Patton Oswalt on his most memorable roles and giving life advice:
Adam Rifkin stashed this in @pattonoswalt
I love the story of how he became "Delmer Darion" in Magnolia (1999):
Delmer Darion. God. I was doing a show one night, and I went back in the kitchen and was hanging out, and Paul Thomas Anderson was there. We were just talking, and he was like, “I’m doing this movie if you want a part in it.” I said, “Yeah, sure.” So they called me the next day and said I needed to come in to be fitted for a wetsuit. I said, “Can I see the screenplay first?” And they were like, “Nope.” So I went in and got this custom wetsuit made, and they gave me two pages of the script and flew me to Reno.
We shot this scene and then hung out all night drinking. And a week later, we were shooting and I was in the wetsuit. It was so hot to the point where I wasn’t even sweating anymore. And Paul was dumping bottles of water on my head to keep me from passing out and I was like, “Paul, what are we doing?” He said, “I can’t say right now, but I’ll just say that you are the first frog that falls out of the sky.” And I went, “Okay.” So that’s what working with PTA is like.
This A.V. Club article is awesome.
On page 2 Patton talks about "King of Queens".
And he also talks about "Ratatouille":
They had a lot of different people read for that role. And Brad Bird was driving around one night listening to satellite radio, listening to a comedy station and they played a cut from my first album. So he took the track in to Pixar, and they did a pencil test of Remy doing that bit. And they brought me up, and I was a bit of a foodie at the time so we bonded about how chefs work and how restaurants work. We really got along. We’re still friends. I see him all the time because we share all the same interests.
I thought I was going to read for one of the random rats. It took me a day to realize that they were having me read for the main guy. Then the next day, I got a call from my manager saying, “They’re making you the lead.” That was in 2005, and it came out in 2007. And I wanted to surprise my fiancée, so I didn’t tell her what I was doing until they sent me a copy of the trailer. Brad and his wife took us out to dinner and my fiancée was still pitching to Brad, like, “He would be really great for this movie.” So I had to tell her I was the lead.
His description of playing Nurse Jackie in "Community" is also excellent:
I had known [series creator] Dan Harmon for a while, and I’ve always been a fan of his writing. Back when he had a MySpace blog, his blog was 10 times more entertaining than most shows. He would wrestle with his life in a hilarious way. And it was just a MySpace blog, for Christ sakes. Community and Louie were on at the same time. And Louie was a perfect documentary of how life in New York was in 2001, and Community was a perfect snapshot of life on the West Coast, especially L.A., in 2011.
In Louie the world is just assaulting him and breaking into his person bubble constantly. And Community is about people sealed in their own post-ironic pop-culture bubbles and trying desperately to reach each other. Dan is oftentimes sealed in a bubble of references and irony and postmodernism. To see the humanity in that is a really hard thing to do, bringing humanity to those characters. And when he wrote the character for me — if you look at his nametag, his name is Nurse Jackie — I got to be another part of Dan Harmon’s amazing gallery of over-reaching C-minus people. [Laughs.]
It’s totally a pop-culture reference, but it also gets to the heart of this guy’s tragedy. He does sort of see himself as past the expiration date. Everyone else on that show has so much more import. But these are all very damaged people trying to reach out to each other. That’s why [Dan Harmon’s] Community was so amazing week after week. They would do these very complex constructs and time streams—the claymation episode, the videogame episode—and get a human arc in each one of them. It was kind of beautiful.
Patton Oswalt is a true American gem. I'd love to see him in more movies and shows.