Adam Goldberg: 'I Generally Just Feel Like I'm Posing as an Actor'

Do you want to?

It's interesting, I guess, because all these lines got blurred a lot. It used to be clear to me what an independent film scene was, and when I think of it, I think of when I was a teenager watching a lot of older movies. I think of Jim Jarmusch and She's Gotta Have It, these films that were so exciting to me, and it was long before the independent film movement got co-opted and things started being called "independent" when I guess maybe they meant "alternative." To me, it's always been about what's interesting and what's good.

Do you think that people think of you as an independent actor?

Oftentimes I think it's funny, because I'll see a one-line thing if I get cast in something, it'll say, "Indie actor Adam Goldberg." When I think about the money I've made, most of it from television...for many years, I hadn't really been in an actual independent movie. The first one I really did was my own film, Scotch and Milk, which I made for $60,000. Even Dazed and Confused wasn't an independent film, it was one of the first Gramercy Pictures releases.

I've had experiences on really big movies -- like Deja Vu -- that in many ways felt more collaborative than some of the little movies that I've done. Tony Scott was this guy who happened to really love his crew and love his actors and love people's input, and even though I was just this cog in a wheel, I was in the presence of someone who approaches this thing in the manner you might expect an independent filmmaker would. The lines are being blurred.


And now independent films often struggle to get a theatrical release. I'm happy yours is.

And I should mention, I'm sort of shocked that it is. When I saw the script, first I thought, "This is really good," and I tend not to get things I audition for. I don't know if it's just a coincidence, but I've been close to some big things that almost happened. Big offers come in and small films come in with greater frequency, and I had been tempted for many years to say yes to everything that came along because you're just lucky to be working, really. I sort of began to say no to things with a little more frequency in the last couple of years, in part because what I was using as a sort of criteria was whether or not I thought the film would come out.

That kept you from committing to projects, that question about whether the movie would get a theatrical release?

I didn't necessarily want to have a backlog of things that only played at 3am on cable. I mean, it's definitely happened as the years went on. Certain things I was sure wouldn't have a problem getting released, they went straight to cable or whatever. So I saw (Untitled) and the script was just so well-written...first of all, I was skeptical that it was even getting made, because you always sort of are. Then it was just once of those instances where I wanted to do it just because it was good and because I liked it and could bring something to it. I was definitely skeptical that it would get any sort of distribution, and actually, I was skeptical that it would even make the festival scene.


I might just be cynical, but I feel like there's kind of a blueprint for what makes a quote-unquote "cool festival movie," and I just didn't see it in this. Still, I thought it was smart and didn't have restraints and it wasn't didactic, and that seemed rare to me. I figured at some point we'd probably have to dump it to DVD, but some people were interested, including Goldwyn, and it was great. I'm just pleased that it's getting to come out. It's kind of like winning the lottery these days.

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