Josh Radnor on 'Liberal Arts,' 'Twilight' and His Future on 'How I Met Your Mother
It's hard to say why, but there seems to be a hesitation on the part of popular society to accept Josh Radnor as a filmmaker. While his co-stars on "How I Met Your Mother" -- Jason Segel and Neil Patrick Harris, in particular -- have faced little resistance as they pursued other projects, Radnor, as a recent Gawker post illustrates, is still referred to as "Guy from 'How I Met Your Mother.'"
In 2010, Radnor's directorial debut, "happythankyoumoreplease," premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. The movie clicked at the festival, earning the Audience Award, but bombed with critics and fell flat at the box office.
Now, Radnor is back at Sundance with "Liberal Arts," a film that received a standing ovation at its premiere. In "Liberal Arts," Radnor plays Jesse, a somewhat depressed admissions counselor at a New York City college who is invited by a former professor (Richard Jenkins) to give a retirement speech in Ohio. There, Jesse meets a 19-year-old student named Zibby (Elizabeth Olsen) and an ill-advised relationship develops between the two.
I met Radnor, whom I've interviewed twice before, at a house off of Main Street in Park City, UT. A house that features its own private screening room equipped, of course, with beanbags that Radnor's publicist suggests that we both lie down on (we didn't). In our discussion, Radnor shares his opinions of David Foster Wallace and "Twilight" -- both figure prominently in "Liberal Arts" -- and reflects on his first film, "Not Another Teen Movie." He also addresses the rumor that he's writing a book about the Amazonian ceremonial drug Ayahuasca, and talks about his future (or lack thereof) as Ted Mosby on "How I Met Your Mother."