YOU TALKIN’ TO ME?
Ben Schwartz babbles.
‘I’M STILL IN AWE THAT PEOPLE LOVE JEAN-RALPHIO. IT’S ME TURNING INTO A CARTOON’
IN THE CROSSHAIRS THIS MONTH BEN SCHWARTZ Are you talkin’ to me?
I am, in fact, talking to you from a Tesla SpaceX rocket. I’m going towards the sky. I shouldn’t even have brought it up, but I appreciate your candour and acting like it’s not blowing your mind.
Do you feel lucky, punk?
I do. I feel like I’m pretty lucky to be in this business in the first place, and I picked up a heads-up penny moments ago, and immediately after an anvil just missed me. So I do feel very lucky lately.
You talk the talk, do you walk the walk?
I made a big deal of being like The Rock, and I haven’t even been to the gym this week. So, I guess that’s a personal attack on me and I’m not psyched about it.
What’s the last thing that you do remember?
I remember waking up, and then I had all these different words on my body telling me what to do. So the last thing I remember was looking down, and it said “call this number” on my arm. You’re calling out my lack of memory. This is a very aggressive interview.
Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?
I have, and he’s unbelievable at cha-cha. The movement and pizzazz of the devil? I cannot recommend doing it enough.
You ever have that feeling where you’re not sure if you’re awake or still dreaming?
Yes. There’s a term for it: sleep paralysis. It happened to me three times at college. This isn’t even a joke. It was terrifying. I couldn’t move, but I was trying to scream to my roommate to wake me up. And then I finally gasp for air, wake up and go, “Did you hear I was screaming?” He goes, “No, what are you talking about?” I don’t know why I just told you a real, personal story. I thought this interview was supposed to be fun.
When you can live forever, what do you live for?
I guess retweets and likes. Is that all anybody cares about now?
Why so serious?
Because I want to have a real interview. I don’t want to go goofing off. I want to make sure that you know I’m being serious, and all my answers are real.
What’s your favourite scary movie?
Up, because I’m terrified of balloons.
If you could change something in your life, anything at all, what would it be?
I would be able to dunk a basketball, because this is nonsense. I’m 37 now, and I can’t do it. When I was in high school, I could dunk a softball. And every year since then, I’ve gotten further and further away from my goal of dunking a basketball.
You either surf or fight…
Get me and my arch-nemesis on a longboard, put us in the ocean, and let us scuffle it out. Whoever falls off first is the loser, American Gladiators-style.
Do you like what you do for a living, these things that you see?
I love what I do for a living. The biggest appeal of [Blue Iguana] was Sam Rockwell. I think Sam is truly one of the best actors. This was before he won an Oscar, so I was on it way before then. But the other thing was to play in one of these heist movies that I watched growing up, and to also have that British flare to it. It’s so fun that I get to fire a gun, or be that clumsy idiot, or talk too much shit. It was all those components.
What would you do if you knew you had less than one minute to live?
I would google “coolest things to do in under 60 seconds”. That would probably be the end of my minute.
What’s in California?
A lot of smog, but also Teslas.
So it’s weird. You’re not quite certain what’s happening.
Why don’t you turn that frizzown upside-dizity?
[laughs] You’re right. I think that’s a beautiful sentence, and you’re right, I will. The idea that I’ve been feeling sad for one second makes me want to feel happy again. I’m still in awe that people love [Parks And Recreation’s] JeanRalphio. If you watch that character, it’s me slowly turning into a cartoon. I had so much fun doing it. JF
ETA | OUT NOW / BLUE IGUANA IS AVAILABLE NOW ON BLU-RAY, DVD AND ON DEMAND.
Schwartz with Sam Rockwell in Blue Iguana.