Published: Monday, March 19, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 00:03
The story, which shows the character of Jeff and his meteoric rise from the basement of his mom’s house to a more fulfilling life, offers a tale of finding one’s destiny. Jeff aids his brother Pat (Ed Helms) in finding out if his wife is having an affair, all while Jeff is awakened to the emptiness of his own life.
For the Duplass brothers, whose previous films “Cyrus” and “The Puffy Chair” have displayed a similar penchant for heartfelt quirk, Mark Duplasssaid worrying about the budget and making a good movie outweighed any problems in the process of making the film with his brother.
“This is the largest budget we had ever worked with before, so you always feel a certain sense of responsibility to make the movie good out of the more money people are putting into it,” he said. “But in terms of me and Jay and our working relationship, our general feeling is that making a movie is really hard and making an entertaining film is almost impossible. So we just feel like there’s strength in numbers by having two of us and whatever conflicts might arise between us are quickly dwarfed by the Herculean task of trying to make a feature film that doesn’t suck.”
The pair also discussed their influences, includingSegel’s love for the James Brooks film “Broadcast News” and Duplass’ claim that documentaries chronicling “loveable loser person personalities” like Mark Borchardt in the 1999 film “American Movie” have the most impact on his work.
“I’m constantly drawn to people who, despite the fact that all the odds are stacked against them, are going for glory in their lives,” Duplass said. “It just inspires me and makes me laugh too, particularly when they are ill-equipped to achieve that glory like Jeff is.”
While the two jokingly discussed plans for Segel to direct “Jeff, Who Lives at Home 2: This Time It’s Personal,” Duplass said the creative process on the film was a wholly collaborative one, especially with Segel being an actor-writer like Duplass, who acts on FX’s fantasy football sitcom “The League.”
“Well, for my end in terms of the collaboration, we brought the full script to Jason once it was done, so the collaborative process really began for us on set as we employ improvisation,” Duplass said. “And the way that improvisation works is less in terms of going on runs at the end of shooting to get jokes, but every single line of dialogue. Every single moment is improvised to a certain extent.”