Besides being a very funny dude, "SNL" alum Bill Hader is a big movie buff, so when MTV News hopped on the phone with him to talk about "The Skeleton Twins," our talk ranged from the state of independent film to the undeniable greatness of "Edge of Tomorrow." Naturally, it was a lot of fun.
MTV: You're reaching the home stretch of promotion for "The Skeleton Twins." It must feel like it's been going on forever.
Bill Hader: [Laughs] Yeah, it's slowly winding down.
MTV: I'm sure at this point you can tell me what my questions will be and just answer them.
Hader: [Laughs] I will say right now that there was not a lot of improvising in the movie. That's what everyone seems to want to know about.
MTV: I can cross that off my list then. With this film, you really ran through the typical, modern indie film arc: going to Sundance, finding a buyer, opening in a limited release. Did the experience change how you see the industry?
Hader: Yeah, in some ways. I go see every type of movie, and the big studio movies tend to be giant spectacles. I was just on a panel with J.C. Chandor, and he put it well. He said, 'Now we're in a place where independent movies and studio movies aren't in competition with each other. They're making different things, which is interesting. I remember in the '90s where a studio was making a film was similar to an independent film. What impresses me are the movies that get made that are really amazing and don't have big names in them.
With "Skeleton Twins," it was just me attached for two years. With just my name, we couldn't raise $1 million. People tend to just look at your name and go, "What does that mean in foreign sales? Has he been in the lead of a movie before?" A lot of that factors in. It wasn't until Kristen signed on that immediately we got the money. It was more of a proven investment, which I get. I'm not bitching about it, which I totally understand. When I see movies like "Whiplash," with J.K. Simmons and Miles Teller as your two leads, and how f-cking amazing that movie was, how well made it was, it's even more impressive.
MTV: I had never been to Sundance before this past year, and it was unbelievably cool seeing movies like "Skeleton Twins" and "Whiplash" debut, see the reactions and watch them go wide.
Hader: It's interesting seeing the kind of release the movies get. Roadside did a great job with "Skeleton Twins," just kind of letting it roll out. It was like an old-school platform release, instead of doing a weird middle ground release. It was a very slow build. It's still playing at the Angelika in New York. It came out in early September. It's crazy. We were just surprised that it was playing in a movie theater. It was on-screen. For us, that's what was so crazy.
MTV: It got projected. It wasn't just a big TV.
Hader: Yeah. I got projected. How the hell did that happened?
MTV: Having gone through his process, could you see yourself doing it again as a writer or director?
Hader: I would like to direct. That's why I moved out to Los Angeles. Acting was a weird alternate path that happened. It was almost out of frustration of making a short film and the short film not being that great. It's so much money. You have no money. That was 10 or 15 years ago that I was Los Angeles making short films. Now, no one really has an excuse. You can get really amazing results with very affordable equipment. When I was trying to do it, we were like, "Oh, we have to shoot this on Super 16." Video looks like sh-t. No one liked video.
Acting and taking classes at Second City was a way to keep creative. I would love to direct something. When I get the chance, I would love to do it. I'm a big believer in taking your time. You just kind of instinctively know when the right time is to do something. Doing "Skeleton Twins," I instinctively knew to do something like this toward the end of my time at "SNL."
MTV: You're a big film fan. What has caught your attention this year?
Hader: You know what movie I liked this year? "Edge of Tomorrow."
MTV: "Edge of Tomorrow" is the best.
Hader: That movie -- I'll be totally honest -- the first time I watched it, I went to see it like "Oh, let's go see it and see a big, dumb movie and enjoy ourselves." This is a classic movie. This is on-par with great sci-fi action movies. I'm watching one of the best action movies. It's so f-cking smart. The "South Park" writers room, we talk about that movie constantly, how just perfect that movie is. Tom Cruise is great in that movie because he's such a little pussy in the beginning. That's how I like Tom Cruise. Yeah, he's Tom Cruise. He's a big movie star, but it's so cool that he plays that kind of part. You're just like, "Oh, this guy's a dick." That's so great. That's so smart.
"The Skeleton Twins" hits Blu-ray and DVD on December 16.