Jerrod Carmichael on coming out, his movie about depression and pandemic survival

Sonaiya Kelley, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

A: She liked it. Her daughter's in it. Her daughter plays my daughter at the end. Spoiler alert [laughs].

Q: What made Chris Abbott the right choice to play opposite you?

A: Well, a few things. He connected with the script, which was the most important thing. But also we connected as friends during that time, and I'm thankful for that because I think he's this incredibly talented actor. He'll kill me if he reads this, but it was like him or Shia [LaBeouf]. Someone that could have this rage. I refer to [Abbott's character] Kevin in the movie as "suburban Joker." Like I can see this guy coming from the Valley and he's of this era and it comes out in his music and certain little sparks in his lifestyle. He dyes his hair and he's, like, searching. And Chris, I think, connected with that.

And having him there, both as an actor and as a friend, was good because he really ... not to sound too tender, but he held me in moments just as an actor and as a performer. He was there and very generous. I can't imagine it being anyone else. He's very funny in the film, he makes me laugh a lot.

Q: Did you work with mental health professionals considering the film's sensitive nature?

A: Yeah the writers did, especially. They consulted with psychiatrists and that was important to get right. To take mental health seriously and to take suicide and depression seriously and the treatment for depression and suicid[al ideation] seriously and not have it be flippant. These aren't rash decisions, it's taking it seriously. So often you really only hear about it from the survival side of it. Very few things, I think, live in that moment.


Q: Do you feel like it's a hard time to be a comedian right now?

A: No.

Q: Really?

A: Yeah, it's an exciting time. It's a profitable time. People are touring, people are doing great.


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