Spirit Awards 2015: Kristen Bell and Fred Armisen Joke About 'Birdman,' 'Whiplash,' Other Nominees
The annual beach salute to the best in indie film aired live on IFC.
Hosts Kristen Bell and Fred Armisen kicked off Saturday's Film Independent Spirit Awards with a taped tribute to Birdman, including a few moments inspired by Whiplash.
The opening segment featured Armisen "levitating" in the window when he was interrupted by Adam Scott, who said Bell wasn't ready for the show. Armisen went out to confront Bell, who claimed the show wasn't important because it's during the day. But Armisen said it matters to him because he's up for Boyhood director Richard Linklater's next movie, which he says will be two weeks of work over 28 years, a reference to how Linklater shot Boyhood — for short periods of time over 12 years.
After some more bickering, they both walk down the hall to find out what the drumming noise is they're hearing. They stumble upon Miles Teller as his Whiplash character, who says he has to practice or his teacher will "literally kill" him. When Armisen does his best Terence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons) by asking Teller's character if he was rushing or dragging, Teller slaps him for only making 10 shows a year of Portlandia. After Armisen called for a cut, Bill Hader was revealed to be playing Birdman director Alejandro G. Inarritu.
Bell and Armisen then took the stage, where the duo made more Birdman and Whiplash jokes and some quips about the other films nominated for top Spirit Awards accolades.
"Watching this year's top indie films made me realize this really is the new golden age of television," Armisen said. Meanwhile, Bell, noting that this is the 30th year of the show, said that age 30 is when indie filmmakers typically move back in with their parents.
Armisen also repeatedly referred to Julianne Moore's performance in Still Alice, a memory-loss joke that seemed to allude to the film's early-onset Alzheimer's plot, which Moore appeared to take in stride, laughing with each mention.
Bell and Armisen's dual monologue ended with a musical number, a version of "A Little Bit Country, A Little Bit Rock 'N Roll," in which they changed the lyrics to "I'm a little bit indie, you're a little bit studio." They then each sang a few lines about the Spirit Award nominees, referencing Selma's Oscar snub ("It's much too much to bear") and Boyhood ("Why is every single stepdad an alcoholic prick?") among others.
Birdman went into Saturday's awards with a leading six nominations, including ones in the categories of best feature, director and male lead for star Michael Keaton. Fellow Oscar contender Boyhood received the second most Spirit Award nominations, five, tied with Nightcrawler and Selma.