Back to IndieWire

Actor/Writer/Director/Cool Dad Mark Duplass Talks to T Magazine About His Influences and Interests

Actor/Writer/Director/Cool Dad Mark Duplass Talks to T Magazine About His Influences and Interests

I’m not going to tell you who Mark Duplass is. This is Indiewire. In the words of Alanis Morissette: you, you, you oughta know [who Mark Duplass is].

That said, he and his brother created this and make indie movies like this, he and his wife star on this, and he recently spoke to The New York Times’ Sunday Style Magazine to promote this (and if this video of him singing “Landslide” on “The Mindy Project” doesn’t melt your heart, then in the words of Alanis Morissette: you have no soul*). Highlights from the feature below:

On his Radio Shack dictaphone: “I’ve had my dictaphone since the mid- to late ’90s. In my previous
life, I used to record demos on it. Then I ran into some trouble with
tendonitis and repetitive stress and it prevented me from writing at my
laptop. I got really bummed about it, so I started speaking my scripts
out into this dictaphone I had lying around. I realized it was really
helpful for my creative process. Having a linear writing machine, where I
couldn’t go back and hate myself and edit myself, allowed me to blast
through drafts of scripts much more quickly and write from a much more
instinctual, as opposed to intellectual, place. It’s a mess when it
comes out, but the pacing is really good. So I have Radio Shack to thank
for my entire creative process.”

On indie rock band Volcano Choir: “In the constant quest to find the right writing music – meaning, music
that’s too heavy on melody, harmony or even sonic orchestration can
distract you, and on the flip side, just listening to New Age
massage-table sounds of the whales is not going to inspire you – there’s
a tiny strip where the pocket of good writing music exists. Volcano
Choir, for me, has it nailed. There’s enough slow, developing melody to
inspire me to write, but it doesn’t take over what I’m doing.”

On cut-off sweatpants: “I was a jock in high school — a track athlete — and I used to hang out
in sweatpants all the time. It has that feeling of ‘I’ve just worked
out, but my juices are going and I’m kind of relaxed.’ Plus, how stupid
you look doing this stuff makes me kind of proud. Honestly, beyond that,
they’re really comfortable without underwear.”

On smoothies: “I’ll
admit it: I’m a California cliché. But it’s hard to stay healthy when
you have young kids. I’ve just gotten addicted: it’s kale, frozen
strawberries, cinnamon, non-fat plain Greek yogurt, apple and coconut
water. That should be disgusting, but I feel like I’m drinking a
milkshake. That’s my morning writing process: drop the kids off at
school, get into sweatpants, make a smoothie in my Vitamix, get the
Volcano Choir going, fire up the dictaphone.”

On John Cassavetes: “In
terms of the kind of career that I want for myself — that I could make
money in the industry in order to sponsor everything else I should
really be doing — I really looked up to him for that. He would show up
in ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ and use that money to make a film. And creatively
as well, working with his family and his friends: I really like that
kind of arts-and-crafts way of making movies. People always say about my
movies, ‘It’s like Cassavetes, but funny,’ which I think is fair.”

On Warren Buffett: “This is probably a little too personal, but for the first time in my
life, I’m starting to make more money than I know what to do with. And
it’s really weird. What it does is it kind of kills your god. Because
your god, as an artist, is to try to find a way to make the art you want
to make while being financially sustainable. And to have achieved that
murdered my god. So now I look to Warren Buffett — the way he’s still
actively excited about achieving career success and making money, and
then he throws it all away on people who need it. That is the most
inspiring thing that I can imagine.”

READ MORE: Watch: Mark Duplass, Jay Duplass and Conan O’Brien Make Quite The Jam Band on ‘Conan’

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: Features and tagged , ,

Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox