For fans of Parks and Recreation, Amy Poehler and Adam Scott are television’s most adorable couple. But in A.C.O.D., the Sundance movie about an Adult Child of Divorce (Scott) who’s never really recovered from the trauma of his parents’ split, their relationship could not be chillier. Poehler plays Scott’s pushy step-mother — and the landlord of his restaurant — and she’s not afraid to throw her influence around. (Imagine if Leslie Knope had grown up in Eagleton and you get the idea.)
The film, which premiered last night, reunites Scott with his Step Brothers father, Richard Jenkins, and his Party Down pal, Jane Lynch, and also features Catherine O’Hara, The Office‘s Clark Duke, and 30 Rock‘s Ken Howard, among others.
In person, Poehler and Scott are much more like their Parks and Recreation characters, funny and friendly, offering a glass of red wine to a reporter (that may have been left behind by another journalist.) Before a Princess Bride style Battle of Wits could be staged over the dubious drink in question, the two actors were kind enough to discuss their new movie and Parks and Rec.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Adam, you’re an executive producer on A.C.O.D. I’ve met a lot of producers, but for the life of me, I never really know exactly what they do because when I ask them, I get 100 different answers. So what did the executive producer do on this movie?
ADAM SCOTT: He got Amy Poehler to do the movie.
AMY POEHLER: Adam would pick us all up in the morning, before our call time. He was in charge of getting us to set. God, you did so many things. Adam would call us really late at night. Some people thought you were a little drunk… He would sound drunk.
AS: Look, when you get home from work, do you not have a few glasses of wine?
AP: And he would call us all late at night and give us ideas for the next day. That’s what an executive producer does.
AS: And I also created a Tumblr page for each person and the character. A Pinterest page as well.
Well, that’s what all producers do.
AP: It is. New media, guys. Print is dead. Sorry, EW.
Was it awkward to be acting opposite someone who’s also an executive producer?
AP: Adam would often come up to me and in a really aggressive voice, he would tell me how many lines I had and how many he had. And say, “I have 25 lines today. Don’t take one of my lines away from me!”
AS: And if she interrupted me, even if it was an accident, I would have to shut the set down for 15 minutes and the director Stu Zicherman, Amy, and I would have to get into a car and drive outside of town to this weird Russian bath house, and we would take all of our clothes off and get into hot water and just lay it down. Lay down the law.
AP: You’ve heard of magic hour, right. It’s like that beautiful time when the sun sets and a lot of directors like to shoot during that time. Adam only shoots during magic hour, so you only have about 45 minutes of day where you work.
AP: That’s right. So it took seven months to complete this film.
That must have been hell with the Parks and Rec schedule.
AP: Well, now what we do is — I don’t want to say this in front of him — but we fake magic hour because he really doesn’t know when it is.
AS: Excuse me?
AP: So we pretend the sun is setting. Push him outside. Get what he need.
AS: They think that they’re faking it, but the sun is setting.
Allow me to take three totally random things that probably have nothing to do with each other and try to tie them together to make a trend.
AP: Great. Whatever it is, we’ll make it happen.
AS: I’m already lost.
You’ve both done films now that seem to be all about unconventional modern families. Baby Mama, Step Brothers, Friends With Kids, and now this. Does that reflect any kind of philosophy about how you view such things?
AP: But what’s the new trend going to be? I’m going to say it right now.
AP: I think the next thing is moon wives. Like having a wife here on earth and then a wife on the moon. And everybody’s cool with it. They’re like, “You’re my Earth wife, but my moon wife and I are also in love.”
Clearly, you let Newt Gingrich on your show for too long. He’s the big moon guy, right?
AP: You just get in a rocket ship and say, “I love you. I’ll see you in like two weeks, but I have to go to my other wife on the moon.”
AS: That could be the movie that you do, Moon Wives, but then the movie I would do is Moon Families, and it would be about your moon family. And there’s like moon kids running around. So that’s the next trend, and then together we would do a movie about…
AP: Moon Divorce.
AS: And you have to go through the moon court system.
AP: And let me tell you something. Those judges always side with the people on the moon. It’s so unfair.
AS: And those judges, they don’t have to deal with gravity so like the gavel… gets crazy. It floats.
Adam, on Feb. 9, there’s going to be a Party Down reunion in San Francisco. What’s planned?
AS: I guess at those things you just get on stage and take questions from the audience and stuff. It’s a sketch fest. Paul Scheer is moderating it so it’s going to be super fun. It’s always fun.
Is everyone from the cast going?
AS: Yeah. I think.
Lizzy Caplan was just confirmed.
AP: That’s essential. You can’t have a Party Down reunion without her.
Amy, you still haven’t unveiled Pawnee’s mayor yet, have you?
AP: No, we have dreams.
AS: We have the mayor of my hometown coming up. It’s J.K. Simmons. The town that I was the mayor of years ago, he’s the mayor now. He was awesome.
AP: We go back to Ben’s hometown, Partridge, Minn., where he was the 18-year-old mayor, and the current mayor is J.K. But we have not cast the Pawnee mayor.
AS: We have a couple dream people in mind.
AP: I want Bill Murray to play the mayor, and I just dream about it every night. I whisper it to a bird and then I open the window and the bird flies away.
AS: Well, the bird flies to Bill Murray.
AP: To Bill Murray’s house and just sits on his window and goes cocoooo-cocooooo, and hopefully it just transmits into his brain.