Diane Farr talks the inspiration behind 'AssCastles'
Diane Farr has never had a problem hanging with the boys, whether that be on Loveline, The Job, Rescue Me, or Californication. So it’s somehow fitting that she’s brought AssCastles to Funny or Die. For each installment, she takes a tour of a real “AssCastle” — that’s any home with three or more bedrooms that a man resides in without a wife or children and maintains for the sole purpose of “pulling down ass.” She walks through the house with the owner, who takes her through his rap (which room he starts in, which room he puts his best shine on, which room he closes). She then scripts the video based on the highlights of that experience and returns to the AssCastle to recreate them with an actor, who assumes the role of the bachelor. The first installment, embedded below, begins with the claim that Farr and her team added only one thing to the mix. Guesses? It’s the wardrobe rack upon which “Troy” keeps the extensive bikini collection (up to size 6) for guests who choose to join him for a dip in his living room swimming pool, which he fills with a garden hose. “The bathing suits actually existed in the house, but they were hung over the top of the glass that surrounds the pool in gigantic piles. It was like a bad Filene’s Basement moment gone wrong,” Farr says. “There is no subtlety in the AssCastle, it’s all like, ‘We want you to get down into this size bathing suit within the first 20 minutes of being in our house.” But did “Troy” really have the scale there? “He really had the scale there,” Farr says, “but I don’t think he really used it to weigh people. This is Art Deco for these guys. This is as artistic as it gets. It wasn’t right there next to the pool, it was actually right behind the pile of bathing suits, which made it all the more scary to me.”
Here, Farr explains the very personal inspiration for what she hopes becomes a late night talk show.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Did you take AssCastles to Funny or Die, or did they come to you?
DIANE FARR: I told a friend of mine that I wanted to go out and do a late night talk show called AssCastles about what it’s like as you’re going through your 20s in Los Angeles and how insane it is because there are so many single people with so much money in this city, and the treacherous tar pits that you have to sort of climb out of as a single girl. And he said, “Could you start it somewhere else with me first?” So we went into Funny or Die, and there’s a terrifically fun, attractive guy who I was almost afraid to pitch this to because I thought, He really might be someone who could be on AssCastles. But turns out, he’s not. I’m three sentences in to what an AssCastle is, and they said, “We’re in! We’re in! We’ll buy it. We’ll do it.” That’s the easiest pitch I’ve ever had in my whole life. I kept trying to explain, and they’re like, “No, no, we got it.”
And AssCastle is a term you coined?
It is. If you go onto the AssCastles site, there’s a page called “testimonials” that explains exactly how it happened, and it’s true. The last guy that I went on a date with before I met my husband, I walked into his house… It was in Rhinebeck, NY. I’m shooting Rescue Me in the city, and a friend of mine was setting me up with him. He had us all drive separately for five hours, all of us lived in the East Village, to go see this house and stay for the weekend. It should have been a sign, you know. The East Village apartment wasn’t enough to get my pants off? But no, come up to the country. It was at the end of acres and acres, I could barely see it. I honestly was so worried. This better have heat. I am not spending the weekend freezing my ass off in some converted barn. As I opened the front door, everything was tricked out. The door sort of opened by itself, and then as you took one step, the lights popped on, as you took another step, classical music started blaring. I looked in the hallway, and it was Venetian plaster. My dad was a carpenter, I have a theater degree, I know lots about construction. Venetian plaster is so expensive and so hard to do, and I’m like, There’s Venetian plaster in the entryway? What the hell is this? As I walked out into the main room, it was a giant open cavern of a barn, and you could see on the second floor, which was almost a courtyard overlooking the living room and dance floor, that there were five bedrooms. My first thought was, This guy’s divorced, and my friend didn’t tell me. There must be several children that come visit this house on the weekend. The dining room table literally sat like over 20 people, and the deck all around the house had to have like 50 chairs on it. “Are you married?” “No.” “Are you divorced? Do you have kids that come here, and their mom’s pissed off that you got this house in the breakup?” “No.” “So you live here by yourself?” “Yes.” I’m like, “Ohmygod, this is like an AssCastle… and I’m the Ass, aren’t I?” He just looked at me too long, and then said, “Welcome.” [Laughs] Like, “Yes, you are the ass in this scenario. Which maybe would have been a compliment if I was 25, but I was gettin’ really close to 35, so no, I don’t want to be the Ass anymore. I have been waiting to do this talk show since. Here I am, married and three kids later, so I have just enough distance from it. I didn’t want to throw women under the bus and teach guys how to trick girls. But I thought collectively, if women educated guys a little bit on how we’re gonna take things and how we see them, it’s only gonna help us. Clearly, when you walk into a house where there’s no coffee table because there’s a pool in its place, you know this guy’s not looking for a relationship. But at least if he doesn’t make you feel like s— as he tries to ply your clothes off, then everybody feels better about the fact that they just want to get some tonight. It’s teaching boys what girls see when they walk in.
You could’ve offered a lot more advice, but you focused on the swimsuit collection. Why?
What we couldn’t fit into the 5-minute video [above] is that this guy started off saying that he really wanted to find ‘the one.’ There is no evidence that he’s looking for one. I started trying to convince him in more of the conversation: “Why do you want one? Do you want one because you’re at that age and you think you’re supposed to, or ’cause that’s what your friends are doing? Or do you think that’s gonna help you get laid by saying you’re looking for the one? I think it’s kinda hotter if you say where you are.” So while we were sitting there by the fireplace, he finally says, “Yeah, my life’s great!” I said, “Your life is great, and so is your AssCastle. When you want one, you have to move.” Nothing about this house will ever invite a woman to live here. The kitchen is really smaller than the bathroom, significantly smaller than his closet.
Is a TV show still the ultimate goal?
Call me crazy, I think it’s right up there with Chelsea Lately. I love Chelsea. I started my career on Loveline. This feels like Diane Farr from Loveline all grown up. This is what I would like to share with single men. So we’ll see. This is the teaser for what I would imagine the show to be. [She expects the second AssCastles to post on Funny or Die in a few weeks.]
Speaking as someone who’s never been inside an AssCastle, it’s fascinating.
I wish I could take you on a tour. Maybe if this all goes terrifically well, the tour buses in LA will just go from AssCastle to AssCastle eventually. The first week I moved to LA, I made out with this fantastically beautiful soap opera actor, and he lived at the top of a hill. I didn’t know my way around the hills yet. The edge of the property felt like you could fall into Purgatory. I really felt like I could fall off of earth there. It was so dangerous and scary and it was so dark, and there was alcohol everywhere. I wake up in the morning with like six other girls who are camped out through the living room, and I shook the guy. “How do I get out of here?” And he goes, “Just drive down.” And rolled over. [Laughs] It was really all about the nighttime portion of this event, there was no love for me in the morning. [Laughs] That was my introduction to AssCastles, but at the time, I was thrilled to be in the soap opera actors house. Whatever.
Tell me about why you created AssCastles.com.
I thought it would be wonderful if women would use their cellphones and take pictures of things that they found egregious when they hook up with guys. There’s a page on the site [“help someone”] where people can send in cellphone photos, in real-time, when they get to an AssCastle. I got the first one from a friend of mine a few days ago. She said, “I think this will work for your site,” and it’s literally a giant chandelier penis. I asked, “Is the guy famous?” She’s like, “No, he’s not even famous. The house wasn’t even nice, but this was the centerpiece of the room.” I told her, “Unless he’s getting a lot of ass, he’s gonna realize you sent it in.” And she said, “Oh, I don’t care. He needs to be schooled so badly. Just put it up on the damn site.” So if women want to send in photos, or guys want to send in photos like, “Is this bad?”, that’s what I’m here for. I’m here to let them know.