All the work that went into writing, starring in and making his directorial debut with Dean is paying off for Demetri Martin.
The 42-year-old former Daily Show correspondent and comic has found himself the topic of conversation after his movie, which had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival this month and won its top prize, has also found a distributor in CBS Films.
For his first feature, Martin had a few options from which to choose — all his own scripts, as he tells EW. With all his success with Dean, where he plays opposite Kevin Kline as a father and son navigating similar life crises, it appears he made the right decision.
“[The other scripts] were more kind of concept-y, and this one was grounded, a little bit more in reality,” Martin says. “So I thought, ‘Oh, if I’m going to try to direct for the first time maybe I’ll pick one that takes place in the regular world rather than try and make up a world.'” Admitting Dean is a stretch because it’s more “dramedy than straight up comedy,” he knew key to the movie working would be the performances. “I tried to be really careful in casting to find people who I thought could do this kind of a comedy.”
Those people, in addition to Oscar winner Kline, include Mary Steenburgen and Gillian Jacobs (Community), who play love interests to the men.
“A lot of times the female parts in movies like this are kind of one-dimensional — you’re there to sort of make the guy feel better about himself or you’re the manic pixie dream girl or whatever,” Jacobs explains. “But I felt like Demetri had actually written a three-dimensional character who had her own complexity and her own struggles. So I think when I saw that, and also just knowing his work and being a fan of his work previously, I was like, ‘Yeah, this sounds fun.'”
Dean also stars Reid Scott (Veep), who joined EW, along with Martin and Jacobs, to talk about the movie. Watch those interviews above.