The Other Two was already the best new comedy of 2019 before they aired the greatest Call Me By Your Name tribute last night. The series, created by SNL alumni Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider, takes a warm and hilarious look at the Dubeks, a family figuring out what it means to be living in the shadows of a major spotlight when 13-year-old Chase Dubek goes viral for his YouTube song, "I Want To Marry You At Recess." Suddenly, Pat (Molly Shannon), along with older siblings Brooke (Heléne York) and Cary (Drew Tarver), put their own less-than-stimulating lives on hold to support — and mooch off of — Chase's sudden fame. They even move into Justin Theroux's apartment, which includes a motorcycle toilet and a closet full of the same pair of combat boots.
And while every episode is filled to the brim with biting comebacks, witty dialogue, and spot-on commentaries about the youth, it's the final minute and a half of episode 8, "Chase Turns 14," that shows just how far the show's writer and actors are willing to go to pursue — and nail — the bit.
Let me set the scene: Cary is in his early 30s, and a bit of a former child star himself. But now, he's just a mostly out-of-work actor who has trouble booking commercials as "Man Who Smelled A Fart," let alone figuring out how to approach his love life. He starts a heavy flirtation with Jeremy, a high school teacher, after chaperoning Chase to prom (a story for a different day), but ruins things when he tries to impress his crush by acting like a pretentious asshole. Mourning the loss of this potential boo, Cary does the what anyone else would do: He starts "Call Me By Your Name-ing." He solemnly sits in front of fire place, and slowly starts to cry in front of a crackling fire as Sufjan Stevens' "Visions of Gideon" starts to play. It's a perfect parody of Call Me By Your Name's director Luca Guadagnino iconic scene featuring soft boy Timothée Chalamet.
I got Tarver on the phone to ask him about how the scene came together, and whether or not that Armie Hammer tracksuit joke was intentional or just fate. And Mr. Guadagnino? He's waiting for your call.
Refinery29: Are you good at crying on command? Apparently Luca Guadagnino made Chalamet do 3 variations, each with a slightly different emotion.
Drew Tarver: "I came up through the sketch improv comedy world so I had done big, huge fake crying on stage but I had never tried to do it for real, [on camera]. I knew this scene was coming up, and I read it at the table read and I was like, that’s so funny; I wonder how I should play that. Then they [Kelly and Schneider] were like, 'we think we want to do this for real. Let’s try to get some real tears." So I was like okay, let’s do it. But then I was like, wait, how do I do that? Because I really don’t have real training.
"We were filming on a Monday, so the weekend before I just got sad, I guess? I just walked around around the city and listened to sad music while I watched the sun set. I don’t know if that’s a technique, but maybe I’ll start teaching it. I came in that Monday and tried to get it. It’s funny that he did three takes because we did three takes as well. We were trying to get the timing just right. A lot of it was like, how far does he lean forward — there was a lot of shoulder. Are his shoulders slumped over? Does he turn his hand in a little bit? They were like, Ok so when you get a tear, wait a beat, and then look into the camera, and then look over your right shoulder. Molly and Heléne were in the background and then they would cue them. I was actually able to get a few real fears and I freaked myself out a little bit over it."
Was it a lot of choreography?
"It was, honestly. [In the movie] Elio walks in with a little walkman and puts it down. We were trying to replicate that, and we were trying to figure out how to get all of it exactly like the scene. Like, go over there and put that down and then hunch down — but not too much — and then you look at the camera and then cry, and then look over your shoulder. "
Were you sitting in front of an actual the fireplace?
"There wasn’t a real fire, but i think there was a sort of fire place — maybe a faux fireplace — on that side of that set. I think they were using just a light or something. I was staring directly into the camera guy's knee when I was doing that. I wish there was some real crackling wood there, but that was just good Hollywood magic."
Was it hard to get the song, “Visions of Gideon”?
"I don’t even know what went into that, but I was so happy when I heard they were getting the song because it is so iconic in that scene. I don’t think it would have worked without it."
Since we near the end of the season, where do you see Cary going from here?
"This scene is a release from all of the stuff he has been dealing with over the season, just trying to figure himself out with his roommate and then he ruined what he had with Jeremy because he was trying to be more in the world of his little brother. You know how after you cry, you’re like, 'Okay that felt good, I’m still confused but at least I let that out.' I don’t know that he will have anymore answers because of crying in front of a fireplace, but it might help him figure out where he is after falling flat on his face."
In the movie, the scene is sad, but hopeful. I feel like it’s the same for Cary.
"Yeah, there is some hope that scene, the way it’s acted. Both [men] are like, 'Well I tried and I put myself out there, but let’s try it again.'"
Are you an Elio or an Oliver? Who do you think Cary would think he is?
"That is a tough question. Who do I think I am? I have aspects of both of them. I tend to be aloof and dumb a lot and I say 'Later' too much. But I can also get in my head a lot so I am definitely both of those characters. Cary probably has a little bit of both as well, trying to figure himself out. He’s is learning to love himself so he can figure out what he actually wants. Cary is dealing with figuring out who he is. He feels like he needs to figure it out in a lot less time because people are like, 'Who are you?' And he’s like, 'I’m not sure!'"
Have you read the book?
"I haven’t but I loved the movie. It was so good and so well shot and I love any queer story that is on screen."
"I love the way they dressed in the movies. I love a polo shirt that comes down to your elbows. But I didn’t know about the tracksuits. Was he wearing them as an homage to the style in the movie?"
Towards the end of the press tour he just wore them everywhere. But throughout this whole episode, Brooke’s character is wearing an Adidas tracksuit-looking jumpsuit and I didn’t know if it was a double Call Me By Your Name joke.
"That is very funny. I don’t know if Chris and Sarah have any Easter eggs like that, but they might have a bunch of hidden Mickeys that we don’t even know about. I love that he was just like I am tired, so I’m wearing these. He sounds like my Nana."