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Ken Marino On Birthing an Ass Demon in 'Bad Milo!' and Why Vinnie Van Lowe Isn't Happy About the 'Veronica Mars' Movie

Photo of Ben Travers By Ben Travers | Indiewire September 5, 2013 at 9:30AM

Ken Marino is one of those actors that you may not know you know until you see his face. By now, though, his name should suffice. Marino has popped up in a number of popular television shows like "Veronica Mars," "Dawson's Creek," and "Children's Hospital," as well as writing and co-starring in "Role Models" and "Wanderlust." Many remember him fondly as the sexually forlorn Victor Kulak from "Wet Hot American Summer" or the desperate-to-please lead caterer Ron Donald on "Party Down." More recently, he’s earned acclaim as Mark Orlando on the web series turned Emmy-nominated E! program, "Burning Love."
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"Children's Hospital"
Adult Swim "Children's Hospital"

You also appeared in Lake Bell's directorial debut, "In a World...," who's another member of the "Children's Hospital" cast. Rob Corddry is also in there. It's just one example of many, many projects that feature similar players in various roles.  Could you talk a little about how the process works among this group of people you consistently work with?

I don't know what was going on in her head exactly, but I can say from my perspective, how I approach stuff -- and how I want to continue to approach things -- is to create things, and ask friends who you enjoy spending time with, who are also talented people, who you respect and make you laugh and move you in a certain way. You ask them to work on a project with you because then you know if nothing else you're going to have a nice time doing it. If you're working with people you care about, usually that comes through on screen. I think one of the things that works about "Party Down" or "Children's Hospital" or "Burning Love" or some of the other things I've been working on recently is that you see that everyone is having a good time together, and I think that that becomes infectious in a way. When David and [Michael] Showalter asked me to do "Wet Hot American Summer" however many years ago, one of the things we always talked about when we were shooting it was, "Who knows what the fuck's going to happen with this movie, if anyone will ever see it. But who gives a shit? We're having such a nice time." I made so many friends on that project. Paul [Rudd], A.D. Miles, Chris Meloni, and Janeane [Garofalo] and just a ton of people that I became friends with. It would be silly not to call on those friends if you have someone in mind and ask, "Would you do this project with me?" It just seems like the right way to work.

You know, "Wanderlust" is another example of that. We did "Wanderlust" and we were like, "Yeah, so, who do we want to work with? We're lucky enough to be friends with a lot of really talented working comedians and actors in this town. Who do you want to work with? Well, our friends. OK, great. So, let's get the people who are right for these parts, and let's all get together and make something that is hopefully special."

When you look at your IMDB page, it seems like you’re having a good time, but you can also see that strategy working.  

Thanks. I mean, I've worked on shit that is not that formula and sometimes it's a miserable situation, and sometimes it's great. Sometimes it's terrific, but at this point in my life I prefer not to take that gamble and work with people that I don’t know or go into a situation that everyone's like, "Um, it's not a good situation." I don’t want to deal with that shit. What's nice is, I work on something like "Milo" where I worked with Mark [Duplass] on something that Adam Scott did ("The First A.D.") and so now I get to know Mark and I'm like, "Mark's a great guy." Then he calls me and he's like, "Are you interested in this thing?" And I'm like, "Fuck. Yeah, I'll work on anything you're doing. Not just because you're a great guy, but also I love the work that you do." Now I'm excited about this and then I meet Jacob [Vaughan], Gillian [Jacobs], Peter [Stormare], and I knew Stephen Root from "Children's Hospital." Toby [Huss] I knew from MTV days, and all of a sudden there's another family of people who for the next thing I do I can ask, "Hey Peter," or "Stephen, you want to do this?" Or, "Mark I have this project." It keeps growing. The hope is to continue to work with good people, and you want that to keep growing. You want to build more friendships.

Veronica Mars

You shot a YouTube video to announce your involvement with the "Veronica Mars" movie.

I didn't.

You didn't?

Vinnie Van Lowe did.

Ah, of course. So, does Vinnie want to be more connected to his fans? Do you think he feels more connected because the movie was funded through Kickstarter?

I know this because I talk to him from time to time: Vinnie is not happy that there's a "Veronica Mars" movie and not a Vinnie Van Lowe movie. But he'll be in the "Veronica Mars" movie because he hopes to meet the Kickstarter guy who can help him out.

How about the "Party Down" movie? Any insider info on that?

All I can say at this point is everybody behind the camera, all the creators and all the actors would love to do it again because it was a magical experience.

"Bad Milo!" is available On Demand now and hits theaters October 4.

This article is related to: Ken Marino, Party Down, Bad Milo, Burning Love, Veronica Mars, Interviews , In A World, Comedy, Interviews, VOD






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