In 2016, Jim Hosking introduced us to The Greasy Strangler, and now he’s returned with another unique and unforgettable comedy, An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn. Featuring a cavalcade of comedy, the film stars Aubrey Plaza, Jemaine Clement, Craig Robinson, Emile Hirsch, Matt Berry, and Sky Elobar (who also co-starred in The Greasy Stranger). Beverly Luff Linn follows an unsatisfied married woman (Plaza) who is on a journey to reunite with her enigmatic ex (Robinson), all while an awkward hitman (Clement) tags along, and her husband (Hirsch) is hot on her trail. 

While at the 2018 Fantastic Fest, Daily Dead chatted with both Hosking and co-writer David Wike about An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn, and they discussed their approach to the story, collaborating with the highly talented cast, making unconventional movies, and more.

Congrats on all the success with Beverly this year. It's got to feel pretty good to be able to put it out in front of all these different audiences.

Jim Hosking: Well, it goes from feeling tremendously nerve-wracking at the beginning to just more moderately terrifying now.

So, you still get jitters?

Jim Hosking: Well, it goes in waves. Yesterday, I said to Dave probably like 10 minutes before we came here for the screening, "Yeah, I don't get nervous anymore man, when I do these Q&As and things. I just really enjoy it." He was like, "Yeah, I suppose you've done quite a lot of them now." And as soon as we got here, I was like, "Oh, f--k man. I'm so nervous."

Actually, I suppose the truth of the matter with this film is that the work that I've made has been pretty pushed and at least no one can accuse me of not having gone there or something. So maybe there's something fearful about that. Even The Greasy Strangler was me just turning it all the way up. It was so much fun, but with this film, I put a little bit more on the line, and it’s more vulnerable and more emotional and I feel like this was bolder for me to have made this film. I suppose there's more of my heart in it, and I feel more exposed and so that's an interesting feeling, but it's still like, why can't I think of a normal film?

So, you mentioned something that came to mind when I was watching the film, when you said that this felt it was a little more personal, and you were putting a little more of yourself out there. There's a really interesting journey that Lulu takes in this movie, and I love Aubrey in this, and I just thought there's something really beautiful about how everything comes together. Can you both talk about putting these ideas together in a script, and then, when you're filming, do you adhere strictly to the script, or because you're working with such great comedic talent, did you let them venture off-script a little bit?

Jim Hosking: Let's start with that. With regards to the script, for the most part I was keen to stick to the script, but I was working with actors who could bring a lot to this, but they have very different styles to each other as well. For example, you have someone like Jemaine, who likes to challenge you or change things up. Sometimes he would stick to the script and then you would have a take where you just let him completely go somewhere else, but it really depended on the scenes as well. There's this scene with Jemaine where he's talking about how he got the name Colin and we definitely started with the scripted version, but then I said to him, "You should say something like that's why you were born with teeth."

When you just have these weird little moments where they’re made up on the fly and there’s no reason for it to exist, that’s the stuff I love. In terms of the direction of the emotional elements, I wanted the stakes to be as authentic and real as possible, considering everything we throw at you along the way.

David Wike: Our goal was to take someone on a journey, just purely based on the characters and how much they feel, how much they're committed to their world, whether you understand it or not. But then have it e bas real as possible so that we can maybe surprise you with this reaction of, "I can't believe I'm feeling something for these people," because of all the insanity that we've been through so far.

I think there's something to be said when you watch a movie and you could be 20 minutes in and be like, "Who directed this?" But you’re one of those directors who, so far, has put himself out there in an unmissable way. I was five minutes into Beverly, and I said to myself, “This is definitely a Jim Hosking movie.” Has that been your mantra since day one, to make movies that no one else could make?

Jim Hosking: Yeah, almost to a pathological degree, even. Whenever I'm making anything, I get this feeling of like it’s you saying your last words. Like, maybe I will never get an opportunity again to do this sort of thing. I also get caught up in every f--king detail, where I get excited but not tyrannical about things. It's just about self-expression, isn't it? I think it will change as I go along. I think the next film will be very different than what I’ve done so far.

So far in my career, I've always turned things up very high. With this, I've sort of muted some things or maybe let more of the humanity come through, and I want to definitely keep going in that direction because I think that's about confidence as well. It may be hard to believe this, but I don't watch comedy, and it’s weird, but I don't find most things funny. So, even though I might be making comedies, the stuff that I find funny, I only find it funny because I feel like it's not happened elsewhere or in the same way.

And I remember seeing this very serious Greek filmmaker, Theo Angelopoulos, and he made this film with Marcello Mastroianni called The Beekeeper. There's a scene in it where he opens this can of beer. It's a very meditative, sad, turgidly slow film, but he opens this can of beer, and obviously it had been shaken up just before the take and it explodes in his face. He’s wasn't expecting it and he looks really quite pissed off about it, but he just wipes the beer off, and keeps on going in the scene. For some reason, I just thought it was the f--king funniest thing I'd ever seen. It's like David Lynch makes me laugh so much, too. I just don't ever find the obvious stuff funny.


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  • Heather Wixson
    About the Author - Heather Wixson

    Heather A. Wixson was born and raised in the Chicago suburbs, until she followed her dreams and moved to Los Angeles in 2009. A 14-year veteran in the world of horror entertainment journalism, Wixson fell in love with genre films at a very early age, and has spent more than a decade as a writer and supporter of preserving the history of horror and science fiction cinema. Throughout her career, Wixson has contributed to several notable websites, including Fangoria, Dread Central, Terror Tube, and FEARnet, and she currently serves as the Managing Editor for Daily Dead, which has been her home since 2013. She's also written for both Fangoria Magazine & ReMind Magazine, and her latest book project, Monsters, Makeup & Effects: Volume One will be released on October 20, 2021.