Sarah Silverman‘s work is known for eliciting laughs, not tears. But the acclaimed stand-up and comic actress has taken a creative detour by starring in the intense addiction drama I Smile Back, which premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. In the latest installment of “Off the Cuff,” Rolling Stone movie critic Peter Travers talks to Silverman about her dramatic break-out role.
“There really is no evidence of ‘me the comedian’ in this movie,” Silverman says in the above video, before describing her character. (“[She] is a mom and housewife – smart – and living the life in suburbia. And a drug addict and a manic-depressive, I would say.”)
Elsewhere, the actress ruminates on the unexpected challenge of filming such emotionally heavy scenes during four-week shoots. “It actually is a bummer to be in a drama that has bummer scenes,” she says, noting that on off-days, she would “come home and go straight to bed, watch Law & Order.”
As the conversation veers, Silverman discusses her “full-on phobia of drunk people,” noting that she bolts at the “first sign of drunkenness at any kind of event.” (If forced to stay at a party, she usually tries to seek out a “comedy corner” with friends like Jack Black and Jason Sudeikis.) She also confesses her addiction to television – whether it’s “heady stuff” like Game of Thrones and Mad Men or “whatever’s on USA.”
Check out our Sundance page for complete coverage of the 2015 festival.