Patton Oswalt stars in this week's Young Adult opposite Charlize Theron as an old high school classmate of her character Mavis, and I sat down to chat with Patton about the movie. He talked about how he got the role and how he prepared for the film, like hiring an acting coach and using a physical therapist for his character's mannerisms. He also talked about his beautiful costar Theron, their easy chemistry, and the boozy nights out they've had together. Watch now.View Transcript »
she's a genuinely nice cool person. In this movie she is such a horrible person. So this is a Diablo Cody - Jason Reitman film, so I wanted to know what brought you to them. Had you been a big fan of Juno? I'd liked Diablo's writing for awhile. I was in United States of Tara, which she created and then I met Jason at an award ceremony years ago and we just bonded over what big film geeks we are and I started going to screenings at his house and just hanging out with him. So, they were doing early readings of this script to see, you know, he just wanted to hear how it sounded out loud, and, I ended up just, sort of, being there for every reading, and he eventually said, hey I think you should be this guy Max. So I got this role the way a squatter gets an apartment. I was just there. They're like, you know what, he's not bothering any one, let's just let him do it. But our first read, first I did with Charlize, our chemistry we just clicked so perfectly. We were just so teasing and adversarial from the get-go that I just felt like, okay this is really gonna work. At least that's what Jason and Gable said so. Yeah, and you're not quite sure what to make of your character, Matt, when we first meet him. So, how was he presented to you? Well, I mean, it wasn't so much that he was presented to me in that I just dove in at the readings and just kind of read him the best way that I knew how without knowing a whole lot about him which I think actually helped and then I really. Once I realized how new months a lot of the back and forth between Charlize and I was and were that would lead I hired an acting coach. I worked with this woman, Nancy Banks who was amazing and worked with a physical therapist to get his walk down and find out like how would his rehabilitation gone. And what kind of pain does he feel, like physically, to get into, how does this guy sort of perceive the world and how would he then react to things. So, that's kind of, I went into it as a blank and then overworked it and really tried to figured out exactly, you know, where, what kind of pain this guy is carrying around. And you make a really interesting pair with Charlize and you become these drinking buddies, so I was wondering if you guys ever went out and got drunk together for research? We've had many a drink together. I mean, she, yeah, when we were in San Francisco recently, we had quite a bit to drink. The last day of filming, we all went out in New York. The cast, everyone. She has a pretty good pace, drinking wise, so it was fun. Yeah, I mean, she's fun to hang out with. She's a genuinely nice, cool person. I mean, I know that a lot like you question when people say that a really gorgeous woman is nice and cool. Because like okay. Are you just saying that because they are gorgeous but you actually talked to her and she's a very nice and cool person who has actually lived a full life and is not just, you know, floating through the kind of gossamer falsity of Hollywood if that makes any sense, like she is in the real world and you can actually talk to her. Yeah. She's really cool. She's pretty fantastic in this role and kinda, she has this. She 's amazing in this role especially because, and I was thinking about this a few weeks ago, like when she was in Monster which she was great in but she gained all the weight. She put the make up on like I'm this other character. In this movie, she is such a horrible person and looks exactly exactly like herself. Looks even more Charlize Theron than Charlize looks in real life. She's not hiding behind a wig or darker hair. So it's so raw and so shocking to see how causally horrible she is. Like there isn't even, I think it's even more horrible in that she's not even working up the energy to be horrible. It's just like tossed over a shoulder and it takes you a moment to go, "Oh God, did you hear what she just said?" Like it's amazing. It's truly breathtaking to watch. Yeah, and the movie is kinda about how you can be an adult, but not be grown up. So, are there scene about you that are decidedly not grown up? Oh, in real life? Oh man, yeah. I mean I still, that's one thing that my wife keeps saying, is that, you know, as responsible as you act in like areas A, B, and C, you then have very immature, almost middle school level, emotional flare ups about, you know, D, E, and F, you know, other things in your life. And I think everyone kind of has that. I mean, I'm of a belief that nobody really survives high school, on some level or another. You're either still fighting battles or you're still maybe hoping that you could go back to when you were in your glory days or if you didn't have your glory days, then you're resentful. So yeah, there's, I mean, I'm trying to give you, like a, as far as a specific idea. I mean, I get wrapped up, I get so wrapped up when a, when like, let's say, a superhero movie isn't good. I get angry as if, the way that a jock gets angry when his team loses. Like, "They ruined that for all of us". Like, "No." Some very nice people tried to make a movie, it didn't work. You can't take it personally like they insulted you.