Anybody that really doesn’t like TV has to admit that Jonathan Ames and Jason Schwartzman comedy series Bored to Death starring Jason as Ames—a writer from Brooklyn, who moonlights as an unlicensed private detective; in all his Jewish angst and existential humor was a step above most offerings on HBO and regular TV. This explains obviously its cancellation after three seasons.
Jason who is the son of Talia Shire Coppola sister to Francis (that makes him his uncle) is more Italian than Jewish. His father producer Jack was Ashkenazi Jew. However, I do not know that there is really that much difference. Anyway, it appears that this did not matter all that much since Jason was raised agnostic…, which is the best way to go: this way you take guilt right out of the equation.
Anyway Bored to Death, yes, There was something rather comforting about seen the three main characters. The other two being a New York magazine editor going through a late mid life crisis played brilliantly by Ted Dawson and a comic book artist played to the hilt by funny man Zach Galifianakis (George and Ray respectively); getting stoned and exchanging life’s tidbits and misadventures with a warmth, and fierce gusto for all that is dysfunctional, endearing and funny but tragic at the same time in a style somewhat reminiscent of a Wes Anderson flick.
Obviously, this is no coincidence since Jason and Wes have been close collaborators since Rushmore in 1998.
Nevertheless, if it was not for this song by Stephen Bishop I kept hearing this afternoon while having lunch at this restaurant jetted on to the surf of Burleigh Heads I would not think twice about writing this…
But somehow I found a great similarity between Bishop and Jason maybe in my mind Jason could easily play Stephen in an autobiographical movie…he is a bit of a musician himself, and they are both from California Jason from L.A. and Stephen from San Diego. Nevertheless, they both look like they should be from New York…
On and On…you get the picture. Maybe not. After a third glass of Sauvignon Blanc it was no longer puzzling to me how that really fat guy in a wetsuit was able to stand up on his longboard as he paddle his way back to sea defying the surf and the law of gravity.
…So there is no mystery about Jason’s rise to Hollywood A list, considering his pedigree and his quirky sense for being there and making you like him even if at first you really don’t want to…He is genuinely funny, out of all the Coppola’s dynasty offshoots probably the funniest… Obviously if you consider Nicholas Cage without his toupee, it’s a tie.
This year Cannes Film Festival launched with Wes Anderson’s latest film ‘Moonrise Kingdom’, an ode to childhood fantasies of escapism, love, and belonging. With an ensemble cast including Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Bruce Willis, Tilda Swinton, Edward Norton, and Jason of course, the film focuses on two young twelve year old lovers who run away from the respective tormentors with no real plan or supplies, except a suitcase of fantasy books and some impressive survival skills.
Jason‘s involvement isn’t a surprise due to the fact that him and Anderson have worked together three times: on Rushmore, The Darjeeling Limited and Fantastic Mr. Fox (four if you count the Limited-connected short Hotel Chevalier). Their work together is usually dam good, as the actor has an innate sense for Anderson’s dialogue like no one else. I can’t wait to see how the movie goes if you see it drop me a line…
Since Jason doesn’t call me when he gets to my neck of the woods and I did not make it to Cannes this year due to prior commitments among them a divorce that left me penniless
…I looked at an interview that Jason did with a dazed and confused journalist, but I really don’t care for those kind of interviews since they never seem to say anything new…so I am not reprinting it.
However, I will sample it and make it the way I envisioned it to be…
What time is your press conference?
Jason: The thing I’m most thankful for in my life is when I came home from school my mum would be watching an old film or listening to music very loudly, and I could see it was affecting her very deeply.
Jason did you hear what I said?
Do you remember meeting Wes for the first time?
Jason: Not at all but I did like his sandals and asked him to borrow them for a hot date I had that night. I also asked him for some cool music so he gave me this album from Weezer. It sucked really. I was hoping for some Stephen Bishop or Cat Stevens. In spite of it, I decided to act in his movies, it was a good way for him to kiss up to my uncle Francis and for me to get a proper acting job…. He thinks he is my best friend but he is a bigger nerd than I…so that would be futile…
How much of your approach as an actor is informed from your very early experience working with him?
Did you see any similarities between your character in ‘Rushmore’ and Sam in ‘Moonrise’?
Jason: Yeah, it’s the same character been played over and over again after all it is always me… you are not going to get Brad Pitt you know…and they both have dead parents they would like to keep stuffed in their living room if they could… For me they make straight-laced people uncomfortable, so I guess in a way they’re not like total misfits. Wes has a great talent for casting and assembling people from different parts, so when you see Bill Murray he has been assembled from a bunch of spare parts that the prop department keeps handy, and of course heaps of body doubles.
Bill was actually in Taipei making vanilla ice cream during most of the filming, where Bruce Willis was there instead everyday making coffee for cast and crew. I myself prefer Chamomile tea.
Was being part of the Coppola family instrumental to your career?
jason; Is the Pope Catholic? Do bears shit in the woods? Of course, that is a dumb question if I ever heard one, if it wasn’t for that I would be selling shoes at Bloomingdales.
Do you experience links between playing drums and acting?
Jason : There are both really good ways to get girls attention although the acting gig pays way better. Besides, I believe in that harmony…only harmony does not believe in me. However, I do not think there is anything like being in a live band, it is so much better than being in a dead one.
What do you like best about working with Wes?
Jason: The money and the dressing room. I also like to have very clear guidelines for having fun. Improvising scares the shit out of me.
Have you noticed a change in Wes’ approach since you worked on Rushmore?
Jason: None whatsoever he is always sitting behind the camera and doesn’t really say much.
Did you work with Charlie Sheen on your new film?
Jason: Yes, I had to. He’s the best, it is cool to say he is because it shows I go against the grain of things if you know what I mean… so great; he’s a poet!…maybe I am going too far with this.
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