Last month I tagged along with my film critic friend to an advance press screening of Snow Angels, a new film by director David Gordon Green, which stars Kate Beckinsale and Sam Rockwell. A serious and bleak story, Snow Angels focuses on three couples’ relationships, two crumbling and one budding. Amy tries her hand at drama with a supporting role as Barb Petite, co-worker and best friend of Annie (played by Beckinsale). After being completely enthralled by the film, I knew that I had to grill Amy on it. I also took this as an opportunity to ask her about her “Rabbit Rescue” short for Microsoft’s online ad campaign….
Katie (AmySedarisRocks.com): What did you think of the movie?
Amy Sedaris: I thought everyone was really good, and I couldn’t believe the incredible acting. It looked great, too. I loved the direction. I love depressing shit! Because I was involved in the movie, I knew too much. Being in the movie you are watching can spoil the whole thing. It’s hard to watch yourself and remember so much of what you did fifteen minutes before you shot the scene.
Have you read the novel by Stewart O’Nan on which the movie is based?
No, I haven’t read the book, but I will now.
Being that you’re known for your comedy, you seem like an unorthodox choice for such a bleak, serious drama. How were you cast?
I met with the director, David Gordon Green and I auditioned. I was very surprised that he asked to see me.
David Gordon Green actually sought you out?
Yeah, they called and asked me to audition.
That just seems so surprising. Do you know what made Green think to call you and ask you to come in?
Oh, I don’t know. I guess that would be a question for him*. I was surprised by that, too. I have no idea. I guess I was kind of surprised because I don’t normally get called to do stuff like that.
This is certainly the most serious role you’ve done in television or film to date. Did you find it difficult?
It was hard not to find the humor in it. My instincts are to do just that. I still didn’t have to cry or fight the rapist off of me, but I did get to find the humor in it when I saw the movie. Me trying to be serious or somewhat real on screen is funny to me.
So, when you were filming the movie, did you just pretend that you were doing a Lifetime movie or something?
Well, I just didn’t have as much fun. When you’re in the moment, and you’re there, and you’re around stuff–if you’re an improviser–you just want to go with it, and play around, and make fun of stuff, and laugh. But the energy wasn’t like that. Sometimes it was like that on the set, and I could [joke around] knowing they weren’t going to shoot it, but you just don’t play in that mindset. You don’t go on set trying to find the humor in everything. It’s just a different reality. As far as energy on the set, the people would listen to sad music and they’d be trying to stay in character.