Comedic power couple, Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman, were back in Park City for a second year in a row following their work together on last year's "Smashed," for the deadpan coming of age comedy "The Kings of Summer" (out this Friday in select theaters). Fans of Mullally's deranged guest appearance on Offerman's beloved NBC's sitcom "Parks and Recreation," during which the two had sex on a table in the middle of a packed diner, will be sad to know the two share scant screen time together in their latest. Still, despite their lack of on-screen cavorting, "Kings" is a hilarious heart warmer that heralds the arrival of a fresh new comic voice in writer-director Jordan Vogt-Roberts.
Indiewire sat down with a very much in-love Mullally and Offerman during their time in Park City (when they weren't holding hands during our interview, they'd take turns gazing into each other's eyes) to discuss their second Sundance experience together, Offerman's love for Mullally's Emmy-winning performance as Karen Walker on "Will & Grace," and their first encounter.
Loved "Kings of Summer." Have to say I was a little disappointed you two didn’t play a couple in the film.
Mullaly: I know, we haven’t done that yet in a movie.
What surprised you both about each other’s performance, given that you don’t share many scenes together?
Mullally: Well, I always know that Nick’s going to be great. I’d read the script so I kind of knew what was required. I was surprised about that scene where you have intercourse on camera with that other actress.
Offerman: Yeah, I wanted you to be surprised.
Mullally: It had to take me a second to get adjusted. You did it really well!
Offerman: Thank you. Two takes. We were there together for two weeks, so we were very aware of what each other was shooting. But I think part of our work, is whether we’re together or not, we’re always trying to make each other laugh with our work. And so we knew what each other’s scenes were and where the jokes were, but there’s always nice Easter eggs in the thing that we improvise. So there’s always fun surprises.
This marks your second time at Sundance with a film you both star in, following last year's "Smashed." How great is it to spend this time together in Park City?
Mullally: We always talk about how lucky we are. We were saying, “Here we are going to Sundance again for the second time in a row…together.” It’s crazy.
How’s this experience comparing to last year?
Mullally: Well the movies are so different.
Offerman: It was really great to see a premiere at the Library that had so much laughter. “Smashed” felt more like – forgive the adjective – an 'important' film with a heavy, affected story. This also has a great sense of drama to it, but it’s just one of the funniest movies we’ve seen in a long time.
I’m a fan of your individual work but I especially love seeing you paired together. Do you two come to these independent projects as a pair, or is it just happenstance that you ended up in both "Smashed" and "Kings" together?
Mullally: Nick was cast first in both “Smashed” and “Kings.” He has a bigger roles in those movies, so they start with the bigger role then they work their way down (laughs). They cast Nick, then go, “Well wait a minute, what about…your wife.”
Offerman: Well they often…the conversation will come up where, if I say, “It would be really fun to have Megan play this part.” And they go, "Do you think we could get her?!” And I’m like, “She also thinks that this is a great script.” People often forget that we both come from theater, so we’re looking first and foremost for the best material. It doesn’t matter how splashy the film is. If we think the writing’s good, then we’re sold.
Here I was thinking that you took these projects on knowing full well they had a shot at getting into Sundance, so you two could enjoy a nice week away on the slopes.
Mullally: No (laughs). You never know, that’s what so nuts about it.