Sarah Silverman turned up the heat in Park City, Utah on Sunday night by flashing some unintentional skin on the red carpet of her premiere, “I Smile Back,” at the Library Center Theatre. “Whoa, whoa, come on!” she said, as she rearranged her crisp, white button-down. “My hairstylist does the Victoria’s Secret Angels, and he made me look like one.”
It was the kind of self-deprecating remark we’ve come to expect from the raunchy comic. Yet, Silverman’s come to the festival to defy some of those expectations. In the drama, she plays Laney, a suburban housewife and mother of two with a substance abuse problem. After taking an against-type part a couple of years ago in Sarah Polley’s “Take This Waltz,” the latest role seems to be part of a coordinated plan to make the industry view her as a serious actress. Not so, Silverman said. “I never have a kind of game plan,” she said before delivering her punchline. “I’m too lazy.” That part is true. The project, based on Amy Koppelman’s novel of the same name, came to Silverman circuitously. She was on Howard Stern’s show and Koppelman happened to catch the broadcast. “Whatever combination of words I said, she decided I was the right person for this, and I really lucked out, unless it s–ts the bed and then it’s all on me,” Silverman said.
Koppelman, whose novel was rejected 80 times before finding a publisher, expanded on what struck her about that interview. “She was talking about her autobiography and about different feelings of loneliness, being overly medicated as a child,” all things which resonated.
Director Adam Salky also gave his leading-lady top marks. “She was superprepared,” he said. “She showed up to set on the first day in character, which is kind of an amazing thing,” said Salky, who plans to re-team with the writer and producer of his 2009 Sundance film, “Dare.”
At the post-premiere fete at The Acura Studio, Silverman let down her hair — literally — and switched into a more Main Street-appropriate getup of jeans and flat boots, as she hung out with her director.
Earlier in the night, Winona Ryder and Peter Sarsgaard headed to the Grey Goose Vodka Blue Door lounge to celebrate the premiere of their film, “Experimenter,” based on social psychologist Stanley Milgram. Ryder fittingly sipped the signature Milgram cocktail, as she chatted with a small group in a corner upstairs. Unlike Silverman — who said her premiere outfit “all goes back” — Ryder’s all-noir, vintage look, including an oversize wool coat, came directly from her closet.