CS Interview: Rob Corddry on mind-blowing Bad Therapy
ComingSoon.net got the opportunity to catch up with Peabody and Emmy winner Rob Corddry (Medical Police) to talk about the upcoming dramedy Bad Therapy in which he is reunited with stars Alicia Silverstone (Clueless) and Michaela Watkins (The Way Back). Bad Therapy is now available on Digital HD, and you can rent or purchase by clicking here!
Written by Nancy Doyne and based on her novel Judy Small, the film follows married couple Susan (Silverstone) and Bob (Corddry) Howard as they live an idyllic life in Los Angeles with Susan’s teenage daughter from her previous marriage. After learning from a friend about marriage counselor Judy Small (Watkins), Susan asks they begin seeing her, despite seemingly having no problems, and find themselves wrapped up in a dangerous game of manipulation, seduction and deception.
In addition to Silverstone, Corddry and Watkins, the film is made up of a cast that includes Haley Joel Osment (The Boys, Future Man), Aisha Tyler (Criminal Minds, Whose Line Is It Anyway?), Sarah Shahi (The Rookie, City on a Hill), David Paymer (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) and Flula Borg (Pitch Perfect 2).
Corddry found the script blew him away the first time he read it a few years ago and found it a major draw for him to want to be a part of the project, especially in that he “couldn’t really figure out what the movie was,” which he loved.
“It is a dark comedy but the darkness of it lends to it being a really good thriller, a story of a marriage, a story of LA,” Corddry said. “I still, right now, am actively trying to pin it down and I can’t and that’s what I love about it.”
When I mention how the film’s dreamlike nature feels akin to a romantic comedy written by David Lynch (Twin Peaks), Corddry calls it the “greatest compliment I’ve ever received in my whole life” and that he had a similar reaction to it upon first read.
“Once you’re actually doing it and preparing for it and shooting it, it’s just a story. It’s a story that you have figured out as it pertains to your character and you just do it. So I didn’t see it as a tonal jumble as I was living it, I was thinking more like ‘Why is craft services so shitty?'” Corddry joked. “‘Do we really have that little money? Where did my character just come from?’ The practical things were on my mind.”
Corddry found one of the most exciting parts about his and Alicia’s character is “that they’re being manipulated by Judy” and the fact that they’re not even aware of it, finding that as an actor, it’s a “fun thing to play, not knowing you’re being manipulated.”
“They’re on two different journeys, Alicia’s character Susan is totally into therapy and slowly evolves out of it as she understands this is not good,” Corddry described. “My character is the exact opposite, very reluctant at first and then grows more because of course he’s being manipulated to fall in love with his therapist, becoming a better patient.”
In reuniting with Silverstone, who he was previously fictionally married to in the 2011 comedy Butter, the 49-year-old actor found it “so great” and called her “one of my favorite people in the world,” while also noting his recent work with Watkins.
“We really are seemingly so different but have so much in common and I enjoy working with her,” Corddry said. “I enjoy the day to day with her and also it’s funny because Michaela Watkins plays Judy Small and she and I are a married couple in The Unicorn on CBS and also played a married couple in Lake Bell’s movie In A World, so it was like going to summer camp in a way shooting that movie. I’m just hanging out with my friends and it’s very familiar.”
Though he describes the script as “like nothing I’d ever been given to read before” and not something he and his co-stars felt “the need to improve,” the former Daily Show correspondent did reveal that he, Silverstone and Watkins would improvise on occasion around the script, namely in the therapy scenes and that it was easier to with the trio than with actors he’s only known for a couple of weeks, as they were “so comfortable together.” One of the biggest challenges he found in going into this project was taking on a character who is much smaller and quieter in personality than he is used to taking on.
“How he prefers his world to be tiny and he’s really living in the perfect version of his life at the beginning of the movie,” Corddry said. “It was a challenge for me because I’m afraid sometimes that my comfort zone is allowing myself to go bigger, because it’s always easy for a director to pull you back and so I tend to go as big as possible, take big risks. This character, I realized the more I read it, he’s a quiet, more of a watcher. He doesn’t really have a busy mind, he’s not unintelligent, he’s just unencumbered with anxiety and worry and he’s kind of simple in that way. It was a challenge to play him, to play a character that sort of quiet and small and then the next challenge is when he’s up against a wall to go bigger.”
Though he really enjoyed his time getting to work on the character and reuniting with Silverstone and Watkins, Corddry did open up that the shoot was a “really difficult” one, given the “zero money” the production had for everything.
“It’s like one of those things where all you have is the script, the material and your relationships with the characters to cling to, because we had no money,” Corddry noted. “They had one camera, it was a one-camera shoot, the DP was also the cameraman and the camera operator. All I remember it was to be a very grueling process comparatively, it wasn’t an easier one. It’s easier when you have money, because you can throw money at problems, so not only are you working under-resourced with a small budget, but your mind is also always taxed. You’re having to solve problems with collaboration and discussion, so it was a really, really difficult shoot. Luckily it was short, because we didn’t have a lot of money [laughs]. But I never thought it wasn’t going to be good, I was really clinging to the material.”
Bad Therapy is now available on Digital HD!