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SIFF Interview: Teddy Bears (part 2) – Cast Members David Krumholtz, Melanie Lynskey, Gillian Jacobs, & Zachary Knighton

{Teddy Bears screened at the Seattle International Film Festival on 6/1 and 6/2 — and will hopefully get a wide release soon! I was super lucky to get to sit down and talk with the cast and crew. This is part 2 of my interview with Cast Members Melanie Lynskey, David Krumholtz, Zachary Knight, and Gillian Jacobs. You can find part 1 with Directors Thomas Beatty and Rebecca Fishman here

Oh man. You guys. DREAMS DO COME TRUE! I can't believe that I not only got to spend a long time talking to the Directors of Teddy Bears (Thomas Beatty and Rebecca Fishman), but I also got to sit down and talk with the cast — which includes some of my favorite actors, ever. 

As you can imagine, having four awesome people in one room was HILARIOUS, and made it hard to stick just talking about the movie. We did manage to get there … eventually, [SPOILER ALERT! Just FYI] but we started out talking about Vine videos, specifically one that David Krumholtz made about a surprising "cheese" discovery that morning. (PS: There's even a little shout-out for Scarecrow Video near the end!) 

Zachary Knighton: Did you make a Vine last night? 

David Krumholtz: I deleted one where I have my shirt off. But … I did one this morning. I got that cheese that I bought on my shirt. 

Gillian Jacobs: What cheese? 

David: Last night, when I came in with bread, I had a chunk of cheese too. I had goat gouda. Which is THE BEST.

Melanie Lynskey: Oh that's right! You came in with this long, flat bread slung over your shoulder, and a bottle of water. 

David: And cheese. So I woke up this morning and there was cheese on my shirt. So I made a Vine about how … did you see it? Do you want to see it? 

Gillian: Yeah! This is what we should be doing right now, with her interview time. 

David: No no — we'll extend it. It'll be fine. {David shows everyone the video, and we all agree it's hilarious) 

Melanie: Don't erase that! 

Gillian: I LIKE IT! Let's … talk about Teddy Bears. Let's hear questions that you have for us. 

TIG: Well, I know that Gillian and Melanie have worked together before, but I'm wondering if all of you knew each other before, or if you met for the first time when you came together to film the movie? 

Zachary: I knew Jason [Ritter] from years ago, because his stepmom had played my mom on a sitcom {Life on a Stick} … weirdly enough. And so Jason and I had sort of hung out in passing. Like, 10 years ago or something. So I just knew these guys from seeing them in stuff. 

Melanie: We hung out at a wedding once. 

Zachary: We did! We hung out at a wedding. And got really drunk, and high-fived a couple times. It was at a zoo! 

TIG: Cool. I was just curious, because one of things I really liked about the movie was it really did seem like you were all friends. 

David: I think it did help that at least one of us knew one other person within the group. Because you kind of want to keep the reputation you have with that one person intact – like, I knew Ahna {O'Reilly). She's friends with my wife; she was at my wedding. So it's like I couldn't be as gross as I typically am … you know, with women. 

Gillian & Melanie, together: HAHAHA! 

David: No, but we just got along like crazy, also. 

Melanie: And now you can drop it. You don't have to keep pretending. 

TIG: I was also really interested in the fact that Gillian's character was the only person in the group who seemed to take the request seriously. Which was really interesting, because I feel like as a women, if a guy said that to me, I'd be like, "No way! FUCK YOU." 

Gillian: Yeah. Well, she's a much different kind of girl than I am. She's more open to things like that; she feels a spiritual connection to Krumholtz's character, and a great deal of empathy, and I think that she's … NOTHING like me. But it was kind of fun to be the one that actually considered it, and sort of not care how much it was freaking out my boyfriend (played by Jason Ritter). 

And maybe unconsciously, it was like me feeling distant to my boyfriend, and not connecting with him, which made me more open to Krumhotlz's request. 

TIG: I can see that. Also, I think it's because David is just so likable. You might be the only person who could pull this character's request off and not have the audience be like "Ewwwww." and not like you. 

David: Well, thank you. I think a lot of that is in the writing, though. If you watch it again; a lot of it is not so much what comes out of my mouth, but what the other characters are saying about me when I'm not around. Plus, I think right away you get that this is a story about real, normal people. None of them are actually crazy — even the craziest one of them is not actually crazy, so why is he doing this? 

Right away, you want to know why. You know there's a reason, and you know the rest of the movie is going to be about finding out why he really wants this, and who this guy is. So whether your like my character or not, you're ready to take that journey with him. 

TIG: I also really loved this moment where Melanie & Jason go into the kitchen and come back to the campfire, and Melanie just blurts out what happened. And everybody just laughs it off, but Zach's character knows what happened, and then following that, he unloads on Jason. 

Zachary: Yeah, I think in my mind, and in the script, there's been a past problem with Jason. I think they set that up nicely in the scene in the hotel parking lot, too. I like that about this movie. There's little things that kind of show up, and you think it's strange, but the payoff for those things comes later. We were talking last night about the back story, and I like how with this movie you have to infer a lot about the characters, and it's really about being present in the moment. 

Gillian: You're SO good in the movie, Zach.

TIG: You all are! 

David: Everybody is really good in this movie. It's a great movie for performance, and that's what was so nice about your review. She was saying that Thomas really let us define the tone. 

TIG: Yeah, sometimes even when the script is good, the movie can suck if the people cast aren't really INTO it. And I loved that it was about how the request affected each one of you. 

David: And the characters are such classic archetypes, you've got the empathic, and the loyal, and the burdened … and then Jason's character is kind of the morally reprehensible one. 

Gillian: Evil! 

David: And Ahna's the innocent one. My character is just … you know, searching. So it's really cool to see the fall out with all those different types. That's what I like, and that's what makes the movie watchable. You get to see who's reacting, and how things are changing on each day. 

TIG: I also really loved those scenes with the dog, where you basically talking to him like he was YOU. 

David: Yeah. Those were tough scenes. That was my dog! I'm one of those dog people that believes that dogs totally get it. They understand what you're saying, or at least they understand the tone. So I felt really bad about it. 

Melanie: But you were saying it in such a sweet voice!

David: Yeah, but she knew. She was tired, and just so annoyed by it. 

TIG: Another really good thing about Teddy Bears is that it's not really predictable. There were a lot of surprises. Especially the moment with the dog being killed. 

David: I like how the movie handles that moment and doesn't let it drag out too long. 

TIG: I also thought it was really interesting, that moment was the thing that made the women … maybe go in so they could all fulfill his request? 

David: Well, I'm not so sure they're going in the bedroom to sleep with him. I think they're going in to see what the fuck's going to happen. I think it's funny. 

Gillian: And to support Mel.

TIG: There was a previous scene with the three ladies — where it's almost implied that something may happen, even just with them. 

Melanie: Hmmm…. 

Gillian: Huh. If you got that, that's interesting. 

Melanie: There are a few scenes that were cut out of the movie that show how Gillian's' character is a healer. 

Gillian: But they way they shot it, with Ahna taking your hand … I guess that IS kind of sexual! 

TIG: I think that it was something in Ahna's expression that made me think that. And that tied into her not being ready to settle down. 

Melanie: That slut. (giggling) 

Zachary: And also there's a shot of me looking in the window and then freaking out. Like, is she playing some kind of sex game? This is insane! There was a whole other scene that implied that. 

Gillian: Oh yeah. And there was also a scene about you [Zach] and David having an agreement about you being able to watch if it did happen. 

Melanie: Oh…so much good stuff got cut! 

Gillian: But it made sense. I liked that you just snuck around later, and it was implied that you were going to watch. 

David: And the implication from the request wasn't that they were just going to take turns having sex with me in the room; they were all gonna get into it with each other. You know what I mean! So I guess that scene was for sort of an indirect implication … maybe they are getting "comfortable" with each other. And maybe they are gonna … 

TIG: IT was still such a surprise, though. When all the women were waiting for you, and you came out in a towel. 

David: When I read the script, as the guy who was up for the part, I was thinking that would be a crazy thing to shoot. And then like, two-thirds of the way through the script, I thought "I'm not gonna do this if they go through with it. Because I'll have to be in a sex scene with three chicks, and I'll be so awkward! And like, I don't wanna show my body. 

TIG: Really. This is the thing making you now want to do it? Because I feel like most actors would be like, YES!!!

David: No, I was relieved when it wasn't that. But it was so nice, too, that it wasn't that. But also the movie itself it coitus interruptus. You'd like to see it happen. 

TIG: Well. I'm not gonna complain about it… 

David: Like you're glad it doesn't, but you leave the theater not really satisfied. A little. But I think that the movie is also romantic in a way, and also sexually stimulated. I really do believe that you leave this movie, and you're like, "I kinda wanna go home and get randy." No? 

TIG: Sure!

Gillian: Sure … 

Melanie: Sure? 

{and then the whole room exploded in laughter} 

TIG: Ha! But also what comes out of that moment is so sweet. Because David's character leads Melanie's away, taking her by the hand, and they connect again, and you know they're gonna be okay. 

Melanie: But I feel so bad about that. Because of Gillian's character. 

Gillian: I shouldn't have been with Ritter anyway! He wasn't good to me. 

TIG: It was great also, because Gillian wasn't really that mad at you … she kind of seemed to know that you were vulnerable broken, and that Jason's character took advantage of you. 

Gillian: That will come later! 

Melanie: You think he took advantage of her? Hmm. I felt they had a weird relationship, though. I think it's more one of those things were sometimes you're in a crazy place, and you don't understand how crazy until something happens. Like, how bad it is. And then you're like, "Oh. Fuck." I think she was into it … up 'til a certain point. 

David: Like, if this happened to a friend of mine, I would be wondering why his girlfriend wasn't slapping him down, or leaving. I would lose respect for her, instead of him. Which is … maybe not right, but that's how I would react. 

TIG: And I think that because the request wasn't for everybody — just the ladies, it made it just a little bit more icky. 

David: In reading the script, that was the first BIG laugh for me. 

TIG: I'm sure. So what are you guys all working on now? 

Gillian: I have a web series that's gonna come out in the fall on Yahoo. It's called Tiny Commando. It's me and Zach Levi, and Ed Helms. Zach plays a 4-inch tall Army commando, and I'm his sidekick, and we're private investigators. 

David: Wow! Did you film it all already? How many episodes? 

Gillian: Six. That was fun. I acted with a doll. I got to work … with a doll. 

David: I am in that movie This is the End, briefly. I play myself, and I … die. Pretty quickly. But I have a pretty good death. And I'm doing a movie with Robert Downey Jr. It's a small part; The Judge, but it was fun. Other than that, I'm just … living the life. 

Melanie: I did a pilot, we're waiting to see if the pilot gets picked up. And I have some other movies that will hopefully go to other festivals, and not die a slow death. {We hope the pilot does get picked up! And we hope she means the Duplass Brother's upcoming comedy pilot titled Togetherness. Melanie was also in Putzel, which also screened at SIFF this year!} 

Zachary: Well, I am going to go do a movie in a couple weeks in Austin called Lover's Crossing. And my television show just got cancelled, so I am a free bird. All of my television shows get cancelled. I'm like 0 for 10 now. 

David: No! Because Happy Endings was a hit. 

Zachary: Three went to series, out of ten pilots. 

Melanie: Ten pilots? How do you do that? 

David: Nineteen pilots, eight television series, ONE hit. So stop it! 

Melanie: How do you guys have time to do all these pilots!?!?!

David: I started very young. 

TIG: Nice! Oh, and I heard you guys went to Scarecrow Video yesterday, right? 

Zachary: Mmm-hmm. That place is awesome!

Gillian: Yeah, it's really great. 

Melanie: It's amazing. 

David: Did you know that's the most expansive video store in the world? 

Gillian: Really? Wow. 

TIG: And I always like to ask, what kind of music are you guys all listening to right now? 

Gillian: The INK SPOTS. 

David: No… not really. 

Gillian: Yes, really! 

Zachary: The new Daft Punk record is insane. And my friends are in this band called Unknown Mortal Orchestra that's doing really well right now. They're great. 

David: I got really into Sigur Ros recently. And old Lionel Hampton. 

Melanie: I'm kind of obsessed with Kendrick Lamar. I like him. He's very sexy. I also like Father John Misty.

Gillian: I don't listen to music. I listen to NPR. 

Zachary: Yeah, but they play music on NPR. 

Gillian: I don't listen to KCRW. Too much music! I listen to KPCC. Because I feel like if a morning show is too eclectic, it's a waste of my time. 

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