Paul Scheer is known for not just his hilarious roles on shows like The League and Human Giant, but also for his ability to both laud and skewer the best bad films on his podcast, How Did This Get Made?
It's pretty obvious to anyone who's listened to him wax poetic about movies that he's a big film buff. But after seeing a giant poster for the American Film Institute's "Top 100 Films of All Time," Scheer realized that he hadn't seen many of them. That's why his new podcast, Unspooled, will be the perfect challenge for him -- and a gem to his longtime listeners.
"These are classics and, if anything, I have a passing knowledge of them or just remember whatever scene pop culture has dictated as 'the iconic moment.' I figured that most people are probably in the same boat -- they stay away from classic films because there is an idea in the ether that they are academic and aren’t as fun as the latest thing in theaters," he tells ET. "So, I thought it would be fun to go and watch these films and talk about them, like a book club for movies. Take away the academia and just look at them for what they are -- great films."
The 42-year-old actor-comedian has teamed up with film critic Amy Nicholson for this new venture, which launches May 17 and will find the two dissecting iconic scenes and talking with artists and filmmakers about the movies.
"She’s opinionated, but not a snob," Scheer says of his co-host, whom he says has a Pauline Kael-type of style. "She isn’t just looking at something and judging it simply as good or bad, but talking about the film in the context of the world and what it is saying and why it’s important, so I get a front row seat to her brilliance, and we are both coming at these films in different ways."
Scheer believes discussing films is really the best part about the medium, which makes podcasting a natural vehicle for his interests. "It’s where you see what you might have missed, you hear another perspective," he muses. "I personally don’t think art should be consumed in a vacuum and I think social media has really shown us that."
That's exactly why we wanted to find out which movies the Veep star thinks we need to see but, honestly, probably haven't. Here are his top five:
"It's Steve Martin and Eddie Murphy in a movie about making a movie. It's my comedy dream team together making a film that holds up to this day about trying to make it in Hollywood any way you can."
Out of Sight (1998)
"I think this movie comes closest to capturing the quirk and tone of an Elmore Leonard novel. [Steven] Soderbergh gets amazing performances from an insane cast that is led by Jennifer Lopez and George Clooney and co-stars Albert Brooks, Don Cheadle and Steve Zahn."
Ball of Fire (1941)
"Written by Billy Wilder and directed by Howard Hawks, a nightclub singer teaches a group of stuffy academics about slang and how to live life."
Step Up 2: The Streets (2008)
"If this movie doesn’t bring immense joy to your life, get a funeral plot, because you’re dead inside."
Running Scared (1986)
"Billy Crystal and Gregory Hines are in a buddy cop movie with Jimmy Smits as the bad guy. It’s funny, it’s dramatic and it’s got one of the best shot car chase sequences literally on the El Train in Chicago."