By: Shannon Page
Adam Scott has been around for a while and his latest project, the indie sex-comedy The Overnight, is certainly not his first attempt at acting or producing. Though he is probably best known for his work as Ben Wyatt on the television sitcom Parks and Recreation, Scott has also appeared in movies such as Step Brothers, The Aviator and Our Idiot Brother. The Overnight stars Scott as Alex and Taylor Schilling (of Netflix’s Orange is the New Black fame) as Emily, a young couple with a child who have recently moved to Los Angeles and are eager to make new friends with another couple (Jason Schwartzman and Judith Godrèche). Wylie Writes had the chance to chat with Scott last week when he was in Toronto promoting the film in anticipation of its theatrical release.
Scott explained that his involvement with The Overnight began when he and his wife, Naomi, first saw the script for the film two years ago as their production company Getting’ Rad Productions was looking for a feature length movie to produce.
“We had just formed this company and had only done TV stuff so far and it kind of fit all of the criteria,” he said. “It was really small, but more importantly it was really good. It was really funny and we related to a lot of the stuff in the script. It seemed like it could be doable, it was essentially one location and we could do it quickly.”
Though the film seemed to be a good fit for the company, Scott admits that he was hesitant about some of the more challenging content.
“I was a little freaked out by the script. The sexual stuff, but also the character of Kurt kind of freaked me out. It was the kind of guy that in life kind of creeps me out a little bit: very overly-friendly, a lot of compliments and touching when he talks to you. All that kind of stuff on the page freaked me out a bit. But then, getting Jason Schwartzman to play him, he ends up being an incredibly charming, seductive guy.”
“We improvised quite a bit, but we didn’t necessarily use all of it in the movie,” Scott said about the experience of filming The Overnight, which was shot in only twelve days – mostly in a single location. “I like improvising on set just to keep everything alive and fresh. Especially if you are doing a scene for a couple hours, it can get a little stale after a while and the words stop having meaning. It just becomes sand in your mouth and you forget what it is you’re talking about. So, when you can improvise and just keep it alive, it’s really fun. I love improvising and Jason [Schwartzman] does as well and so we did a lot, not necessarily with the intention of everything being in the movie but just to keep everything going.”
Ultimately, the greatest draw of the script was its accuracy in exploring the experience of being a thirty-something parent. Scott notes that there were elements of the characters that he could personally relate to, especially in regard to their desire to make new friends.
“I mean, the only places I meet new people nowadays is either work or through my kids, because I don’t do anything else,” he admitted. “We’ve been very lucky. We have a lot of friends that we’ve met through our kids friends that are just terrific people, but there have been some interesting ones over the years too.”
So what comes next? Between acting, producing and promoting his work, there hasn’t been much time in the past few years for Scott to reflect on the trajectory of his career. Though he has just finished filming on another feature length film (My Blind Brother with Nick Kroll and Jenny Slate), Scott says that his next major project will most likely involve a return to television.
“I definitely want to find a TV project, but I’m not in a hurry. I want to find the right thing.” He said. “I don’t know if it’s comedy I want to do, or what I want to do. I mean, it’s such a tired subject at this point, but TV is so exciting now that there’s nothing that I like more than hooking into a great show and sitting there for hours watching episode after episode. I just did The Fall, and now I’m on Hannibal. It’s so fun to find a great show. It’s like finding a great series of novels that you just can’t stop thinking about. I want to find that great show and just make it.”
The Overnight is now playing in select theatres.
Click here to read Shannon Page’s The Overnight review
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