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Pret-a-Reporter already had the honor of interviewing Transparent‘s Gaby Hoffmann and Amy Landecker before Jay Duplass, who plays their brother on that show, joined Off the Cuff – a trifecta we were quick to point out to him.
“I’m always the last to know so this apparently fits the bill,” he quips before telling us how he went from building a career – nay, a life – writing and directing movies with his little brother Mark Duplass (“I was about six and he was about three” he says of the first time they collaborated together) to now finally getting his due in front of the camera as Josh, a lovesick Silverlake music producer whom he calls “the voice of unreason” on a show which has been labeled enlightening by many.
“I think Josh’s job in this show is to be a dick,” Duplass says – and is clearly having a lot of fun with that. He tells us how the show’s creator Jill Soloway approached him at a party to pick his brain about what actors could play this new role she was writing. After he listed every actor he thought could be perfect for the part, Soloway told him, “It’s you.” When asked if perhaps Soloway had him in mind all along he says, “She is sort of like a good witch in that way. Some people, you don’t care when they’re working their magic on you, and she’s definitely one of them.”
With movies like The Puffy Chair, Cyrus and Jeff Who Lives at Home having already established him as one of the most sought-after indie filmmakers today, Duplass was surprised to discover, at the age of 40, that acting fit him so well.
“My family always told me growing up, ‘You’re too sensitive. You’re too goddamn emotional,'” he recalls. “Now I’m getting paid for that shit!”
Next up is the HBO series Togetherness, another Jay and Mark creation which will premiere in January 2015 and follows two couples who are living in the same house – not an entirely unfamiliar scene for the Duplasses.
“Mark and I cohabitated forever,” Jay laughs. “It was poor but really fun and creatively rich. Not creatively good – but creatively rich.”
Listen to Duplass’ full interview in this episode of Off the Cuff and be sure to subscribe to #pretapodcasts on iTunes for all the latest episodes.
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