What do Ed Helms, Jason Segel and Susan Sarandon have in common? Not only their wickedly awesome comedic talents, but they also happen to constitute the starring cast of the new indie film Jeff, Who Lives at Home.
The film, which will screen at the upcoming Miami International Film Festival, stars Jason Segel as Jeff, a thirty-something-year-old who is still living at home in his mother’s (Sarandon) basement, and Pat (Helms), his oblivious but goodhearted brother who is coming to acknowledge his own failed marriage.
While still retaining a comedic foundation, the film is not entirely what you’d expect from Helms and Segel as it ventures into more dramatic roles for both actors.
Helms, who is predominantly known for his comedic roles in The Office and The Hangover, explored a side of dramatic acting that, until then, had remained unexplored.
“In high school I was in [the play] All My Sons, and that might be about the most dramatic thing I’d ever done. I really had no interest in drama,” Helms said.
“I wouldn’t call this movie drama; I would just call it, like, in a sense that sort of realism but with a really nice comedic touch to it. So, it might be a little bit different than what people expect, but I hope in a good way, like, kind of a nice little – a nice treat, if you will, a little twist on the expectation.”
Not entirely removing itself from a comedic core, the film’s directing duo, the Duplass
brothers, allowed for creative freedom and improvisation.
“Well, it’s funny because they wrote a fabulous script. Down to the word, it is wonderful,
compelling, hilarious and moving script. That said, they were the first ones to say, don’t say a word of this,” Helms said about the artistic autonomy they received.
The artistic autonomy of the directorial order proved “exhilarating” for the Nard Dog.
“I know for Jason and myself, to just sort of be handed a scene, we’d read through it and
sort of understand what needs to happen in the scene, what it’s about, where it takes us
and where it goes. And you just find these really kind of authentic moments and it feels real when you’re doing it,” Helms said.
That creative liberty proved useful for Helms as he embodied his character Pat.
“Pat is someone who is…desperate to kind of portray himself as someone who
really has his sh*t together, but who doesn’t really have his sh*t together at all. And I think we all know this guy and sometimes we are this person at various times in our lives,” he said.
The film, which is set for release on March 16, is one that Helms feels particularly proud of.
“This movie doesn’t shy away from the kind of painful aspect of a dysfunctional life…. This is a little bit more played for reality and I hope that it resonates. I can only hope that this [movie] is well received. I’m insanely proud of it.”
For more information go to: www.jeffwholivesathome.com