Teen Choice Awards
August 9, 2015
ATAS, Primetime Emmys Awards: Final round voting begins
August 17, 2015
ATAS, Primetime Emmys Awards: Final round voting ends
August 28, 2015
MTV: Video Music Awards
August 30, 2015
Venice International Film Festival Begins
September 2, 2015
ATAS, Primetime Emmys Awards: Creative Arts Awards and Ball
September 12, 2015
ATAS, 67th Primetime Emmy Awards (5:00 PM PDT)
September 20, 2015
New York Film Festival Begins
September 25, 2015
MTV Europe Music Awards
October 25, 2015
AFI Fest Begins
November 5, 2015
Andy Samberg on Hosting the Indie Spirits: 'We're Letting It Rip!'
The actor-comedian, 34, takes a break from shooting his Fox cop-comedy pilot to emcee the awards, geek out over movies and try some new material.
This story first appeared in the March 1 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
The Hollywood Reporter: How are you prepping to preside over the ever-eccentric Indie Spirit Awards?
Andy Samberg: I’m watching as many of the nominated films as possible. So far, I’ve seen all the best feature nominees. I’m a geek about this stuff! I went to film school and love going to Sundance just to see movies.
THR: How much leeway have you been given as to what you can and can’t do?
Samberg: They’re giving me a bunch of freedom, but I will definitely give the producers my material in advance. I have some writer friends lending a hand, and we’re doing some pretaped segments too. Whenever I explain what I’m planning to do, people say, “That sounds terrible.” Then we shoot it, and it works. So we’re letting it rip!
THR: You’ve appeared in studio movies like Hot Rod and indies including Celeste and Jesse Forever, a Spirit nominee for best first screenplay. What do you like most about smaller productions?
Samberg: Well, it’s easier on your back and legs because you make so much less money -- it doesn’t weigh your pants down. (Laughs.) No, I’ve been on big movies that have a family vibe, but Celeste and Jesse felt very intimate; we were doing it because we believed in it. You’re pouring your heart into what you’re doing.
THR: The movie marked your first semiserious acting role, which surprised people.
Samberg: I definitely was aware of this fact while we were filming. I thought, “If I’m not good, we will find out in a really loud way right now.” But I got mostly positive feedback. I just wish the film had been seen by more people. The week it came out on iTunes, I got more emails and texts about it than when it was in theaters.
THR: As Spirits host, you can’t play favorites onstage. But are there specific Spirit-nominated films or performances that really grabbed you this year?
Samberg: Jack Black was so good in Bernie. I’ve been obsessed with him for years. Beasts of the Southern Wild is incredible. I didn’t know Keep the Lights On existed until I was asked to host the show. It’s really honest, and there’s a lot of crack-smoking -- I was not expecting that. As great crack-smoking films go, there’s New Jack City and Keep the Lights On.
THR: Hey, that’s a great double-feature idea.
Samberg: Yeah, Crack Night at the ArcLight!
THR: Who are you dying to meet at the show?
Samberg: I’m a huge Wes Anderson fan. I love Moonrise Kingdom. He’s a national treasure. We need to alert the National Treasury Society, which I believe is run by Nicolas Cage.
THR: Has 2012 host Seth Rogen given you any last-minute tips?
Samberg: He hasn’t, but seeing his monologue from last year made me excited.
THR: Speaking of which, after three male hosts in a row, it’s probably time for a female emcee next year. Who would you pick?
Samberg: I officially vote for Quvenzhane Wallis!