Sundance: Amy and Adam, joined at the hip — and the funny bone
Published: January 25, 2013 01:28PM
Updated: January 25, 2013 01:47PM
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Steve Griffin | The Salt Lake Tribune "Lovelace" actor Peter Sarsgaard poses for the cameras during the Sundance screening at the Eccles Theatre in Park City on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013.

As the Sundance Film Festival heads into its final weekend, more art-house movies jockey for a place on the slate headed to theaters in 2013. USA TODAY’s Bryan Alexander talks to the stars behind the contenders.

A.C.O.D.

With the exception of a certain Golden Globe Awards night, Adam Scott and Amy Poehler have been together everywhere recently.

Not only do they play an engaged couple on NBC’s Parks and Recreation sitcom, they also acted alongside each other in the comedy A.C.O.D., which premiered Wednesday night.

Predictably, the two left the Parks set in Los Angeles and jetted to Utah just in time for the screening, where they sat together with Scott’s wife Naomi.

“We’re tight,” says Poehler, taking a break with Scott during the film’s after-party. “Actually, Adam cannot get rid of me. I haven’t talked to his wife yet, but I am planning on quietly knocking on their door at the hotel tonight.”

“And coming and snuggling with us,” adds Scott.

That’s no problem, as long as the comedy chemistry between the two continues in such projects as A.C.O.D. (Adult Children of Divorce). Scott says he was the one knocking on Poehler’s door to get her to take a supporting role in the ensemble , which includes Jane Lynch, Richard Jenkins and Catherine O’Hara.

While the two play Ben Wyatt and Leslie Knope on TV, the roles in A.C.O.D. are entirely different. Scott plays an adult who still is dealing with his parents’ messy split and Poehler plays his stepmother.

Is that weird?

“There is zero chemistry between the two, hopefully,” says Poehler.

“They do not like each other at all,” says Scott.

Besides scenes together in A.C.O.D., the two enjoyed hanging out on the Georgia set, especially one evening with the cast at a hotel celebrating Scott’s 39th birthday.

“We drank in the lobby in the lobby until 2 in the morning. Catherine (O’Hara) made margaritas,” says Scott. “And then we all went into my room and had a full-on orgy.”

“We did. I forgot about that. The birthday orgy,” says Poehler with a laugh.

“They said, ‘What do you want for your birthday?’ and I said, ‘All of you,’”says Scott.

Joking, of course.

But it’s no joke that two plan to bring their magic to more projects. Scott wasn’t able to attend the Golden Globe Awards that Poehler so memorably co-hosted with Tina Fey, yet his mind was on future collaborations.

“Please pick some things we can work on together,” begs Poehler.

“Avatar 2?” Scott suggests.

The Dark side of ‘Lovelace’

A strange thing happened to Peter Sarsgaard during the premiere of the biopic Lovelace this week.

The actor choked up while discussing the dark world inhabited by his character, Chuck Traynor, the husband of Linda Boreman, who would become porn star Linda Lovelace and later an anti-porn crusader.

“I was trying to explain that the movie was a difficult role for me to do since I have children,” says Sarsgaard. “The minute you say that in front of a group of people, I feel that very strongly. So that’s what happens. I thought of everything I sacrificed to have this experience.”

Sarsgaard, 41, who has two children with actress Maggie Gyllenhaal, says he didn’t enjoy accepting the role of Traynor, whose relationship with Boreman is portrayed as leading to physical and mental abuse.

While the world premiere led to rave reviews for him and Amanda Seyfried (who plays Boreman/Lovelace), he “just profoundly did not want to do the role. I kept dragging my feet.”

The movie starts out as a poignant and often humorous story, with Traynor courting the young, sheltered Boreman in the early 1970s.

But the second half goes very dark as Traynor forces his wife into the porn business and prostitution and engages in physical abuse. (In real life, the couple divorced, and both died in 2002).

For weeks after the shoot, Sarsgaard was still affected.

“It took me a while to warm up again,” he says . “Not in a noticeable way. But people close to you notice. I’m someone who gets deep into his work.”

‘Concussion’ strikes chord

The premiere of Concussion couldn’t have been more fortuitous, given President Obama’s support of gay civil rights in his second inaugural address on Monday.

The film deals with a wealthy lesbian couple whose longtime marriage hits the skids when one of the partners is hit in the head with a baseball and starts to re-evaluate whether she wants to continue to live the suburban life.

“It’s certainly timely,” says writer/director Stacie Passon. “All of this really calls out the idea that this (gay and lesbian) community has been searching for legitimacy for a long time. And all the hard work has really paid off.”

Concussion is not a romantic picture of marriage by any stretch. It deals with what happens when the marital flame goes out.

The injured partner, Abby (Robin Weigert), decides to give up the world of minivans and start a new life as a high-end lesbian prostitute in Manhattan.

“It’s a concussion-like midlife crisis,” says Passon. “It hits you hard. And suddenly the rules don’t make sense anymore. This is a real side of what marriage is all about.”