A Chat with Mark and Jay Duplass (click here for part one)
At the Egyptian with SIFF's Carl Spence
Kathy to Mark: I know you did Hannah Takes the Stairs with Greta [Ger-
wig], and I'm curious if you knew the other actors in the film? I'm gues-
sing you did. Were they friends or acquaintances? Did they audition?
Jay: We went to high school with Steve [Zissis], and we think he's the most
amazing actor ever. We want to show the rest of the world. That's how we feel
about all our friends that we put in our movies, but Mark had worked with Greta,
and she was amazing, and Ross is a great friend of ours. The only part we had
to cast was for Catherine, and we did a casting session for Elise [Muller].
Mark and Greta in Hannah Takes the Stairs
Mark: That's the first time we actually had to do
a casting session to find one of the main roles.
Jay: We normally have to do casting sessions for the supporting roles.
Mark: The small roles.
Steve: Is that a step towards the big time, actually cast-
ing a part; one of the next steps to judge your progress?
Mark: Yeah, I guess so. [laughs]
Kathy: Was Jett [the director in the film] also a friend of yours?
Mark: Jett [Garner] is a friend. He was in our acting class at Austin.
Kathy: I was wondering about that, so I looked him up on the IMDb, and he just
has acting credits, including some big projects. He's not a director in real life?
Jay: He isn't.
Steve to Mark: That actually brings me to a point. For you, we hear
locally that you're going to be in Lynn Shelton's next film. We're going
to come back to your Seattle connection in a minute, but the ques-
tion is: have you decided whether you're an actor or a director yet?
Mark: Yeah, exactly. Who's got the most money? [laughs] I think I'll
probably spend most of my time writing and directing movies, because
the lifestyle of an auditioning actor is fairly painful, but there are friends
of mine who want to make movies and things like that, and if I'm act-
ing in those, I don't have to prostrate my soul to a casting director.
[Mark returned to Seattle in July to work on Shelton's Humpday.]
Steve to Jay: Do you have any views on losing him or keeping him-tel-
ling him he's a lousy actor, so you can keep him on the team? [laughs]
Jay: We talk about the pros and cons of Mark getting famous.
It would definitely help our movies get out into the world more,
but hanging out without him in LA would definitely not be as fun.
Kathy to Mark: In terms of what Jay was saying: did you ever intend
to be in Baghead, or did you always intend to be behind the camera?
Mark: We talked a little bit about me being in the movie, but we were concern-
ed that the character was going to cross over and be somewhat similar to Josh...
Kathy: From Puffy Chair.
Mark: And we didn't want it to look like, 'Oh, there
they go-Mark's in every one of their movies.'
Kathy: I'm glad you weren't.
Mark: Thank you very much! [laughs]
Kathy: I like your acting, but you know what I mean. Some directors put
themselves in every film they make. I prefer Alex Cox's approach, which
is more, 'I'll give myself a tiny part.' That's a little different, but if you're
in every film, no matter how good you are,AeP Like Mel Gibson-he finally
took himself out of the picture, and I thought, 'It's about time.'
Mark: Yeah, good move.
Jay: Even just over-exposure of popular stars. If they're in
too many films, it's amazing how quickly it turns people off.
Click here for part three
Outside the Egyptian with Deborah Person and Spence
Baghead opens at The Varsity on Friday, 8/8. Images from Mark Tomas
(SIFF photos taken on 6/8/08) and The Bloodshot Eye (Hannah still).