Interview: Actor David Wain Speaks with Bloginity.
by Daniel Haim
There has been a lot of buzz about Wain these days; he has become a very accomplished writer, actor, and director. David is best known for the feature films Role Models, Wet Hot American Summer, and our favorite cult-followed show, Stella. Just recently, Wain became a father. We caught up with the actor to see how he has been juggling his personal life and his career. We also found out what his new years resolutions are.
Mica: First and foremost congratulations for the recent birth of your child! How has fatherhood been treating you lately? Is it going to influence your comedy? Also, is there a sign of another young comedian?!
David: Fatherhood is awesome and perspective-bursting for sure. It’s also a huge time management challenge. I think having a child will definitely influence my comedy but hopefully not in the form of making “family” movies or anything like that. And yes he’s already funny.
Mica: Your comedy is one of a kind, creative and offbeat. Were you ever scared that people wouldn’t ‘get’ your humor?
David: I never really thought about it that way, or thought about my humor that way. Certainly the idea of my comedy being “creative” I don’t think would cause people not to “get” it. I’ve always just done what I thought was funny and what made me laugh. It never really occurs to me that a certain joke is in or out of the mainstream. But I do try to do things I haven’t seen before when I can.
Mica: You brought the group together (well, Michael Showalter actually claims that he did (smile) and directed). Have you always wanted to direct? How early did you get into it?
David: I was making little skits on video with my friends when I was 10 years old, and I don’t think much has changed, really. So I guess you could say I’ve been directing since then. As for who brought STELLA together, the truth is we were all three in The State so we were already part of a group, and it was Showalter and I who pitched the original nightclub show idea to Fez in New York and we brought Michael Black in to be the third host.
Mica: What do you think of Stella’s cult following? Are you surprised by the success? what do you attribute this success to?
David: Well I guess there are varying definitions of success. Our TV show had extremely low ratings and was canceled after one season. But to the degree that we have a loyal cult following, I’m very grateful for that and thrilled to see the fans at our live shows. I think what people respond to in Stella is that our comedy comes organically from us, it’s not calculated by outside writers or some commercial idea of what SHOULD be funny. I don’t know – hard to analyze!
Mica: How are you all different from your Stella persona’s?
David: “We are like our Stella persona’s in real life, just less so.”
Mica: One of my favorite episodes is ‘Vegetables’. I mean, seriously how do you come up with this ideas? The set, premise/plot? By the way were the episodes fully scripted, or did you throw some improv into scenes?
David: There was some improv, but we tried to have the show as tightly scripted and structured as possible. We basically sat in a room for a few weeks and brainstormed all the ideas for the episodes – no more interesting then that. A lot of “what if this happens”, “okay then this could happen.” Then one of us would write out the first draft on our own, then we’d all work on it.
Mica: What’s next for Stella, Perhaps a movie?
Mica: There’s so much buzz going for you at this moment, tell us about some of the cool relationships that you have forged over the past couple of months.
David: “I’ve started to get very tight with my mail carrier. When he comes I invite him upstairs for brandy and cupcakes. We talk about each other’s lives. We kibbitz. And then it’s back to work for both of us.”
Mica: Paul Rudd appears to be in a lot of your productions, how did this relationship come across?
David: I first met him through friends in the late 90’s. He came to see our play “Sex AKA Wieners and Boobs” at the Here Theater in NYC, and was very nice to us about how much he liked it. Then we asked him to attach himself to “Wet Hot American Summer” which was at that point very much a work-in-progress (then titled “One Nine Eight Two”) and still looking for financing.
Mica: What future projects can we look forward to? The release of your movie Role models was a huge success. Can we expect another film?
David: Yes I hope to make another movie. I’m writing a couple of different things so I don’t know which will be the next to shoot. Also have other TV and web projects on my plate. Hoping to maybe slow down just a bit and catch my breath.
Mica: What are your hopes for the new year?
David: Balance. Health. Fun!
Mica: Even better, what are your new years resolutions?
David: Start smoking.
David stars in a mini TV series called Wainy Days, which we have discussed in previous posts. The show is a hit that has been running for three season, with guests stars like Jonah Hill (Superbad), Jason Sudeikis (SNL), Elizabeth Banks, Rob Corddry (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart), and Paul Rudd (no features necessary!) The show is about Wain and his everyday life as he attempts to work his charm with the ladies (he’s always been quite the ladies’ man).