June 21st, 2010 by thetvchick
Party Down has its last episode 2nd season this week, and what a great season it has been. The season finale guest stars Jane Lynch (who is back, and getting married), and if you haven’t been watching, you really should be! It is a testament to the show that Jane Lynch came back for an episode and most of the actors stayed from season 1. Party Down centers around a catering company of the same name where none of the employees really want to be there. There’s the requisite terrible boss (played by Ken Marino) and the love interests (played by Adam Scott and Lizzy Caplan), the huge sci-fi nerd/wannabee writer (played by Martin Starr), the wannabee actor (played by Ryan Hansen) and of course the stage mom (played by Megan Mullally). I think it is one of the funniest, most clever shows on television that deserves a ton more praise and attention. I recently had the chance to chat with Martin Starr (who plays Roman) about the show, his character and even how far he would go for a season three. After teasing me about The TV Chick (and thinking it was/should be The TV Chic), we proceeded to chat about Party Down. There are many rumors going around because so many of the cast have moved on that there might not be another season, but according to Martin, it’s definitely still a possibility. I also have to warn you that while I did edit a lot of this interview down, it is pretty dirty (and awesome).
What originally drew you to the part of Roman?
I wish there was a more complicated answer that I just received a phone call that I had an offer from a TV show that I knew nothing about but that Paul Rudd was producing, and I said “I guess so. Tentatively yes, I would do it. But I’ll read the script first, I suppose.” So I read it, and of course I loved it.
Are you similar to Roman at all? Do you love sci-fi quite as much as he does?
No. (laughs) That will be a disappointment to all of our sci-fi fans I suppose. Although I kind of doubt that we have a massive sci-fi fan base. I don’t know, I don’t really watch that much TV. I love Star Trek, the original with Shatner and all those guys. I used to watch that growing up on TV Land or Nick at Nite, and that was awesome. Actually I think it was just on regular TV late at night before TV Land and Nick at Nite started.
I feel like it was on UPN or something. [Ed Note: This was a total guess]
Yeah, UPN 13.
If you don’t like sci-fi as much as Roman does, how are you like or unlike him?
Hopefully I’m not as grumpy (laughs) and unhappy and sadistic as he is. I hope!
I’m sure you’re not!
Well, you don’t know me yet.
That’s true. Maybe by the end of this conversation, I will think the opposite. I don’t know.
You will now know the real me.
Do you have any personal experiences or know anyone that you draw from to portray Roman? When I spoke with Ryan Hansen, he didn’t name names of course, but he said he did know a lot of the Party Down types.
You mean like the producers he used to go to the bathroom with to get parts from?
Is that what you mean?
Ryan definitely used to do that. He’s told me crazy stories about San Diego all the fun stuff that happens on B movie sets. Just joking around!
Have you ever had a catering job? Or do you have a job that was your least favorite?
I wish. I wish I had. I actually always wanted to. I still want to. That’s going to sound so (laughs) — I feel like ignorant for me to say this — but I really want to work in a service industry job, because I feel like you gain a lot of respect for people with patience, once you have to deal with 100 morons a day. I feel like I know so many people that don’t have enough respect for people who take care of them. You know?
It’s just the general idea of respecting the people around you, in your environment. The fact that those people, who you may be disrespecting in small ways in your eyes, have the power to shit in your food. So just based on the fact that I don’t want feces in what I wind up putting in my body, I would like to show respect to all the people are kind enough to take care of whatever needs I have at an establishment that I dine at.
Well, that’s a good thing. (laughs)
(laughs) But the worst job I ever had was as a barista. And that wasn’t bad at all. I actually really enjoyed it, and I wanted to keep working there and they just didn’t hire me on.
Well that’s a service industry.
Yeah, I got to do it for one day. I worked behind the counter, because I didn’t have that much experience. So I just learned how to make all the things that needed to be made — frappachinos and all that jazz.
And have you ever had a boss anything like Ron?
Meaning just a complete moron?
I don’t think so. Not that I can recall. I mean, I’m very fortunate in the fact that except for being a barista and stapling newsletters for my mom’s business when I was a kid, the only job that I’ve had have involved this.
Well that’s good.
I don’t know if it’s good. I feel like I’ve missed out on a lot of experiences. I mean, you talk to Adam Scott [Martin's co-star on Party Down] and he’s such a bitter, unhappy human being, but in such a funny way, and it’s because he had so many horrible jobs. But I just wish I could be that bitter and unhappy and sarcastic constantly, but I’m just not capable. I’m just so happy all the time. [Ed Note: He is certainly capable of the sarcasm. Ha!]
It sure sounds like it!
(laughs) Yeah! Yeah! I hope whoever reads that understands that that was a joke.
I will make sure that it is well translated on paper.
(laughs) Just to throw it out there, Adam Scott is a total asshole.
Good to know!
There’s no sarcasm. Please don’t write any sarcasm. I think Adam would be disappointed if he didn’t read that in an interview.
I will make sure that there will be no sarcasm written in. [Said sarcastically]
(laughs) Thank you. Every time we have mass e-mails, where we all — we’re really a tight knit cast, I feel like that’s one of the beautiful things about this show. You can really see the chemistry. We’re such a good, fun group together. We really enjoy each other’s company. So every time an email goes out to everybody, Adam feels the need to single me out after he responds to the email itself and say “Oh yeah, and [expletive] you Martin.”
That kind of happens after every email. And I’m sure it won’t stop now.
Well I hope you write back and say the same thing to Adam. (laughs)
No, no. I write back: “Thank you for the ego boost. I appreciate your friendship. Love, Martin.
Well you take the high road.
And then I draw in letters — it’s really complicated — but I draw in letters, a hand flicking off Adam.
Awesome. Back to the show, one of my favorite moments from this current season is when you dressed up as Jackal O’Nassis. So I wanted to know if you had a favorite moment from filming the show so far or a favorite episode.
There was one take where I flashed everybody and they cut it out, but that was probably my favorite moment.
(laughs) What about dressing up as Jackal O’Nassis. What was it like doing that?
That’s actually when that happened, when they cut it out. I don’t know what my favorite moment is from the show. Every day is so much fucking fun. We came to work on days that we didn’t work. That’s how much fun it was. And people don’t do that. Especially people with a wife and kids, you know. Not talking on my behalf, but everyone else pretty much is married, and they would come in on their days off.
The show has gotten some really great guest stars so far. Do you have a favorite that you’ve worked with or a dream guest star who you want to see appear on the show?
Oh there’s so many people that I want. There was kind of a — it didn’t end up happening, I forget what part it was for — but they had sent out an offer to Gary Oldman. And I just thought holy fucking shit, how amazing that would have been to have Gary Oldman on our show. I mean, I feel like someone had some connection to him, and that’s why we thought it might actually happen, but you know, there’s no way Gary Oldman’s going to come and do TV anyway. He doesn’t really do anything except sweet movies.
You never know!
Yeah, that’s what we daydreamed about when we heard that they had sent an offer to him. I really love Stephen Weber, and that was from the first season. We’ve got so many great guest stars on this season and last season, that it’s hard to pick one out, because every episode is really filled out with great actors. And the show would not at all be what it is if it weren’t for them.
Right. And a recent episode was with Steve Guttenberg, where Roman reads his screenplay out loud. What was it like filming that episode?
That was really fun. He was really interesting to meet him, especially after seeing all the movies he did in the 80s and then none of the ones he did in the 90s. Just joking around! But he was such a sweet guy. I saw him when I went back to New York, a few months after, and hung out with him, which I didn’t expect to happen. He’s a genuinely sweet guy. He’s so much like the character that he plays on the show. He really just kind of is that really nice, uplifting, supportive person. He’s a really great guy — really a giving actor, too. I don’t know what I’d expect from him, but there was no ego at all.
That’s good to hear. He was really great in that episode. There’s always rumors floating around — since Adam Scott is now on Parks & Recreation — that no one is sure about a season 3 of Party Down. I obviously would love to see it, and of course, I’m sure you would too. But have you heard anything about a possible season 3?
[Ed Note: Martin talked about the lengths he (and Adam Scott) would go to get a season 3. I'm not going to publish what he said, but take my word for it, it was hilarious. He did mention that if there is a season 3, Adam would be on for three episodes. The rest was too dirty to post.]
Do you think the show is coming back?
I don’t have any idea. I have my suspicions about what’s happening, and I’m not happy with how long this is all taking, which is definitely not a good sign. Though was haven’t heard at this point. But I still keep my hopes high, and my expectations low. And if we got the opportunity to do a third season, that would be just incredible, and I feel like we would pick up once again where we left off. And just keep rolling with maybe a couple new people and see what we had to do to fill out the cast again. But we have the majority of the people. And then if we didn’t get the go, I don’t know. They’ve thrown around the idea of doing a Party Down movie, which would kind of be a big thing. But I don’t know what the odds of that happening are either.
That sounds pretty great. And Jane Lynch left at the beginning of the first season, and she was such a presence. But I feel like Megan Mullally filled her shoes really well. So I think the show gives the opportunity to bring in new people if needed.
Oh yeah. I mean the show is set up [that way]. Initially on the first season, the show was set up so that all of us could leave. Because they didn’t expect any of us to actually be able to come back. Because they had hired such a great cast and they didn’t have anyone signed on for another year. So they figured, well, if everyone starts working, then we can always get new people and just make up reasons why they all had to leave, which they kind of set up at the end of the first season.
Right, right. I obviously love the show. I’m sold…
I don’t believe it. I don’t believe it.
(laughs) But what would you tell viewers as to why they should tune in?
Because they’ll laugh til they puke out their ass. Is that allowed on your website?
I think puke is nothing compared to what you said thus far.
(laughs) What are you talking about? Puke is like the foulest word ever. Fucking watch it, you idiots!
Good good! I’ve already told others to watch.
I was giving you a title for your article!
Of course! Fucking watch, you idiots. I love it! It’s great!
By Martin Starr.
(laughs) I would be a great marketing person, I think.
I agree. I don’t think they’d censor you at all.
They would be like: Run it to copy! Or whatever they say!
I would have it up on billboards across New York: Fucking watch it, you idiots!
Exactly. Although I have seen Party Down billboards all over New York. They don’t say that though…and I just want to know if you have any other projects coming up in the interim?
So much stuff happening. It looks like I’m going to do something on The League, the FX show with just a great cast and great writing. To me, it’s like in the same vein as Party Down, just a lot of fun, and it seems like they’re having a great time there. I’m going to do a little bit of that. Otherwise, I’m writing and trying to figure out how I want my life and my career to go as a whole.
Well I think it’s going in a good direction.
Yeah, I feel really good about it, but I’m a rather picky person and I feel lucky enough that so far it looks like I’ve mapped out a great game plan, when really I’ve just gotten really fortunate with the opportunities that I’ve had and I don’t want to let myself down and not continue on this path.
Be sure to watch Martin on the finale of Party Down this Friday at 10 pm on Starz.Tweet