Gillian Jacobs might not have the spotlight in Jacob Vaughan’s rectum horror opus Bad Milo, but that doesn’t mean she just fades into the background as a stereotypical wife.
In fact, she actually adds a much needed dimension as a woman who worries too much, a quality that only exacerbates her poor husband’s (Ken Marino) demonic indigestion. We spoke recently about her role in the film and how rewarding it was to work with some of the best comedic actors of this generation.
DC: You’re not really a stranger to genre movies, but this is your first hybrid horror comedy, is that right?
GJ: Yeah, I would say so. Certainly my first movie with an anal demon.
DC: So, are you tired of all the comparisons to films like Gremlins and Ghoulies yet?
GJ: No! I feel like that’s exactly what we wanted to evoke, so any time it’s making you think of that, it means we’re doing our job correctly.
DC: I just think Bad Milo is kind of its own thing and it’s a little more current maybe in its themes about the everyday stresses of life and I think we could just let it stand on its own, can’t we?
GJ: Completely, but if we get people in the theater by saying the word Gremlins, then I’m happy about that. I’m not gonna turn down a viewer.
DC: Obviously, everyone expects this film to be full of toilet humor, but there’s an adult relationship and the stresses of marriage kind of make it more digestible to a more mature crowd. If this was just a stoner comedy, it wouldn’t have been as appealing to you I imagine.
GJ: Yes, completely, and I think that that was what was exciting about the fact that they had cast Ken Marino because I felt like he could do this grounded straight man performance at the center of a crazy movie in a way that was going to always be funny because he’s a deeply funny person. But also he is a great actor so he could pull that off, and it was very exciting to me that Jacob [Vaughan], the director, wanted to walk that line between the comedy of it and the grounded, you know, very, as you said, adult movie about coming to terms with your parents and your past and your own stresses and moving on with your life.
DC: What audience do you imagine is going to respond the most to Milo because of that kind of humor? Do you think it will appeal more to teens at first?
GJ: I hope that our beloved stoners find it and enjoy it as a midnight movie and I hope that they tell their friends, ‘Oh my god, it was actually, like, a good movie and it wasn’t so bad it’s good, it was good good.’ And then other people will give it a chance and hopefully word of mouth will spread from there and people who might be surprised by the fact that they enjoyed a movie about an anal demon will find themselves watching it.
DC: I like how you say ‘anal demon’; it seems a lot more politically correct.
GJ: (laughs) Rather than butt monster?
DC: So, are you ready for the horror fanbase and the diehard fans of “Community” to unite? It could be a perfect storm of geekdom.
GJ: Yeah, I definitely feel like if I can just slowly expand my bases, you know… I need to do a real sci-fi movie next and just completely take over the internet. That would be awesome.
DC: Well, The Box is pretty sci-fi…
GJ: The Box is pretty sci-fi! But do people remember that I was in The Box?
DC: I didn’t but it does say that on IMDB.
GJ: Well, yeah, maybe we need to feature that in this interview so that we can remind people that I also have a sci-fi background. I also was in an episode of “Fringe” in Season One and kidnapped a child.
DC: That’s great to have on your resume. So, there’s really this new comedy collective I feel like. A lot of the guys like Ken [Marino], obviously, have been around for a long time, but do you feel like you’re part of a movement of actors that are striving to do more with independent films or is it just the role that attracts you to something?
GJ: Well, obviously, I’ve been wanting to work with all of these people for a long time because they’re the people who make me laugh. The first time I ever met Ken actually I did a reading of Wet Hot American Summer up at the San Francisco Sketchfest and I read Elizabeth Banks’ part. It was Ken and Paul Rudd and Michael Showalter and Michael Ian Black and Amy Poehler… a lot of people from the movie. So I sort of felt like I was stepping into one of my favorite movies, which is a truly surreal experience. To look back and realize that I’m now getting to work with a lot of these people that I’ve admired a long time is really gratifying. And I feel like they all have an interest in doing things that are very funny but also grounded, and that’s sort of what I like as well. So the fact that I’m getting to work with Rob Corddry and Ken and I just did a short film with Rob Huebel and a web series with people like Thomas Lennon and Nick Kroll and all these people. It’s not bad company to be in.
DC: Not at all. Were you maybe a little disappointed to not have more opportunities to participate in some of the horror scenes and action beats in Bad Milo or is this kind of project and size role perfect for you and what your schedule permitted? Obviously, you get in on the action a little bit at the end at least.
GJ: You know, it’s fun to get to play the different kinds of roles and I knew what this role was going in. But I felt like she had enough of a personality and character on her own that I didn’t feel like it was just a cardboard cutout wife character. And I knew that it would be so amazing to get a chance to work with Ken and sometimes you just want to be a part of a movie you think is going to be great even if it’s not necessarily the showiest role. So I feel like I do a pretty good job of understanding my piece in the puzzle of each project that I’m in and I was happy to play this part.
DC: Was it incredibly stressful to balance the TV show schedule and a film career simultaneously and has your training at Juilliard and that experience helped you be able to manage that stress so you don’t wind up having a Mrs. Milo on your hands?
GJ: (laughs) Sometimes it’s difficult because if there’s certain opportunities you’re not able to pursue because of the TV schedule. But then there are other things you really try to make work, like I did this short film called It’s Not You, It’s Me and we shot it on two weekends while I was shooting “Community”. So, you hopefully find a way to pack in the kind of projects that you want to do in addition to the TV schedule. But I’m so grateful for my job on “Community” that I’m never going to be resentful of the fact that it takes up a lot of my time because I feel like I’m lucky to be on such a good show. We shot thirteen episodes last season and we’re going to shoot thirteen this year, so it does leave a lot of time. I did five movies and a web series during our hiatus so I feel like I’ve gotten to do a lot of film recently.
DC: That sounds exhausting!
GJ: (laughs) I did not take a vacation this summer.
DC: Seriously. So, speaking of schedules, did you come on later in the shooting schedule on Bad Milo to film the majority of your scenes? Did it feel like a boys’ club at all if you did come in late?
GJ: I was not late, I may have finished a little early because I feel like “Community” started right as Milo was ending, so I think I may have been there more towards the beginning. But no, I felt like it was just a really fun set and Ken was making me laugh so hard and Kumail [Nanjiani] and Mary Kay [Place] were making me laugh so hard. I did not feel like I was excluded out of some kind of boys’ club.
DC: Maybe it was the Indian food that spurred everything on at the beginning, that’s a definite possibility. So, would you be up for having an anal gremlin of your own for the sequel if there is a sequel? I know Jacob Vaughan is interested in a possible follow-up. It would be a more ladylike ass monster, of course.
GJ: Ladylike sounds boring, I’d like a full-on butt demon just like Ken got to have. Maybe it’ll have like a bow or something as a concession to the fact that it’s a girl.
DC: Kind of like Mrs. Pacman!
GJ: (laughs) That’s exactly what I want.
Bad Milo is now available On Demand with a limited theatrical run beginning on October 4.
It’s not often that I enter a room and have one of my interviewees refer to titles like Pumpkinhead, Basket Case and Luther the Geek, but that’s exactly what Ken Marino did.
The actor was out promoting Bad Milo, the horror-comedy now available on VOD, with co-star Gillian Jacobs (Community) last week and we had a chance to speak to the duo. The interview turned out to be a blast as we discussed the film’s influences, the potential name of Jacobs’ “ass monster” and what it was like working with a practical creature.
Bad Milo focuses on a fella (Marino) with intense stomach trouble who learns to his horror that he has a demon living in his intestines. When he gives it permission to come out during a therapy session, the man names it Milo and tries to live a life in which he, not his demon, is in charge. The film hits theaters October 4th.
Since “Community” began, Gillian Jacobs has started getting roles in movie comedies, usually memorable scenes in the likes of The Incredible Burt Wonderstone and Seeking a Friend for the End of the World. She has the female lead in Bad Milo, in which Ken Marino plays her husband who discovers a demon living in his colon. We saw the film at SXSW where it was playing under the title Milo. Now that it’s Bad Milo, it is available on VOD and iTunes and we got to talk with Jacobs about her comedy, the upcoming season of “Community” and her future movie roles.
CraveOnline: First of all, thank you for the pizza dance.
Gillian Jacobs: Oh, you’re welcome. My pleasure. Thank you to Chris McKenna, Megan Ganz and Dan Harmon for writing it.
Do you get enough gratitude for that?
I feel like I do. I feel like the internet has embraced the pizza dance. I feel appreciated for once in my life.
So I saw this at SXSW when it was still called Milo.
I know, before we added the Bad for easier finding on DirecTV.
Oh, that’s right, because you want a title early in the alphabet.
Oh, Milo. Oh, bad Milo.
They couldn’t think of an A word? Anal Milo would actually work.
That is much better. How understanding is Sarah of Duncan’s condition?
Pretty understanding. I mean, she’s got the earplugs and the sleeping pills going so I feel like this is something she’s been dealing with for a while. I think when you’re in a relationship, either you have something or your partner generally has something that you’re having to deal with. Hopefully you’re compassionate and understanding but it’s one thing to think that your husband has IBS and it’s another thing to realize that he’s got a killer demon up his butt. That’s probably a little harder to come to terms with.
What was your first reaction when you saw the Milo puppet?
Amazed, because you know this was not a big budget film so you really hope that they have the money to pull off the central character to the film, the linchpin of the entire thing, so I think that they did a remarkable job. He really is adorable and then terrifying and a little gross, but also kind of cuddly. They did an amazing job.
Was that in preproduction?
No, I saw him on the set. I think maybe we saw a rendering, a drawing or an idea, but a lot can go wrong from a drawing to a practical puppet so it was amazing to see what they managed to do.
You’ve been getting a lot of funny movie offers for a scene or two here and there. Do you get offered many leads?
You know, I did a lead in a film called Life Partners with Leighton Meester that we shot earlier in the year. Sometimes movies that I’m in that I have a leading role don’t necessarily get the biggest release, so it’s a difficult thing between balancing indies that have uncertain futures and maybe larger films that have guaranteed releases that you have a smaller part in. I also played a bunch of leads in indies before “Community” that I don’t know if people have necessarily seen, but I have played the leads in films, I guarantee you that.
Some of them come out with a big picture of your face on the cover, right?
Yes, that is available for like 60 cents at Wal-Mart. I get tweets of that all the time, Gardens of the Night.
Is that a film you’re proud of?
I am proud of that film. I really am proud of that film. It’s a very dark, serious, sometimes depressing film but it is actually a movie that I’m proud of and that people really seem to respond to and it moves them. I wish that it had gotten a bigger release when it came out because I really do feel like it’s a good film.
I should see that then. Where does your personal sense of humor lie between the sort of intellectual and absurd of “Community” and the very raunchy of Bad Milo?
I think I like both. For me, I really love “Tim and Eric” and “Dr. Steve Brule” and a lot of the Adult Swim shows, so I like strange, weird, sometimes slightly upsetting humor. And then who doesn’t love a good fart joke? But I think Dan Harmon loves fart jokes perhaps more than anyone. The name of his Tumblr is Dan Harmon Poops, so I think there’s room for all of it. If it’s funny, I like it.
CraveOnline: Does Juilliard train you for comedy?
Gillian Jacobs: No, not at all. They don’t really think much of comedy at Juilliard so no. It’s a classical dramatic training program. It’s preparing you for a life of Moliere and Chekhov and Shakespeare. It is not preparing you to work with an anal demon puppet, or really to sell a joke. I did one funny scene in my acting class my second year at Juilliard and I’d never really done comedy, my classmates were all laughing and I was kind of feeling good about myself for once and my teacher said, “Well, you can clearly do that so never bring in anything like that again.” So they did not encourage me to be a comedienne at all. It was really post Juilliard that I started to do comedic work.
And what was that? How did you discover that this was the way to go?
Well, it was something I wanted to do because you can only play a runaway drug-addicted street prostitute so many times before you feel like “I don’t ever want to work again.” So I was just desperate to do some comedy and then Dan Harmon came along, because truly no one had really hired me for it before. I auditioned for “Community” and he thought I was Britta. Every door that’s opened for me in the comedy world since then is a direct result of Dan having cast me on the show. So Dan Harmon. Get Dan Harmon as your comedic godfather is my only advice.
And Britta got funnier over the first season, and beyond, than she was originally. Did you develop that?
I think it was probably a combination of them figuring out what was funny about the character and me becoming more confident as a performer and probably those two kind of grew together, because she sort of started out as the voice of reason on the show which is not usually the most fun part. Jason Bateman does it so well on “Arrested Development” but it’s a tricky one to be the killjoy. Then they found a way to turn it in on itself and find her flaws and her shortcomings. Then I feel like I was figuring out what was funny about me, so I really feel like yeah, the character and I have come a long way.
What is it like on “Community” now with the group down to five?
It’s not down to five yet. Donald [Glover]’s still there. We’re on episode two, he’s doing five, so we have three more weeks with Donald and Jonathan Banks is joining us for 11, so we’re not down to five yet. It’s been a bumpy ride on “Community.” Everything that can happen to a television show has happened to us I think, short of cancellation at this point. So we’ve lost our creator, we’ve gained back our creator, we’ve had main characters leave. We’ve been on the air, we’ve been off the air, we’ve had full seasons, we’ve had half seasons. I think that the oral history of “Community” could possibly be a bestseller at this point. What has not happened to us?
Dan has talked about re-grounding the show versus the big theme episodes. Have you felt that in the first two you’ve shot so far?
Yes, yes, they have not been big conceptual episodes. They’ve been very character driven but very, very funny episodes and it’s so great to have Dan and Chris McKenna back and to be laughing hysterically on set with my favorite people to work with. I could almost get a little teary talking about it. It’s a really special job.
My favorite is a very big conceptual episode, “Digital Estate Planning.” Were you happy that they even found a way to work Britta’s feminism into a video game?
Of course, she’ll insert it everywhere. Women do have issues with video games. Britta’s not the only one to have feminist objections to video games. Maybe not to 8-bit video games as much as she does but that’s a real thing.
What are you playing in Hot Tub Time Machine 2?
I play Adam Scott’s girlfriend in Hot Tub Time Machine 2 so we are two new characters for the sequel. I was really happy to get a chance to work with Rob Corddry again, Clark Duke and Craig [Robinson] and Adam who I’ve never worked with before.
So you are a character in the future?
I don’t know what you’re talking about. [Sarcastically]
Rob said it’s 10 years in the future and Adam is the grown up son of John Cusack’s character.
So what is the future like?
What did Rob Corddry tell you?
He hasn’t talked about the future in detail so I’ll let you off the hook there.
Then I don’t know what I can tell you then. I don’t want to get in trouble.
Gillian Jacobs is the very funny, talented actress who plays Britta Perry on Community, and has guest starred on The Venture Bros, Robot Chicken and Comedy Bang! Bang. On the other hand, I ask hard-hitting interview questions about magical suitcases and saving God’s life. These are 5 hypothetical questions for Gillian Jacobs:
1. You’re one of the very talented stars of the beloved sitcom Community on NBC. Your character, Britta Perry, has a funny trait – she pronounces “bagel” as “baggle.” Let’s say you saved the life of the current Editor-in-Chief of the Merriam-Webster dictionary. (You pulled him out of the path of a car that sped through a red light.) He says because of your heroism, you can create a new, official pronunciation of any word. Which word would you choose and how would it now be pronounced?
How about salad would be… snaaalad.
2. You’ve been in a number of independent movies. Let’s say you auditioned for and got cast in this low budget indie movie. You read the script, and the character you’re playing is you. Not similar to you, but exactly like you in a creepy, voyeuristic way. The character’s name is different, but everything else is clearly you - really personal life details, things you’ve said to people in private written out verbatim. You’ve never met the director or producers before. What do you do?
I guess I must assume they have a government job and the NSA was supplying them information about me. So I would do the movie.
Would you try and report them?
Who could I report them to?! If it’s a government-sponsored movie, I should probably just do it, right?
Would you say anything to anyone? Like friends? Or is there no one you could trust, because you knew you were being spied on?
Well, I think we know there’s no one we can trust.
That’s true. If The X-Files has taught us anything…
Right? We’re all alone in this world. I guess I’ll have to make this government-sponsored movie that the government wants me to make.
3. According to IMDB, you were in 5 movies scheduled to be released this year, which is amazing…
I know! You’re so busy, you don’t even know. So, let’s say some tech entrepreneurs came to you asking if you’ll be the star of their Final Cut Pro plug-in, which would allow filmmakers to put a lifelike, fully controllable version of you into any movie. They estimate the year this plug-in comes out, you’ll be in over 250 movies, and you’ll receive royalties for every film you’re in. You will become the most seen actress ever in the history of film, but you have no control over the way the filmmakers use you in their movies. Will you sign off on the plugin?
Sometimes it already feels like that being an actor, so I think I’ll have to go with no.
But you could be the most popular actress of all-time!
I think if I was in over 250 films, the world would get pretty sick of me. I would probably never get put in anything ever again.
But of course, you’d be in this plug-in. So you’d probably still be put in a lot of things.
I don’t know. They might realize there’s no benefit to putting me in their film and just stop. I’d be overdone. You don’t want to wear out your welcome.
4. Let’s talk about your terrific new short, “It’s Not You, It’s Me.” In the film, you play a woman who gets really, really mad at the annoying things her boyfriend does. Let’s say you saved God’s life. (You pulled him out of the path of a car that sped through a red light.) God rewards you by saying you can eliminate one annoying trait that many guys have. Which would you eliminate?
Not all men are the same. Come on! That’s a very sexist question.
Hmm… Having fallen into a toilet because a man left the toilet seat up, I think I’ll go with that old, clichéd, but still very dangerous habit of leaving the toilet seat up.
It’s not just a cliché, it’s a dangerous cliché.
It’s a dangerous cliché for women, and I don’t think men fully appreciate what happens to us. They haven’t thought it all the way through. They haven’t thought it alllll the way through.
5. Without giving too much away, suitcases play a crucial role in the film. Suppose you could put anything – or anyone – into a suitcase, bury it, and it will never be seen again. Gone 4 ever. What’s going into the suitcase?
God, these are really complex moral questions you keep asking me! I feel like you’re passing into the darkness of humanity with these. I don’t want to put anyone in a suitcase!
Or anything. I gave you the choice of anyone or anything.
Oh, anything. That’s much easier to answer. How about cancer? Is cancer a thing?
It’s a little abstract, but sure. You can synthesize… all the cancer cells… or something and put them in a suitcase. That’s very kind of you to do that!
Gillian Jacobs appears in the short film “It’s Not You, It’s Me” and you can now watch it online!
As Greendale Community College student Britta Perry, Gillian Jacobs has transformed over the four seasons (so far) of “Community” from a reluctant love interest of Jeff Winger (Joel McHale) to a character more complicated, funny and flat out weird than anyone would have expected when, in order to get in her pants, Jeff invented the study group that would become the core of the quirky NBC sitcom.
The progressive would-be activist whose attempts to do good backfire so often her name becomes slang for screwing something up will be back when “Community” returns for its fifth year sometime in the upcoming TV season, with creator Dan Harmon back at the helm after a year off. In the meantime, you can see Jacobs in “It’s Not You, It’s Me,” a short from filmmaker Matt Spicer in which Jacobs plays a woman whose boyfriend (Fran Kranz) has begun to get on her nerves, pushing her to a breaking point. The film, which premieres online courtesy of comedy collective YouTube channel JASH, is a nice halfway point between the comedy work Jacobs has become known for recently and the darker theater and indie film work in which she got her start. Here’s “It’s Not You, It’s Me,” and below, Indiewire’s interview with Jacobs about the short, its potential PSA use and “Community.”
How’d you get involved with this film?
I was sent the script. [The director] Matt and I had met once very briefly, and I knew his producing partner Max Winkler ["Ceremony"] a bit, so we vaguely knew each other. I really liked it and thought those guys are really talented and making a lot of cool stuff, so I thought it would be fun to get a chance to work with them and Fran Kranz and Rob Huebel. It was a really good group of actors that they put together.
This is Matt Spicer’s first film. Is that of interest to you, or something you have no hesitations about, to work with someone on their first project?
You know, it’s nice to get in on the ground floor with people you think are talented and exciting. Sometimes it goes well, and sometimes it doesn’t, but I think as long as you go into something that’s low budget with a first time director with the mentality that you’re here to work hard and have fun and go along with the bumps in the road, then you can have a really great time.
The film goes to some very entertaining dark places, but starts out with something probably everyone can relate to, which is when someone’s every minor action is driving you nuts. How you would sum up that feeling? It’s almost as if these little things are too irrational to complain about, but then they add up to something bigger.
That’s a great way of putting it. I think that also when you’ve been in a relationship for a long time, you can lose sight of what you love about somebody and just focus on the minutiae of what drives you nuts. The more attention you give to your negative feelings, the more they grow, so I think things just start to blow totally out of proportion. Also, he doesn’t have a job and I am supporting him, so I think the character has some valid concerns, but also thinks about how he eats noodles, which is maybe less of a reason to kill someone.
It’s almost a cautionary tale about just being able to tell someone you need some space, and that they should put on some pants.
[laughs] Yeah, that’s great! If this can turn into a PSA for “Put on your pants,” I’ll be very happy.
I’m sure the TV production schedule limits the amount of time you’re able to do other things. Do you look for any particular type of project when you have the time to work on something else?
I actually shot this while I was shooting “Community,” on a Saturday, a Sunday, and then the following Saturday, maybe. I definitely gave up my weekend to do it, but I wanted to be a part of this project. Sometimes you try to cram things in where you can. It’s nice, also, when you’ve been on a TV show for multiple seasons, to work on different kinds of projects and play different sorts of characters so I think you’re willing to inconvenience yourself to get a chance to be a part of a project like this.
Your earlier work in features like “Blackbird” and “Choke,” which were on the film festival circuit, include some dark themes. How did you make the move into comedy? Sometimes, it seems, there’s resistance if you start down one path, then people don’t want to see you in another way.
I have to credit Dan Harmon with that entirely, because I had never done comedy before “Community” really. He saw me audition for it and wanted me for the role. From there, I was able to meet a lot of other people in the comedy world and sketch and improv and people that I’d always admired and wanted to work with. It’s much easier to get hired for the next job when you already have your first job. So “Community” opened a lot of doors for me in that world.
Do you feel that you’ve gotten more comfortable with comedy over the years? Have you developed any particular approach to it or changed your way of thinking about it over these seasons working on “Community” and other projects?
I definitely feel more comfortable then I did in the first season, and I was lucky enough to get to work every day with people like Jim Rash and Joel McHale and Donald Glover and Danny Pudi and Allison and Yvette, so I feel like I’ve learned first hand a lot from watching people. You know, you read a script and then you watch the way they deliver their lines and you see what they bring to it that makes it their own and makes it funnier than you imagined it when you read it. I’d say I’ve gone to grad school for comedy being on “Community.”
I’ve gotten the chance to work with a lot of other really funny people like Ken Marino and Rob Corddry on outside projects, so I feel like I’ve just been a sponge for the last couple years. Then you try to learn what’s funny about you through trial and error, just trying something on set and seeing if people respond to it and if you get positive feedback for one thing or another, and then you start to piece together what it is that makes you funny. Then there’s just being really open to taking risks and big failures, because that’s probably when you’re funniest is when you’re taking a big risk.
You mentioned this community — there’s a sense overall of comedy being a vibrant scene right now, in Los Angeles and beyond. As someone I see popping up on podcasts and “Funny or Die” videos, would you say that idea of ease of collaboration is accurate?
I found it to be incredibly supportive. You work with one person and you tell your friends, “She was good. Hire her,” or they see her in something. I’ve had a very positive experience in LA in the comedy world and found everyone to be very nice and welcoming. It’s been really fun. You do something like film “The Thrilling Adventure Hour” and then you meet Paul F. Tompkins and have him ask me to do his live show or do his podcast, and it just expands. You meet one person and they ask you to do something else and so on and so forth. It’s just been a natural progression for me of getting to meet various people.
In that vein, JASH is set up to be one of those platforms not only for collaboration, but to be able to house everything from short films and to looser indescribable content. Do you have any interest in creating something yourself, to write or direct?
Yeah, more and more I keep thinking about things I would like to write or direct or just produce or shepherd into the world. Even something as stupid as Vine videos makes you feel like you’re making things on your own. I would like to start to do that more, to be creating things.
The sensibility of the comedy you find on both JASH and “Community” is particularly online friendly. Having been with “Community” as it’s built up a following, has the way you approach interacting with the fandom online changed at all or have your thoughts on the internet in general changed?
Well, I feel like the internet has been largely responsible for “Community” staying on the air. Whether it’s people organizing on Twitter or Reddit or Tumblr, and connecting with each other as fans, and sharing petitions. For me, I was not on Twitter before “Community.” I sort of got peer pressured by Donald into joining.
Basically my entire internet experience has been framed by “Community,” so I see it largely through the lens of “Community.” Thus far for me, it’s been amazing to watch all these fans be so vocal and passionate and organized and really, truly, keep our show on the air.
It does feel like there’s a kind of conversation happening with the fans that I don’t think I’ve ever seen with a show before. But the last year has surely made that complicated — I’ve also never seen that kind of awareness of behind the scenes happen in a show before, and I was wondering if that affects at all how you look at your relationships at work.
Well, when you feel like people are responsible for keeping your show on the air, you can’t then be upset that they then want to know what’s going on, especially when someone as important as Dan Harmon leaves. So I totally understand their passion and their interest in what’s happening in the show behind the scenes. Sometimes it’s hard as an actor, because we don’t really get to make any decisions about the show itself. You can sympathize with what they’re saying, but we don’t necessarily have the power to influence what happens to a show.
But I totally understand their interest in what’s going on staffing wise, or shooting wise, or our air date. You know, I get it. When we were supposed to air in October and then they moved our premiere to February, I approached the writers and I said, “I feel like we should create something that goes online on October 19,” the date we were supposed to give them a new episode. You know, to at least give them something, some original content. So they wrote this great little short that we put online. So for me, that was our way of acknowledging we know you’ve been waiting and counting down for this moment. We know you’re upset we’re not coming on until February. We hear you, and we’re thinking about you. Here’s our little gift to you in the form of a little scene.
Do you have any kind of hopes for Britta in the upcoming season? Are there any kind of things you want to see from her?
Well, she has a major, which is more than she had for a while. She has a passion. Maybe I’d like for her to get a little bit better at her passion, but it’s also kind of fun to watch her fall on her face. Especially now with Dan Harmon and Chris McKenna back, I don’t really think that far ahead. I just know they’re writing great episodes, and I can’t wait to start shooting them.
Could the girl next door have a big secret? Community star Gillian Jacobs stars in the short film It’s Not You, It’s Me, which hit the web today on JASH, the YouTube channel founded by comedians Sarah Silverman, Reggie Watts, Tim Heidecker and Eric Warheim, and Michael Cera. The film, written and directed by Matt Spicer, follows Jacobs’ character, a woman whose relationship is literally driving her crazy, through some pretty dark escapades. Childrens Hospital star Rob Huebel co-stars.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Wow, this is dark!
GILLIAN JACOBS: I read the script and I thought it was an interesting thing for me to do. I hadn’t done anything serious or dark like that in a while. For me it was kind of nice to go back to something that’s a little bit darker than what I’ve been doing lately.
We don’t get to know much about your character. Did you create a backstory for her?
I didn’t even create a name for her! We talked a lot about how you reach that point in a relationship where you guys have been together for long enough that little tiny things about your partner start to drive you insane. We talked about [that] down to sounds they make while eating that make you want to put a fork through their face or stab them with a coffee table.
We do know your character has a kind of odd job — she’s a welder. Did you have to learn to weld?
Thankfully they managed to fit my shirt on an actual welder for some of the shots because I don’t know anything about welding and it’s very intimidating to me. But it was fun to goof around with the helmet, I think that maybe added some unintentional comedy to the scenes — me in the helmet, trying to flip it up and down. I’m so short that I think everything ends up looking kind of comical on me, whether it’s the gloves or the helmet or even just holding the welding gun. Maybe that part wasn’t supposed to be funny, but it is to me at least.
What I really like about JASH as a YouTube channel is that it has pieces on it that are funny and dark and strange. Jenny Slate made this really great series called Catherine for them that is like kind of unnerving and also funny and also suspenseful, and so they seem to be honing in on that mixture of comedy and tragedy and horror and suspense that I think is interesting. I think we’ve found a good home for the short.
What kinds of freedoms does making content exclusively for the web allow?
I totally think that the web is the place where if you have an idea that is maybe a bit different you can go and just make it. Matt [Spicer] raised the money for this short on Kickstarter and had an idea and made it. Thankfully the fine people at JASH liked it and distributed it so he didn’t have to go through the process of OK’ing the script with anyone or developing it with anyone, which can sometimes water down an idea. So when you’re sort of able to make something and then find distribution for it you’re able to do your idea in its purest form.
Who are some of your favorite comedians working with JASH right now?
I am a huge Tim & Eric fan. I adore that show. I’m also a fan of Reggie Watts and Sarah Silverman and Michael Cera, so if they want to make things with me I would be honored because that’s the stuff that really makes me laugh, like Tim’s cooking show on JASH.
You and Rob Huebel seem like such a natural fit. Had you worked together before?
It’s funny, because I’ve worked with so many other guys from Childrens Hospital — I did a movie with Ken Marino (Milo), and I’ve worked with Rob Corddry, but we’d never worked together before. I feel like I’m doing a Childrens Hospital complete set, making my way.
Will there be a part two?
I wonder! There’s more people in the world to kill, so … You never know.
A new red-band trailer for “Bad Milo” has just been released – check it out below!
After a video presentation that likened the renewal of Community for its 5th season to the return of McRibs, Twinkies and “classic” Coke, series creator Dan Harmon took the stage at Comic-Con in an amusingly cheap, cardboard Iron Man costume. Once freed of it by Jim Rash and Danny Pudi, he channeled Tony Stark and, tongue firmly planted in cheek, announced that he had risen “like a phoenix rising from the ashes of unemployment.” But once he was back to being Dan Harmon, he assured the thousands of rabid fans assembled in Hall H that he felt a tremendous amount of pressure to deliver a great show. Even though he doesn’t consider Season 5′s 13 episodes to be the last episodes of the series, he does consider them “the most important.”
Though vague on specifics, Harmon said that the first few episodes of Season 5 will be spent re-grounding the characters and getting back to “emotional basics.” “Who likes their characters dimensionalized?” he joked, fearing that his talk of “organic storytelling” was boring the crowd. He did reveal that there would be an animated episode, and a planned sequel to the classic Season 2 installment, “Advanced Dungeons and Dragons.” He also mused that entrepreneur Shirley might be the perfect character for him to use in terms of his recent tumultuous experiences in the business world. A fan question about what they’d like to see their characters do prompted Brown to suggest we meet Shirley’s once-mentioned sister, saying Sherri Shepherd would be perfect as they are always being mistaken for one another.
Moderated by Chris Hardwick, who dubbed Community “the nerdiest show on television,’ the panel also included Rash, Pudi, Alison Brie, Yvette Nicole Brown, Ken Jeong, Gillian Jacobs and writer Chris McKenna. The chemistry between the cast was infectious, and it will be hard to forget the intense mock-flirting that went on between Brie and Jeong as Pudi, pretending to be oblivious to what was happening to his right, gave a rambling, sincere answer to a fan question.
It was very clear that everyone is thrilled to have Harmon back, though there was praise for elements of last season, such as the puppet episode (“Intro to Felt Surrogacy”) and the Rash-penned “Basic Human Anatomy”. Alison Brie made a couple comments about how Annie had “devolved” and hoping her character would be “empowered” and “ambitious” again that seemed to be diplomatic references to her unhappiness with last season. There will be no “it was all a dream” shenanigans, however. Harmon stated emphatically that he will not actively undo anything that had happened in his absence.
Community does not yet have a return date, but fans will be able to whet their appetite with reruns. The show will be airing in syndication on Comedy Central as well as five nights a week in many markets beginning in September.
There were many, many headlines for the Community cast to react to when a quorum visited TVLine’s Comic-Con suite.
After squeeing over the (surprising!) Season 5 pick-up and Dan Harmon’s (surprising!) return as showrunner, Michael Ausiello briefed Yvette Nicole Brown, Gillian Jacobs, Jim Rash, Ken Jeong, Danny Pudi and Alison Brie on brand-new scoop dropped earlier by Harmon himself — including the NBC comedy’s first stab at a 100-percent animated episode, his plans Jeff/Annie romance and a possible *i**s**r-themed outing.
But the big topic, of course, was Donald Glover‘s imminent exit from the series, after Season 5′s fifth episode. Rash, for one, sought a silver lining in “the possibilities of what this means for Abed,” while Pudi noted the best buds’ separation was “sort of ievitable.”
Also in this video Q&A: A fervid debate over whether Community will run 100 episodes or, like, 97.