Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 
Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable

Tribeca: Amy Sedaris on Never Aspiring to Do Film and Why She Couldn't Host Late Night

Photo of Nigel M Smith By Nigel M Smith | Indiewire April 21, 2014 at 10:24AM

Amy Sedaris appears only very briefly in the 2014 Tribeca Film Film Festival drama "Goodbye to All That" as the cat-loving boss to Paul Schneider's lead character. But like anything the actress and author stars in (including her recent appearance as a broker from hell in Comedy Central's hit new comedy show "Broad City"), she walks away with the most memorable performance.
2
"Goodbye to All That"
Tribeca "Goodbye to All That"

Amy Sedaris appears only very briefly in the 2014 Tribeca Film Film Festival drama "Goodbye to All That" as the cat-loving boss to Paul Schneider's lead character. But like anything the actress and author stars in (including her recent appearance as a broker from hell in Comedy Central's hit new comedy show "Broad City"), she walks away with the most memorable performance.

Indiewire caught up with Sedaris -- best known still to this day for creating and starring in Comedy Central's beloved comedy series "Strangers with Candy," which she helped adapt into the 2005 feature-length film of the same name -- to discuss her scene-stealing role in "Goodbye to All That" (the directorial debut of "Junebug" screenwriter Angus MacLachlan), her guest stint on "Broad City," and how she thinks her friend Stephen Colbert will fare as David Letterman's "Late Show" replacement.

Like many of the indies that you've been in in the past couple of years, you show up for a scene or two and end up stealing the whole darn thing. In my estimation anyway.

Nigel, I'm hanging on to every word, go on!

[laughs] Do you go into these projects with that intention?

Well, sometimes I'll get a call from my agency. I never aspire to do film and so usually my agent calls me and says so and so sent a script and they really want you to look at the part of Mary, or whatever -- and I'm like, "How long is it?" I want to be in and out. I like small parts.

Amy Sedaris in "Hits"
Amy Sedaris in "Hits"

It's fun because lots of times I don't even have to read the whole script because my scene has nothing to do with the rest of the movie, and it's usually cut. So with this I know Angus, and I was a big fan of "Junebug." He just asked me to come in. I work in an office [in the film], and I had that little cat monologue, so I really liked it. I went and worked on it for a day, and it was great. Next thing I know the movie is out.

About not reading the whole script: Have you ever been surprised by a film you've starred in after seeing the finished product?

That's a good question. I can't think of anything right now, but maybe "Bewitched?" I don't know. Sometimes I will read the whole thing, like with David Cross' movie, "Hits." I did a small part in that, and I read that script and I really laughed. I thought it was really, really funny on the page. I haven't seen the film yet, but I laughed really hard at the screenplay. And I had a tiny part in that.

I love the process of it all, but it's hard for me to see a final product. But when it's tiny, like what you're saying sometimes, I'll look at myself for a second, and go, "I can get through this."

I hope you caught your episode of "Broad City."

"Broad City"
"Broad City"

I haven't seen "Broad City" yet, but man did I have a good time. One thing about "Broad City" was that I went in the wardrobe department, I wear a size five shoe, and they hand me a size eight. I was like, "This is perfect! I'll bring my own neck brace." Whenever I do something I bring my bag of tricks, so I always like to have something of my own when I perform. Just a little something.

What did you bring to "Goodbye To All That" that wasn't in the script that you initially read?

Not much. With Angus it was completely written. He is, I guess, a cat person. He had all the cat stuff in there. We had bits where we had more cat on my clothing, like cat fur. I think that scene got cut, but it was pretty fun. Like the character turns around, she's got this big clump of hair on her back, and it was pretty fun.

How do you go about molding your form of your comedy to whatever tone the director's trying to set with his or her film when you work on these independent projects?

Well, it's hard because I guess that's why I always shy away from them. I like having a broad character, like in "Broad City" or "Strangers With Candy." I think I would be perfect for a U.K. show.

I'm always like, "Why'd you hire me?" It's just so hard to pull back, or you pull back a little, and then you feel like you're not doing much. I always like to have some kind of weird character. I need something to hide behind so it's weird if I don't have that.

"Strangers with Candy"
"Strangers with Candy"

But I try to grab on to something. In this case that character had the cat thing, and we were in a small, small closet in the scene, so we had those boundaries. When you're up in someone else's face, I think that's really funny.

But it is hard for me to do. It's almost like you're standing there, almost trying not to put out any power or any energy whatsoever. That's excruciating, that's brutal to me. I just worked on a project where that happened, where I was like, "Oh my god, I'm not doing anything. I'm literally just standing here counting to ten."

Was the broker you played in "Broad City" broker based on anyone you've dealt with in the past?

No, it was an invention. But one thing I noticed about brokers – I had a friend who bought a house upstate, so I went with him on a couple meetings, and they were always leaning up against something, like they had their foot up on a rock or they'd lean against a tree. I just liked the way they dressed. Say it's a Saturday at 10 o'clock in the morning, that's your day off, and they show up in their denim outfit. They want to look presentable yet casual, but I noticed they were always leaning. They just need to prop their foot up on a rock or lean up against a tree and wait. So that's the only thing I knew about realtors, really.

She's the kind of character that just can't get it together. She isn't going to keep that job very long. Me driving a car, I mean my god. No one let's me drive. That was a lot of fun, driving that smart car. With a size 8 shoe on, I was like, "I'm going to kill somebody."

This article is related to: Amy Sedaris, Interviews, Tribeca 2014, 2014 Tribeca Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Comedy, Television






Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome



Awards Season Spotlight

Contender Conversations

Indiewire celebrates the best and brightest from Independent film, Hollywood, and foreign cinema.

More