Sarah Silverman was sitting in the lobby of her hotel with a bunch of dudes. She’d just met the guys, who all looked young and kind of star-struck, like they’d high-five one another after she left.
“OK, so I’ll text you later,” she said, waving goodbye.
“How adorable are they?” she asked, making her way over to a nearby restaurant. “We’re all going to go play basketball later.”
After performing for over two decades as a stand-up comedian, this is the brand that Silverman, 44, has established: the goofyeverygirl who brings her marijuana vape to the Emmys instead of extra lipstick. As she puts it: “The mayor of everywhere.”
“When Nicole Kidman walks into a room, people are like, ‘Oh, my gosh,'” she said, acting intimidated. “But with me, it’s like, ‘Oh, Sarah!’ People feel like they went to camp with me.”
Which is great, for the most part — until one day you decide you want to be a little more like Kidman. That’s where Silverman’s at right now, and why she’s at Sundance for the first time with “I Smile Back,” a bleak drama that barely offers even one moment of comic relief. Silverman plays Laney, a housewife who seems to have it all — two cute kids, a loving husband who dotes on her. But she’s struggling with crippling depression, and instead of taking her prescribed pills, she self-medicates by doing lines of cocaine and sleeping with random men. Sometimes she’s pretty despicable.
Adam Salky, who directed the movie, knows that may be hard for moviegoers to accept. “The business is always trying to put you in a box,” he said. “But Sundance is the perfect place to take risks, because that’s what it’s all about.”
A couple of days before her film had its premiere, Silverman was nestled into a fancy booth with a view of the Wasatch Mountains. An eager waiter came over to offer her the house specialty, fondue, but she grimaced and said she wasn’t hungry. She ordered a ginger ale and rubbed her stomach as if it hurt.
“I’m not sick,” she said, readjusting her ponytail. “I’m just Jewish.” Read the rest of this entry »