Jemaine Clement and James C. Strouse Talk PEOPLE, PLACES, THINGS, THE HOLLARS, and DON VERDEAN

     February 12, 2015

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One of the many films to premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was writer-director James C. Strouse’s People, Places, Things. The film stars Jemaine Clement as a newly single graphic novelist trying to be a parent to his young daughters on weekends, while also trying to figure out the dating scene after his wife left him for another man. Led by an fantastic performance from Clement who manages to find the perfect tone for the material, I really enjoyed the film and recommend checking it out when it gets released down the road. People, Places, Things also stars Regina Hall, Stephanie Allynne, Jessica Williams, Gia Gadsby, and Aundrea Gadsby.

Shortly after the premiere I landed an exclusive interview with Jemaine Clement and James C. Strouse. They talked about how the project came together, finding the right tone, Clement’s style of comedy, how comics become a part of the script, why this project was “charmed”, and more. In addition, Clement talked about the comedy Don Verdean and working with Sam Rockwell, and Strouse talked about his script The Hollars which John Krasinski just directed and starred in.

As usual, I’ve time indexed the interview to provide an overview of the conversation which is below the video.

Jemaine Clement and James C. Strouse:

  • people-places-things-jemaine-clement-1:23 – Talk about how the project came together and what it’s about.
  • 1:53 – How did Strouse and Clement come together on the project?
  • 2:32 – On how much the script changed over the course of production.
  • 3:20 – Strouse talks about why he likes Clement’s style of comedy, and why he was the right lead for this film.
  • 4:33 – Talk about the collaboration between them.
  • 5:17 – How long was the first cut compared to the final release? Strouse says he even liked his assembly cut and they only cut four minutes.
  • 6:38 – On why this project was “charmed”.
  • 7:33 – Talk about the role that comic books play in the movie.
  • 8:54 – How did comics become a part of the script? Strouse says he wanted a character that turned his pain into a story.
  • 10:00 – Joking that they just wanted to be a part of the comic book movie genre.
  • people-places-things-jemaine-clement10:45 – Strouse talks about how the way he likes to work on set is constantly evolving.
  • 11:40 – Clement talks about how this was the most he’s ever had to do in a film, and never had time to worry about it.
  • 12:15 – On Clement’s drawings in the film.
  • 13: 27 – Talk about Don Verdean and working with Sam Rockwell.
  • 15:05 – Talk about Clement’s Israeli accent in Don Verdean.
  • 15:40 – Clement talks about having two movies playing in Sundance.
  • 15:55 – Strouse on his script The Hollars that John Krasinski just directed and starred in.
  • 17:11 – Why didn’t he want to do direct it himself?
  • 18:00 – On the tweaks Krasinski made to the script.

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