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The Indiewire Springboard: ‘Obvious Child’ Breakout Jake Lacy Might Look Like an Accountant, But Don’t Let That Fool You

The Indiewire Springboard: 'Obvious Child' Breakout Jake Lacy Might Look Like an Accountant, But Don't Let That Fool You

Every Friday, Indiewire’s Springboard column profiles up-and-comers in the indie world who deserve your attention. Select profiles will include photography by
Daniel Bergeron, exclusive to Indiewire. Today we talk to actor Jake Lacy.

Those who watched NBC’s “The Office” are already familiar with fresh faced actor Jake Lacy, who starred as customer service rep Pete Miller. With that show now off the air, Lacy is now busy proving himself as a big screen player, and he’s off to a great start. In the Sundance hit comedy “Obvious Child” (out June 6th via A24), Lacy plays the straight man to Jenny Slate’s adorable mess. The Tribeca Film Festival sports comedy “Intramural” finds Lacy in similar mode, embodying the only sane member of an intramural football team, engaged to a domineering basket case (current “SNL” player Kate McKinnon). In both projects, Lacy displays a quality that all the best leading men possess: a seemingly effortless charisma. He’s impossible not to love.

Next year, he’ll put that quality to use as Rooney Mara’s fiance in Todd Haynes’ “Carol,” which also stars Cate Blanchett and Sarah Paulson.

Earlier on I was just a goof-off, and [acting] was a great avenue to get attention. At 15 you’re like, “I’m good and my ego likes that!”

I would say I’m a goof ball, but not a comedian.

I’m excited to see myself in something different [“Carol”]… if that’s not the most selfish thing you’ve ever heard. I went to school and was trained all around to be an actor. I’ve wound up doing mostly comedies, which I love, but it’s lovely to get the chance to do something else.

I was in the Whole Foods down in Tribeca by the deli/soup section, and my manager called to say I got the role in “Carol.” There’s that pause where you’re in public and you think you shouldn’t cause a scene. But I felt like, fuck it. How many times do you get cast in a Todd Haynes movie? So in the middle of the whole store I just screamed, “Yeah!” like a lunatic. I was pumping my fist, punching loaves of bread.

Rooney is lovely. She’s beautiful and remarkably talented. She’s generous as an actor and a person. It’s daunting for a guy like me to come out of doing these comedies, and to do something like this with someone who is so known, accomplished and respected. You think, “Oh God, I hope she doesn’t think I’m a lunatic.” And she’s just lovely, just wonderful.

I grew up watching “SNL,” and revere it above many things. So the opportunity to work with people who have been on the big show, I kind of lose my mind every time. It still blows me away that I’m friends with these people. What they all share is this willingness to completely go for it. There’s not a self awareness, and if there is, it’s calculated. That’s something I admire and continually aspire to.

There’s a discrepancy between what you think you are and what other people think you are. Due to my genetics, I look like the guy next door who’s willing to lend you his lawnmower. But I don’t feel like that on the inside. 

I’m blessed to look like the straight man. To be the sounding board for the people and their chaos is amazing.

I watched “Ghostbusters” from the age of four. It’s my favorite movie, still. Bill Murray’s like the weirdest straight man that you’ve ever seen. He’s convinced that he’s the normal one, even though he’s definitely not. 

I look like an accountant. And no offense to accountants! There’s some really cool accountants out there.

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