Actor Jason Schwartzman Talks ‘There There’


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Opening in theaters and on demand November 18th is the experimental movie ‘There There’ from author and director Andrew Bujalski (‘Support the Girls’).

The movie features a series of two-character vignettes that cope with ideas of isolation and notion and was filmed with every actor individually in separate locations, only joining them to their partner’s performance in the modifying process.

The talented forged includes Jason Schwartzman, Lili Taylor (‘The Conjuring’), Lennie James (‘The Walking Dead’), Molly Gordon (‘Booksmart’), Annie La Ganga (‘Computer Chess’), and Avi Nash (‘Barry’).

Jason Schwartzman has appeared in such well-liked movies as ‘I Heart Huckabees,’ ‘Scott Pilgrim vs. the World,’ and ‘Saving Mr. Banks,’ in addition to the beloved HBO sequence ‘Bored to Death.’

But the actor might be best known for his work with filmmaker Wes Anderson on such trendy classics as ‘Rushmore,’ ‘The Darjeeling Limited,’ ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox,’ ‘Moonrise Kingdom,’ ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel,’ ‘Isle of Dogs,’ and ‘The French Dispatch.’

The actor will next be seen in ‘The Hunger Games’ prequel ‘The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes,’ and be heard because the voice of Spot in the animated sequel ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.’

Moviefone recently had the pleasure of speaking with Jason Schwartzman about ‘There There,’ the unusual means it was shot, how that affected him as an actor, trusting the editors, his character, and collaborating with director Andrew Bujalski.

Jason Schwartzman in 'There There,' a Magnolia Pictures release.

Jason Schwartzman in ‘There There,’ a Magnolia Pictures launch. Photo credit: Matthias Grunksy. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

You can read our full interview with Jason Schwartzman under or click on the video player above to watch our interviews with Schwartzman, Lili Taylor, Avi Nash, and director Andrew Bujalski.

Moviefone: To start with, how did you bought concerned in this challenge and what was your first response to the unique way director Andrew Bujalski wanted to make this movie?

Jason Schwartzman: Well, I ought to say that I had met Andrew years in the past, and we stored in unfastened contact, and we had one another’s e-mail addresses. My hope was at all times in the future to have the power to work with him. I received this e-mail that actually, it mentioned, it was the first time I’d ever seen the word cockamamie written out, which I don’t know why I flagged that, however that was the topic, “cockamamie idea” or something. I opened it and my hope was, “Oh gosh, I hope I opened this and it’s a cockamamie thought of how to work collectively, not similar to a cockamamie another thing.”

Basically, he put out in one email, “I’m considering of doing something, making a film on this fashion. I don’t have all of it found out, the small print, however the tips are really no crew. Every actor might be on their own and shall be liable for their very own portions of the movie. Would you be up for doing one thing like that?” Which, to me, I did not know how to play it cool. I mean, that’s what I’ve been waiting for. This is what I love, which is the journey, and I love him. So, if I could be a half of anything and help him fulfill no matter he thinks is cockamamie, I’m there and I beloved it. I liked the concept of it.

I didn’t realize how welcome it was till I received the e-mail as a end result of it was October of 2020, and I keep in mind after I got the email, I could not cease moving round. I was simply so energized by the idea of it, and by the prospect of it, and going to work with him, having this task to do, and trying to learn these strains and this whole script. It was simply so fantastic. I’m so excited.

MF: As an actor, can you discuss in regards to the challenges of not having the ability to act opposite one other actor?

JS: I was fairly excited about it, to be honest with you, because appearing in motion pictures, it is so interesting anyhow as a result of it is edited. You can take somebody looking off as a end result of they hear something and they’re waiting for a siren to pass or one thing, and then you can put that right here in the film and it looks like they’re listening to a conversation within the next room. I love that. I love the manipulation of that kind of factor, and transposing reactions and looks into completely different elements of a film.

So, this would be the ultimate extreme version of that, which is instead like, what would it not be like to not react in any respect, to simply do something? I was reacting because I would do the scenes with Andrew, nevertheless it was such an unusual course of. I can’t describe it, however I loved the problem of it and I liked the thought of it too.

To be honest with you, I get nervous after I’m acting, and sometimes it is so embarrassing performing because they’ll say, “Okay, everybody, quiet on the set and let’s watch this individual now. Everyone have a look at this particular person.” It’s just like, “Please don’t look.” So, I sort of love the concept no one was trying, and it was almost like an animated film in that sense as a end result of it was just me.

I imply, clearly, we had a small group of people serving to us and everyone’s time was priceless, however I felt like there was a freedom to strive things and to kind of work it out. Because we were on a model new territory, it simply felt sort of super free and it was great. It obtained even to the purpose where I began to do the scene sometimes with out even having Andrew do the other traces. I would just pause for the opposite actors’ strains in my brain and then simply hold going, which was type of a tremendous thing.

I love the journey of what that scene is. It starts off between these two individuals that are by the tip of it, actually sort of talking to themselves, and then you might be listening to your self, and also you’re also not listening to yourself, and you aren’t listening to the other particular person. It turns into the very thing that it’s experimenting with. Do you understand what I mean?

Jason Schwartzman stars in 'There There,' a Magnolia Pictures release.

Jason Schwartzman stars in ‘There There,’ a Magnolia Pictures launch.

MF: On a project like this, is there a specific amount of belief that you want to put into the editors as a outcome of that’s actually who’s going to be shaping the performances, or is that the same on every film?

JS: Well, I feel like it’s the same on every film simply because you don’t know what it’s going to be like. But I think that for me, I still haven’t seen this movie however I’m so excited to see it. This will be the first time in my life that I’m going to see a film, and sometimes whenever you go to see the final product, you have some sense of what it might be like since you had been there with the other actors, however with this, I don’t even know what they had been doing.

This is the primary time I’m going to see a scene. I don’t know. Literally, I was just completely by myself and so it is so thrilling to see that play out, really. You know what? It’s a good question about belief. I imply, I simply trust Andrew. I love him. Obviously, I assume to do this kind of factor, I would solely actually be up for doing something like this with someone like Andrew, who I simply suppose is a superb artist and chief. Because I think to a certain extent when you just go on the market and do a bunch of stuff and you do not trust the particular person, it’s very frightening. But I felt totally comfortable and I suppose that I was one of many first people to shoot.

So, I loved that we’re all figuring it out, that no matter any hiccups we encountered, they might take note of and then give to the other actors to keep away from any such issues after they shoot. I like the thought of being type of like a tester, like a beta. I liked being the first one to experiment, to be like, “Okay, good to know. These microphones do not do this. Good to know that if you’ve got this particular person on an iPad right here the web goes like this.”

I appreciated how new it was to everyone on the similar time. I do not know why, I simply felt there’s a camaraderie in that because it’s sort of what the pandemic was like. So, I liked all going into one thing with an concept of how it could maybe be, however really, none of us ever doing it earlier than, truly.

MF: The movie deals with isolation, did the means in which it was shot, and in addition the fact that it was made during COVID, assist you to achieve that feeling of isolation?

JS: Well, I think that should you take a glance at simply the way we all work together with each other, or speak to one another, it’s such an interesting dance, no less than in my case of listening and never listening, and why people say one thing in the midst of a dialog that takes it in a unique direction. With the Zoom and everything, people could be writing stuff, you would be doing a very completely different thing. So, that totally got here into play, this concept of focus, and listening, and being current with somebody because you can’t be. I guess individuals can fake it, however I also think that you simply know

Anyway, it turned that in such a wonderful way because you’re acting in the scene, and you are, as much as I’m listening to the opposite strains and making an attempt to do it, I’m also conscious that I’ve received to have some type of consistency to what I’m doing in order that they can intercut. So, at first of taking pictures these scenes, I knew all the traces, however you’re trying to figure out the place to be bodily and look for these landmarks because there’s going to be so much unknown, like where do we all know he positively should be standing? What can we lock in?

I love that process. Then you might be kind of taking part in but additionally making an attempt to get it, no less than in my case, I wished to get it constant to the place I was working towards something the place not every take was so different, and I was making an attempt to get better and higher at it, or quicker and faster. In that course of, you notice that you are not listening anymore. Because there’s no one there doing the scene with you.

So, there is no one to cease you from attending to your mark early or picking up a thing early. You begin to hit these targets throughout the scene, these goals and say, “Okay, received to get to this thing here.” I think it’s someplace in that you simply just start to talk to your self and it is sort of superb, like I was saying earlier, it totally becomes what the movie’s all about. You’re listening and not listening. It’s the illusion of listening, I suppose. Then it comes full circle where you return to it and you would possibly be like, “Whoa,” then you definitely break via to another place where you unexpectedly are listening to these lines, nearly like for the first time.

If you’re learning flashcards, you’re like, “Hmm, that is this. That is that,” then by the top, if you’ve carried out them for enough, then you simply know. You’re like, “Hydrogen. Neon. Oxygen.” You know the following card. But then there becomes a second after that the place you start to go, “Oxygen. Wow, that is one thing I by no means thought about. Oxygen.”

You push through the robotic part of it, almost like a mantra, I suppose. The little I know of that. But like music even, it is just like you can break through and it was so enjoyable. I imply, I love doing it this fashion I’m afraid of different actors, I assume. I don’t desire the opposite actors to laugh at me and this was perfect for that. No different actor can snort at you. Just your self.

Andrew Bujalski, director of 'There There,' a Magnolia Pictures release.

Andrew Bujalski, director of ‘There There,’ a Magnolia Pictures launch. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

MF: Finally, how would you describe your character in your own words? What did you want about him, dislike about him, and what was your method to getting inside his head?

JS: That’s a great query. I loved, by the way, the process of figuring this out with Andrew, who was so outstanding, and only a great collaborator. The way he talks in regards to the characters and the best way he solutions questions, it is as when you actually are asking him about somebody who’s real. He would not really know, however he is making an attempt to grasp too.

You ask a query. He’s like, “I do not know. Why would he do that?” It’s kind of such as you’re talking about this good friend of yours that did something strange and also you’re making an attempt to know why they did it. What could presumably be happening in their private lives? But to me, the character was actually targeted on the family aspect of it and I suppose that in my character’s mind, I’m doing the best factor at all times.

There’s a way his lives alleged to play out and if everybody can just bear with him, it will work out. But if anything becomes disruptive or questioned, it will fall apart as a end result of it actually is not such a great plan. It’s totally not a means one ought to conduct themselves and live their life, however he’s targeted on preserving his household together. So, to me, it was all about just preserving things flowing, good, positive, and stick with me, a kind of confident desperation, if that makes any sense. He’s just very desperate, however makes it look like you’re the one who’s desperate.

Theatrical one-sheet for THERE THERE, a Magnolia Pictures release.

Theatrical one-sheet for THERE THERE, a Magnolia Pictures release. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.


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