His 'Funny People' alter-ego Mark Taylor Jackson might be the proudest actor to ever star in a campy high school sitcom, but the real-life Jason Schwartzman plays a humble and neurotic indie darling. Outside of his role on the big screen, Schwartzman wrote the movie's score, just finished shooting the first season of the upcoming HBO comedy series 'Bored to Death' in Brooklyn and recently recorded a second album with his band, Coconut Records. He talked with us about becoming Mark Taylor Jackson and the scary privilege of scoring the movie.
On playing an actor trapped in a bad script:
I don't think that Mark Taylor Jackson necessarily is a bad actor. I think the writing is really bad and he's trying to act the hell out of the writing and it comes across as really bad. We were trying not to wink at the camera too much. It was like, try to go in there as 'I am Mark Taylor Jackson and these are the scripts for the show and we're going to make the best damn show on television.' Mark Taylor Jackson loves 'Yo Teach.' He loves himself.
On being asked to write the score for the movie:
It was kind of a frightening honor. Judd sent over a copy of the movie, which we were still shooting but at that point was maybe four and a half hours. I watched it with a guitar in my hand, just seeing if anything came out of it. And I loved the movie so much I was very inspired by it. It was very fun for me. You just keep writing music. How fun is it to keep writing music? I loved Judd allowing me to make music for his movie.
On the pressure to do a good job at it:
Judd's got Adam and Seth and all these great actors, he wrote the script, and it's got all these powerful people, very high quality work. All these masters of their craft were working on this movie, and the music couldn't sound so homemade that it's like, 'What's this music? It sounds like it was done for one dollar.'
On being roommates with Jonah Hill and Seth Rogen in the movie:
We made each other laugh a lot. Those guys are two of the funniest guys I've met in my life. Just looking at them too long can make me start laughing. It was really fun to work with two of my friends because you're much looser and much more free.
'Funny People' opens Friday.WATCH the trailer: