How was it collaborating with script co-writer David Wike for An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn, especially when crafting the plot and characters?
It was seamless. We holed up together for a few two-week sessions in cabins in the woods. He would have the big bedroom and I would have a small bed and sometimes there would be a spider under my bed and I got bitten a lot. But beyond that, we had a lot of fun and shared a taste for a sincere romantic emotional story that took place in a wildly eccentric parallel universe where everybody was obsessed with Beverly Luff Linn and also with Scotland.
The film features some recognizable faces in comedy today, especially for fans of faultless deadpan delivery. How’d they get on board?
They all watched my last film The Greasy Strangler and they all read the script. I imagine they wanted to make something that felt a new departure for them, and hopefully, I was instrumental in persuading them. I feel though that the film isn’t deadpan. It’s actually pretty emotional and forceful at times. There was quite a lot of shouting and squealing. And that’s just how we like it.
Did you have any artistic/style influences when it came to directing An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn?
Everything I make is influenced by many things. I’m as influenced by people I have seen on the bus as I am in films I have seen. I would say really that influence and inspiration comes from other artists who I feel go their own way. And so I could be as influenced by Bjork as much as I might be influenced by Billy Wilder. Ultimately the world is an amalgam of many things and I just want to make every decision as interesting as it can be so that the world feels rich and surprising. My mantra on this film was ‘everything is possible’ and by this, I mean every element in the film is possible and can exist. But the world becomes special because of what you choose not to put in it. So there are no mobile phones in the world and no brand new sports cars. In this world, people are excited about Beverly Luff Linn and his mysterious event because they have no access to the new iPhone or to a new sports coupe.
What do you hope audiences get out of the film when they see it?
I wanted to make a film that would transport viewers and make them laugh and even make some cry. My goal was to combine comedy and romance to create a new kind of romantic comedy for a 21st Century audience who are desperately keen to avoid their oh too real lives.
If you could work with any professional in the film industry, who would it be?
I would like to work with Aubrey Plaza again.
What advice would you give to aspiring filmmakers?
Do what you want to do. Don’t do what you think you should want to do. Don’t do what I do. Do what you do. Don’t be boring. Don’t listen to me. Listen to yourself. Listen to your heart.
If you had infinite resources and budget, what is a fantasy project you would like to tackle?
I have a fantasy project that is very mysterious and erotic. it is also top secret. I would like to tackle it very much. And I intend to. I don’t really need lots of money. But I need precious metal and beautiful fabric.
What's next for you?
I’m finishing a show for Adult Swim that I shot over the summer. It’s called Tropical Cop Tales. Then I want to make my next film which will be exceptionally mysterious and deeply erotic.