Patton Oswalt: “I enjoy acting as much as I enjoy standup”

Like many entertainers, Patton Oswalt is making up dates that have been postponed due to the pandemic. Oswalt, 53, will be delivering his material at the Fox’s Martin Woldson Theater on Sunday. Who knows what he will render? “I never reveal what I’m talking about,” Oswalt said. “That will ruin the surprise.”

However, people can talk about his impressive turn in his latest film. Oswalt has not been idle in 2020 and 2021. Oswalt accepted an acting gig and impressed during the entertaining feature film I Love My Dad, which won the Jury Prize in South By Southwest’s Narrative Feature Competition.

“The film deserves all the credits,” Oswalt said. “What a great script.” When Oswalt agreed to star in the profound and hilarious independent film about an estranged father, the comic didn’t draw on his experience with his 13-year-old daughter, Alice.

Oswalt, a doting real-life father, portrays a dud of a father who is a pathological liar and estranged from his suicidal son for good reason. The father has a frantic but clever way to reconnect with his son. “It’s a great script and I’m a huge movie fan,” Oswalt said. “I wanted to see how they would pull this off.”

The best way for Oswalt to see if the film would work or not was to agree to play the quirky lead. “There were so many things that could go wrong, and that made it really exciting for me,” Oswalt said, calling from his home in Los Angeles.

“I’m playing a guy who’s such a terrible father. I don’t think he understands the joy of fatherhood. Being a father is an obstacle for him. He just wants the credit, but he doesn’t put in the work – I played a guy who wants all the privileges but no responsibility.”

“I Love My Dad” hits screens on August 5th. Oswalt is on the road delivering standup until the next acting gig is due. “I’m just doing what I’m interested in right now,” Oswalt said. “I do standup, but I enjoy acting as much as standup.”

Unlike the character he portrays in “I Love My Dad,” Oswalt spends most of his off-stage time at home with his wife and their daughter. “Any time we can hang out is great,” Oswalt said. “I want to be home without an agenda. For me that is very important.”

Oswalt grew up watching the films of John Huston and Howard Hawks. “I love these classic movies,” Oswalt said. “It doesn’t get much better than that.” Oswalt hopes to one day direct a film.

“It’s a constant wish of mine that I hope will eventually become a reality,” Oswalt said. “I’d also like to work with someone like (director Martin) Scorsese. I’m in a great place right now. I do standup, work on films and have a family.

“I understand how lucky I am. I’m not like the dad I played in ‘I Love My Dad’ but I had such a great time playing him.”

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