Adam Brody became a household name the playing adorkable Seth Cohen on the hit Fox television show "The O.C." in the early 2000s. Since then, Brody has continued to be quite the working man, appearing in "Jennifer's Body," "Scream 4" and this year's "Some Girls," among several others.
This week, Brody is invading your living room (as well as select theaters) with the VOD release of "Lovelace." He appears as 1970s porn star Harry Reems, acting opposite Amanda Seyfried (who plays the titular Linda) and Peter Sarsgaard (as her husband). Brody's character is necessary comic relief in the film, which centers around the tumultuous, abusive relationship between Lovelace and her husband Chuck Traynor. He will also be seen onscreen alongside Paula Patton in the rom-com "Baggage Claim," due out September 27.
We caught up with Brody in New York City ahead of the release of "Lovelace" and got him to dish on porn, life after "The O.C." and what makes him cry.
What was the most surprising part of "Lovelace" for you?
Well, I knew nothing about it really. I was coming onto it completely clean. I'm familiar with the documentary "Inside Deep Throat," but that doesn't really go into Linda's story. I think it barely touches on it, but it's not really what I remember so much as the censorship stuff that took place after the film. Obviously the shocking, brutal stuff in it is her relationship with her husband. But I didn't have even preconceived notions, so I can't say anything threw me.
What did you learn from the experience?
No new skills, but it was nice to inhabit a place and time—a very specific place and time in our history. It feels relevant today. Sex is always relevant, especially at this time and this specific intersection of sex and fame and the mainstreaming of pornography. That’s the backdrop and the main thing obviously is a story of abuse and victimization and that’s relevant too. Hopefully we've made some strides and it’s less rampant. Fortunately or not, my part was more just good fun and we have some of the sweeter, goofier stuff. It wasn't a harrowing experience for me.
In a tweet length or less, convince people why they should see "Lovelace."
Go see "Lovelace." Go see it for the hair.
In the film, you play Harry Reems, who passed away in March. Did you have the chance to meet him?
No, I didn't meet him. I got the part and was filming pretty quickly. Also, I didn't seek him out. I sought out all the footage I could on him, but I didn't know how he felt about the movie, I didn't know if he would have approved of me. If I was playing a bigger part as him, I would have tried to seek him out, but in a way I didn't want to shoot myself in the foot. It felt also like overkill to try and fly up to Colorado and see him for a couple of scenes. I didn't think he got to see it. He is portrayed in a positive light, so I’m sure he wouldn't dislike that. Me personally, as an actor, I’ll never know, but let’s just say he likes me. It’s a shame. He seemed like a nice guy, fun guy. From all the stuff I read and watched about him, I liked what I saw.
Did you watch "Deep Throat" or had you seen it prior to this project?
I had seen "Inside Deep Throat," but I hadn't seen the porno "Deep Throat."
Have you seen it now?
What do you think?
It's as goofy as possible, that you can't believe. I was surprised. I watched that and then "The Devil in Miss Jones," which is the one they made right after with Harry. I should have known this — the bodies have gotten more extreme since then, but the sexual acts were pretty extreme then. There's nothing timid about it or old fashioned about what they're doing. That, I found kind of surprising, and perhaps I shouldn't have. I don't know why I thought everything was missionary pre-1970, but I weirdly did. It's obviously wrong, and there were Roman orgies. But ["Deep Throat"] was incredibly goofy. There's a lot of hair…everywhere. There’s nothing about it in hindsight that would make you think, "This is the one." I mean, it was a time and place, and I guess the first of its kind. But you don't see it now and go, "Oh, 'Citizen Kane,' right?" The porno to end all pornos.
You had a lot of screen time with Amanda Seyfried. What’s something about her that people would be surprised to know?
Hmm…surprised to know, that I can tell you? She’s a wonderful person. She's as nice and friendly as can be. Her dog is here [at the "Lovelace" press junket], which I was surprised to see. I love her dog. [Amanda’s] just fearless. I don’t think this role fazed her at all. She got into it. If she believes in something, she’ll go for it.
How difficult was making the transition from television to film after "The O.C.?"
It's barely two different mediums. Half of movies today, "Lovelace" included, are released VOD same day and you're watching them in the same place. Television shows are coming out thirteen at a time on Netflix. It's not all that different. You're doing a scene and you're blocking it and filming it and the process isn't that different. The only major difference is with television, especially on a network show like "The O.C.," is the scheduling and the length of it.
But the day to day is so similar, and I just haven't felt like it’s been such a conscious transition or jarring in the least. It's just like my schedule freed up, and I wasn't all of a sudden doing this thing ["The O.C."] nine months a year and I've had some free time to a. sit on my ass, but b. to sort of mix it up in a really fun way. I've been happy with the variety of the stuff I've gotten to do recently, roles and genres. I'm a fan of different genres of movies. There's something I like in all genres, so it's been nice.
In your next film, "Baggage Claim," you play opposite Paula Patton. What is something about her that we don't know?
I love that you want to know everyone's secrets! She has no dogs with her. She's also lovely. I think the movie, and you can tell from the trailer, she's like a good physical comedian. You wouldn't necessarily think that because she’s so beautiful and could be very regal. But she's also so game to just get hit in the nuts or whatever.
Do you ever Google yourself?
Sure. In certain capacities, yeah.
What did you buy with your first Hollywood paycheck?
Oh God! I'm such a jerk! I bought too nice of a car. I was 23. I had no business driving what I was driving!
What is your favorite city?
I would have to say Los Angeles.
What movie makes you cry?
God! What did I see the other day that sort of teared me up? I saw a couple of documentaries, actually. I didn't bawl in either, but I got a little wet. I saw "Black Fish" the other day, about Sea World's killer whales.
That sounds awful.
You will hate Sea World! You will never go, which is good honestly. It makes you go, just "f**k that place." And then I watched the Magic Johnson ESPN documentary, where he announces that he has HIV and then the fallout from what happened after that. That's also so emotional. It was really inspirational. He just handled it pretty heroically.
Is there a movie that you regret watching with your parents?
No. I can't think of one. Now, everything is fine. Back then, did I see anything too weirdly sexy? No.
What are you currently geeking out over?
FaceTime is pretty fun (laughs). I just started doing that.
If you could cast yourself in a movie that’s already been made, what would it be?
This is fun! There are so many Johnny Depp roles in the '90s I would be into. I would do "Ed Wood" or "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" or "Dead Man." Those all sound good to me.
Using your first pet’s name and the street you grew up on, what would your porn name be?
I have the best one ever: Mister Magnifico. It’s great.
Would you mind taking a selfie for us?