Jason Schwartzman does Dallas

GATW Guest Writer

by: GATW Guest Writer
October 24th, 2007

Jason Schwartzman, co-writer and star of the film The Darjeeling Limited visited the Angelika Film Center in Dallas on Tuesday for a special screening of the film.

It was the same movie theatre I had sat in time and time before. The same movie I saw a week ago. The same short film I downloaded on iTunes.

The lights dimmed and the movie started. I laughed at the same parts, plus some. The guy in front laughed the hardest. He knew who was going to be there. I wondered if he was just sucking up. Probably.

The movie was over and most everyone applauded. The lights began to fill the room.

"Blah, blah, blah. I work for The Quick. Blah, blah, blah. Without further-ado, Mr. Jason Schwartzman." More applause.

"Hi, I'm Jason."

Jason Schwartzman. Actor, writer, musician. There he was. All 5 foot 6 of him. The floor was opened for questions and hands flew up across the theatre. Time after time the question would start out: "Hi, my name is [insert fanboy name here]." To which Schwartzman would reply: "Hi. I'm Jason."

The reoccurring topic of the night was Schwartzman's involvement in the movie as a writer and actor and he seemed to have a lot to say about it. Schwartzman described his time in India where he and fellow writers Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola spent their time writing.

"We started with just the idea of three brothers traveling to India and we didn't have much more than that," Schwartzman said.

Schwartzman went on to say that they spent about 6 hours a day for 2 years writing the screenplay. "Roman and I would meet together and Wes would call us on a conference call. We would talk and talk and talk. Wes would always write everything down. I would be eating. And Roman would be laying on the floor. I don't know why, he just loved to lay on the floor."

Schwartzman said that the idea of the movie was to be as genuine and real as possible. He said that everything came from actual experiences. The three writers spent most of their time in the U.S. writing, but also spent 5 weeks in India.

"The three of us went to India to write and when we got back I felt that we were the story. We had just gone through this experience and all we had to do now was write about it."

Schwartzman was asked what line he enjoyed saying the most in the film.

"'Where are those nuts at?' It's not everyday you get to say that. 'Hey, where are those nuts at?" Schwartzman said.

He also explained that the actors in the movie stuck to the script and that there was never any improv. He said that this was largely because the writers and he spent so much time debating over what would be said and how it would be said.

"We would ask ourselves what are some ways to say 'where are those nuts at?'" Schwartzman said. "We would spend hours trying to think of different ways to say it and then finally we just decided to keep it. 'Where are those nuts at?"

Schwartzman said that the film was shot on location in India. Most of it was filmed on the spot without much preparation. He even explained that on some takes a cow would walk into the scene but the director would keep rolling. Schwartzman said that in India there were no makeup trailers or fancy hotels for them to stay in.

"We would eat the same food, drink the same drinks and do the same thing. And we did it all on each others beds and in each others rooms," said Schwartzman of himself and co-stars, Owen Wilson and Adrien Brody.

Overall, the Q&A lasted about 90 minutes. There were questions ranging from his experience with different directors to the guy in front who asked "When you were filming, did you notice Owen acting weird or anything? And have you talked to him lately? How is he doing?" There wasn't much of an answer other than saying he was doing good.

Schwartzman also mentioned his solo music project called Coconut Records. He has an album for sale at YoungBabyRecords.com which comes with a "special prize" if you buy it from the website. (Special prize = a polaroid of himself). Young Baby Records is a record company he started.

"Actually, it's just a domain name with a PayPal account," Schwartzman said.

The Darjeeling Limited is currently playing at select theaters and opens nationwide this Friday.

jason_keyboard.jpg

Jason Schwartzman in the studio.
Photo from www.myspace.com/coconutrecords

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  • sarah

    yesss. coconut records revives everything i loved about old phantom planet. i didn’t know it at the time, but apparently everything i loved in phantom planet was jason schwartzman.

    i love that he stayed and talked for an hour and a half. thanks for taking notes for us!

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