Roger Dodger was your first movie and it was a great success. How important was that film for your career?Yes, I was so lucky; I mean, they make so many small movies that are good. But it’s so rare for one to come out and get so well reviewed.
Where did the acting come from?
My older sister was put in an acting programme because she was a very shy kid. And I looked up to her and so I joined the theatre group as well. And then when I was about 15, I was able to go into New York City myself and got to audition for Broadway plays.
At 15, were you already thinking of acting as your career?
I was still in high school and it didn’t make a difference if you didn’t get the job. So I never in a million years thought I’d be a professional actor. My father is a professor, so it was important for him that I go to college.
Did you actually go to college?
Yes, I’m just about to graduate in Anthropology.
It’s a fine line between comedy and horror that you have to tread in Zombieland.
This movie isn’t really horror. I’d say that it’s about 80 per cent comedy and 20 per cent action, with a bit of road movie in there, too.
You must have had to do a lot of action sequences. Do you like that side of the job?
It’s just that I’m not very good at the action stuff, that’s the problem. I used to dance a lot, so there’s balance
somewhere in me, but it never showed its face. I’m falling everywhere. It’s just horrible. I have no sense of equilibrium. If I run for more than five seconds I have to sit down to for a minute.
You said you wanted to act since you were tiny…
Yes, tiny, tiny. I wanted to be on Saturday Night Live, I wanted to do improvisation;
I wanted to be a sketch comedian. And I knew I wanted to do films someday.
I even wanted to produce films, even more than acting in them.
How do you deal with paparazzi?
Well, I stay in a lot. I mean, I don’t get photographers or paparazzi camping outside my house. Nothing invasive. And I hope to God I never have. That’s the scariest and saddest thing they can do someone’s life. I don’t know how they do that to people’s lives. All you’re trying to do is make movies that people can enjoy and they turn your life into a soap opera.