They might be sitcom sweethearts, but when it came to playing enemies in their new pic “A.C.O.D.,” Adam Scott and Amy Poehler had no problem dropping the niceties.
“At first it felt kind of weird,” said Poehler at the L.A. preem Sept. 26, who plays Scott’s character’s “prickly” stepmother, who’s just one year his senior. “But then it was amazing how easy it was to hate Adam.”
For Scott, a departure from the usual tenderness he shares with his “Parks & Recreation” bride was sinister and refreshing fun.
“On the show, all we do is make googly eyes at each other, and then here we were, all of a sudden, hating each other’s guts – I mean, hating each other so, so hard,” he said.
“[The dynamic between Poehler and Scott] is actually one of the more delightful elements of this movie,” said Ben Karlin, who produced and co-wrote the pic. “We thought it would be fun to put a spin on that relationship — for the geeks.”
“A.C.O.D.” is helmed by Stu Zicherman, a first-time director who also penned the script with Karlin. As childhood best friends who endured the trials and tribulations of their parents’ divorces together, Zicherman and Karlin drew much of the film’s story from their own experiences.
“This was the dream movie for us to write together,” Zicherman said. The pair started putting the script together in 2001 as a side project when Karlin moved to New York to work as a writer on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.”
“Let’s put it this way: I was single when we started writing,” Karlin said. “And then I got married, and then I got divorced, all in the course of making this movie. I have a longer relationship with the movie than anything else in my life.”
Zicherman told the audience before the screening that he wanted to make a film that shook away the taboo and sobriety that the topic of divorce carries thanks to pics like “Kramer v. Kramer.”
“My parents’ divorce was at times sad and tragic, but it was also weird and funny and irreverent,” he said. “I remember at one point, a year after my dad moved out, my mom sat me down, very serious, and looked me in they eye and said, ‘Listen: tonight, I’m going on a date with a black man.’”
And what better way to bring in that levity than a cast of comics with a proven rapport on and off screen? Poehler said there was quick camaraderie among the cast — several of whom had worked together in the past. Poehler found a special relationship with one cast member in particular.
“Catherine O’Hara is an idol of mine, and now I’ve forced her to be my friend,” she joked. “I have her email. That’s why I did this movie — to get Catherine O’Hara’s email.”
She later added that Jenkins and O’Hara were fun and loose on set. How loose, you ask? Scott filled in the blanks: “On my birthday, we were staying at a Motel 6 in the middle of nowhere in Georgia. So Catherine, Poehler, Clark and [Ken Howard] and I sat in the lobby of this Motel 6 drinking margaritas that Catherine had made in the coffeemaker of her little motel room, and just got quietly drunk.”
When pressed to find out what happens when that cohort gets drunk in the middle of nowhere, Scott was quick to quip: “Orgy, of course.”
Post-preem, A.C.O.D.s and non-A.C.O.D.s alike dashed up Westwood Blvd. to the W Hotel for libations and confab.