In Jennifer Westfeldt’s 2001 indie film Kissing Jessica Stein, she examined how looking for love as a single girl in Manhattan can lead you into relationships you never imagined. In her latest film, Friends with Kids, she once again examines an unlikely relationship. We sat down with lead actor Adam Scott to find out his take on the film, friendship, and parenthood.
When this single New Yorker Julie (Westfeldt) and her best friend Jason (Adam Scott) observe that their friends who have started families have lost that loving feeling, they decide to have a baby together as friends. They hope they’ll then find long-term love and happiness with people, besides each other, and get the best of both worlds.
Jennifer is the longtime girlfriend of Mad Men’s Jon Hamm, who also appears in this film. They’ve never married and don’t have kids, but they’ve been together for 15 years and seen many of their coupled friends start to have kids. Adam Scott and his wife were one of those couples. He admits they fell off the map socially when they had their first baby. The dynamics that shift within circles of friends and between lovers when they become parents is one Friends with Kids explores in a way we haven’t seen before on screen.
PPLA: You are friends with Jennifer and John, were any of the couples in the film based on you and your wife?
ADAM: No, it wasn’t anyone specific, I’m not saying it was specifically based on me. I just know I’m one of the many couples in Jon and Jennifer’s life that had kids and in our particular case, we just dropped off completely because we got so busy and were overwhelmed by childrearing. We dropped off the face of the earth for 6 months. But no, I don’t believe I inspired any specific couple or character.
PPLA: What was it about the script that most made you want to work on the film?
ADAM: I was really moved by it because I thought Jennifer really pinpointed what it’s like to have a kid and how it changes you. I was taken aback by it, especially since Jen doesn’t have kids of her own, and I was surprised she really got what it feels like to have kids. It’s a great character, a great role, and I was really thrilled that they wanted me to do it. I wasn’t totally sure why, but was more than happy to oblige.
PPLA: Many people know you from television shows like Party Down and Parks & Rec. How was this set different or similar to those?
ADAM: The set was similar in that it moves pretty quickly. We didn’t have much time to shoot it, just like on TV. With TV, we have about 5 days to make a whole episode and here, we had 25 days to make this whole movie. So it was very similar pace-wise with TV.
PPLA: You once said you often fell like a guest star. Do you still feel the same way? If not, what has changed?
ADAM: I still kind of operate from that mentality. When I got to Hollywood, I didn’t know anybody, so movies and TV was just something I grew up with… thinking it was another world. Even though it’s been 18 years, I still feel that way. I can’t believe I get to be on TV sets and movie sets. I really am excited and thankful that this is my job. Every time a job ends, I’m hoping it’s not my last.
PPLA: Do you prefer working on a TV shows to being on a film set, or perhaps the other way around?
ADAM: I like them both. I watch more TV than anyone I know, so I love making TV, but the same goes for movies. They are becoming more and more similar as the years go by.
PPLA: You’ve become know as a comedy guy. How was it to get a chance to show more emotional range with this part?
ADAM: Comedy, I’ve only been doing primarily for 4 or 5 years. Before that I was on a serious HBO show where I was kind of able to do both, so it was a great opportunity to do Friends with Kids.
Find out more about Friends with Kids.