By Fred Topel | Image property of Universal Pictures
David Wain has a small but devoted following of fans from his work on The State, Stella and the films Wet Hot American Summer and The Ten. Role Models is his first studio film, but it still has hints of his unique sense of humor.
David Wain on Role Models
"I've always made an attempt to and had trouble labeling my sense of humor but I definitely, in anything I do, try to be true to my voice and what I find funny and the way I see the world," said Wain. "I knew that adapting that into a more mainstream studio project would be different but I realized that I was able to lend my voice to it and certainly some of my previous work has a lot more absurdist reality-bending flights of fancy but I felt like I didn't need to do that to still have my voice and that was the fun part about this project is it still, sort of under the surface, I feel like I was able to layer in my sensibility and put some of those slightly weirder moments in, things that appeal to me."
For his first studio film, Wain was frank about the experience. "It definitely had pros and cons. The unfortunate situation is that working on independent film now is very tough. Even the last couple years, it's changed dramatically. Getting movies made and then out there on an independent level is very tough I'm sad to say. The studio experience for me was largely positive though. The people I worked with and the way it worked, it had its frustrations and sometimes it felt like there were too many cooks. Some of the limitations were the machinery that you have to deal with was annoying at times. More importantly though, the people that I was working with as far as producers and studio people were actually really smart and contributing ideas and help to the movie that I hadn't anticipated."
Universal must be happy about the direction of this interview, but Wain gave them props. "I also think though, to the studio's credit, they hired me to do it. They didn't hire me to be a hack and just be a puppet. So they wanted me to bring my sensibility which includes bringing in my people."
So, where is the David Wain in the story of menchildren sentenced to community service mentoring young boys? "I definitely related to the theme of the story about guys who aren't quite grown up and need to have some interest in someone other than themselves in order to catalyze them growing a little bit out of their own childhood. I relate to that a lot and I definitely enjoyed the live action role play setting. I thought that was really fresh and funny."