One of the most criminally underrated comic book films in pop culture is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. Is there a better way to join the festivities (aside from streaming the movie on Netflix, or writing a ballad about a shitty ex) than to read about the time Jason Schwartzman made the professional decision to wear women’s underwear underneath his costume?
Entertainment Weekly’s Clark Collis put together a thorough oral history of 2010's Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World with the help of cast members Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Chris Evans, Kieran Culkin, Alison Pill, graphic novel writer Bryan Lee O’Malley, and director Edgar Wright. Like any good oral history, the chat is rife with interesting tidbits that evade common knowledge, like the fact that Seth Rogan was named by a Universal exec as a potential candidate for the title role, an idea that Wright ultimately declined in favor of Cera (“I love Seth, but I couldn’t get my head around that.”). The group also ruminates on the film’s belated cultural success despite a low box office turnout. (Wright: “I’ve never liked Seth MacFarlane, because that weekend he tweeted “Scott Pilgrim 0, the World 2.” I was like, f—- you. And then I lay in wait until 8 Million Ways to Die in the West came out, or whatever it was called, and I rubbed my hands with glee. I didn’t tweet anything because I’m not a total monster. [Laughs]”)
It’s all pretty fascinating, but the stand-out moment arguably goes to Schwartzman, who shared his very method approach to underwear while playing Ramona Flowers’ toxic ex, Gideon Graves:
WRIGHT: In the [ending’s] fight scene, Schwartzman did a stunt and he ripped his pants. That was funny enough. Then he whispered to me, “I’m wearing ladies’ underwear.”
SCHWARTZMAN: It occurred to me that this character would wear the underwear of whatever person he was with. I wore multiple pairs of these red silk panties the whole shoot. During the fight scene, my pants ripped completely, open in the back. I said to Edgar, “I’ve got to go, because I’ve got something quite sexy on.”
Schwartzman once mentioned this in an interview with Movie Retriever back in 2010 and even added that he would wear Winstead’s perfume every day—another quirk attributed to his dastardly character as a sign of ownership and obsession. Acting!
Read the full oral history here.