Sunday, May 24, 2009

Andy Samberg - Interviewed about Mother Lover

Andy Samberg dishes on Justin Timberlake and their latest 'SNL' short, 'Motherlover'

The screams from Saturday Night Live's studio audience began as soon as Justin Timberlake and Andy Samberg's R&B Casanova characters appeared right after these words -- "An SNL Digital Short" -- flashed on screen. The ridiculous pair threw their wrapping-covered boxes (from the famous "D--- in a Box" digital short, which launched Timberlake and Samberg's comedy duo back in December 2006) in the trash and, in honor of Mother's Day, launched into a faux-music video for "Motherlover," an ode to each of them having sex with the other's widowed mother. (Yep, you read that right.) The mothers were played by none other than revered actresses Susan Sarandon and Patricia Clarkson, both sporting sheepish grins.

In an exclusive interview, SNL funnyman Samberg talks about making the video with the help of Justin, snagging Sarandon and Clarkson, fearing they'd tarnish "D--- in a Box" by going back to these characters, and more.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Specifically, with the "Motherlover" video, how much input came from Justin? Did you guys bring him the idea?
ANDY SAMBERG: [Justin] was in the room almost the whole time this time. I would say he was involved a considerable amount more than on “D--- in a Box.” And he was involved on “D--- in a Box,” for sure, especially in regards to how the phrasing of the song, actually musically, went and melody and that kind of stuff. This time, it was actually even more so of a collaboration. We actually built the song together with him in the room and wrote the lyrics all out together. It was fantastic.

When you knew Justin was coming back to host, did you immediately think that you’d bring this skit back?
For us, we’re comedians, so our immediate reaction was to be like, “No, no way!” Be scared of trying it again. And [Justin] was like—to his credit—he was like, “But what if we did do it again? How unprecedented would that be?” That’s a big swing. We knew going in from the very start that we were taking a real, real big swing and that if it didn’t work—and if the joke didn’t really land—that we were going to look like big jerks. But you know, he’s so confident and we started writing it and it was making us laugh really hard, so we just went with it, and said, “F--- it.”

Right, you had to worry that you might ruin the goodwill you’d already created with “D--- in a Box” if this went awry.
That was the fear, yeah. “D--- in a Box” something that is—and even we can admit it, at this point—well liked by a lot of people, an you know, that’s something that we get a lot of credit and positive energy for, and we didn’t want to ruin it and, you know, like, crap on it by driving it into the mud. But I think it just made us focus really hard and make sure it was something we really believed in.

How did you get Susan Sarandon and Patricia Clarkson involved?
We said, “Who should we get for the moms?” And I’m pretty sure, in the room, we all collectively were like, “How about Susan Sarandon and Patricia Clarkson?” And that’s exactly how it played out.

It’s unexpected.
They’re both Oscar-caliber actors, and I’m pretty sure at least Patricia has won Emmys as well, which puts her in the same camp as us. [Laughs.] No, I think the thing we’ve been finding continually working here and reaching to people is that there are so many people out there who are way sillier than you think. Like, most people you know are goofy and joke around with their friends and family. They’re really doing dramatic stuff, but they’re not really asked—or given the opportunity—to loosen up and do weirder, sillier stuff. And a lot of them are really excited to do it.

And having Justin Timberlake on board doesn’t hurt, right?
And Justin was already friendly with Susan, and we share a publicist with Patricia, so it was an easy call to make. We’re just such huge fans of the both of them. Like, it couldn’t have worked out more perfectly.

Plus, with your track record, seems like people are probably going to start approaching you, rather than the other way around.
I think having Justin, and being able to say, “This is the follow-up to ‘D--- in a Box,’” definitely helped in terms of giving them a little confidence.

Do you think SNL producers will throw this in the ring for an Emmy, like they did for “D--- in a Box,” which won?
I don’t know! I’m not sure, we’ll see! We’ve had a few songs go over quite well, but we’ll see. We try not to think about that too much.



So here is a new tidbit we learned from this interview:

* Justin Timberlake was a lot more involved in the lyrics (and probably the music video bits) than he was on D*** in a Box.

The answer to the question about Susan and Patricia was obvious. That was a waste of a question.

Andy dodged the question/comment about how stars must be coming to them now. He instead interpreted it as a question about how easy it is to recruit stars. I've noticed that stars typically aren't as aggressive as you'd think. They kind of wait for their agents to make calls, they wait to get offers from the film makers, or they drop hints in interviews (which is totally lame; however, it worked for Samuel L Jackson to get a role in Star Wars). For example, Andy recently mentioned in an interview and left a direct hint that he is waiting for producers and directors to make him offers (when you'd think that he and his agent would be knocking more directly on Spielberg's and Bruckheimer's doors).

Side note: Andy, Jack Johnson is waiting for you to call him and invite him to do a digital short. Give him a call! One of his reps is trying to get ahold of you (and contacted us). Jack Johnson has featured all your parodies of him on his site. He loves your work! Call him (clap) today!!! (Or get the SNL talent agents to do it.) =^)


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