(By: James Rocchi -- reprinted from the Sundance Film Festival 1/27/09)
As Paul Auferio, the title character in Robert Siegel's Big Fan (which Erik Davis reviews here), Patton Oswalt didn't have a chance to fall back on the skill set he's honed through the years as one of the best stand-up comics working today: "As a comedian, your instinct is you tag everything with a joke or a look or a take; this guy, this character ... this is not one of those movies where the writer and director is looking at the characters ironically or in a post-modern sense where it's implied You all know that we're better than that, we're way smarter than this, that we're all looking down on this character, aren't we? This is a character that has no irony about himself ... and just unabashedly loves what he loves, to the detriment of having a real life. ..."
Oswalt spoke with Cinematical about the challenges facing a movie and comics obsessive in the part of playing a sports obsessive, how he sees Paul as an 'imploding" character, some of his favorite independent films and how he sees Big Fan as a tribute to some of the classic 'lonely man' dramas of the 1970's, plus much more.
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