With the quick wits of THE SKELETON TWINS stars Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader in play, it was perhaps inevitable that our interview on May 1, 2014 occasionally dissolved into laughter and fol-de-rol. Along with director and co-writer Craig Johnson, they regaled me with a sharp stream-of-consciousness humor along with some equally sharp observations about the nature of humor, the extra pressure Hader puts on himself when doing drama, and those unexpectedly intense moments that come from doing an indie film of enormous emotional power, moments that can leave some members of the film crew in tears.
For Johnson, it was a chance to reunite with college pal Mark Heyman, and make the film they’d written so many years ago. That it went on to win the Waldo Salt Writing Award at the Sundance Film Festival this year was all the more sweet when, as he recounted, the first drafts of this script failed to qualify for that institute’s writing program.
The three went on to discuss the pleasures and perils of filming underwater, lip-synching to 80s pop with a free-hand for improvisation, and why film crews on northern-produced films all seem to come from the south.