Adam Scott on Reprising Role & Reuniting With Cast
Feb 21, 2023
In this new era of television, one series that was ahead of its time in comedy, and unjustly fell to the wayside over a decade ago, is making a triumphant and celebrated return. From Starz and the original writer, John Enbom, Party Down is making its comeback with a very long-awaited Season 3. Reuniting nearly all the original lineup — an ensemble cast of now-well-known faces — fans get to pick back up with Adam Scott’s Henry Pollard and friends thirteen years after we left off. We’re talking Ken Marino, Jane Lynch, Martin Starr, Ryan Hansen, and Megan Mullally. Are we having fun yet?
Like its great premise so many years ago, Season 3 takes us back to the Party Down catering service. Most of the crew have moved on from parties, save Ron Donald (Marino) who’s now living on a prayer and out of the van, and Roman (Starr). Yet, circumstances and fates have aligned, bringing divorced Henry unwillingly back into the fray. Others, like Lydia (Mullally) and Constance (Lynch) are past their catering days, though they still find themselves schmoozing at the same events. Season 3 promises all the heart, heartache, and shenanigans as before, but with a pinch of middle age and post-pandemic partying thrown in. The new season also stars Jennifer Garner, Tyrel Jackson Williams, Zoë Chao, and James Marsden.
COLLIDER VIDEO OF THE DAY
Before we tighten these bowties for the Party Down Season 3 premiere on Starz, February 24, Collider’s Steve Weintraub spoke with Adam Scott about the revival. During the interview, Scott shares with us why Party Down is so special to him, the merits of working with such an “incredible ensemble,” and how much of the series is improv vs. Enbom’s hilarious writing. He also reveals his favorite Party Down episodes of all time (besides the new ones), discusses whether we’ll get Season 4, and teases Severance Season 2 and his upcoming role in Sony’s Madame Web. For all of this and more, check out the interview in the player above, or read the full transcript below.
COLLIDER: I really want to say I’m so happy you guys made another season.
ADAM SCOTT: Oh, thanks, man. Yeah, so am I.
Image via Starz
So I have a bunch of questions for you. If someone has actually never seen anything that you’ve done before, what is the first thing you’d like them watching, and why?
SCOTT: First of all, I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Adam, I’m an actor. I will do any birthday parties, bar mitzvahs, I like to just do monologues, either Shakespearean or modern, and I’m affordable: $49.95 for the first three hours, and then $69.95 for every 10 minutes thereafter.
Other than that, what would I want them to see, to watch? I think Party Down is a good place to start because it was sort of the first thing I did where I felt like like I was doing something for the right reasons. I was sort of in control of what I was doing, mostly because I was doing it with my friends, and we were doing something that was really close to our hearts. The whole cast really connected really directly with the material because at the time, we started shooting in 2008, and we were all in a similar place of success had been just out of reach for most of us. So we really felt directly what these characters were going through. We all kind of had our faces pressed up against the glass a little bit.
As a fan of Party Down, I’ve seen the first five of the six episodes of the season. Is there any chance that you guys might do another season after this, or is it like, “We just wanted to do this.”?
SCOTT: Right. I don’t know, I think that’s up to audiences and Starz, and I think it’s a little bit out of our hands. Getting the six weeks where this group of now-very busy people could all get together and do the show was a feat in scheduling and engineering, but we all wanted to do it so badly. And Starz was cool enough to bear with us while we figured it out. That’s always going to be challenging, but we did it once, we could totally do it again. I think everyone would love to do more, but I think it’s sort of out of our hands.
Was the reason for the six episodes, and not more, because of everyone’s schedules?
SCOTT: I think so, probably. First of all, we didn’t want to dump too much of a workload on John Enbom who writes the majority of the season, but also, yes, I think that that’s a manageable period of time for this group of actors, [and] all the schedules lining up. I think.
Image via Starz
I don’t want to do spoilers, but there’s an episode in the first five where everyone gets high. I’m curious, when you find out that you’re gonna be doing that, do you get nervous as an actor because you need to play someone high, or are you excited and relish that challenge?
SOTT: Yeah, it is funny. I didn’t really get nervous here because it’s this show, and it’s kind of safety in numbers. Like, I know, no matter what, I’m gonna be protected by this group of incredible actors, so I don’t need to worry as much as if it was me by myself. I’ve found that, both with Party Down and Parks and Rec, that when you’re in an incredible ensemble you can sort of hide in the background, and just be lifted up by how great everyone around you is.
So, when it’s like we’re gonna be high together, that is something that’s… Being high or drunk, it’s always hard because you don’t want to be corny, and everyone who’s been high or drunk, you don’t want them to watch it and think you’re full of shit and it’s fake. So, we were all cognizant of that and wanted to make it realistic.
All five episodes that I saw made me laugh. I’m curious if you had a favorite of those five?
SCOTT: Man, I think it’s too early for me to pick a favorite. Looking back now that it’s been more than a decade, I think my very favorite ever is either [“Taylor Stiltskin Sweet 16”] or [“Steve Gutenberg’s Birthday”], but it took a while. I think I need a few years before I’m able to see a favorite emerge.
What was it like for you the day before you were going to step on set to begin filming? Had you re-watched the first two seasons? Were you in your head a little bit because it’s been a while since you’ve played the character?
SCOTT: Yeah, I didn’t watch it right before. I had watched episodes – my kids hadn’t seen them – so we watched some of them, but I wasn’t watching it too close to when we shot. I just didn’t wanna get self-conscious or something. But I know the episodes so well, and had seen them [recently] enough that I felt like I was ready to go.
Image via Starz
With the first two seasons, I know there was some improvisation on set. With Season 3, was it a similar amount in terms of John’s writing amplified like 10% by people coming up with stuff in the moment?
SCOTT: Yeah, there’s never been a ton of improvisation on Party Down. John – and Dan Etheridge and Rob Thomas sometimes write, as well, but it’s mainly John – and he’s just an incredible writer. You know, here and there, there are little bits and pieces, but I wouldn’t say it’s a show that really has a ton of improvisation in it.
Before I ran out of time with you, like the entire planet who has seen it, I’m a huge fan of Severance, and I can’t say enough about that show. It’s incredible. I know you’re in the middle of filming Season 2. How has filming been going?
SCOTT: Great, it’s going great. I can’t wait [until] I can actually talk about it, and people can see what we’re doing. But it’s really fun. It’s really, really cool.
If you don’t mind me asking, when you signed on for Severance, were you told, “We have a three-year plan, we have a five-year plan?” How much were you told about the ultimate arc of where everything is going?
SCOTT: Well, I think, like any show, you just hope you can get to the finish line of writing the pilot and then shooting the pilot, and then getting a season and getting that season on the air, and then getting picked up to make more. So, I think the potential finish lines… There might be a finish line at the end of shooting just one episode.
So, we made Season 1 not knowing if we would ever make any more, and so the fact that we’re making another season is great. If we get to make more then that’s great too. I think there are variable ideas of where to go with it, depending on how long we get to make it.
Image via Apple TV+
You got to be part of Madame Web, which is your entry into Sony’s Marvel world. Was that something you were looking for, and what can you tease about it?
SCOTT: You know, I wasn’t. I actually didn’t think I was gonna work over the summer before we started Severance up again because we started in October, and I wasn’t planning on working at all before then. Then this came up, and I couldn’t resist. It’s really cool.
It’s a really fun world and a great role, but I can’t really say that much about it other than it’s cool and fun, which I’m sure you’re so sick of hearing from people.
Party Down Season 3 premieres on Starz February 24.
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