Gillian Jacobs Talks ‘Walk of Shame,’ Mexican Wrestling and That New ‘Star Wars’ Movie
A few days ago, I was offered an interview with Gillian Jacobs — who is promoting her new film, the Elizabeth Banks comedy, ‘Walk of Shame.’ “Sure,” I said, because I’ve always enjoyed Jacobs’ work on ‘Community.’ Then I asked, When can I see the movie?” At that time, there weren’t any screenings scheduled, and unfortunately, there wasn’t enough time to set up a new one, so I went into this interview not knowing much more than what was available in the trailer. So, not much, unfortunately.
I debated between faking my way though, or just being honest. I went with the honest approach. So, we tried our best — but, in reality, we were just two strangers on the phone with not that much to talk about. Sure, we tried to engage in small talk — we really did — the weather was even brought up at one point, which is not the best sign that you’re doing a good job at keeping another person’s attention. I brought up ‘Community,’ in passing. And, you know what, there were were a couple of interesting moments — we even shared a couple of laughs! Then, we said our goodbyes, hung up the phone, and went on with our lives. A life, in which for me, still exists without seeing ‘Walk of Shame.’ Someday, I will see ‘Walk of Shame’ and someday all of this will make sense.
I have to admit, I haven’t seen this movie. I tried, but I was told there weren’t any screenings.
My girlfriend who I live with has seen it. She thought you were really good.
Well, good. We can lead with that.
So … what’s up?
Well, you know, it’s raining outside. I’m glad I’m indoors.
Are you in New York?
I am, too.
OK, then you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Yes. It’s miserable outside.
Yeah! Well, we can talk about what the movie is about?
I have seen your other movie, ‘Life Partners,’ which I really enjoyed.
Oh, thanks! Thank you so much. Yeah, I’m hoping somebody buys that. That would be awesome, right?
I’m kind of surprised no one has yet.
We’ll see! Sometimes, you know, it takes a minute.
I was thinking, you’re on a popular television show, but ‘Community’ always has that “is it coming back or not?” dilemma every season. Does that keep you on your toes looking for other projects? As opposed to “I’m a big shot and I’ll have a job on this series for years and years?”
Yeah, I don’t know if it’s even just ‘Community,’ or like my years of unemployment prior to ‘Community’ that makes me feel like I just want to work all the time [laughs], but, yes, you’re right, I do feel a compulsion to work as much as I can.
What do you mean by that?
I think, you know, when you’re an actor who’s had periods of unemployment, it makes you feel really good to have a job — to say that you’re expected somewhere, do you know what I mean? You know, “I’m working on this and I’m doing this” — because that’s the most uncomfortable question when you’re sporadically employed, “What are you working on now?”
But you have answers for that now. Do you like that question now?
Yeah, I do. I mean, it’s nice to have answers [laughs].
In ‘Walk of Shame,’ from what I can gather, you play Elizabeth Banks’ friend who gets her involved in some hijinks.
Yeah, I kind of push her to have a crazy, wild night. And then it all sort of goes wrong for her, because she loses the keys to her car and her phone, so then I’m then trying to find her to make things right.
‘Community’ is very popular amongst its fans, but I feel it’s not so popular where you’re in any danger of being type-cast as Britta.
Yeah, I’ve never felt that way. So, you know, that’s really nice. And I also think because the show itself does so many different types of episodes, it kind of gives us a chance to all show range within the show. Yeah, so I don’t think any of us are really type-cast from it.
That’s a good point abut all the different variations of characters.
It certainly keeps me engaged and not bored [laughs].
I feel things are going well for you right now.
Oh, thanks. Cool.
Do you not feel that way?
I mean, you know, I’m very grateful for everything that’s going on, but I always have the fire in the belly to do more. But, I’m sure my therapist would say that I should say that things are good and I should enjoy it more [laughs].
Are you naturally a pessimist?
I’m a worry-wart, I’d say. I don’t think I obsessively fixate on things that are going wrong, but I think sometimes it’s hard to do. I don’t know. I won’t be a sunny optimist all of the time, but I think I try to balance it out with the reality that, yes, things are going well in my life and certainly being back in New York, my life is a lot different than it was before ‘Community.’ And I’ve accomplished a lot and I’m really grateful, so, I have a lot to be happy about.
I read that you are a wrestling fan.
When did this happen?
I’d say it happened within the last five years.
I feel it’s usually something that catches you when you’re younger.
Yeah, my friend, Alan, took me to a show in Reseda, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, and it was really fun. So, you know, I went back a bunch of times.
What do you like about it?
I’d say–. I don’t know. It’s engaging, it’s entertaining, everyone is really skilled, athletically, but they’re also really compelling characters. It’s fun and different. You start to follow the ongoing drama.
You’re in the sequel to ‘Hot Tub Time Machine.’
That seems like a fun project.
Oh, definitely. That cast is amazing and they have such great chemistry that I was just really lucky to join them and they just made me laugh a all of the time. Yeah, it was super-fun.
What year do we go back to?
I’m not going to tell you that.
That’s a secret?
I really didn’t know. I wasn’t trying to get a secret out of you.
Stop trying to pry secrets out of me!
Are you in the new ‘Star Wars’ movie?
See, I dazzled you with ‘Hot Tub Time Machine’ questions, then I went in for the big scoop.
Mike Ryan is the senior editor of ScreenCrush. You can contact him directly on Twitter.