When Jason Schwartzman was first approached to star in the indie comedy The Overnight, which opens in limited release this weekend, he barely had any time to decide whether or not he wanted to do it. Adam Scott and Taylor Schilling were already set to play married new parents who have just moved to a hip neighborhood in east Los Angeles. If Schwartzman said yes, he would star opposite French actress Judith Godreche as the hipster parents who invite the new couple to their swanky house for an intimate dinner party. The film was basically ready to shoot in a matter of days, and producer Mark Duplass and writer/director Patrick Brice needed an answer immediately.
Schwartzman really liked the script, but there was one sticking point: His character, Kurt, would be fully naked for a long stretch of the film — and it was a sizable plot point that Kurt was extensively well-endowed.
"I had questions," Schwartzman told BuzzFeed News with his typical deadpan at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. "I think in the script, he takes off his pants, and you know, it's describing his penis. So it's not just like reaction shots. [We're] really gonna see this."
Scott, whose poorly endowed character Alex is also naked in the film, explained to Schwartzman that they would both be wearing prosthetics, which assuaged Schwartman's immediate concerns. So he said yes.
Actually, Schwartman eventually grew quite fond of the experience of having a fake rubber penis stuck on his crotch. "There was something just kind of liberating [about it]," he said. "I felt quite happy to just be in it. They glue it on to you, over your swimsuit area. But then a thin strap of elastic lace was like up between your legs and is glued onto the small of your back. I guess there are all different kinds of prosthetics, but this is sort of like a Tempur-Pedic memory foam. If you wanted to, you could squeeze it, and it would kind of like slowly rise back up to its original [size]. So I call it a 'tempur-penis.'"
There was, however, one aspect of the prosthetic that proved to be problematic when Schwartzman had to shoot several scenes with it while in Kurt's swimming pool. "It got waterlogged," he said. "It was a little bit chilly when we were shooting, and the pool was like 100 degrees. So I was like, 'I'll just stay in here.' And at a certain point, the makeup people [said], 'You gotta get out because I think the penis is not going to be able to take this.' I remember getting out and wringing it. It was fine. But it got heavier and heavier as the movie went on."
Ultimately, Schwartzman did feel self-conscious on set, but it wasn't because of that giant, sodden, fake penis. "Honestly, I'm probably more nervous [that] I don't have a six pack," he said. "Most people, if they knew they were going to be taking their clothes off in a movie, they'd [have time to] work out. So if anything, I was more nervous to just have my love-handles out there."