When you’re in a theater filled with filmmakers and actors watching a comedy that’s about them, you have to wonder: am I only laughing because they’re laughing? That was the scene at the Crest Theatre in Los Angeles on Wednesday during the premiere of The TV Set starring David Duchovny, Sigourney Weaver (pictured), Ioan Gruffudd, Judy Greer and Justine Bateman. (Also on hand for the screening were Rainn Wilson, Ed Helms, Illeana Douglas and Matthew Rhys.)
The TV Set (which hits New York and Los Angeles theaters on April 6, then opens gradually across the country) is a showbiz satire that follows a serious writer (played by Duchovny) through the agony of getting his TV pilot picked up by the Panda Network. Said Greer, who stars as Duchovny’s sidekick in the film, “I think it’s art imitating life imitating art imitating life. I mean it’s a comedy so it’s a little hyper-realistic, but it’s pretty accurate.” On the red carpet, Sigourney Weaver described her character as the network executive who “tries to systematically get all of the complexity out of [the script] because I feel the American audience deserves [programming that’s] simple, sexy, light, undemanding.” The 57-year-old actress’ favorite scene? “The scene where I’m celebrating my huge success of Slut Wars, where I’m getting drunk and playing with my panda.”
addCredit(“Sigourney Weaver: Gregg DeGuire/WireImage.com”)
The film was inspired by the real life experiences of director andscreenwriter Jake Kasdan. “I’ve directed several television pilots. Ihad two of them picked up and one of them not get picked up and I’vebeen through that process a lot. The first show I worked on was Freaks and Geeks,and we just had this absolutely, uniquely great experience and reallyloved doing it, and I thought that was what it was like. I realized, infact, that the normal experience is difficult. It got less andless good as I kept doing it.”
It just so happens that TV Set is coming out about a monthbefore upfronts, where Duchovny will awaiting word on the future of hisnew potential series. Duchovny describes the pilot he shot for Showtimewith writer and producer Tom Kapinos (Dawson’s Creek) as a “darkcomedy about a writer who’s trying to exist in Hollywood as a seriouswriter.” Meanwhile, Greer is is crossing her fingers as she waits tolearn the fate of a pilot she’s starring in, Miss/Guided (Ashton Kutcher is producing). Miss/Guided,she says, is a comedy about “a girl who goes back to high school to tryand have a do-over by becoming a guidance counselor. [It’s] like Never Been Kissed meets The Office — kind of.”
Upon deep contemplation, I determined that my laughing was anorganic product of a funny film. Imagine that. But had the remarkable(and somewhat intimidating) Sigourney actually been sitting right nextto me, I probably would have made sure that I was in stitches.