Q&A: Writer-director-actor Mark Duplass is a busy guy

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Posted: Feb 25, 2015 11:12 AM
Q&A: Writer-director-actor Mark Duplass is a busy guy

NEW YORK (AP) — Talking to Mark Duplass, you realize that he understands time management. He speaks in sound bites and doesn't linger.

"I'm efficient with the time that I have when I have it," he said in a recent interview.

And he's busy.

Duplass and his older brother Jay are writers and directors of the new HBO series "Togetherness," which Mark stars in. He says it's "a deeply personal show" that reflects what he sees about relationships among his friends.

The siblings recently signed a deal with Netflix to produce four films that will hit the streaming-video service after a short theatrical run.

Mark also stars in "The Lazarus Effect" opposite Olivia Wilde, about researchers trying to bring back the dead, opening in theaters Friday.

Duplass said he was intrigued by the premise that "most horror films are really bad" and also by the movie's director, David Gelb, who made the documentary "Jiro Dreams of Sushi."

"I was like, 'Why is a food documentary filmmaker making a horror movie? This could be interesting.'"

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AP: You do a lot of directing and writing. Is it strange when you're working solely as an actor on a project like "The Lazarus Effect"?

Duplass: There is nothing more rewarding than writing and directing my own films but there's also nothing more exhausting. Just acting in a movie is kind of like the equivalent of being that drunk uncle that shows up and instead of having to parent the kids you just bring the Oreos, you play with the kids for three hours. Then you get to go home and the parents have to put the kids to bed.

AP: How do you feel about working with Netflix?

Duplass: When you have a company like Netflix or HBO or Amazon making independent films, they are huge companies that have a lot of money and they can Robin Hood from their bigger projects to help subsidize these smaller projects. ... I'm really excited about where we're headed now.

AP: Would you and Jay ever want to direct a blockbuster movie?

Duplass: Right now we don't have a desire to make a huge movie. Part of that is because when you're making something that costs that much money you shouldn't be able to do exactly what you want to do because these guys have to make $180 million back. We like our own little corner where it doesn't cost anybody too much money, we don't make anybody that much money, but we get to do what we want to do.

AP: You and Jay have recurring roles on Fox's "The Mindy Project." You're clearly busy so you must enjoy it to make it happen.

Duplass: There's really no reason for me to show up other than the fact that I just love being there and I love hanging around that set. As long as they want to keep having us around, we'll keep doing it. It's fun.

AP: How do you feel about your series "The League" still going strong on FXX?

Duplass: We are about to start our seventh season, which is terrifying. I feel like I just started it 20 minutes ago. ... The guys and I always joke, you know when we first showed up we were all like 28 and we'd spend maybe 30 seconds in the hair-and-makeup chair. Every year we spend a couple more minutes (laughs) filling in the gray hairs, working on the under-the-eye stuff. You can really track how long we've been on the show by how long we spend in that chair.

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Alicia Rancilio covers entertainment for The Associated Press. Follow her online at http://www.twitter.com/aliciar