Duncan’s (Ken Marino) life is a real pain in the ass … literally. Tormented by a manipulative, crooked boss (Patrick Warburton), a nagging mother (Mary Kay Place) with a boyfriend 1/3 her age (Kumail Nanjiani), a deadbeat New Age dad (Stephen Root) and a sweet, yet pressuring wife (Gillian Jacobs), his mounting stress starts to trigger an insufferable gastrointestinal reaction. At the end of his rope, Duncan seeks the help of a hypnotherapist (Peter Stormare), who helps him discover the root of his unusual stomach pain: a pint-sized demon living in his intestines that, triggered by excessive anxiety, forces its way out and slaughters the people who have angered him. Out of fear that his intestinal gremlin may target its wrath on his loved ones, Duncan attempts to befriend it, naming it Milo and indulging it to keep its seemingly insatiable murderous appetite at bay.

Yes, you read it right — this film is about a monster who comes out of Ken Marino’s ass and kills people (before going back in — an even scarier prospect!). Jacob Vaughan’s film is hilarious and will also make you wince in discomfort. Through it all, Gillian Jacobs provides a sane but funny anchor amidst the insanity. I sat down with the talented actress, currently starring in her fifth season as Britta Perry on NBC’s Community, to talk about this unusual film.

Bad-milo_ver2-movie-posterDanny Miller: I love watching people’s faces when I tell them what this insane movie is about. Was that crazy plot always in place from the beginning?

Gillian Jacobs: Oh yes, I knew it was an “anal demon” movie when I signed on! (Laughs.) Ken was already attached and for me that was the biggest draw because he’s someone I always wanted to work with, I just think he’s so great. And I thought he’s always playing some kind of a confident asshole — I was excited to see him tackle this very different kind of role. This whole movie really rests on his shoulders and he does it so well. I loved working with him and doing a “different” kind of movie than I’m used to!

You’re so great in this and such a good straight man to everything that’s happening around you.

It was kind of a relief to not have to be the funny one after pulling faces on a sitcom for most of the year! It was fun playing the loving, supportive wife role, but still getting to be someone with enough personality that I never felt like a cardboard cut-out.

You and Ken Marino had wonderful chemistry, I really believed you as a married couple.

I think with Ken you’d have to be a cardboard cut-out not to have that warmth and chemistry with him, because he’s just so great!

Did you already know a lot of people in the cast?

No, not at all. Erik Charles Nielsen is from my show but we didn’t have any scenes together. I never worked with any of them before, including Mary Kay Place, who I love. It was so funny watching her and Kumail Nanjiani — who plays her young boyfriend — because he kept doing all these filthy improvs about their sex life and Mary Kay would just blush. Then he’d go in for the longest, most inappropriate kisses with her, it was such a pleasure to sit there and watch that!

I loved that scene when you’re trapped in their basement with all of their “marital aids.”

Oh my God! Because of my experience with Community, I have this sort of this sixth sense about Internet memes and what gifs will pop up and haunt me forever, so I told the director  I was fine with anything as long as no one threw any of those dildos at my face! He didn’t get it at first so I had to explain that whatever I do in this movie, there will be Community fans who will break it down and will be tweeting those moments to me for the rest of my life! I didn’t want to give the Internet that much of a gift!

That monster inside Duncan is such a great metaphor — and yet in the film it goes way beyond metaphor! But as someone who also has a hard time expressing my anger, I could really relate. Is that an issue you also have?

Oh, definitely, I have a horrible time expressing my anger! I totally feel like I’m that person who thinks of the perfect comeback or pithy quip half an hour later, but in the moment I’m too seething with anger on the inside to even think so I just hold it all in. But then I also feel like I sometimes have compulsions to do or say things I know I shouldn’t, and then I immediately think, “God damn it, why did I have to say that?” So I’m trying to learn to silence the different voices inside me.

See? This film could be used as a self-help device! We all need to express ourselves better or who knows what will come out of us!



What I love about the parts you play is that you’ve never just settled for roles that focus on your looks. Is that a conscious effort on your part?

I definitely have that feminist voice in my head that is sometimes in conflict with my chosen career! Because let’s face it, I’ve chosen a career that’s a LOT about image, especially for women. I remember when I was right out of college, I was always auditioning for these one-dimensional love-interest roles. I don’t know if I just wasn’t any good at those auditions or maybe my natural distaste for those parts came through, but I never got them! I remember one time I was auditioning for this rom-com and the director said to me, “You know who you remind me of in this scene? Christopher Walken!” And I said, “Well, I think that’s a compliment and I guess I’m not getting this part!” I just don’t think that my personal sensibilities were suited for those roles!

You have such a  range, including in that fantastic short film you just starred in called [video_lightbox_youtube video_id=Uj2kQYk5pnM width=1280 height=720 anchor=”It’s Not You, It’s Me”].

It’s interesting because you also try to think about what’s going to work for you in the long run. I don’t want to just work for just 15 years and then be maxed out because my “look” changes. I want to be a working actor until they force me into the retirement home! And I think for that to happen you have to show people that you can do a variety of things, and then hopefully you can keep working for a long time!

You’re so great at comedy — are you also longing for your big Meryl Streep Holocaust survivor role, or maybe a heroin addict?

It’s funny because I kind of did a reverse of what a lot of actors do. I started out with the heroin addict parts and then found my way into comedy. But today people mostly know me from comedy. It’s fun to do something like that “It’s Not You, It’s Me.” Even though it’s funny, it’s a much more serious part.

Are you worried about how your family members might respond to something that’s as “out there” as Bad Milo?

Oh, no — my mom has already seen me playing a topless stripper, she’s seen me being a junkie runaway street prostitute — this is pretty tame! And she has a twisted sense of humor like me, so I think she’ll enjoy it. I’ve already put my parents through far worse!

[video_lightbox_youtube video_id=tYPwEiXRUZA width=1280 height=720 anchor=”/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/badmilo-trailergraphic.jpg”]

Bad Milo is playing in select cities and is available on VOD.