. There aren't enough of them, and I’m just glad to be a part of one of them and it's a good one.
One final question. I was, of course, going over your career in your IMDB page and a random commenter said, "Looks Canadian." Do you consider this a slight to yourself or an unwarranted slight against Canadians?
Someone said what?
Somebody noted that you look "Canadian."
I'm wondering if you feel this is a slight or if you feel it's a slight towards Canadians or if you feel that just, you know…
(laughs) Well it's certainly not a slight against me. Canada's awesome so I would say if anything it's a compliment to me and a slight against them.
("Bachelorette" is currently on VOD, and in limited release next week; will you catch it at home for some VO-Debauchery, or risk risqué comedy in the theater? Tell us on MSN Movies Facebook and MSN Movies Twitter. )