Oscar Watch: Jim Rash
Jim Rash is having "a moment" -- as they say.
Not only has the third season of Community allowed Dean Pelton to thrust himself upon America (where he found millions of willing recipients) but he's currently an Oscar nominee – along with partner Nat Faxon and director Alexander Payne, Jim co-writing The Descendants.
"I think everyone who writes screenplays thinks about The Oscar at some point," Jim tells TheInsider.com. "But it's really quite an amazing thing to be real." Although, his personal jubilation was nearly overshadowed on nomination morning (yes, he woke up for the live announcement) by the pride he felt for Octavia Spencer and Melissa McCarthy, his good friends who will square off in the Best Supporting Actress category come February 26.
Locking down a date for the return of Community is a bit tougher. The cult hit was taken off the schedule back in December, much to the chagrin of fans and critics like myself. "I would be lying if I said those first few days [after the hiatus announcement] weren't sad. But hearing from so many supporters really made it easier. It took us all a day to shake it off, but ever since then we haven't really looked back."
Although, the cast did take a moment to reflect on Jim's myriad of nominations one special day when they surprised him with a cake featuring Dean Pelton's high school school photo, which they had photoshopped to show him sitting atop a Golden Globe. "It's amazing the little family we've developed on Community -- we all support one another, whether it's my writing, Donald's [Glover] singing or any other projects. These are really amazing people. And we're all just so excited to show you guys what we’ve been working on."
When pressed for details about the upcoming episodes, Jim was gun-shy, for fear of getting in trouble over secret spilling -- even after I reminded him that no matter how many spoilers he divulged, Community was in no position to fire their only Oscar nominee.
Eventually Jim revealed that John Goodman's character comes back in a big way with these remaining episodes. "He really threatens to seriously disrupt the power dynamics on the show," Jim says. Plus there are plenty of new, sparkly costumes that Jim gets to rock as Dean Pelton.
"I love that he's stopped pretending these are his sister's clothes," Jim laughs. "He's owning it more: the clothes, the weird sexual ambiguity, the affection for Jeff's abs. He just kind of goes for it now. I think the documentary episode changed a lot for the Dean -- it made him more of a person. Yes, he continues to be over-the-top, but I feel like we earned it by showing you the other side of him during that complete breakdown."
With production on the final Community episodes nearing conclusion, Jim will refocus his post-Oscar energy on getting another one of his scripts produced. "[Nat and I] wrote this movie before The Descendants – it's actually what got us that job. It's not quite as dramatic -- there's no wife in a coma, but there's some comedy to it. Obviously there's a weird kind of pressure when your first screenplay gets an Oscar nomination, but my only hope is that people just like what I do next."
The Descendants is now playing.