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    My exclusive interview with Sarah Silverman. - 06/07/07

Archive for the 'Movies' Category

Ashby poster has Sarah x2

Posted by Gator on March 17th, 2015

Click to enlarge










The new poster for Ashby includes two different pics of Sarah. The film makes its world premiere in April at the TriBeCa Film Festival in New York City.  Here’s how the festival website describes the movie:

Awkward Ed Wallis (Nat Wolff) needs help fitting in and turns to his neighbor Ashby Holt (Mickey Rourke) for help. Ashby’s unforgiving brand of tough love soon tests their friendship, and it hardly helps when Ed learns that Ashby is a former CIA assassin. Peppered with upbeat music and standout performances, Ashby is a spirited, self-referential update on Harold and Maude for a John Wick generation. With Emma Roberts and Sarah Silverman. 

THR talks to I Smile Back team at Sundance

Posted by Gator on February 18th, 2015

This is Sarah and others from I Smile Back conversing with the Hollywood Reporter as part of its “Sundance Short Cuts” series recorded around the I Smile Back January 25 Sundance premier. (Sorry for the delay posting this.)

Video: Variety studio talks to I Smile Back team

Posted by Gator on February 8th, 2015

This is five minutes about I Smile Back with Sarah, screenwriters Paige Dylan and Amy Koppelman (author), and director Adam Salky. The interview is in the Variety Studio at Sundance Film Festival 2015.

Topics include
Sarah on what she thought when she read the book
Amy Koppelman telling how it occurred to her to seek Sarah for the role
Co-screenwriter Paige Dylan on trying to be true to the book
Adam Salky on challenges of the shoot
Sarah speculating about if people will like the movie (transcripted below)
How playing the dark role of Laney affected Sarah (She talks about how the role led her to “lose her shit” and become “cunty” once a day during the twenty day shoot.)

One excerpt:
I’m curious to see what people think and what they take away from it because she may be a sympathetic character to some people. She kind of lives in anxiety and fear and ‘what if,’ and quells that by self medicating. I think a lot of times when people live in fear, they don’t have room for anyone else, even– especially the people closest to them: their children, their husband. And so people may find her very sympathetic, and other people may find her not at all sympathetic. You know, everyone’s got their own shit that they have to work through, so I can see it being not a sympathetic character, but that’s what’s interesting to me. There’s a self centeredness to self loathing and needing to self punish and all that stuff. It’s self.


Interview: Vulture talks to Sarah at Sundance

Posted by Gator on February 1st, 2015

Here’s the Q&A Vulture.com posted January 31, from their January 26 interview with Sarah at Sundance. It has a few things the others didn’t get, such as discussion of an anal sex scene and some details of the soon to be lensed pilot Sarah will be making with HBO, but it also has what have become some of the I Smile Back talking points.


If comedy is just a front to hide the darkness within, then Sarah Silverman has fully lifted the veil with her dramatic turn in the positively bleak I Smile Back. It’s a raw and fully-committed performance involving nudity, some horribly degrading sex, and masturbating on a teddy bear with her sleeping daughter beside her. And unlike other comediennes who’ve veered into drama, none of it felt like a stretch. But after 85 minutes of watching Silverman as bipolar housewife Laney Brooks, Napalm bombing her unhappiness with alcohol, cocaine, and wildly self-destructive extramarital affairs, it was a relief to see the actress as her acerbic self in the audience Q&A. Why did she do the role? “Why wouldn’t I? What am I − busy?” she replied. Asked if she gets depressed, Silverman said she can’t bring herself to watch a YouTube video her mother sent her called “Elephants Reunited after Twenty Years,” she said, “as well as most Pixar films.” And, no, she didn’t find the movie cathartic because she spends plenty of time crying in her apartment on normal days. The day after the premiere, Jada Yuan caught up with Silverman to talk fake cocaine, nervous diarrhea, and why she relates to Björk.

So how do you feel after last night’s premiere? Was it hard to sit through the movie?
Yeah, it was really weird. It’s just so hard to watch, you know? But it was neat and I woke up so happy this morning. I just didn’t know how it would be, what people would think. I knew it was out of my hands, so I was pretty calm, but it’s nice that people seem to like it so far.

It seems like a big departure for you. What drew you to the material?
Well, it was sent to me. They thought of me and that doesn’t happen often, certainly not with this kind of material and I read [Amy Koppelman’s] book and then they wrote a script. You know, I’m pretty good at knowing when I’m lucky. And I just figured, why wouldn’t I do this?

Do you want to be doing more drama, branch out from comedy?
I love comedy, I love being a comedian, I love doing stand-up. That will never change as long as I can control that, but, yeah, I’m interested in doing all sorts of things. But I don’t usually make some big plan. Like, “I’m going to show that I can…” I don’t plan in that way and it works out. None of us know what’s going to happen. I mean, have you ever predicted anything in your life?

Nothing good.
I’d love to do more things but being a comedian brings me so much happiness. This just crossed my path. Usually I need to generate my own stuff, but when stuff comes my way and it’s something so neat and exciting and different for me, I’d be dumb to pass it up.

What was the scariest part about going into this, after you read the script?
The nudity and the sex scenes and snorting even fake cocaine is, you know, a bummer, and I just really prepared and braced myself. It’s funny because [I told a good friend about it] and I said, “There’s a scene where I’m having anal sex and blah blah blah.” And then, after the first week of shooting, he’s like, “How’s it going?” And I’m like, “It’s okay. It’s hard.” And he’s like, “How is the anal sex scene?” And I was like, “Oh, it was fun! It was good!” Because I had braced myself so much and then Tommy Sadoski [who plays a family friend she’s sleeping with] is such a professional actor and was so kind and so—I hate using the word “generous” because it’s a word actors use. But he was so protective of me and made me very, very comfortable. It was our first day of shooting, of course. There’s always that story. So, yeah. It was alright. When you brace yourself for the worst, it can be good.

That kind of makes sense for the way the dynamic plays where your character seems to have more intimacy with him than she does with her own husband, played by Josh Charles.
Yeah, it was actually rain cover, like we were supposed to be shooting outside but it was raining, and then that was what we had to go do. It was like, “Oh gosh.”

They’re like, “Oh, the weather’s bad, but we can do the anal sex scene!”
I know, it’s funny. I’ve never been naked in anything until I turned 40.

Do you believe the line that your character said, which stuck out at me, that “No guy can love a girl whose ass he just fucked”?
Well, I never really think about life in terms of anal sex. It’s personally not a part of my life. It does seem kind of like — When you hear about how guys want to cum on a girl’s face or whatever or you see it in porn…That’s just not…I’m not against it, I’m whatever floats your boat but I wouldn’t call that “making love.” But that’s just because it’s not really my bag.

There’s always been a darkness to your comedy that translates well to drama. For me, this film didn’t seem like a leap. It wasn’t like I was used to seeing you do slapstick.
Right, it’s not like my comedy is I drop a ball and then I go to pick it up and I kick it further. You look at a set-list and it’s like, “Holocaust,” “Abortion,” “9/11.” It was a leap but I think comedy at its best every exposing and vulnerable, and those are elements in doing this kind of work, but it’s kind of the other side of that, the bizarr-o world version. It taps into different things. I was in a very low-frequency place while, the whole time of shooting it. We still laughed and stuff but it was just real dark and an intense month and a half or so.

Did you go home crying at times?
No, but I’ve learned something about myself which is when I don’t know where to put a lot of emotions—like I’ll have so much stuff inside me and I don’t know where to put it—it will come out in ways. I guess that’s what misplaced anger is. But with acting, it brought up all this stuff and then I’d go home and not know what to put it in. Or even at lunch, I’d be like, “How is there no coffee?! I mean, coffee, it’s just water! It’s not even an expense! The crew should have coffee!” and I’m realizing I just don’t know where to put this energy. But they would just take me with a grain of salt. And then I’d be like, “Sorry! I don’t know who I am right now.” I can usually compartmentalize to a pretty good degree, but it was stuff I wasn’t used to.

And when you say it brought up stuff, do you mean personal things for you?
No, I’m sure things from my life helped inform the way I performed. But I just mean, after doing things like that—I thought I’d be able to just snap out of it and then just be, like, goofy me, but it was harder than I thought. That it’s not just stuff that actors talk about, it’s real. Like when Bjork did Dancer in the Dark, that movie was so incredible. And then in press, she was like, “It was terrible! That was just real for me, I don’t know how to act.” And I’m not saying that, but I kind of understand. It was such a great experience, such a great group, such a team effort and in a way it was such great fun, but it was really a bummer all the time. I’m not complaining. That’s just the truth, I guess.

In the Q&A at the premiere, you said it was painful.
Yeah, emotionally. It’s not real, it’s just pretend. But we’re made of just little particles and energy affects us. If mind and body weren’t connected then how would you explain nervous diarrhea? C’mon, Jada.

What were you snorting for the fake cocaine?
It was a combination of, like, Inositol and Vitamin D and…I don’t know. It was a combination of these things that are, like, “It’s vitamins, they’re okay for you!” and it just, speaking of diarrhea, it completely makes you feel like you’re jacked up on too many vitamins on an empty stomach.

But it’s nutritious.
It was so nutritious. Always good to snort things.

What’s next for you? HBO passed on People from New Jersey, that show you were going to do with Paul Feig.
I’m actually doing another pilot for HBO and we’re casting it in the next three weeks and we’ll see how that is. It’s not something I wrote, it’s written by a beautiful playwright named Lucy Prebble. It’s about a woman in Seattle who meets a British guy and she decides to take the leap of moving to London. It’s more than that but I don’t know what the log-line is. It’s interesting, it’s character-y. It’s not a high concept plot so it’s hard for me to go, “It’s about a woman who’s a fireman who…” I don’t know.

Sundance release after Sarah’s press briefing

Posted by Gator on February 1st, 2015

Sundance Institute’s reporter, Eric Hynes, posted this release to the Sundance website January 26, based on the I Smile Back team’s press briefing.


Sarah Silverman has built a career on confidence—on being the smartest, funniest, and most brazen person in the room. But after the unveiling of her career-turning, soul-baring dramatic performance in I Smile Back, which premiered on Sunday night at the Library Theater, she seemed utterly disoriented in front of the appreciative crowd. “Weird,” she intoned into the microphone, then tried to hide behind director Adam Salky. (more…)

Interview: Sarah to Yahoo about I Smile Back

Posted by Gator on February 1st, 2015

This January 26 article is the result of a Yahoo Movies interview with Sarah.


Sarah Silverman went into Sunday night’s premiere of her new movie, I Smile Back, with very little clue of what to expect. She hadn’t yet seen the final cut of the film, and because Smile — one of the more anticipated debuts at this year’s Sundance Film Festival — was her first full-on dramatic role, the 44-year-old comedic actress and stand-up had no idea if she was any good in it or not.

“Before the screening I was like, ‘I don’t know how to tell if people will like it,’” Silverman told Yahoo Movies. “With comedy, you can tell because they’re laughing.”

There was the occasional bit of laughter during the premiere, but the theater was largely silent as the audience watched in shock as Silverman’s character, Laney — a well-to-do housewife and mother of two — goes into a downward spiral of heavy boozing, drug addiction, and instantly regretted midday motel room affairs.

The film, based on the 2008 novel by Amy Koppelman, and directed by Adam Salky (Dare), required a total lack of vanity from its star. Laney is dealing with not only the emotional scars due to her father’s abandonment, but also a chemical imbalance that requires medication she refuses to take. When life brings those two internal live wires together, it is explosive.

Laney snorts copious cocaine, sleeps with her friend’s husband, drinks herself into a stupor, and pushes herself further and further to the edge, breaking down in tears at the end of each trip to the dark side. It’s the sort of performance we’ve never seen of Silverman, who often uses her comedy to expose the darkness in the world. Here, she had to turn the light inward. (more…)

Interview: USA Today from I Smile Back press panel

Posted by Gator on February 1st, 2015

USA Today‘s January 26 article quotes from the press panel Sarah was in after the January 25 screening of the I Smile Back at the Sundance Film Festival. 012615USAtodayHdln

PARK CITY, Utah — Sarah Silverman proves she has far more in her bag of tricks, as she put it, than acerbic wit.

The premiere of her harrowing new film I Smile Back at the Sundance Film Festival Sunday night had audiences talking about the comic actress’ impressive ability to play an intensely dark role.

Known for her sweetly girlish delivery, offbeat humor and sexually explicit jokes, Silverman, 44, tackles a particularly grim part for her first starring role.

In the film she plays Laney,a suburban wife and mother who struggles with depression, reckless behavior and addiction. She’s an alcoholic, cocaine-snorting manic depressive who has an affair with a friend’s husband, as well dangerous anonymous sex.

It’s a difficult film to watch Laney as she careens out of control. It’s also tough to observe her in her quieter, pain-riddled moments, her face a mask of guilt, confusion and disillusionment. Even the obvious joy her children give her is short-lived and tinged with sadness.

The self-destructive character was difficult to take on, Silverman admits.

“It hurt,” she said. “But I’m really glad I did it and came through on the other side.” (more…)