The cast and co-writer/director of Most Likely To Murder were on hand to premiere the film during the 2018 SXSW Film Festival. The premiere was followed by a hysterical show where they discussed times in which they felt bullied or in which they bullied someone. On Tuesday, co-writer/director Dan Gregor was joined by Rachel Bloom, Adam Pally, Doug Mand, John Reynolds, and producer Petra Ahmann in a roundtable to talk to the press.
On where the idea for Most Likely To Murder came from: Dan Gregor: We were super-obsessed with that Thanksgiving weekend and the night before Thanksgiving when everyone goes back to their hometown and gets super fucked up at the local bar and you see all your high school acquaintances. It’s not even your friends…and that weekend is just so loaded because it’s so filled with this nostalgia that you’re hit with and it evaporates right again. You can’t really hold onto it. We kind of became obsessed with that feeling and just wanted to tell a story around that. Doug Mand: It’s also a time when you’re looking at yourself and am like, am I the person that I thought I was going to be when I came back in like 15 years, you’re judging yourself and everyone around you. There’s also something about going back home and being in your old childhood room and just living within that nostalgia. You immediately go back to being your 14 year old self. We were definitely interested in that and also we were obviously really interested and fans of Hitchcock and fans of thrillers and noirs. We wanted to take the regular coming home for the holiday tropes and put it against the thriller mystery. That’s where it came from.
On Jewish sensibilities influencing a sense of humor in comedy: Doug Mand: Gassy.
Rachel Bloom: It feels synonymous at times, right?
Dan Gregor: Inseparable.
Adam Pally: Yeah. Jews are –I think, not to generalize it that much– Jews are raised with a certain sense of humor because of the inherent feeling of dread that is drilled into you as a child that like you know. I feel like that is why Jews are a lot of times bred to like, you’ve got to laugh at it. From my Jewish family as a child, part of being Jewish is that like you are different.
Dan Gregor: I actually think the cornerstone in comedy is a feeling of otherness.
Adam Pally: Yes!
Dan Gregor: Anybody who is sort of one step removed from what feels like normal has a much better handle on comedy because they’re actually observing better. I think baked into Judaism as a culture and a religion is this sort of–
Doug Mand: You’re another. We’re told by our parents that you’re another.
Gregor: We’re officially another. We have all sorts of immediate and genetic history that sort of like feeds into that. Rachel Bloom: Comedy is a defense mechanism, ultimately. It’s a way to lessen the pain. There’s evidence to suggest that just by natural selection, Jews who survived as a people had anxiety disorders (Everyone laughs) because, if you were saying, “It’s fine. The Cossacks aren’t coming, you die.” The Jews were saying, “The Cossacks are coming! The Cossacks are coming! I was fucking right! Come to Boston!”
Adam Pally: We’re also cool with non-Jews.
John Reynolds: John Reynolds, actor. (Everyone Laughs)
On the status of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend coming back for another season and where would the series go: Rachel Bloom: As far as where to take the show, we’re excited to hopefully get renewed because we still haven’t heard. This will be our final season so I’m really excited to theoretically finish the story. The tour is so exciting. We had this whole issue with bots buying up tickets that I never heard of because I’m an old lady.
On whether Broadway is in the future for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: Rachel Bloom: We’re thinking about a Broadway show. We’re probably going to have over 150 songs by the time the series ends. It’s such a built-in idea for a Broadway show. It’s just a matter of what form does it take and how do you synthesize four seasons.
Lionsgate will be releasing Most Likely To Murder on DVD, Video On Demand, and Digital on May 1, 2018.