Mark Webber and Alison Pill Interview SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD

     August 3, 2010

He’s the insecure lead singer, she’s the angsty drummer. Together, they are two thirds of the band Sex Bob-Omb in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. Mark Webber plays Stephen Stills, Alison Pill is Kim Pine and while these rolls might make them household names, each already has quite the career going. Webber has appeared in films such as Good Dick, The Good Life, Broken Flowers, Hollywood Ending and Jesus’ Son and even wrote and directed a film called Explicit Ills with Rosario Dawson and Paul Dano. Pill was the lone female among Sean Penn’s friends in his Oscar winning film Milk and she also appeared in Dan in Real Life, Pieces of April, In Treatment and will soon appear in the Woody Allen film Midnight in Paris.

Hit the jump to read what these up and comers had to say about being in Sex Bob-Omb, Woody Allen, Paul Thomas Anderson and some of the 10 secrets behind each of their characters.

Webber and Pill both had to go though a band camp of sorts before the film started, working on vocals and their instruments. Pill for one didn’t think she could pull it off – mostly because she was so bad at drumming on Rock Band. “I’d always be interested in being a drummer,” she said. “I just never though I could be due to complete lack of coordination. Apparently it’s not complete. There’s a weird little thing in my brain that allows me to be able to do things with my feet and hands.”

The first time both actors saw the film was Thursday night of Comic Con and it really wasn’t until then that they had any idea what the whole thing was going to look like. “We knew that panels straight from the comic were going to be up there on screen,” Webber said. “It affected the way scenes were blocked and framed but in terms of the visual effects and the whole scope of the filmmaking we were all really blown away.”

Someone then asked about how Pill dealt with the fact that we don’t get Kim Pine’s back story in the movie, especially since it’s so important to the comics. She made sure we knew, first of all, that “Kim is the coolest character in the comics,” and that she knew, by compressing the 6 books into one movie, the back story wasn’t going to be a part of it. So, she had a simple solution. “When you have a single, three second shot to try and get everything through it’s like, ‘Okay, let’s try and keep this simple and not try and do too many things.’”

Sticking with their comic book characters, Webber was asked if director Edgar Wright shot the big book 6 reveal of his character, Stephen Stills. (Since it’s not in the movie, I won’t ruin it here, but you might want to skip to the next paragraph just in case.) He said that it wasn’t shot, but that the “big reveal” was one of the 10 secrets that Pilgrim creator Brian Lee O’Malley and Wright handed to him before shooting about his character. And no, it didn’t really influence his performance much.

When pressed to reveal more of the secrets that each actor got, both Pill and Webber said that if you read the comics through to the end, all of them are in there.

Neither were aware of the comics before they got the project but were both huge fans of ALL of Wright’s work (including Spaced). As for games, Pill has never been much of a gamer and Webber said his favorite games of all time were Super Mario Bros., Mega Man, Castlevania and Sonic the Hedgehog.

The Sex Bob-Omb songs, written by Beck, were recorded just a few days after they got to Toronto. Originally, it was going to be in a large studio but eventually the decision was made by music maven Nigel Godrich to just keep it in a small studio of Jimmy Shaw from Metric. “[Nigel] got something out of me that I’m thankful for because if I didn’t cut it they were going to use someone else’s voice,” Webber said.

Since it’s actually them on the soundtrack, I asked if they were going to be getting any residuals. Both had no idea.

Pill was then asked about working with Woody Allen in Midnight in Paris and she said “It was awesome. I can’t tell you anything about it except that it was awesome.” And no, she didn’t get to read the entire script.

Webber is working on his second screenplay and hopes to shoot it by the end of the year. Again, though, he wasn’t ready to tell us anything about it.

One of the most interested parts of the roundtable happened next when Pill and Webber were asked what directors they would like to work with. Webber said the obvious names, Coen Brothers, Scorcese, but then he also mentioned Paul Thomas Anderson and gushed “The movie he is doing now is so fucking good.” Pill added, more to him than us, something that sounded like “That blew my balls” but she obviously meant in a good way. Then she sort of said something under her breath and trailed off, obviously not wanting to talk about it. If I had to guess, it sounded like the two of them, or at least Pill, had some inside knowledge about the film. I don’t know. Either way, it got me even more excited for PTA’s new film.

Back to the roundtable and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. Webber feels honored and privileged to be part of this world now, Pill was happy to see Toronto being shot for Toronto, playing the drums was a great way to release aggression, they’d both love to see the Sex Bob-Omb songs released for Rock Band and Webber agreed with Pill’s statement that “It’s a good enough movie to stand up to a non knowledgeable viewer” when asked about all the video game language that’s in it.

The interview finished with the pair talking about how even though the film moves at such a brisk pace, the set ups and days were very long. They shot the opening band scene very early on and it was like a small little short film they referred to as Scott Pilgrim and Sex Bob-Omb and it was very different from everything that came after it. “No magic, no craziness, just a band in a room,” Pill said. “Then we ended up on big budget massive superhero movie, and it was like, ‘WHAT JUST HAPPENED?’”

What happened was, you were in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, which is out in theaters Aug. 13. Keep it locked on Collider for more interviews with the cast and crew.

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