Sprawled on one of the many plush, red couches in the back of a Park City restaurant, Amy Sedaris, Stephen Colbert and Paul Dinello chatted with PlanetOut's Director of Content Jenny Stewart about their film, "Strangers with Candy." They also played a friendly game of "Who would you rather...?" which is not be missed.
Amy: Where are you from?
I'm from PlanetOut and Gay.com.
Stephen [in a British accent]: Why hello!
Amy: Gay, gay, gay, gay, gay gay, gay!
Yup -- we're gay. Is this your first time at Sundance? Are you exhausted?
Amy: Well, I've seen the catalog before, but yes, it's my first time, and yes, it is really exhausting. We're having a great time, though.
Stephen: I'm exhausted from the struggle of getting into all these parties -- even the ones thrown in our honor. "I'm sorry, sir, do you have a ticket?"
Paul: I was here eight years ago for a short film that Stephen was in.
So, when you all found out that David Letterman's production company Worldwide Pants was going to fund your film and that the film was actually going to happen, what was your reaction? Were you scared or excited?
Stephen: My first reaction was, Worldwide Pants? What do you mean? They don't do movies! But they have been the best organization to deal with -- creatively, artistically, in every way.
Amy [joking]: For a gay company.
So Paul, you directed the film. Were you afraid that if the show didn't translate to film, the blame would fall on your shoulders?
Paul: Absolutely. In fact, I'm still terrified. But I'm proud, and you know, I had a safety net with these two. But yeah, I did feel somewhat responsible.
Amy: We feel you were responsible, and you are on your own.
There were a lot of great cameos: Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew Broderick, Philip Seymour Hoffman, et cetera. A lot of celebrities are big fans of the show. Were there any stars who approached you to be in the film, but that you just didn't have room for?
Amy: Yeah, there were.
Who were they?
Amy: Oh, who is that person? Douglas?
Stephen: Yes, Douglas Fairbanks. [All laugh.]
[Actor Steve Buscemi walks by after finishing a TV interview.]
Steve: So you guys were the ones making all the noise -- I should've known by the laughter it was you.
Stephen: We were trying to undercut your interview!
Where were we? Oh yeah, the late Douglas Fairbanks wanted to be in the movie.
Amy: Yes, that's where we were. OK, it was a woman -- Illeana Douglas ...
Paul [joking]: And the Judds!
Amy: Yes, the Judds wanted to be in it!
Paul: Actually, Jason Biggs really did want to be in it, and we wanted him in it, because we all really like him a lot. But we didn't want to, you know, have him play a bus driver just for the sake of it, you know? We would have wanted him to have a real role.
Stephen: A lot of people we really like wanted to be in it, and if we had known prior to doing the script, we would have written more people in. Honestly, we were really thrilled that all these people wanted to be in our movie.
With the theatrical release, you guys have an opportunity to be freer with the satire -- the gay jokes in particular. They are so over the top and so explicit, stuff you could only allude to on the show. I'm curious -- how easy or hard was it to come up with all the gay stuff, and was there one of you in particular who was especially good with the gay jokes?
Paul: We all wrote that stuff equally. And I think with Stephen and my characters [being gay], we're always more interested in showing their pettiness and their self-involvement. And like how my character will weep in front of the class -- we like showing those aspects of their relationship.
Amy: For me, well, with Jeri, that stuff is always on my mind anyway, so it wasn't hard at all.
There is one scene where someone walks up and says, "Hey Jeri, what are you thinking about?" And Jeri says, "Pussy." Was that your idea?
Amy: No, we all came up with that, because that's been one of our jokes for years. Whenever anyone says "What's on your mind?" we just always say, "Pussy." We don't know how it started, but we just do it all the time. So we just threw it in.
Speaking of Jeri always having sex on her mind: If you were to do a sequel, and Jeri finally got to have sex with one of the girls she's been panting over, which actress do you think would be a good choice to play the girl?
Amy: Me! Amy Sedaris. I'd do a dual part! No, I'm kidding. Linda Hunt. [All laugh.] You know, someone I could beat up on.
Amy, everyone thinks you're "on" all the time in real life, but you admit you really aren't, and that, you know, you like depressing movies and you like to stay home. So what is Amy Sedaris' idea of a perfect night in?
Amy [quickly]: OK, I would definitely be by myself --
Paul: Wait, can I please answer that one for you?
Amy: Be my guest.
Paul: As she said, she'd be alone for sure. She'd frost some cupcakes, make a little something out of felt [Amy laughs], read only part of a magazine article, massage her rabbit, rock in a chair and sort of look aimlessly at the wall. Um, maybe a bath.
Amy: Always a bath.
Paul: Call me.
Amy: Yeah, "Hey Paul, I have a great idea for something you should do for me."
Stephen: You forgot stacking things.
Paul: Yes, she'd stack some things for sure --
Amy: Smoke some pot.
Paul: Stack some things in the bedroom, then stack some things in the living room --
Amy: Lots to be stacked! Then I'd be on the phone -- "Hey! I got a lot of work done tonight!" [All laugh.] Actually, he's absolutely right -- that is exactly what I'd be doing.
What is this thing about you not liking comedies and only liking depressing films? There must be one comedy you really like.
Amy: I still really laugh at "Vacation," but it's true -- you have to take me kicking and screaming to a comedy. I mean, I will go to a comedy, but it's not my first instinct to watch one.
OK -- you were all so influenced by television growing up. I was wondering if you'd be up for playing "Which TV star from the past would you choose to make out with?"
Stephen: Let me think [closes eyes]. OK, yes!
Paul: I'm in.
Amy: Threeway, threeway!
Paul: Wait. Is this as they are now, or how we remember them?
This is in their TV heyday, how you remember them.
Paul: Ok, I gotta say Diller.
Stephen: Phyllis Diller. Definitely Phyllis Diller.
Lindsay Wagner or Elizabeth Montgomery?
Amy and Stephen [in unison]: Elizabeth Montgomery!
Stephen: But only in the black-and-white. The black-and-white Elizabeth Montgomery.
Amy: Yes, black-and-white.
Paul: Lindsay Wagner!
Betty White or Bea Arthur?
Amy, Stephen and Paul: Betty WHITE! [All laugh.]
Stephen: Mary Tyler Moore from "The Dick Van Dyke Show."
Paul [after thinking]: I'm going to have to go with Valerie Harper. I had a thing for Rhoda.
Amy: I'd finger-fuck Mary, but I'd have to go with Rhoda.
Stephen: But -- I would give a butt munch to Valerie. [much laughter]
Robert Reed or Bill Cosby?
Amy [sarcastically]: Gee, it's such a tie.
Paul: I'd say Robert Reed.
Stephen: The Cos.
Amy: Robert Reed.
Amy: Ooohhh, that's a good one. ... [thinking] Hmm. Paul Lynde.
Paul: Aren't they the same? I think Paul Lynde. He seems cleaner.
Stephen: Paul Lynde.
Peggy Lipton or Angie Dickinson?
Amy and Stephen [in unison]: Angie Dickinson!
No way! Not Peggy? "The Mod Squad"?
Amy: Yeah, but Angie Dickinson! When she had those Isotoner gloves on. Loved that.
Stephen: Yeah, we loved that. Angie Dickinson.
Paul: You mean Peggy Lipton the skater?
Rip Taylor or Joanne Worley?
Isabelle Sanford or Esther Rolle?
Stephen: Isabelle Sanford or Esther Rolle. [thinking] Isn't Isabelle on "Good Times"?
No, Isabelle was on "The Jeffersons" and Esther was Florida on "Good Times."
Stephen [exhaling]: Hmmm. OK, Esther Rolle ... [exhaling, thinking hard] Wait ... um ...
Amy: Gee, Stephen, give it some thought.
Stephen: Wait a minute. Hmmm. OK. Esther Rolle. Because she's fat and she looks like she could take a punch.
Amy: Yeah, me too.
Paul: Isabelle Sanford.
OK, last one. John Forsythe or Larry Hagman?
Amy [immediately]: Hagman.
Paul: No! John Forsythe. And for the same reason as before -- he seems cleaner to me.
Stephen: Agreed. Plus, I heard Hagman's crazy.
Amy: Yeah, maybe I'll change. Hagman probably had sex with that genie and ... picked up a few things.