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The Man Who Should Play Kafka: Jason Schwartzman Cornered the Market on Anxiety-Riddled Authors

"Listen Up Philip" Portraits - 2014 Sundance Film Festival

No, we have no idea if anyone is planning a new movie about Franz Kafka, but we know that, should that project ever take off—and it should—the Hollywood actor most likely to carry the role is Jason Schwartzman.

He’s just been interviewed by Salon, and if you liked Jonathan Ames in “Bored to Death, ” Jack in “The Darjeeling Limited, ” to Philip Lewis Friedman in “Listen Up Philip, ” Schwartzman has mastered the lonely, insecure writer guy.

Here’s one quote, go read the whole thing here: Jason Schwartzman on why he keeps playing neurotic authors.

What I think was fun about the writers I’ve played is they’re sort of different. In the Jonathan Ames character, and I just realized I play a writer in “The Darjeeling Limited” as well, they slide into the writer who is struggling to write and have success. Those guys would be jealous of Philip. His book was published and well-regarded. It was a minor hit, which is really a big hit. In the movie, we don’t really have any scenes of him going, “What am I gonna write about?” I think that’s an interesting choice. Instead of being a writer who can’t find anything to write about, he’s probably going through a notebook a week, full of stuff that’s maybe good or bad. But he’s seriously going at it. I know Jonathan Ames, not only know him, but he’s one of my closest, best friends in the world. The amount of alone time that a writer must endure is clearly different than acting or music. You can say, “I’m in a band but I write all these songs alone, ” but at a certain point you’re probably going to go tour. If you’re a writer, sometimes they’ll go tour but it’s pretty lonely. Paul Auster had some line, and I’m paraphrasing, “Every great work of art is the result of someone’s solitude.” Jonathan Ames told me that quote, I think.



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