by Dorri Olds, published on August 28, 2013 - 5:00am|
New Yorker Josh Pais shines in Showtimes Ray Donovan as creepy rich guy Stu Feldman. He is also starring in Lynn Sheltons 2013 Sundance Official Selection indie, Touchy Feely, opening in theaters September 6.
In the movie, Abby (Rosemarie DeWitt), a massage therapist, has a commitment-phobia that gushes out sideways. She cant touch other peoples skin, which is awkward in her line of work. Abbys brother Paul (Pais) is a sad, uptight, socially inept dentist with a floundering practice. Ellen Page plays his encouraging and emotionally-stunted daughter. The talented cast includes DeWitts real-life hubby Ron Livingston, and Allison Janney as the healer who loosens Paul up. Touchy Feely is about living in ones skin, both figuratively and literally.
The Arty Semite caught up with Pais at Manhattans Magnolia Pictures office.
Dorri Olds: What is it like to work with the cast of Touchy Feely?
Josh Pais: Outstanding. Everyone feels a sense of ownership in creating a Lynn Shelton movie. Lynn chooses amazing people including the crew. Every person there is committed to making the film the best it can be. Ellen and Rosemarie and Scoot [McNairy] and Allison everybody was just delicious.
How did you craft your character?
Josh Pais: I played with creating somebody that was shut down and inside of himself, thinking that if he holds on tightly that will give him some kind of comfort but instead it creates nothing but discomfort.
Do you know anyone like that?
Josh Pais: I teach a course called Committed Impulse and part of the work I do is to get people outside of their heads. It wasnt one specific person that I drew on for Paul but many people from years of those experiences.
Did you study psychology for this course?
Josh Pais: No, its the opposite of psychology. Its not about going into your past. Its about connecting with your body and what is actually around you. Its about breathing and training everyone to stay right where they are.
Is it just for actors?
Josh Pais: It started out that way but now a lot of entrepreneurs take it too. I live mostly in New York but I teach in both New York and L.A.
Can we talk about your character Stu Feldman in Ray Donovan?
Josh Pais: Stu is the polar opposite of Touchy Feelys Paul. Stu runs Paramount Pictures and hes a guy who has all the toys, all the money, all the power, but none of it has ever built up his self-esteem. Hes childish and manipulative and feels more alive when hes dominating everyone around him. Hes yearning for acknowledgment but he is empty inside.
Was it upsetting when Time Warner dropped Showtime
Josh Pais: We were like, WHAT?! I hear that throughout the country Ray Donovan is a big hit and people are loving the show but now, because of Time Warner, not everyone gets it on cable. Its interesting, society is at a crossroads with media and the Internet. It will be interesting to see how this gets resolved. I know Im switching to Verizon. They still have CBS and Showtime.
Whats next for you?
Josh Pais: The second season of Ray Donovan. And I have a couple movies people have talked to me about for the fall. Ill have to let you know which ones I do.