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David Krumholtz on Playing Lousy Carter & Starring in Oppenheimer

David Krumholtz on Playing Lousy Carter & Starring in Oppenheimer

He once sang Frank Sinatra in his underwear (The Slums of Beverly Hills). He also once played Head Elf under Kris Kringle (The Santa Clause). Years later, he played an adult film director on the small screen (HBO’s The Deuce), and now, acclaimed actor David Krumholtz is back — but this time, he’s the lead character in a project. In fact, he’s the titular character in Lousy Carter, and don’t let the tight runtime fool you.

The new offering hit theaters on Friday, March 29, and packs a punch. We recently caught up with Krumholtz in a hilarious interview to learn more about his latest project and what it means to him to have co-starred in the latest Best Picture winner at the Oscars (Oppenheimer).

David Krumholtz Felt ‘Like a Square Peg in a Round Hole’

Lousy Carter (2024)


Release Date
October 20, 2023

Bob Byington

80 Minutes

Bob Byington

Americano Brutto

A sort of jaded college grad-school professor is a role Krumholtz was born to play. Lousy Carter seems like an inevitable collaboration between director Bob Byington and the actor. “I’ve known Bob for a really long time, and he recently had me do a day of work on his last film, called Frances Ferguson,” Krumholtz told MovieWeb, adding:

“We had fun together. And I think he sort of said, ‘There’s a world where I would consider working more intimately with David Krumholtz,’ which is nice. And originally, he wanted me to play [the supporting character] Kaminsky, Martin Starr’s role, the best friend, and I was totally down to do that. And then he called and said, ‘Would you consider playing Lousy?’ And that was a bit of a harder thing to wrap my head around. Sometimes you read a role, and you feel like a square peg in a round hole.”

And speaking of Martin Starr, this isn’t the first time Krumholtz has worked with the perhaps equally hilarious performer, dating back to the 1990s. “The great thing about working with Martin over and over again is that it gets better every time,” Krumholtz told us.

Our relationship just keeps getting funnier and better and smarter. It’s steeped in history, and I love him very much. I think he’s a beautiful man and a wildly talented actor, and we have great chemistry with each other, and we just love being around each other,” added Krumholtz. “He’s one of the only friends of mine that I can’t keep a straight face around, and I think the feeling is mutual. We just laugh when we’re around each other. We just can’t stop laughing.”

Thinking in the Shower: The Life and Times of Martin Starr

Krumholtz went on to tell a funny personal anecdote about his real-life friendship with Starr, who folks will recognize from hit shows like Silicon Valley and Party Down. “Many years ago, he had a lot of problems with being chronically, wildly late,” explained Krumholtz. “And he would tell you, ‘Hey, I’m on my way.’ And he lived maybe 10 minutes away, and he’d show up three hours later. And you’d be like, ‘Where the f**k were you? I thought you were on your way.’ And he’d say, ‘Sorry, I got stuck doing something.'” He elaborated:

And then you’d ask what he was doing, and he’d always give you the same answer. And it was the worst answer ever. He would say, ‘I was thinking in the shower.’ So if I ever write a biography of Martin Starr, it’s going to be called
Thinking in the Shower

On that note, since the two once co-starred in the cult classic show Freaks and Geeks, we had to ask if there has ever been chatter about returning to that beloved universe. “From time to time, maybe we mentioned some stuff, but no, I mean, it’s a long time ago,” said Krumholtz. “[Martin] stole that show, let’s face it. I mean, the discovery that Judd Apatow and Paul Feig made in Martin Starr was massive for them. They got lucky on that. I mean, Martin got lucky, but they got lucky. They found one of the more unique, interesting, believable, grounded actors there is. He’s unbelievable in that show. But he’s great in everything.”

Related: 28 Best Comedy Movies on Max to Watch Right Now

Oppenheimer Success Has Krumholtz ‘Filled With Gratitude’

Cillian Murphy and David Krumholtz in Oppenheimer (2023)
Universal Pictures

More recently, Krumholtz was a standout in Oppenheimer, having shared some of the film’s most impactful scenes with now-Oscar winner Cillian Murphy. We were curious what it must have felt like to have one of your movies take home the top prize at the Academy Awards. “It’s very emotional, because you work a long time toward that goal and toward imagining that that might happen for you one day, and then the day comes, and it’s pinch-yourself stuff,” Krumholtz told us. “It’s humbling, and I’m just filled with gratitude.”

Related: 9 Small Details in Oppenheimer You Probably Missed the First Time Around

Krumholtz is also recognizable from Numbers, his hit CBS series from earlier this century. And since several acclaimed shows like Frasier and Monk are getting rebooted in their own ways, we had to ask if Krumholtz ever entertained the notion. “I was, a few years ago,” he said, adding:

I sort of put the idea out into the world, called the creators of the show and said, ‘Hey, why don’t we do this? They’re starting to reboot stuff.’ And they took it to CBS, and CBS said no. So that was the end of that.

“And now, since then, I’ve lost a considerable amount of hair,” laughed Krumholtz about Numbers. “And so I don’t want people watching the show, going, ‘Yes, but his hair was the draw back then.’ So, yeah, it’ll never happen.”

Looking ahead, Krumholtz told us he’s kept busy with a new comedy called Forelock from writer-director Caleb Alexander Smith. But outside the comedy realm, one has to wonder if there’s a particular genre he’d like to try out down the line. “I haven’t done any horror, and I’ve always wanted to,” he said. “I’d love to play a villain. I love psychological dramas, psychological thrillers… I would very much want to be part of those, or action, superhero stuff. I love the MCU unabashedly, I’m not ashamed to say that. I absolutely love it. I do think it’s cinema. Unlike certain people who don’t think it’s cinema, I think it’s absolutely cinema. And I’m very, very excited about where it’s gonna go next.”

And lastly, true Krumholtz fans might love him best from his standout turn as the head elf Bernard in The Santa Clause (1994), which spawned a franchise that just cannot be stopped. “I did an episode of the first season of The Santa Clauses, and that’s about all the revisiting I feel I want to do at this point,” he told us. “I don’t know how much interest there is and doing much more with the character from Disney’s perspective. But I’m getting old, and playing elves is getting old, but I love it. I’ll always love it. I’m proud of it.”

In the meantime, from Magnolia Pictures, Lousy Carter was released in theaters and on digital Friday, March 29. You can rent or buy it through Prime Video below or YouTube, Google Play, Apple TV, or Fandango at Home.

Watch Lousy Carter

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