Tim Robbins seemed a little worn out at the dinner following last night’s screening of his new film, The Lucky Ones.
“I don’t really feel like talking,” the actor said when we got alongside him early in the evening. “I just kind of want to relax with my friends and family.”
Being neither, the Daily Transom took our seat at the table adjacent to Robbins’s, where he sat with Mort Zuckerman and Bob Balaban and people we assumed were his family (Susan Sarandon was not present, unfortunately), looking relaxed.
Later, we spoke with an equally weary-looking Michael Pena, who acts alongside Mr. Robbins in the film (Rachel McAdams, who was filming in Canada last night, also stars).
It’s a movie about three soldiers returning home from Iraq—a mix of farce and drama with a distinctly political bent. So, we thought we’d ask Mr. Pena for his thoughts on the most recent absurd political development–the Sarah Palin e-mail hack.
It turns out Mr. Pena hadn’t even heard about the scandal. Feeling guilty for fanning that particular flame, we were preparing to change the subject when Pena explained, “It’s just that my wife just had a baby … And we’ve been doing press, so I don’t hear stuff like that. I’d like to!”
Pena listened as we described what had happened, nodding interestedly and finally suggesting, “You should ask Tim what he thinks about it.”
We told him about that situation, too.
“But he’s talking to a reporter right now,” he replied, gesturing to our voice recorder. “He’s got one of those, anyway.”
Like a jealous ex-girlfriend, we attempted to glance casually across the room where, indeed, Mr. Robbins, flanked by director Neil Burger, was speaking into a microphone.
We spoke with Mr. Burger first, who told us about his intentions with the film: “The movie is really about America now, where we are as a country, where the conversation is. Most importantly, it’s funny and it’s funny for a reason, because laughter can make certain truths hit with more impact. When an audience puts up a wall to any serious issue, the humor becomes like a Trojan horse that gets through the wall.”
Speaking of walls—Mr. Robbins had come around. Well, what did the famously politically active actor think about the goings-on of the past week?
“It’s a distraction. That was the whole strategy of the Republican party–how do we get people talking about something that is irrelevant for three weeks, four weeks out of the election cycle. It distracts from what we should be talking about, like the economy and the difference between the two candidates.”
Now we felt bad again.