Dylan Penn is an actor, comedian, and writer whose credits include Inside Amy Schumer, The Big Bang Theory, and Parks and Recreation. He has also appeared on The Office as a semi-regular character named Scott. He’s currently starring in the Netflix series My Own Country as well as in Adam Sandler’s Murderous Affairs. He was previously on The Goldbergs as a recurring character named Adam. Most recently, his work can be seen in Bridget Jones’s Baby. He is currently starring in the second season of Search Party and plays Tom in the upcoming horror film Unbound. This year, he will also be seen in a major recurring role on the Starz series High Sparrow. I had the pleasure of talking to him about his work and what’s next for him.
On The Big Bang Theory
When I first heard about The Big Bang Theory, I thought it was a show about comedians. When I found out it was about physicists, I was like, “Oh, that’s interesting.” I had no idea that it would become such a popular show and be able to integrate so many different topics and themes. It started out as a fairly standard sitcom. People would laugh at the funny observations the characters would make about math and science. As the show progressed, it became more about the characters dealing with their personal lives and how those conflicts relate to their work. One of my favorite episodes is “The Quantum Mechanic Solution,” where Sheldon and Leonard discover that Penny has been spending a lot of time with her new boyfriend, Mark. In the scene, Mark is giving Sheldon a hard time about math. Suddenly, Sheldon’s brain begins to kick in and he gives Mark the answer to a problem he’s been working on for days. This was a turning point for the character. Up until that point, Sheldon had been a pretty one-dimensional character. He’d been funny, but he’d never really had a character arc. In that moment, his character changed and we learned a lot more about him. After that episode, Sheldon started becoming more of a regular part of the show. He still doesn’t really have a personal life, but he does have relationships with the women in his life. One of my favorite scenes in the series is the Thanksgiving episode, where Sheldon’s friends are all dressed up and trying to teach him how to behave around women. In “The Proposal Presented Again,” Sheldon agrees to marry Penny, but he wants to play it cool until he can propose the right way. So he takes her out for a beer and the friends give him advice. I also love the Christmas episode “Special Day,” where Sheldon has a Christmas party at his apartment. It’s not really about Christmas, but it’s one of the best representations of what goes into putting on a holiday party. It has party hats, snowballs, fir trees, Christmas cards, and an eggnog machine! I haven’t really talked about that much about the show, because it’s not a movie that gets watched very often. It’s on Netflix, so people either watch it or forget about it. I’ve heard people describe it as “curious” and “amusing,” but that’s about it. The only bad thing I’ve heard is that it’s not as funny as people thought it would be when it first came out. In interviews, one of the co-creators, Chuck Lorre, has said that they knew it would be popular, but they didn’t expect it to become a cult following. The thing is, as far as I’m concerned, it’s still one of the best shows on TV. There’s a reason why it’s one of the most downloaded shows on Netflix.
On Search Party
Search Party is a bit of a head scratcher. I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I watched the show’s pilot. I’d watched Amy Schumer’s stand-up comedy specials and knew she was funny, but I wasn’t really sure about the show. When I watched the first few episodes, I realized it was trying to be a mix between Black-ish and Difficult People. The show is funny, but the script is often overwrought and doesn’t serve the comedy very well. It’s a show about four white people who find themselves living in Brooklyn and are trying to navigate the complexities of being black in America. One of the main characters, Gene, plays a big role in defining who he is and what he believes in. The show explores topics like gentrification, police brutality, and racism in America. It’s also a show that’s very invested in portraying Amy as a strong black woman. I love that the creators of the show were so conscious of what it means to be a black woman in America today. It would’ve been easy for them to just make fun of poor black women or play into the racist narrative that’s still prevalent in America.
When I was asked about the biggest challenges of the role, Amy’s manager, Kim, said this about the show: “I think a lot of it has to do with the stigma that still exists around asking for financial help. Even though we live in a time where financial struggle and poverty is no longer a taboo, people are still afraid to ask for help.” In an interview with Bustle, Amy said: “There are times when I’ll have a check for $40,000 written out to me, and I’ll have to ask somebody if they’ll count it as a loan.” The thing is, she wouldn’t have to ask anyone if they’ll cash her check. There are plenty of loan sharks out there looking for an easy mark. She could approach a reputable corporate lender and get a much better rate. It’s sad that in 2019, black women have to be the ones fighting for equal rights and economic opportunity. It’s frustrating, because it means there are still so many barriers in place. And that’s not even taking into consideration the color of her skin. This is a reality that many black women have to face. For some reason, Hollywood doesn’t do enough to help. And until they start, I’m afraid it’ll keep happening.
On Adam Sandler’s Murderous Affairs
I’ve been seeing a lot of Adam Sandler on Twitter lately. It started when he responded to a critic who was panning his new movie, Murderous Affairs. The writer said that Adam Sandler doesn’t belong in a comedy and that his films are only good for middle school girls. To which, Sandler tweeted: “I can’t believe people are still making movies. It’s so pathetic how little those girls have to offer. They should call themselves the ‘pewdiepie generation.’” And then he made a GIF of himself with the face of a golden retriever as the background of a laughing emoji. That may be the least terrifying thing I’ve ever seen (not really).
Anyways, I wasn’t sure what to expect from the movie. I mean, it’s Adam Sandler and it’s a comedy, so I figured it’d be another Happy Madison movie. But it’s not. It’s a dark comedy about a divorced father who decides to get revenge on the men who wronged him by killing them one by one. The tagline is “Who hasn’t felt like a victim at one point or another?” I think that sums it up perfectly. It starts out funny, but then it just keeps getting darker and darker. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart. It’s a must-see for anyone who loves good cinema.
On His Next Project
I haven’t heard much about Adam’s next project, but I’ve seen a photo of him with an afro pick in his hand. I assume that’s how he’s going to beat the men who wronged him and make them pay for their crimes. I’m not sure if that’ll make his life worth living, but it’ll definitely be interesting to see how it all plays out.
As for Dylan, he’s currently starring in the Netflix series My Own Country. It’s based on the book of the same name by Will Ferguson. His character, Will, is an aspiring politician who after being told by a white man that he can’t be elected because he’s not “one of us,” decides to run for the Senate. It’s a story that’s all too familiar to people who are actually living it. The series also stars Jane Foster, Maisie Williams, and Alice Englert. It’s a compelling story about a young man who decides to fight for what’s right despite the opposition. When asked about running for office, Will says: “I have to. For myself, for my community, for my humanity. I have to, I must.” That’s a quote right there. It’s exactly what I’d say if I were in his position. So not only does he have a purpose for being there, but he has a mission: to fight and to win. Something to look forward to.
Murderous Affairs and My Own Country are both available to stream on Netflix.