Back to IndieWire

Interview: Adam Scott on Why ‘The Overnight’ is a Film About Adults Reinventing Themselves

Adam Scott on Why 'The Overnight' is a Film About Adults Reinventing Themselves

Broad comedies like “Hot Tub Time Machine 2” or NBC’s hit show “Parks and Recreation” have propelled Adam Scott‘s career into the mainstream and allowed a wider audience to enjoy his subdued, yet quick-witted humor. 

It’s safe to say that Scott is at a sweet spot in his career where he counts with a devoted following – some of whom discovered the actor in the Starz comedy “Party Down” (a personal favorite) – but still able to take part in riskier independent projects. 

His latest outing in a film of smaller proportions is Patrick Brice‘s “The Overnight,” a hilarious tale of discovery and reinvention. Working alongside indie favorite Jason Schwartzman, “Orange is the New Black’s” Taylor Schilling, and udith Godrèche, Scott plays Alex, a young husband and father who’s just moved to L.A. with his family and feels like his life has become a tedious routine. But thanks to Schwartzman’s Kurt, an eccentric businessman, painter and love guru, Alex gets a chance to push the boundaries of his comfort zone very far over a wild night of drinks and odd occurrences.

The Overnight”  premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January and it’s now coming to theaters via The Orchard.

Aguilar: This is such a funny film created out of a simple premise. One night with a few strangers becomes transformative for your character who wants new friends in a new place. Was this what attracted you to this project?

Scott: Yes, I thought it was really interesting. It’s interesting how there are a few times in your life when you get to reinvent yourself. Like the beginning of junior high or high school, and certainly when you go off to college. When you are around people who don’t you, you can be whoever you want. But then once you get married, settle down, and have kids, you kind of stop having those opportunities because you are surrounded by people who are depending on you to be a constant. I think that these people who go over to these strangers’ house are confronted with an opportunity to sort of rediscover or discover for the first time things about themselves, and about the relationship that they didn’t even know were there. I thought that was a fascinating idea, because when you get to a certain age you don’t get to do that anymore.

Aguilar: Is it more difficult or to work on a film in which there are only four actors and essentially one location? 

Scott: It was rally great. I mean although we ended up having like four or five locations, a lot of the time was spent at that one house. It felt like summer camp. Is not harder, but they are just completely different things. In a way it’s easier to make a smaller film like this because you don’t have much time, it’s all much more focused. And if you are shooting a big chuck of the movie in one location, you can do it in chronological order, which is very nice.

Aguilar: Tell me about your relationship with Jason before and after the movie 

Scott: We didn’t really knew each other that well before, but then we became best friends. He is just great, so funny, and he is such a good actor, such a good actor.

Aguilar: The ending of “The Overnight” reminded me of a famous Mexican film,  “Y Tu Mamá También,” have you seen it?

Scott: Totally, that’s a great movie  

Aguilar: In your experience what’s different working on TV and film?

Scott: Not much, especially now that they are blending together more and more. Movies are moving faster now like television. In television you make an hour-long episode every seven days, we use to make “Party Down” in four days per episode. It’s quick, and with independent movies is the same, you gotta keep moving. It’s very similar.

Aguilar: How was working with director Patrick Brice?

Scott: He is a very smart filmmaker, and I hope I get to work with him again. 

Aguilar: Did you come on board through Patrick or how did you become involved?

Scott: Mark Duplass brought my wife and I the script, because we were trying to find something to do together. He said “I think you could play Alex, and Naomi could produce,” so we did. We met Patrick, loved him, and just thought, “Let’s do this.” We just waited till I was done with the show and shot it.

Aguilar: As you mention you worked with your wife in this project, did you bring anything from your personal experience into the film, which is about marriages in a sense? 

Scott: The movie isn’t really similar to my life at all, but I thought I was a really interesting story. I think there are certain universal things in every movie, but there was not much about this movie that was specifically relevant to us in our lives. Except maybe the fact that we are two kids in L.A. as well.

Aguilar: The most talked about scene in the film involves prospective penises. How difficult or uncomfortable was it to shoot that?

Scott: It was nerve-racking because even though it’s fake, you still feel like you are naked. And for all intents and purposes you are. But we had a really great crew, so after a few minutes you just get kind of comfortable and let it all hang out there even though it’s not real. We hanged out in the pull, we had it up to like 95 degrees and we just spent the rest of the night in the pool, which was great.

Aguilar: Taylor
Schilling plays your wife in the film, tell me a little bit about working with her.

Scott: We were so lucky to get her! This is her first movie after “Orange is the New Black” came out. She is excellent and just so game for anything. She is ready to roll with the punches on a small indie movie like this. Overall, it was great  between the four us. We shared a big dressing room, and like I said, it was like summer camp. So much fun.

Aguilar: Any upcoming projects you can tell me about?

Scott: I have a couple movies I’m going to shoot in the next few months and then we’ll see.

Aguilar: It is my dream to see “Party Down” return. Is there a chance?

Scott: I don’t know if it ever will, who knows. I guess it depends on everyone’s schedules. Everyone is busy, but who knows.

“The Overnight” opens Friday June 19th in L.A. At the Arclight Hollywood and in NYC at the Angelika a Film Center

This Article is related to: Features and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,