Adam Scott, Taylor Schilling, Jason Schwartzman, and Judith Godréche star in the adult comedy The Overnight from writer/director Patrick Brice. Scott (Parks and Recreation) and Schilling (Orange is the New Black) play married parents Alex and Emily who move to LA from Seattle and don’t know anyone in their new neighborhood. A chance meeting at the local park leads to an invitation from Kurt (Schwartzman) for a welcome to the neighborhood dinner at his family’s home. The evening takes an unexpected twist as the simple dinner turns into a bizarre playdate for the new adult friends.
Catching up with Adam Scott while he was on the road promoting the theatrical release of The Overnight, I had the opportunity to ask him about the film’s most talked about scene involving male full frontal nudity. We also chatted about the short shooting schedule and his co-stars.
Adam Scott Exclusive Interview:
Everybody talks about the penis but is the penis kind of hijacking the questions and causing people to forget the film is actually a character-driven story about two couples?
Adam Scott: [Laughing] “I don’t know, but I know if I was in your position I would have to ask about it. I mean how can you not ask about those two penises, but I see your point. I think that there is something, of course, more interesting happening underneath all of that and I think that’s why it cuts a little deeper than just a kind of surfacey sex comedy. I mean I think that’s why we were initially drawn to it. I think comedy is the great delivery system for this really interesting story about these two couples.
In particular Taylor and my characters are two people who kind of feel like their days of re-invention are behind them, you know? They’re pretty settled in their dysfunction and think they have a pretty good handle on who they are and how they fit into the world. Then before they know it, everything’s sort of turned upside down in a matter of hours. I think that’s really what I found interesting about it in the first place.”
Was it interesting to explore characters who are defined by the fact they are part of a couple and are parents and that’s who they are in their lives at this point?
Adam Scott: “Yes.”
Could you relate to that or was this something that was totally foreign to your experience?
Adam Scott: “Yeah, no. My wife and I both related to it. I think that’s what kind of struck us and why we wanted to make it was, you know, meeting new people for us is either through work or through our kids because that’s all we do. You know, it is interesting. Your kids are kind of picking your friends at a certain point in your life and we’ve been really lucky in that regard, but you never know. Especially if you are in a new town and you’re eager to meet new people. At this point in your life, it’s not like you’re teenagers anymore. You just don’t know exactly where you are going to find new friends.”
Because it’s such an intimate story and there are basically just four characters, how easy was it for the four of you to bond and kind of get that friendship vibe going? You are supposed to be standoffish at the beginning and by the end, you really embrace each other.
Adam Scott: “It was great. I mean we only had 12 days to make the movie.”
Adam Scott: “Yeah, I mean we didn’t have a choice so we made it in 10 nights and then two days. The actors didn’t really know each other and we didn’t rehearse or anything. We just sort of dove in and started shooting. Luckily, we had a really game group of actors and our crew was tiny. There was only like 15 people so it was a really intimate, fun couple of weeks. Everyone was into it. Luckily we didn’t have a bad apple in the bunch. Otherwise, it would have definitely affected the whole thing because it was such a small core group of people.”
Do you like a fast shoot?
Adam Scott: “Yeah, I mean I’m used to it just because on TV you move really fast and I’m used to that schedule. You know we shot Parks and Rec in five days, shot Party Down in four days, so it’s not that much slower than The Overnight. I like moving that quickly. I think it’s great. It would have been great to have another five days to work on the movie, but I think there was plenty of time.”
Do short shoots mean you don’t have time to question the choices you make, because they are more spontaneous than if you had time for more takes?
Adam Scott: “No. I don’t really do that. I guess you know it depends on the project and the character and stuff but with this one, I was trusting my instincts. I think we were all kind of in the pocket. We all kind of felt like we were pretty confident in the direction we were going and on the same page tone-wise, and it felt like we all kind of knew what it was we were making here.”
Do you think it does help having the writer and the director be the same person because they know exactly what the vision is from both points of view?
Adam Scott: “Yeah, sure. I mean I think with anything, the writer and director hopefully will be in sync by the time you’re shooting but yeah, since he also wrote it, at least it was one less body to have on set that we had to feed.”
I read there are actually journalists who don’t realize that both penises in the film – yours and Jason Schwartzman’s – were prosthetics. Is that true?
Adam Scott: “Yeah, I guess a woman at a film festival in the front row had complimented Jason on his beautiful penis. I wasn’t there but I think he thought it was pretty funny.”
When you read the scene in which you’d be showing off your [fake]small penis, what was your initial reaction?
Adam Scott: “You know, I found it nerve-wracking that I would have to do that and honestly wasn’t sure if we would ever make the movie because making a movie, getting a movie is so difficult. I figured there is a 7% chance this will ever happen so yeah, let’s do it because we were just looking for a movie to make for our company. But I happen to be married to a very tenacious producer and suddenly we had a start date and I was kind of like, ‘Oh no. I actually have to do this.’
You know, I am kind of like of the school of thought, the riskier the better. You shouldn’t be afraid of doing anything in acting or whatever. I just kind of went for it. I’m glad I did. It was fun.”
How many takes did you get?
Adam Scott: “God, I don’t really remember. I doubt we did it more than a couple times just because there’s no real need to. I think we did two different sizes but we had two cameras so we did it at the same time. We probably did it twice.
Can you talk about working with Taylor Schilling?
Adam Scott: “Yeah, she’s great. She is such a good actress, such a lovely person. Couldn’t believe we got her, you know? Naomi actually is the one that thought of Taylor for it and we all sort of thought, ‘Well yeah, of course and when she says no we will find a person like Taylor to do the movie.’ She miraculously said yes and was just great. We didn’t have dressing rooms or trailers or anything. It was all really down and dirty and she was totally game and into it. She was a delight and so good in the movie.”
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