Most Likely To Murder SXSW Interview with Dan Gregor, Adam Pally, Rachel Bloom, and Doug Mand
My most anticipated film to premiere at the 2018 SXSW Film Festival was Most Likely to Murder. The comedic murder mystery is directed and co-written by Dan Gregor. The reason why I was so excited about the film is that I am a big fan of Adam Pally as well as Rachel Bloom. Pally has been in several films over the years including Band-Aid and Night Owls as well as several hilarious and underrated television shows such as Happy Endings and Making History. Bloom, who I think is easily one of the funniest women working today, may not have as big of a role in this film as I would have hoped for but considering how much I adore Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, I wanted to support her as well as her husband, Dan Gregor.
The day after the film’s premiere at SXSW, I had the great pleasure of sitting down for a small roundtable interview with Dan Gregor, Doug Mand, Rachel Bloom, Adam Pally, and a few other members of the cast and crew. These are the three questions that I asked during the interview as well as the responses from the cast.
Scott Menzel: Where did this idea come from?
Dan Gregor: Well, you know we were super obsessed with Thanksgiving weekend. That weekend, the sort of night before Thanksgiving when everyone goes back to their hometown and gets super fucked up at the local bar and you see all your high school acquaintances. Where you are talking to your friends and say remember that guy, “oh my god, he’s so fucking weird.” And that weekend is just so loaded because it’s filled with this nostalgia that you’re like hit with but it evaporates right again and you kind of can’t hold on to it. We kind of became obsessed with that feeling and wanted to tell a story around that.
Doug Mand: It’s also a time when you’re also looking at yourself and you’re like, am I the person that I thought I was going to be when I came back in 15 years. So you’re judging yourself and everyone around you. And also it’s something about going back home and being in your old childhood room and just living within that nostalgia. You’re immediately going back to your 14-year-old self. So we were definitely interested in that and also we’re obviously very interested in fans on Hitchcock and thrillers and noirs and we kind of wanted to take the regular coming home for the holiday tropes and put it against a noir-like mystery. So that’s where it came from.
Scott Menzel: Where did the Ace Ventura references come from?
Adam Pally: That’s just a love of one of the greatest film franchises of all time. I’m glad that we got to showcase that a little bit. I love those movies, 1 and 2.
Scott Menzel: How can you not? Is it just those films or all of Jim Carrey’s work?
Adam Pally: Doug and I especially have gone through Jim Carrey’s entire catalog over again. And The Cable Guy is I think my number 1 favorite movie, which this movie reminds me of in a lot of ways in tone and the way it looks.
Dan Gregor: The feeling of one character who is saying something true but everyone is like, you’re fucking crazy. You’re being an asshole.
Adam Pally: Yeah, the isolation of Matthew Broderick in Cable Guy is very similar to that. But Ace Ventura 1 and 2, that’s like core comedy for us.
Doug Mand: That is the poster that would’ve been on our wall.
Adam Pally: I think I have that poster.
Doug Mand: First time that I saw Ace Ventura, I’m like this is the funniest thing I’ve ever seen. It blew my mind.
Dan Gregor: That was the prop of the entire production.
Doug Mand: We did not have a lot of money and we were like, that is an important thing. We want that.
Dan Gregor: We spent our entire prop budget on that one poster. And everything else we got from a goodwill. Yeah, no, we knew how important it was. Even I think we kept improvising more and more Ace Ventura jokes and I think they are all in the movie.
Adam Pally: Yeah.
Dan Gregor: We didn’t cut a single one.
Doug Mand: It’s very satisfying when people laugh at it too.
Adam Pally: Yeah. It is because it is so seminal to our childhood. That movie does a lot of nostalgia and that is the one thing that hits me every time.
Scott Menzel: Rachel, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, I have to ask this because I’m so super excited that the show keeps going and I’ve been a big supporter of it.
Rachel Bloom: Yes, thank you.
Scott Menzel: What are you hoping to do with the show in the next season and the tour which is sold out everywhere. Lastly, are you excited about pitching that as a Broadway or off-Broadway show?
Rachel Bloom: A couple of things. As far as where we’ll take the show, we’re excited to hopefully get renewed because we still haven’t heard. This will be our final season. So I’m really excited to theoretically finish the story. The tour is so exciting. I mean, we had this whole issue with bots buying up tickets that I have never heard of because I’m an old lady. But I’m so excited for the tour. We’ve been prepping for it and all so excited. I work with the best cast in the world because not every cast would travel around the country performing songs for a relatively small amount of money. I mean we’re all doing it for the love of the game and what was your third question?
Scott Menzel: I read on your twitter that you were sort of pitching the show in NYC?
Rachel Bloom: Oh, we’re thinking about a Broadway show. We’re gonna have over 150 original songs by the time the series ends. And so it’s such a built-in idea for a Broadway show. It’s just a matter of what forms does that it take and how do you synthesize four seasons, so it’s something we’re always thinking about and really excited for.
Scott Menzel: Well, thank you, everyone, it was great talking to you all.