John Malkovich on 'Space Force,' Spike Jonze, and Zoom Happy Hours - Rolling Stone
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‘The First Time’ With John Malkovich

The actor — never afraid to poke fun at his own persona — shares details about his role in ‘Space Force’ as well as in Spike Jonze’s unforgettable film

John Malkovich appears in our latest installment of The First Time, timed to the May 29th premiere of the new Greg Daniels/Steve Carell series Space Force, in which he stars alongside Carell. The legendarily droll actor discusses his first Zoom happy hour, his first time singing folk gospel, teaching himself to play the guitar, and meeting co-star Jimmy O. Yang.

“I immediately thought Jimmy was very funny,” he says of the Silicon Valley actor. “Very smart, super dry. He actually reminds me of my own son in certain ways.”

Malkovich plays Dr. Adrian Mallory in the comedy, and the first time portraying the eccentric scientist was the first segment they shot: the “let’s cancel the launch” scene. The actor says the entire cast of Space Force got along very well, liked each other, and amused one another. “It’s a group of smart, interesting people,” Malkovich explains. “So we get together and stay a couple of hours, three hours, on Zoom, and have a few drinks.”

Among other characters in his storied career, Malkovich is well-known to many for his role in the 1999 Spike Jonze fantasy comedy Being John Malkovich, starring Malkovich as himself. His first time reading for that script, he called his producing partner — to declare that it was incredible.

Space Force is available to stream on Netflix now.

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