And like the Duplass Brothers, Ry Russo-Young and Lynn Shelton before him (other close-knit filmmakers loosely lumped together under the "mumblecore" umbrella), Swanberg has finally gone mainstream. Again, not quite...but while the Duplass Brothers have made two comedies for Fox Searchlight with actors like Jonah Hill and Jason Segel, Shelton has worked with Emily Blunt and Rosemarie DeWitt, and Russo-Young has also made Hollywood inroads, while Swanberg had seemingly resisted. Or at least the filmmaker was content to keep churning out picture after picture.
But his latest, "Drinking Buddies," a comedy set within the world of craft beer (one of Swanberg's passion and hobbies), stars real quote unquote actors. Starring Olivia Wilde and Jake Johnson, with Ron Livingston and Anna Kendrick in supporting roles, it's quite the cast (there's also cameos by Jason Sudeikis, Ti West and Swanberg himself). And by all accounts from its recent debut at SXSW 2013, Swanberg's turned a corner with his best film to date. Our review called the picture a "loose, low-key relationship comedy with potent chemistry between the film's leads."
Playlist contrib Kristin McCracken sat down with Swanberg to discuss his biggest-budget film to date, his stellar cast and how his filmmaking process has changed (or not changed) as he's moving on up. "Drinking Buddies" isn't set for a U.S. release yet, but it should only be a few short weeks before we find out who will be distributing it stateside. Check out the interview below.
Joe Swanberg says two key influences for "Drinking Buddies" are Paul Mazursky's "Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice" and "The Heartbreak Kid" by Elaine May.