BY Brandon Voss
November 12 2009 10:00 AM ET
Since his debut as an eccentric teenage oddball in Wes Anderson’s breakthrough 1998 film Rushmore, Jason Schwartzman has shined as slackers and square pegs in offbeat films such as Shopgirl, Marie Antoinette, and The Darjeeling Limited. Now starring as an awkwardly amateur private dick in HBO’s noirish comedy series Bored to Death, the 29-year-old Coppola kinsman also voices a peculiar pubescent fox in Anderson’s stop-motion animated adaptation of Roald Dahl’s children’s book Fantastic Mr. Fox, which opens November 13 in limited release. Because his art imitates his life, Schwartzman, who moonlights as the indie pop-rock act Coconut Records, shares his self-deprecating views on sexuality, style, and surviving high school.
Advocate.com: I can’t believe I’m talking to one of the “10 Most Stylish Men in America,” according to GQ.
Jason Schwartzman: [Laughs] That was very flattering and awesome, but it’s also hysterical. When you felt like I felt in high school, the whole thing that’s occurring right now -- GQ, getting my picture taken, talking to you -- is bizarre. It feels weird to do interviews because I don’t understand why anyone wants to talk to me. There were all these other guys in high school that were bigger, funnier, and more handsome than I was, so why do you care about what I have to say? You should ask them.
I’ll get their contact info later, but let’s explore this low self-esteem of yours. I was going to draw parallels between your misfit characters like Rushmore’s Max Fischer to gay people who grew up feeling like outcasts, but it sounds like you have similar outsider insecurities.
I had friends growing up, but I struggled to feel like I really fit in. If I was invited to a party, I would just end up sitting on a couch or standing in a corner by myself. But it wasn’t like I was getting beat up or anything. I wish I had gotten beaten up, because at least that would’ve justified why I felt so homesick all the time, even though I was home.
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