Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie made its New York City premiere at Nitehawk on Wednesday night, which gave Hatched the chance to flag the dapper duo down for a few questions before they introduced the film. Aside from revealing that Kris and Tim share an affinity for J. Crew, we touched on writing the script, how the film’s non-comic actors feel playing out such bizarre scenarios and we shed some light on the pair’s other film, The Comedy, the Rick Alverson directed drama that was filmed in Williamsburg.
Hatched: So, are you guys doing a tour with the movie right now?
Eric Wareheim: Yeah, we’re doing special appearance screenings; San Francisco, Austin, Chicago, Philly, Atlanta and New York.
H: So this is your last stop?
EW: Yes. Tomorrow we’re showing it in Manhattan at the Sunshine, but this is like our–
[Tim touches his coat sleeve up to my own]
Tim Heidecker: Can we touch base before you–Are we wearing the same coat?
H: Is this the exact same jacket?
TH: Yeah, is it J. Crew?
[Tim and I open jackets to inspect labels]
H: Yeah! Holy shit, that’s awesome.
TH: Wow, that’s really great.
H: Alright, um, anyway, when I was watching the movie I wondered what made you guys decide to keep the movie a wholly separate entity from what you’ve done before?
EW: I wanted it to be an experience that aren’t “Awesome Show” devotees that they could enjoy, you know? We didn’t want to rely on those characters and we tried to come up with a whole new thing.
H: You didn’t want it to be a bunch of in-jokes and winks?
TH: Yeah, we didn’t want it to be that you had to be a fan of the [show] to love, so that was just an early choice and we stuck with it.
EW: It’s still, if you know any of our old work, it’s still a very Tim and Eric experience, it’s just the characters are different.
H: When you guys were writing the movie, did you set rules or parameters for yourselves when you were writing it? I read that when you were doing “Awesome Show” that you set specific rules for yourselves.
EW: It was more about the whole overall production. Because it was such a big shoot, we couldn’t go and improvise as much as we wanted to and have the freedom that we did with “Awesome Show,” we had to make it more like a movie, there had to be a story there.
H: When you guys are working with non-comic actors, like Ray Wise, in the movie do you ever have to urge them or convince them to do some of your more extreme ideas? Basically was Ray Wise fine with the Shrim?
EW: He got the script. I mean, he was Leland Palmer, come on!
TH: The only thing we ever need to tell them is to play it more straight. Because when we’re doing comedy–you know, it’s always, “You don’t have to do the comedy, we’ll take care of that.”
H: I wanted to talk about The Comedy, the other movie that you guys did from Sundance.
H: The only thing I could really find out about it was that it was filmed around here, and the only clip I could find of it was you guys being jerks in the back of a cab [The movie also features LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy, the clip in question can be found here. – ed.]. So what’s the premise for that movie?
TH: Well the premise for that movie is about some sort of mid-thirties, trust fund kind of guys–you know, hipsters in Williamsburg. It’s sort of like a modern-day, without the violence, Clockwork Orange. It’s just this gang of horrible people. It’s really beautiful, it’s just a beautifully made film, it’s really quiet and sort of strange and dark.
H: I guess that’s our time, nice job with your jacket.
TH: If I ever lose mine I’ll know who to come to.
Honestly, looking at the picture, I think I own the shirt that he’s wearing too.
Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie will be playing again at Nitehawk at Midnight on March 8, 9 and 10.