Over the past sixteen years, actor Jason Schwartzman has played a lot of interesting roles, from Max Fischer in Wes Anderson’s Rushmore–which led to Schwartzman appearing in more than half of Anderson’s eight feature films and three of his five shorts–to his turn as Gideon Graves in Edgar Wright’s Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and depicting author Jonathan Ames in HBO’s short-lived “Bored to Death.”
There are aspects of all those characters in Schwartzman’s role as Philip Lewis Friedman in Alex Ross Perry’s Listen Up Philip, in that he’s playing an arrogant and quite insufferable author who keeps burning bridges, including the relationship with his latest girlfriend, played by Elisabeth Moss. When an older and more famous author (Jonathan Pryce) offers Philip a place to stay in his country cottage, Philip jumps at the chance, only to discover someone even more narcissistic and anti-social than himself.
It’s a great second feature for Perry, who first made waves with his debut The Color Wheel. It’s a film that reminds one of some of Anderson’s earlier work as well as that of Anderson collaborator Noah Baumbach, particularly The Squid and the Whale. The movie premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and recently played in the vastly different New York Film Festival before its limited release.
A few weeks back, ComingSoon.net sat down with Schwartzman and Perry for the following video interview to talk about the movie as well as upcoming projects, Perry having already filmed his next movie Queen of Earth and Schwartzman appearing in Tim Burton’s Big Eyes in a couple of months.
For those wondering about the odd tangent in the middle of the interview, Jason kept grabbing magazines from a shelf off-camera where they were stacked from floor to ceiling, almost like a game of Jenga, making us think he might accidentally pull the whole thing down. Perry’s concern was that the camera battery might run out mid-interview, which it did, so here’s what he had to say about his next movie once the camera stopped:
“We’re just editing it right now. It’s a really different movie than Listen Up Philip.’ Our edit of Listen Up Philip’ took eight weeks working ten hours a day with the editor. We have half as much footage so it will take half as much time but it’s more precise, because it’s not sloppy, moving everything around. This one has to be perfect so it may take a little while longer.”
Listen Up Philip opens in New York on Friday, October 17, before expanding a week later on October 24.