YOU TALKIN’ TO ME?

Ben Schwartz bab­bles.

Total Film - - Contents -

‘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.

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