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Bringing ‘Lousy Carter’ to Life

March 30, 2024
Notes
Transcript
This week I was thrilled to chat with star David Krumholtz and writer-director Bob Byington about their new movie, Lousy Carter. It’s a wide-ranging conversation, touching on topics from shooting during the age of Covid to where Krumholtz was when he got the call to audition for Oppenheimer, and I hope you find it as fun to listen to as it was for me to conduct. If you enjoyed it, I hope you share it with a friend.

A little extra this week: I hope you check out both Lousy Carter and Byington’s body of work. Everyone says they’re tired of the same old mush at the multiplex; well, here’s a chance to dive into a body of work you may not be familiar with. Some highlights:

  • Byington and Krumholtz previously worked together on Frances Ferguson, which you can watch for free on Amazon Prime; it is charmingly dry and occasionally cutting without coming across as meanspirited. Star Kaley Wheless gives a realistic and somewhat complicated performance as the substitute teacher convicted of sleeping with an (of-legal-age) student, while Krumholtz’s turn at the end as a group therapist is both humorous and humane.
  • Somebody Up There Likes Me (available for free on Peacock and for rental elsewhere) is an amusing look at a slacker floating through life starring Nick Offerman and Keith Poulson, and the framing device—we skip ahead five years each sequence, giving us 35 years in the life of Poulson’s character—is weirdly affecting. The passage of time comes for us all, or some such.

  • Infinity Baby (streaming on Kanopy and Amazon) is probably the oddest of these four films: set in the not-too-distant future, Kieran Culkin’s Ben works for a pharmaceutical company that accidentally made babies that never grow older. He’s interesting as a free-floating cad—and Culkin is an absolutely magnetic screen presence—but I think the best performance belongs to Martin Starr (Silicon Valley, Party Down). He’s playing slightly against type here: rather than a sure-of-himself-know-it-all, he’s a little more fidgety, a little unsteady. And that unsteadiness pays off in the film’s closing moments, as we see the results of an unexpected responsibility.

This transcript was generated automatically and may contain errors and omissions. Ironically, the transcription service has particular problems with the word “bulwark,” so you may see it mangled as “Bullard,” “Boulart,” or even “bull word.” Enjoy!
  • Speaker 1
    0:00:07

    Welcome back to the Bulwark goes Hollywood. My name is Sunny Bunch. I’m culture editor at the Bulwark. And I’m very pleased to be joined today by, director Bob Buington and star David Crumpholtz from the new movie, lousy Carter. It’s, hitting VOD, and select theaters now.
  • Speaker 1
    0:00:22

    Very exciting to have them on. I’ve seen the movie a couple times now, and it is quite entertaining. Check it out. Go seek it out on the internet or in a theater if you can find a playing near you. And and then listen to this.
  • Speaker 1
    0:00:35

    Go go watch it, then listen to this. That’s the order you should do this in. So guys, thanks for being on the show.
  • Speaker 2
    0:00:41

    Thanks for having us.
  • Speaker 1
    0:00:45

    So let us, let’s start at the beginning. Bob, what was it? So you you started writing this during the Pan demic, death everywhere, sickness, world is coming to an end. So, you you wrote, a very uplifting story about a professor who was also dying.
  • Speaker 3
    0:01:06

    Yeah. I sort of have this voice in my head that was telling me, it’s okay. You don’t have to write a script, and that voice had been in my head for many years. I’ve written some scripts, but, And then for some reason, like, once the pandemic started, and I was like, hey, voice in my head, is it okay for me not to write a script? The voice in my head’s like, no, Actually, you do have to write a script now.
  • Speaker 3
    0:01:30

    And so I wrote a lousy Carter.
  • Speaker 1
    0:01:32

    And, Azure writing. I mean, I I I love talking to people, who created things during and right after the pandemic because it really feels like everything is suffused with this sense of, just finality, and everything is, everything is kind of coming to an end. I mean, was that was that was this an idea that you had been kicking around for a while, or was it very much informed by this, kind of moment?
  • Speaker 3
    0:01:59

    It’s kind of a letter to the pandemic And like you said, like, at the beginning of the pandemic, we were kind of we didn’t really know what was going on. And and this idea that maybe it was gonna wipe everybody out was kind of you know, part of our cultural rhetoric. And so I think that drove that drove me. There were scenes of them of Lousy Carter walking with Kendah, and they were, like, stepping over a body on the sidewalk, stuff like that. That’s not in the movie.
  • Speaker 3
    0:02:25

    But, yeah, very much so.
  • Speaker 1
    0:02:28

    Yeah. David, when you were reading the script, what was it, that kind of jumped out to you as, as a lousy Carter himself as a character that you felt you could embody?
  • Speaker 2
    0:02:42

    His stupidity. First and foremost, I thought, what a stupid guy? And then I thought maybe I’m a stupid one.
  • Speaker 3
    0:02:49

    Well, hang on. Can I can I interrupt for a second, David? When you read the script, did you read it? Like, thinking you were playing Kaminsky and read for Kaminsky or, like, how did you read it? Do you remember?
  • Speaker 2
    0:03:00

    Yeah. I mean, I at that point, I knew that you wanted me to play Kaminsky, the best friend. So, yes, I read it in that in that context. No. I he’s not a stupid person.
  • Speaker 2
    0:03:11

    It allows he’s not a stupid person at all. And, you know, I I think he he lacks he’s missing a chip he might lack some self awareness or he might have lacked some self awareness in the past. And he’s kind of making up for that now. I like the idea of he had sort of this, you know, that the the the death sentence that he gets is kind of like an excuse for a retribution of of of sorts that he he feels like he, he can now hold something over people, which is why he doesn’t tell anyone really or beg for sympathy. It’s kind of his little secret that they’ll miss him when he’s gone.
  • Speaker 2
    0:03:58

    I like the sneakiness of the character in a weird way and that sort of, the, and and and the No. I I knew I wanted to play the relief, rather than the burden, you know, that he’s relieved to find out he’s dying rather than burden. And and I thought that was all very, very, very, very clear in Bob’s very succinct writing. And, and, you know, there were the clarity of the story and the crisis of conscience to some extent that the character is going through was very well, framed and and easy to read. And I thought, well, it’s it’s it’s clear and concise.
  • Speaker 2
    0:04:42

    So
  • Speaker 1
    0:04:43

    Well, that’s interesting that you were you were looking at, Kaminski before lousy Carter. So, for folks who have disobeyed my instructions and are listening to this before they watch the movie. Kaminski is lousy Carter’s best friend, and, a fellow professor, who, spoiler, lousy also happens to be sleeping with, Kaminsky’s wife. And Kaminsky has this kind of superior tone and attitude. It’s it’s just such a it’s such a very different character and embodied so, So so completely by Martin Star in this role that I I it’s it’s it’s almost I, like, I’m it’s blowing my mind thinking about you guys kind of flipping flipping roles there.
  • Speaker 2
    0:05:23

    Well, you know, I, I once saw, or twice saw True West on Broadway. Sam Shepherd played that the there are two lead characters. The two main characters were played by Philip Sumer Hoffman and, and John c Riley, and they would switch characters every other night. And, and play their the other character And I think that can happen here. There’s a world where Martin is an amazing lousy Carter, and I’m a great Cominski, and and and and yet we settled with this version.
  • Speaker 1
    0:05:57

    That’s, that is fascinating.
  • Speaker 3
    0:06:00

    David might remember this or he might not. But when I said, you know, I’d like you to play lousy Carter at the sort of the first thing he said was, or maybe the second was, no, have Martin do it, and I’ll I’ll play Kaminski.
  • Speaker 1
    0:06:13

    There were some other, in the production notes, it it’s mentioned that there were a couple of other names tossed out for lousy. I think that it’s, there was Jade Duplas came in and read, though, he was never really in consideration for the role. How without without, you know, no need to name any names, but how how does the movie change in your own head as you’re thinking about these other people playing the role. Like, as director, as writer, how do you change, How does your thinking about the production and and what it looks like afterwards change as you’re envisioning all these different folks?
  • Speaker 3
    0:06:51

    These hypothetical ghosts? Yes. Well, one of the actors who are considering, two of my better friends begged me not to hire him, but he was you know, a good actor and and was gonna help us get the movie made. And, you know, there’s just different scenarios, David has kind of a quality to him that, I don’t know. There’s something about David that, is interacting with the viewer that you’re not necessarily gonna from some of the names we’re we’re discussing.
  • Speaker 3
    0:07:25

    And, I don’t know. It’s a hard question to answer. And, Kevin, Kevin Corrigan is a friend of of mine and David’s, and and Kevin kind of has an attitude of, like, well, this this was always gonna happen. You know, even as you were thinking of these other people, like, you were on a collision course with David playing the part, and that makes sense to me.
  • Speaker 2
    0:07:47

    Yeah. Essentially, I’m a poor man’s Josh Gadd, and Josh Gadd would be have been the ideal lousy car.
  • Speaker 1
    0:07:54

    I don’t think that’s true at all. There there is there is a there is kind of a funny, story, a friend of mine who, to was involved with the production slightly mentioned, which, David, which is that you were
  • Speaker 2
    0:08:06

    What? What’s his name? What was
  • Speaker 1
    0:08:07

    your friend? I can’t I don’t know that I can say his I’ll tell I’ll tell you afterwards. I’ll tell you afterwards afterward, with whom my spy is. But the, my my understanding, was that you got called away in the midst of production to go, actually, audition for Oppenheimer. Is that is that right?
  • Speaker 2
    0:08:26

    Toward the end of production. I mean, we shot the movie in fifteen days. So we shot lousy Carter in fifteen days. But, yeah, toward the end of those fifteen days, I I got a call that I needed to sort of rush over to Los Angeles from Austin, Texas where we were shooting. And audition for Oppenon.
  • Speaker 1
    0:08:45

    And, Bob, did you threaten to have him killed for doing this? I feel like losing your main eye on a shoot that’s fifteen days long makes it much more difficult for you as producer, writer, director, you know, juggling all those balls.
  • Speaker 3
    0:08:59

    Things are very tense with COVID, and I just sort of assumed he’s gonna get COVID on a plane. And I don’t I don’t think murder was threatened, but I think I I was pretty upset. And and sort of my position was no. You absolutely cannot go. I don’t care about this other movie, and I was completely wrong.
  • Speaker 3
    0:09:15

    I mean, David
  • Speaker 2
    0:09:16

    But but that’s not. I’m sorry. Can I just you were very supportive? You you were your position internally That’s not what you expressed to me. You your position internally was I can’t believe I’m letting my lead actor go and fuck him.
  • Speaker 2
    0:09:32

    But the truth in the of the matter is in the moment you understood how important the audition was, and you did we’re very we’re very kind, Bob. You should give yourself credit for that.
  • Speaker 3
    0:09:42

    David’s a professional actor. And a professional actor, if they’re gonna, like, have a chance to meet Christopher Nolan and be in a Christopher Nolan movie, that’s a no brainer. And Well, I cannot I cannot overemphasize how present COVID was and how the threat of someone getting it was like a thing that was gonna shut us down. It was, engulfing as a theme.
  • Speaker 2
    0:10:09

    I’ll say that when I got to Austin, to my to my surprise on the first day, they said, well, you’ve gotta get a booster shot. They had not mentioned that to me. And, you know, I didn’t feel like doing that, but I did it immediately. Because I knew it was right that they were right that if I got COVID, the whole movie would crumble and and we wouldn’t make the movie. So you do what you have to do to get the movie made.
  • Speaker 1
    0:10:34

    Yeah. Well, let’s let’s just set, remind folks when this is. So that you guys shot in December twenty twenty one. Right? So it’s, we’re still you know, we’re we’re still dealing with, COVID restrictions both from the guilds and and and everybody else.
  • Speaker 1
    0:10:49

    I mean, but, walk us through what that process was like. Because again, I’ve talked to some folks who who made films during this time and, you know, the the ones who worked on the Bulwark on the giant enormous productions are like we had seventeen different teams. There’s blue team and purple team and fuchsia team, and they would all be in different places at different times. I feel like you guys have it’s it’s a smaller crew, a smaller set. How did you how did you make that work and keep everybody safe?
  • Speaker 3
    0:11:16

    Oh, we got a lot of support from a group called Project IndY, and they they just had, nurses testing us every morning. And it all went really smoothly. I had a much different vision, being certain someone was gonna test positive and that did not happen. It it it went really well. We were very fortunate to have them on board.
  • Speaker 1
    0:11:42

    I mean, you know, as as the actor as the guy who’s in front of the camera all the time, David, do I was there any a special fear on your part just like I I, you know, I have to go directly back to my hotel after this. I cannot go out for drinks with the cast and crew or you know, or or whatever. I I gotta I gotta keep myself isolated in a way.
  • Speaker 2
    0:12:04

    Well, there were no like, kissing scenes in the film. So I wasn’t worried about that. And then, you know, yeah. There wasn’t, you know, to be honest, when you shoot ninety something pages in fifteen days and you’re in every scene, there really isn’t. You don’t have the impetus to you don’t really feel like going out.
  • Speaker 2
    0:12:23

    Yep. Sleep learning your lines for the next day and going to sleep. And so that’s what it was. And, there was no partying that was going on this Sarah Longwell, yeah, people were still in the sort of cautious mind frame of not going out themselves. So even if I wanted to go out, I’d be going out kind of alone.
  • Speaker 2
    0:12:43

    So, yeah.
  • Speaker 1
    0:12:46

    Ninety pages in fifteen days. That’s wild. I mean, you know, that’s what? Six pages a day. I I mean, Bob, you’ve made a lot of, kind of smaller budget shoestring type operation, films.
  • Speaker 1
    0:13:00

    How how do you I I I I my mind boggles at the thought of it. You know, I I just like, how many how many ups a day are you doing? How many, you know, scenes are you shooting? What how is how do how do you get it lit in time every day? I mean, it’s it’s crazy.
  • Speaker 3
    0:13:16

    Yeah. I don’t know. We definitely see it differently. We weren’t doing that many setups. The onus was really on David.
  • Speaker 3
    0:13:23

    He had a lot of material learn and, and it was coming at him constantly. And, it’s it’s not, It doesn’t feel outside of the norm to me. We weren’t as visually ambitious as we wish we’d been, maybe, and, it didn’t light as much as as we maybe could have, but, you know, I’m gonna make another movie and and it’ll probably be more visually ambitious in the next job.
  • Speaker 1
    0:13:52

    Then,
  • Speaker 2
    0:13:53

    I’m used to I’m used to shooting sort of gorilla style, but, you know, numbers this TV show I did for it’s it’s budget still shot about seven, eight pages a day on average. So I’m used to fast and furious filmmaking and, Yeah. The the, you know, it believe it or not, six pages is not wildly daunting.
  • Speaker 1
    0:14:16

    Okay. Alright. I, I it’s I I I find it very impressive, but I’m I I do one podcast a week. So I’m not a, you know Yeah.
  • Speaker 3
    0:14:25

    And we’re not we’re not we’re not criticizing you for think
  • Speaker 1
    0:14:31

    alright. So, you guys have worked together before, Ron DeSantis Ferguson and also, a movie I have not seen tuna. I did not. I don’t. I don’t that was, it showed up in the collaborations page.
  • Speaker 1
    0:14:44

    I don’t know what that is. But Francis Ferguson, is great if you if you if you enjoy lousy card, you should check it out. I think it’s it’s free on Amazon, or you can pay ninety nine cents to watch it without the ads, which I did. Because I would rather pay a dollar than wire, ads. But the, but you worked with you worked with a lot of guys.
  • Speaker 1
    0:15:06

    I had the, you know, Martin Star, Nick Offerman. There’s there’s kind of a rotating cast of guys you work with, how how does forming those relationships over the years help you on set help you, figure out how what works for an actor and what what might not Bulwark.
  • Speaker 3
    0:15:29

    That’s a good question. All of them are different. I I don’t really interact much with Martin on set. He, he’s gonna kinda do what he’s gonna do. And I have experience giving him feedback that he didn’t take.
  • Speaker 3
    0:15:42

    And, he doesn’t want to chat with me about the character, and it it’s sort of good to know that about him. It doesn’t change the fact that he somehow feels malleable to me, even though we’re not really talking about the the character much. And, Martin’s really good being in movies and TV shows, like, he knows how to be on camera. And I love that about him. Same with Steven Root.
  • Speaker 3
    0:16:10

    I mean, Steven Ruth is a guy who’s just like, he just knows how to move your story. He knows how to be in your movie, and It’s all sort of unspoken. You don’t really talk about it. Although Steven’s really good at taking notes and wants feedback. You might think Steven would be intimidating.
  • Speaker 3
    0:16:27

    He’s not. And he’s been, I think, this is his third or fourth movie that we’ve done, and, I’d give anything to work with him again. Yeah. And I worked with Karen Colkin who was insanely prepared, insanely prepared, super professional. Had to learn a really, really long monologue that he just knew backwards and forwards, you know, just like so prepped.
  • Speaker 3
    0:16:56

    And, but, yeah, they’re all different. I don’t know what David’s like to work with. I I think I blocked it out. You know, it’s like it was so traumatic. That I I just repressed.
  • Speaker 3
    0:17:07

    What’s the word regressed, repressed, recessed? Repressed.
  • Speaker 1
    0:17:11

    I think repressed could work. Feel like a lot of us have repressed a lot of that period. I well, David, I when you’re when you’re what would say that the the characters that you play in Francis Ferguson and here are obviously very different. In Francis Ferguson, you’re playing a the leader of a group therapy session. So he’s a little more attempting to be a little more helpful, a little more available emotionally to everybody way, when you’re when you were working with with Bob, what what sort of direction are you looking for.
  • Speaker 1
    0:17:43

    When you’re or working with anyone, when you’re when you’re working with a director, what are what are you looking for from from them?
  • Speaker 2
    0:17:51

    Well, you know, I appreciate brevity, you know, communicating ideas clearly and succinctly and with purpose and passion.
  • Speaker 3
    0:18:04

    This is definitely the time to roll out your Christopher Nolan impersonation, which is fucking brilliant. So I mean, let’s have it.
  • Speaker 2
    0:18:14

    No. I’m not gonna do that for you. Now, I I I, you know, I love taking direction. I need direction. I’m a very needy actor.
  • Speaker 2
    0:18:24

    That’s the truth. I need approval. I once asked Chris Nolan for approval. And he said, are you seeking my approval? Oh.
  • Speaker 2
    0:18:36

    I said, oh, jeez. No. I I I come with a great deal of confidence. And find it shattered midway through any day, any given shooting day. And so I need as much sort of support and ideas and other ideas and build up as I can possibly get.
  • Speaker 2
    0:18:56

    And, ultimately, I find that, my goal is if I’m having fun, that that sort of translates and is attractive, in the character. So I like to have fun on set. I like to keep it light and jokey in between takes, any set. And, and in this particular in the case of lousy Carter, Bob is a perfect foil for much of my abusive humor, and we found that that became the stick of the film of making the film of the filmmaking process. And I think it worked, for the for for the set, for the crew, made it easier to come to work every day.
  • Speaker 1
    0:19:48

    What was there it it are were there any moments on, on-site of lousy Carter that you can that you can think of that that demonstrate to this this, humor, this, the joie de vivre keeping keeping everything light and funny. What did you how did you how did you keep everybody, going?
  • Speaker 2
    0:20:07

    But I’m a singer and a dancer. And I’ve award one awards all over the world for both singing and dancing. And so it’s much appreciated No. You know, honestly, there were moments that were tense, and it’s just for important for me to break the tension just for myself. And and again, credit to Bob who condition it out and also take it.
  • Speaker 2
    0:20:35

    And, and it it became it became this weird fun thing. You know, I guess the first couple days of filming sort of figuring out how much, Bob, how serious Bob was being with his harsh criticisms and how much leeway I had to react was tough. But then once we figured that out, it was actually kinda fun. From that point on.
  • Speaker 1
    0:20:58

    Cool. Bob, one of the, I hate I hate to talk about other actors when when we have we have an actor here. I know this, it’s it’s not not the best etiquette. But I did wanna I did wanna ask you
  • Speaker 2
    0:21:11

    one question. Little Mark, the second time you’ve done it.
  • Speaker 1
    0:21:14

    I know. I’m very I’m very sorry. But I I did wanna I I wanted to highlight, for folks the performance of, Luxy Banner, who is, this is her first movie, I believe, and is kind of a revelation in this. I think I described her to a friend as, early, early Aubrey plaza that kind of, you know, very dry. I don’t know.
  • Speaker 1
    0:21:39

    That that very dry, intense sort of thing. And I I think she’s great in this. How did you how did she get involved with the how did you find her? How did she get involved with the production?
  • Speaker 3
    0:21:50

    Oh, Lexi had come in. She knew one of the actors who we had hired to be in the classroom scenes. And Luxy was basically just coming in to fill out the, you know, eight to ten classroom participants, you know, be like a a body in the room, and and, she ended up sort of helping us in some of the production stuff we were doing. And then she also, She and the other actor, Shelby, they were both seen partnering with people we were auditioning and also just people we were kind of reading. Like, Megan Blair came in and he wasn’t auditioning, but we read over some stuff with him.
  • Speaker 3
    0:22:33

    And, like, Luxy partnered with him for that. And it You know, you can tell a lot about somebody when they do something like that. Luxie partnered with Randy, the guy who played the provost, and she was just phenomenal, as lousy Carter in that scene. And so the this this idea began to form, we had a we had someone pretty shiny who was gonna play Gail I didn’t really think she was that into it though. I mean, I I was just sort of getting signals from her that that you know, that she could take it or leave it, which I’m sure I’m I don’t know if I’m right or wrong.
  • Speaker 3
    0:23:15

    And, one thing led to another and Luxy sort of got the part, but But Luxy really rehearsed that role to death. You know, I wanted her to sort of learn her lines backwards and forwards. I think I told her, like, a beatle song I don’t think she knew what I was talking about, but learn your lines like a Beatles song. But, yeah, I agree with you. I think she’s phenomenal.
  • Speaker 2
    0:23:37

    I before Bob cast her, officially, Bob sent me her audition tape, and I was like, oh, This is she’s great. She’s got a ton of charm and charisma. That’s what Luxy is too. I mean, she herself is a lovely to be around and a lot of fun. So I think it really she’s very natural.
  • Speaker 2
    0:23:56

    She she comes across, and it’s a great role for her. And she kicks she she she hits it out of the park.
  • Speaker 1
    0:24:02

    Yeah. I, again, once you guys watch the movie, you’ll you’ll see what we’re talking about here. She’s she’s wonderful. David, in in preparing for this, did you sit back down with, f Scott Fitzgerald and Vladimir Nabokov, were you did you were you reading the great Gatsby. And, I I forget the name of the Namicoff novel because I have not read it myself.
  • Speaker 1
    0:24:25

    But, but did I’m sorry. Did you did you revisit revisit those works when you’re when you were prepping for this?
  • Speaker 2
    0:24:37

    Of course not.
  • Speaker 1
    0:24:39

    Okay. That’s fair.
  • Speaker 3
    0:24:42

    We had a great q and a in New Jersey where I asked the audience If anyone who hadn’t read the great Gatsby, I raised their hand. One guy raised their hand, and then I looked over and David raised his hand.
  • Speaker 1
    0:24:57

    It’s a it’s a it’s it’s a I hear it’s a good book. So, but, the I guess the secondary question on this then is you have a guy, in the character in the movie, Bob, is a animator, a failing animator according to his mother told as he’s as she says to the to his face, who is now teaching a a novel? What what was I’m just kinda curious what the impetus for that was. I mean, if I, like, a a failing indie animator is a very specific sort of thing who who, you know, a very specific idea for the character? What what was the impetus there?
  • Speaker 3
    0:25:35

    I can give you the exact impetus and give you a a, I think, a good answer to that. I’m not sure David knows this. I saw a marriage story, and I thought that Noah Boundbach making driver a Experimental theater director was a great way to, you know, basically write a character who was him, who was no a bound book, and just pretend that he wasn’t. You know? So I really liked that.
  • Speaker 3
    0:26:01

    And then the other the other sort of inspiration was was reading that Spike Lee was teaching at Harvard, and I I think I some something about the article gave me the impression that spike Lee was there kind of doing whatever he wanted to do. And that Harvard had said, yes. We want you. You can do whatever you want. You know?
  • Speaker 3
    0:26:24

    And I I like the idea of someone being so hot and wanted that they could teach, you know, one book, and that that’s how that’s how, you know, coveted they were as a teacher.
  • Speaker 1
    0:26:38

    Interesting. Interesting. So a combination of Spikeley and Noah Bamba is, is lousy Carter. K. The, you mentioned shooting, you mentioned shooting in Austin and, and it being during COVID and all that.
  • Speaker 1
    0:26:53

    And I’m I, like, I, I had the I had the Dallas film commissioner on my show a couple weeks ago talking about, incentives in Texas, and this is this is a very business y question. And I apologize for it, but it’s it’s it’s really fascinating to me. I mean, I one of the things he talked about was the way the incentives in Texas are set up, it really discourages Ron DeSantis incentivizes smaller productions because you can get more money to go elsewhere. You get you get more money to shoot and I don’t know, Atlanta or or New York or wherever else, then you do in Texas, particularly if your budget is under you know, one million dollars or two point five million dollars or whatever whatever the levels were. Is that is that a is that a thing that you see, making an impact in in in the indie scene in Austin.
  • Speaker 1
    0:27:41

    I mean, this is this is where you come from. Like, what what’s your What’s your feeling on this? And how can how can how can the state of Texas do more to get productions like lousy Carter in state?
  • Speaker 3
    0:27:53

    Well, the the problem that you’re identifying is that the incentive is financial. The incentive isn’t like, oh, let’s try to get cool films here. It’s it’s let’s try to get people jobs. That’s the incentive. So and let’s try to get them, you know, good paying jobs, not indie film paying jobs.
  • Speaker 3
    0:28:13

    So, you know, we we didn’t expect. I I do know that we talked a little bit. I think Ron DeSantis Ferguson, we talked to the film commission in Oklahoma, and they were dealing with lower budgets. But the whole punch line for all that was that the lower budgets were still gonna be like union crews. And, you know, that that I don’t know.
  • Speaker 3
    0:28:37

    I’m not the best person to answer the question, probably, and David has a lot more experience with filmmaking than I do.
  • Speaker 1
    0:28:46

    Dave, David, do you have thoughts on subsidies and tax rebates?
  • Speaker 2
    0:28:55

    Yeah. They should, you know, what’s important to have them and, wanna Nice. Yeah. Well, Texas is such a stunningly beautiful state to to topographically. It’s a shame that they don’t provide more incentive to shoot the stunning landscapes of
  • Speaker 1
    0:29:15

    East Texas. It’s just lots of there’s a lot of flat land out here. It’s it it goes on forever. The But,
  • Speaker 3
    0:29:26

    you know, to answer your question, Sunny, yes, I’m deeply resentful toward the Texas film commission for not giving me money, of course. And, and for not even really considering it or considering that it might be a good idea because I might bring something of quality to table and having it not cross their minds? Yes. I’m I’m have internalized a deep resentment.
  • Speaker 1
    0:29:52

    I I mean, look, I I I asked this because it’s a the again, the when I was talking to the the Dallas film commissioner, he said, you know, look, we wanna have we wanna have smaller crews come because that creates a base of employment that can then be used on other shoots. People people you train up as you train up a an industry by doing it a small job at a time, not by bringing in, you know, a Marvel movie for three months or whatever. So it’s I don’t know. It’s it’s interesting. I I find I find it interesting, but very few other people do.
  • Speaker 1
    0:30:25

    So I’ll move on. The, David, you know, One of one of the one of the nice things about, about this movie is that we get to see you in a in a leading role. And I know, there has been much there’s been much love for David Crumholtz over the last six to twelve months on Twitter and, the internet in general because people are very excited to see you in in a big, big role in Oppenheimer and and etcetera. But it’s nice to see here in a in a in a leading role where you can where you get more screen time and and can kind of dominate the screen. When, when, What is what’s the difference for you when you’re looking at, this, a lead role where you’re, you know, you’re there every day.
  • Speaker 1
    0:31:12

    You’re doing six pages a day, and you’re you’re you’re in every shot in every scene, versus a supporting role where you’re where you’re kind of you know, not necessarily speaking every time the camera comes on when you’re when you’re there, but not necessarily. How does that how do you how do you prepare differently for those two types of roles?
  • Speaker 2
    0:31:31

    There is a there is a difference in preparation. You know, you know, ultimately, come you do what the script is acquiring you to do, but in both cases. However, with a lead role, I think you do have to, keep in mind or be more vigilant about creating a dynamic performance. Other words, lead roles have more well defined arcs, than supporting roles do. And, but they both have, you know, a a a great supporting role can have an amazing arc as well.
  • Speaker 2
    0:32:08

    It’s just that you know, you don’t wanna bore the shit out of people as a lead actor, you know, or or or b one note or repeat beats or overstay your welcome, whereas you don’t worry so much about that as a supporting actor. So there is there is more of an idea of being dynamic and and you know, switching things up and surprising the audience and and giving a layered more layered performance when you’re when you’re playing the lead.
  • Speaker 1
    0:32:40

    Well, that’s that’s that’s a really interesting answer because I had never really thought of it that way. Like, use doing layering the performance and and doing different beats, were were there moments on camera where you felt, ah, I’ve done this before on this shoot? I need to do something different here. What how did how was this?
  • Speaker 2
    0:32:57

    Not on this particular shoot. No. I have had moments in supporting roles where I feel like, oh, I’ve this is ground I’ve covered, and And I don’t like doing that. I don’t like covering the same ground. But sometimes you gotta work and sometimes you gotta pay the bills and you do what you have to do.
  • Speaker 2
    0:33:15

    But, yeah, part of the my impetus for working with Bob and making this particular film is I knew he wanted something from me that I hadn’t necessarily done before, which was a lot more me than a character or a caricature or a broader interpretation of a character he wanted me. And so, that was challenging, and I’m always up for the challenge. And, then yeah.
  • Speaker 3
    0:33:42

    Yeah. To to carry the movie. I know at Wall, she just passed away. One of his quotes was, You know, I’m here to help tell the story. And a lot of, you know, a lot of people pay lip service to that idea, but, actually, when at Walsh says that you actually believe it, know, he actually, like, I’m here.
  • Speaker 3
    0:34:03

    I’m playing the bus driver, but I’m, you know, I’m here to move the story forward. And and, Humphrey Bogart’s another actor. Like, I was watching a Bogart movie, and I’m like, he is moving the story. Like, I can see him moving the story. And, I think there’s more there’s more, I don’t know, pressure or there’s more, of a sense of, You know, if you’re gonna carry the movie, you gotta be moving the story.
  • Speaker 2
    0:34:33

    Mhmm. Yeah. I mean, you you know, I’m always about service the script and the story. And that’s what it’s all about. I mean, and so it’s not so much.
  • Speaker 2
    0:34:42

    What you don’t wanna do is indulge in yourself. You know, as a lead, where there’s more opportunity to do that, where the supporting role, there’s not as much opportunity to do just indulge. In, in, in, in, impulsive acting. With La Lead, you can really do that in that ruins movie. Because it becomes about you and not so much about the story.
  • Speaker 2
    0:35:03

    So I I had an eye on that.
  • Speaker 1
    0:35:04

    Mhmm. Mhmm. I alright. I we’re I think we’re running out of time here. I I always like to close these interviews by asking if there’s anything I should have asked if you think there’s anything folks should know about, the movie lousy Carter, which is on VOD in theaters now.
  • Speaker 1
    0:35:18

    Go check it out. Or anything else. What what what should folks, what should folks know that I foolishly failed to inquire about?
  • Speaker 3
    0:35:27

    Well, I, you know, that sounds like a rhetorical question in some ways, but, I mean, we want the type of word-of-mouth where people are, like, Oh, you know, it’s pretty good. We don’t want that. We want, like, oh my god. You have got to see this movie. Like, that’s the only the word amount that worked.
  • Speaker 3
    0:35:43

    And, you know, I I don’t know that we’re gonna get that word-of-mouth, but, that’s what I do. You gotta get you a got to see this, which I think kind of Oppenheimer got. And, You know, David Anytime.
  • Speaker 2
    0:35:54

    You know why you’ve got to see this movie because we made it for the love of making films as does with as Bob does with all his movies and I do with all mine. This is was this was a no frills fifteen day shoot that was not easy by any stretch of imagination made by, you know, young people for the most part, not getting paid a lot of money, but doing it for the dream and, of making a film. And that’s an amazing thing that doesn’t happen as often as it should nowadays.
  • Speaker 1
    0:36:25

    Alright, folks. You heard it here. You you have got to see this movie. You gotta go pull up Amazon or Apple or iTunes or whatever and and immediately rent it. I I Again, I told you to do that before you listen, but you don’t listen.
  • Speaker 1
    0:36:38

    You people don’t listen. Alright. David, and Bob, thank you for being on the show today. I really appreciate it. Alright.
  • Speaker 1
    0:36:45

    My name is Sunny Bunch. I am Culture Editor at The Bulwark, and I’ll be back next week with another episode of The Bulwark goes to Hollywood. We’ll see you guys then.