After eight years and countless characters on Saturday Night Live, Bill Hader has moved to Los Angeles. His first onscreen post-SNL project is a supporting role in The To Do List, a (literal) coming-of-age story written and directed by his wife, Maggie Carey. The bawdy semi-autobiographical tale stars Aubrey Plaza as an uptight teenage overachiever trying desperately to lose her virginity before college. Hader spoke to PW by phone last week about a variety of awkward moments.
PW: Was it strange filming a movie about your wife’s past sexual exploits? I imagine that led to some interesting conversations.
BILL HADER: When Andy Samberg read the script, he said, “Your wife is filthy!” Then when we were shooting the scene with Andy and Aubrey in the shower, I asked Maggie if this had really happened. She said, “I was 17. Action!”
There’s some pretty edgy material here for a mainstream summer comedy.
Well, we shot the film for $1 million. I told that to friend at a studio who said he can’t even rent a camera for $1 million.
Is it a coincidence that as soon as you leave SNL, Eliot Spitzer is back in the news? Was he waiting until you couldn’t impersonate him anymore?
I just did The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and Spitzer was on the show. I was very nervous. Just for the record, he was very nice. But I was incredibly uncomfortable.
My original plan was to ask if you’d do this entire interview in your Alan Alda voice.
That’s funny. I just did Alan Alda on Leno, and I think I butchered it. I didn’t practice before I went on and was rusty. That’s the thing: People think you can pop right into these things, but I have to do it for a while before I go out.
I heard you once wrote a sketch in which Alda was roommates with a horse.
Yes! My Roommates’s a Fucking Horse! It was supposed to be like Shit My Dad Says. I was Alan Alda, and Fred Armisen played Tony Danza. Whenever he’d walk in a room, he’d say “Hey, Angela!” But there was nobody named Angela. He just said it before every sentence. It made us laugh incredibly hard, and nobody else found it funny. They were probably right. Wait, how’d you hear about that?