It’s the morning after the Oscars and, like many people, Adam Brody is wondering what possessed the organizers to opt for the “champagne” colored carpet.
“I’ll say two things. I have two thoughts on that,” Brody says, on Zoom from his phone at home in L.A. “I agree on one hand, who gives a s–t? On the other hand, of all the things to pre-game and figure out if you’re going to do it, it’s like, ‘Give it a test run. And walk on it. Take some pictures on it.’”
Having been made into a household name for his role on “The O.C.” as Seth Cohen, a loveable fan favorite, it’s reassuring that Brody is as easy to talk to as one hopes. He’s back home in L.A. after a press trip to New York and is adjusting to the daylight saving time change (as well as processing the previous night’s Oscars).
Since “The O.C.” Brody has been in a variety of projects, most with some sort of comedic bent, and this past year has seen him back in the spotlight. He appeared in the TV adaptation of “Fleishman Is in Trouble” as (yet another) Seth, the college friend of Jesse Eisenberg and Lizzy Caplan’s characters. The series shot last year on the heels of his role in “Shazam! Fury of the Gods,” the sequel to the 2019 film Brody also starred in, which is finally in theaters Friday.
His entry into the superhero film began with an audition for a completely unrelated scene, a “’90s-era Jim Carrey-type basketball coach” bit, Brody recalls.
“It was weird and very broad. And I did it with the casting director, and I did it once and put it in the mail and never thought about it again because it was so impersonal,” he continues.
A few weeks later he received a call offering him the role, and though he still had no idea what the project actually was, the whole “big studio superhero movie thing” had already sold him.
The “Shazam!” world is one in which kids can transform themselves into adult superheros, which is the fun part of it all for Brody.
“We’re getting to play as goofy as you feel,” he says.
This summer he’ll be seen in the remake of the 1994 Meryl Streep and Kevin Bacon film “The River Wild,” in which he stars with his wife Leighton Meester and their friend Taran Killam. The film is a whitewater rafting thriller in which a pair of siblings are on a trip with their friends, which begins to unravel as one of the friends’ motives are called into question.
It’s not the first time Brody and Meester have worked together (which he calls “the best”) but spending their days where one is trying to kill the other onscreen was certainly a new experience for them.
“That wasn’t necessarily a plus for us,” Brody says deadpan. “But there were other reasons to do it, and we thought like, ‘Well, we’ll just deal with that. Better us than someone and better me or you than someone else. At least we’re safe and trusting.’ I wasn’t too concerned. I thought it would be fine, otherwise I wouldn’t have done it. But I was a touch nervous of, ‘Will this affect us, will we take this home?’ We did not really. It proved to be not too taxing on our relationship.”
The film shot in Europe over the summer and given they’re both in every scene, they had to make it into a family European summer adventure, bringing the kids along with them as they traveled around Budapest, Slovakia and Bosnia to shoot.
“We made a big family adventure out of it,” Brody says.
In between now and press for that film, Brody plans to spend time returning to surfing, which he can now finally do after shoulder surgery in November. He also is on the hunt for his next role.
“Anything well written is immensely attractive to me and everyone else in the industry, so it doesn’t matter. That said, I would love to do something that is just undeniably funny and lives or dies with how funny it is,” he says. “I would just love to do something that is just laugh-out-loud funny.”
Brody is not one of the actors who enjoys the uncertainty of the industry, but has learned over the years to trust the process.
“The idea that you don’t know where you’re working next until, most of the time, two to three weeks before can be stressful. But I’ve done it for a long time and I’m very used to the cycles. And if I wasn’t I think it’d be much more stressful because I wouldn’t understand the math of it. I’d feel like, ‘Well, I’m never going to work again,’” he says. “But because I’ve been doing it for more than two decades, and I can see the ebbs and flows of it, I’m more comfortable with it and I’m more zen about it.”