Adam Scott is the Sonic Youth of actors. Now, he doesn't want you to think that he thinks that (though, as you'll see, he comes awfully close to admitting it) -- but it's really a pretty apt comparison. The 'Parks and Recreation' star is in that perfect position of being universally beloved without being overexposed. Have you ever heard one person say, "You know, I don't like Adam Scott"?
In 'Friends with Kids,' Scott plays Jason, a ladies man who decides to have a baby with Julie (Jennifer Westfeldt) -- a woman he considers his best friend, but he doesn't find sexually attractive. Moviefone spoke to Scott (on a very early Saturday morning on very little sleep) at the Toronto International Film Festival about his leading role in 'Kids,' his breakout success over the past two years, his defiant role in 'Star Trek: First Contact,' and why we will not be seeing him in 'Piranha 3DD.'
So, I just walked out of this movie.
Yours. 'Friends with Kids.'
Oh! Cool! They just had a screening?
Yeah, 9:00 a.m.
How fun! A 9:00 a.m. movie.
And I can't read my notes.
If you translate that, it just says, "My head hurts." If you throw up during the interview, I totally get it. There's a garbage can right there.
Thank you, that's very nice. Correct me if I'm wrong, but this is the movie that you missed the EW 'Parks and Recreation' cover shoot for.
Yeah, that's true.
Let me ask you... was it worth it?
Ha! Hard hitting questions! Yeah, totally. It was more the snowstorm than the movie itself. I was really bummed out. I'm so proud of 'Parks' and proud to be among those people on that show.
Your character in 'Friends with Kids' is sent a picture of baby poop in a cute, "look at our baby's poop,' kind of way. Has that ever happened to you?
Yeah, but not a baby's poop. Actually, I do think there's been a couple of times that my wife and I can't believe the volume and we text each other photos of poop -- because we have two kids. Have you ever received poop?
No. I know people who have, though.
It's disgusting. Poop is poop, I don't care if it comes from the cutest baby in the world. It's still sh-t.
For people who complain that Adam Scott doesn't get enough screen time, this is their movie. Do you feel that way? This is your first big starring role? I mean, 'The Vicious Kind' had a kind of limited audience.
Right. Well, I certainly feel lucky that Jen [Westfeldt] and Jon [Hamm] asked me to do the movie. There are a lot of people that are more famous that could have helped them get financing that probably would have done just a good of a job as me, quite frankly. So I'm really kind of grateful to them for taking a leap of faith on me because I know that it's not like I help them get the movie going. They had to find other ways to do that. I was watching it last night just thinking, I can't believe I got this part. I guess it pays that we're friends because otherwise I don't think this would have been a part that I would get.
['Friends with Kids' spoiler alert]
How do you turn the line, "I'm going to f-ck the sh-t out of you" into something romantic?
It's funny, it was a long standing debate. I always thought that it was great and that you had to keep it in -- this is something that is one of the many things that makes it unique to the romantic comedy genre. This keeps it one foot in this other world. It's risky filmmaking when you do something like that, when Jen wrote that. I was always encouraging her to stick to it because there was a lot of debate on, "Do we really end the movie on this line?" That's a really risky move and I thought it was really strong. But, the thing is, you have to really earn that. Otherwise, it's just going to be ridiculous. I don't know if it's going to be particularly controversial once the movie comes out -- because I think it works really well. But, I don't know. It was controversial while we were making it. I think we shot alternate versions as well in which we say other things. But I'm glad it's in. Watching it, I felt like it was earned by that point.
Your character uses the words "doll" and "babe" a lot. As in, "Hey, doll." It just stands out to me because I'm just not someone who can pull that off.
No, I'm not either. That was all, of course, written. And I was really self-conscious using those words. But certainly the character feels like the world is at his fingertips and those are his terms of endearment.
There's a scene in which we hear your character and Megan Fox's character having sex from another room. How, exactly, do you record that?
There's no way for that process not to be embarrassing.
Still, it had to be less awkward than the nude scene in 'The Vicious Kind.'
With the prostitute? Oh, yeah, yeah. Sex scenes are always embarrassing. There's no way around it, really. It's impossible to have a sex scene that actually, like, hot. Because there's always a bunch of people around watching -- you just have to kind of get through it.
So this was just you and Megan in a recording studio screaming "yes!"?
Yeah... which is also embarrassing.
Are you self-aware of everything that's happening to your career right now? The days of playing "Defiant Crewmember" in 'Star Trek: First Contact' seem to be over. That was the name of the ship, by the way.
The ship was called Defiant?
Oh. That's interesting.
I asked you about this before when you first started on 'Party Down' and we both assumed that your crewmember was "acting defiant." You said he should have been called "p-ssy crewmember." 'Star Trek' fans were not happy with either of us.
See, I didn't even know that. That's hilarious. I have to say, I was never a 'Star Trek' guy, but that J.J. Abrams 'Star Trek' movie was so good. Like, I've seen it a couple of times. It's great.
Do you take stock in the fact that your career is really going somewhere?
Well, no... I'm certainly grateful that I've gotten a little traction in the past couple of years. At the same time, it took me a long time and it's kind of like that adage, if you drop a frog in a pot of boiling water, it's going to jump out – but of you put the frog in a pot of cold water and just slowly turn the heat up, it's not going to notice and it's just going to boil to death. That's kind of how it's been with my career.
That's my headline, "Adam Scott's Success is Causing Him to Boil to Death."
Slowly, slowly... It's not like some shock, some overnight thing where I'm like, "Holy sh-t, look at all this stuff!" It happened so slowly over the years, that, yeah, if I were to really stop and look around and then immediately jump back to ten years ago, yeah, it would be really great. But, at the same time, I've been doing it long enough that I know that I could be right back to playing "Defiant Crewmember Number Three" in the blink of an eye. I mean, I know that things don't always last, so I just want to appreciate what's happening now because it could all just kind of go away.
You're sort of like an indie rock band that is now becoming really popular.
Well, if it goes any further than this, I'm sure that there's some inevitable backlash. Just like it would be with an indie band. But... I'm like what band? I guess I would be like Sonic You... no! I'm not going to compare myself to Sonic Youth. I'm not going to fall into that trap. Jesus Christ. You know what? I'm not going to compare myself to any band because I'll sound like an as-hole. And it's one of the things that will start a backlash. So I'm not going to do it!
"Pompous actor Adam Scott thinks he's Sonic Youth."
Well, I think I'm done.
Really? [Laughs] You need to go take a nap.
I probably do. Also, since I know your publicist, any question I've really had for you over the last couple of years, you've always answered immediately -- like your, "I'll show up at your house if you don't like Piranha 3D" manifesto you sent us.
You know what, I wanted to do it, too. But I didn't have time because I know some people responded and wanted me to go. I just thought, "Let's do it, I should just fly to wherever and go and reenact 'Piranha' in someone's backyard." And I wanted to do it, but I just didn't have the time -- because that would have been so fun. And I thought it wouldn't be that difficult to go to someone's house and do a whole thing in the backyard and reenact the Jet Ski scene from 'Piranha,' but I just didn't get my sh-t together because I'm dumb.
Your 'Piranha' character may or may not be dead, but you're not in the sequel.
Paul Scheer is in the second one. And Ving Rhames is in this one.
Did you want to be in it?
Wait a second, why the f-ck didn't they ask me to be in 'Piranha 3DD'? No, I have to say, that question never really crossed my mind. But I will be the first in line to see 'Piranha 3DD.'
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