FANG: You and your GOOD NEIGHBORS co-star Emily Hampshire appear in David Cronenberg’s latest, COSMOPOLIS. Can you talk about that and working for Cronenberg?
BARUCHEL: Again, this is a movie that I agreed to do without knowing what I’d be doing in it. I was sort of just keeping my fiancée [Allison Pill] company in Manhattan while she was doing her play. My greatest ambition was to just write horror. And that’s been picking up after my work on [co-writing] GOON. My writing partner [Jesse Chabot] and I got hired on a couple of things, and so on-camera acting was the furthest thing from my mind this year. And then they said, “You want to go to Toronto and do two days on the new David Cronenberg?” I said, “I’ll pick up that man’s f**king dry cleaning.” I’ll do anything to meet him. He’s one of my original heroes. For a Canadian who wants to make horror movies for the rest of his life, there’s no greater hero or no more important figure than David Cronenberg. It was a very, very easy “yes” for me. And showing up there, once I got past the initial butterflies in my stomach and the jitters of not only getting to meet one of my heroes, but getting to work with him, that took some getting through because I was flabbergasted. Here I am, getting to watch him do his thing, in his environment. But once I was past that, it was the easiest job I’ve ever had. It was simple and fun and exciting and I could retire tomorrow because I’m in one of his flicks now.
FANG: Who do you play in COSMOPOLIS?
BARUCHEL: The thing is incredibly dense and ethereal and mostly it’s just dialogue heavy. It takes place in the early 2000s during a version of the dotcom boom. It follows Robert Pattinson’s character, who’s the CEO of one of these tech companies, and he’s on his way to work and he’s trying to get a haircut and that’s the movie. And 90 percent of it takes place in his limo en route to get a haircut. He has all these different meetings with people he works alongside, and they come in to the limo, he has a long, sort of philosophical conversation with them and they get out, they exchange seats, and I’m the first guy he picks up. I’m the guy who started the company with him, and I’m a young, rich, upwardly mobile tech head. We have a four-page long existential scene about the nature of 20th-century living and then I disappear. It was the most satisfying, interesting, exciting and every adjective in the book. It really, really nourished me. I know I’m a better actor, a better writer and a better person for it.