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Q&A – Adam Goldberg on The Trivial Pursuits of Arthur Banks

Adam Goldberg plays Arthur Banks in the brand-new original short series The Trivial Pursuits of Arthur Banks. In an exclusive interview with AMCtv.com, the actor talks about how his character compares with Woody Allen and gives some advice to his lovelorn character.

Q: What attracted you to The Trivial Pursuits of Arthur Banks?

A: I like AMC, and I met Peter [Glanz] on a movie and he mentioned this to me. It sounded like a fun way to do something that was different. An artful take on the short form was appealing to me.

Q: As an actor, does working on an online short series change your approach to the material?

A: Every once in a while, I would joke, “Come on. Let’s make a webisode.” Because you actually forget that’s what you’re doing. You’re imagining the scope of something, but even when you make a movie you don’t really know how it’s going to end up. There is a distinct possibility it’s going to end up on a much smaller screen than you envisioned. It’s all sort of the same.

Q: A lot of people have been comparing the series to Woody Allen’s work.

A: Oh, yeah. I tried my best to not do Woody. As someone who was born and bred on his movies, it was important to me to try and make the guy as unique a character as possible, given the similarities to that kind of neurotic comedy.

Q: Do you have a favorite Woody Allen movie?

A: It’s Stardust Memories, which my film I Love Your Work was compared to, and Stardust Memories, ironically, is an homage to Fellini’s . That’s how I got interested in seeing Bergman’s films and Italian movies when I was a kid — seeing Woody Allen movies referencing them. So now a generation is born of people referencing Woody Allen who was referencing European filmmakers. You’ve got this metaecho chamber going on.

Q: Are you similar to Arthur in any way?

A: That sense of being restless or creating this kind of drama for yourself is rooted in a kind of narcissism that I think has afflicted me to some extent. He reminds me a little bit of me when I was in my twenties actually. [Laughs] My first movie, Scotch and Milk, was a movie about my ex-girlfriend, and my ex-girlfriend played my ex-girlfriend, and my assistant on that film was my girlfriend at the time. That was the way I was living my life. But I was 26.

Q: There are some beautiful photos you took on the set. Have you always been into photography?

A: I’ve always taken tons of pictures. I sort of got back into shooting Polaroid again. You can get film on eBay, and the other film I was shooting was from this company called the Impossible Project, which I’m happy to plug. They basically rescued this Polaroid film factory in the Netherlands, and they have a gallery in New York. Some of those photos actually appeared in a show they were doing. We thought it might be nice to add that.

Q: What advice would you give Arthur to improve his love life?

A: Stop being a narcissistic schmuck. Grow up. [Laughs] Basically.

Q: There is this idea put forth by Jeffrey Tambor’s character in episode three that one’s choice of eggs reflects his outlook on life. Do you like your eggs sunny-side up or scrambled?

A: I don’t like eggs. Even my girlfriend’s mother, who is literally the best cook I’ve ever known — I refused her eggs. Just to give you an indication. [Laughs] Although at work, if it’s like a 5 a.m. call, I’ll have an egg and cheese on a roll because I just don’t know what else you’re supposed to eat at 5:30 in the morning.

Q: I’m trying to figure out what that says about your psyche.

A: I think it means I’m totally developed, totally balanced. And enlightened.

Watch The Trivial Pursuits of Arthur Banks.

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