TCA Interview: Adam Brody on StartUp

Adam Brody starts on the new Crackle original series StartUp. He plays Nick Talman, an entrepreneur with a problem. His father’s in trouble and he wants Nick to launder some money for him. Nick sees an opportunity in the online currency pitch Izzy Morales (Otmara Marrero) makes at his office, and he offers to go in with her. Then Haitian gangster Ronald Dacey (Edi Gathegi) gets wind of it and muscles in.

Brody attended a Crackle reception for the Television Critics Association to talk about the new show from Crackle, Sony’s streaming service. The first season of StartUp is now streaming on Crackle.

Adam Brody a the premiere of Crackle's original series StartUp

Adam Brody a the premiere of Crackle’s original series StartUp

Do you consider yourself an entrepreneur, because acting is kind of like selling a product?

Adam Brody: No, I do think acting is, I don’t consider it sales but you are self-employed, sort of. I do consider it contract. I do feel like it’s great work if you can get it and I’m very lucky to have it. It’s just in that sense, I do feel occasionally like it takes some confidence. No to say that actors have to be confident because obviously they’re equal parts insecure. But still, it does take some confidence to not know where your next job comes from and push ahead. I’m not trying to say that being an actor, let alone a gainfully employed one, is any act of bravery. Don’t get me wrong. Which is to say, am I an entrepreneur? No. When I think of an entrepreneur, I think of someone who’s exploiting a need, and I don’t mean this in a negative sense. Somebody who’s thinking in units. No, I mean, I’m sure entrepreneurialship can be considered an art form all its own and I’m sure there are a lot of crossover ways of thinking about it, but no, I think acting is still a little more, in the most generic sense, artistic.

Were you looking for another series or did you have any hesitation about signing on for another one?

Adam Brody: Yeah, I mean, I was looking for a job. In terms of just series and what have you, or movies or bigger series, it couldn’t get better in terms of me and scheduling. I think most actors I know feel the same way. 10 a season is a dream schedule because you want to get to know a character. You want to get to know the people you work with and work on something for a long time with some people and go deeper, and just know that you’re steadily employed somewhere. At the same time, we shot this season in four months. That was a lot of work, but at the same time, it wasn’t nine months. It’s perfect. So was I looking to do a series? Sure. I wasn’t not looking to do a series.

Adam Brody and Wayne Knight in StartUp (Photo: Francisco Roman/Crackle)

Adam Brody and Wayne Knight in StartUp (Photo: Francisco Roman/Crackle)

Did it have to be something very different from everything else you’ve done?

Adam Brody: Yeah, I take all that into consideration. I think it’s always a balance. You want to branch out and then at the same time, it’s not that you always want to be right in your comfort zone but you want to do what you do well. You want to challenge yourself and yet you want to deliver something that you know you can deliver well and are comfortable at and enjoy doing. For me, that fits this character a bit. On one hand, I would say that certainly my most well-known character is from The O.C. and I definitely thought a little bit, “Is this character too similar?” but the world is so different, the tone is so different, therefore the character just ends up being so different. Quite honestly, I’m so different because I’m a much older person now, relatively speaking.

Did you have to research the technology of the show?

Adam Brody: I did the best I could on short notice. Even so, I’d be lying if I said that I know nearly as much as I should about it, but I think we all feel that way a little bit.

Are you tech savvy?

Adam Brody: No, no, I’m not. I’m really not. I’ve got no one to blame but myself for that. For whatever reason, I’ll become very obsessed with whatever I’m into and whatever I’m doing. Then everything else, I do as little of as possible. Sometimes to my detriment. Am I tech savvy? No, and I’ve gotten by with as little of it as I can. When it becomes a big enough problem, I learn how to print something. I don’t have Twitter and I know I probably can’t plan on doing that my whole life, but so far it’s worked out.

Isn’t it necessary in your business now when they measure actors by how big their followings are?

Adam Brody: I don’t know. If I’ve lost a job because of it, I don’t know that. It certainly didn’t get back to me. I’ll probably do it as some point. It’s a good promotional tool but I’ve gotten by without it. It’s not my passion.

Edi Gathegi, Adam Brody and Otmara Marrero in StartUp on Crackle (Photo: Francisco Roman/Crackle))

Edi Gathegi, Adam Brody and Otmara Marrero in StartUp on Crackle (Photo: Francisco Roman/Crackle))

Can Nick ever get the upper hand on Ronald?

Adam Brody: Yeah, hopefully we have a lot of seasons to do and I’m sure there’ll be some reversals aplenty. I can’t imagine we can make too much of a show without that happening. Maybe not physically.

What did having The O.C. hit when you were so young do for you psychologically?

Adam Brody: I don’t think it’s necessarily a good or bad thing. I don’t want to sound conceited. It’s not that I wasn’t blindsided. I was certainly surprised at how big that show was but I didn’t feel ill-prepared. And it was a different time. I would now. Actually, in this moment, if I was on something like that, I couldn’t handle it. With social media and the echo chamber, the zeitgeist of it all. But then, it really was a more innocent time. It just wasn’t as big a part of my day to day as it would be for anyone on something like that now. Anyways, regardless, I just also feel like I was young, but I was 23. I was already kind of who I was going to be a little bit. I’ve grown since but I think the foundations were laid and fortunately I feel I have very great parents who were great examples, so it wasn’t bad. It didn’t take me to any dark places. I regret almost nothing from that time period, and at the same time, I can’t say it was a good thing either. Cynically, maybe the only good thing about it cynically, even at the time, a time when I had only started acting four years prior and I was not going the college route, going, “I’m going to do this maybe as a living. Can I make a living at it.” Somewhat strategically and cynically I thought, “Well, I can probably bank off of this forever.” At least just in terms of money. I may not get to do what I want but it buys me some sense of financial security in terms of going forward I feel more comfortable not going to college because I can probably trade off this for a while.

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