Tim Blake Nelson On 'Adventures In The Sin Bin'
Tim Blake Nelson goes against type in his new film Adventures In The Sin Bin, in which he plays a Chicago police officer offering fatherly advice to Brian, a lost teenage boy. "This was not in my wheelhouse and, in addition to liking the material a great deal, I wanted the challenge of playing a character a bit older than I am and with an accent and a frame of reference that was pretty unfamiliar to me," Nelson told Uinterview exclusively.
Adventures In The Sin Bin follows the escapades of a teenager who loans out his van for his classmates' sexual exploits while trying to lose his own virginity. But the movie goes a lot deeper than your typical teen sex romp. "In a really touching way, this movie is about a teenager trying to find parenting within himself," Nelson said. "So what you get is a movie, that in it's own funny way, is a movie about self-discovery, as opposed to a rite of passage movie."
Adventures In The Sin Bin opens Oct. 18 in select cities.
It came off quirkily unlike any other teen movie I had read. I'm offered a lot of roles as dads in these types of movies and, pretty quickly, I turn them down because they seem derivative. Or even worse, completely unoriginal, which I think is worse than derivative. And this one really does it's own take on what it is to be a randy teenage boy lost in life, with ambition that, in all likelihood, won't be fulfilled in the way that the holder of those ambitions imagines. I remember being that way, and the script touched me. And it was one I really wanted to be part of.
I was much more like Brian — a little lost, a little behind the curve. But wanted people to recognize that really wonderful stuff would happen for me in life if I diligently pursued a responsible and fruitful path. And I think that's the story the movie tells because Brian, above all, radiates decency as a teenage boy. And yet, the movie is never sentimental or mawkish. You believe every moment of it, even the primary teller's outlandish stuff. It all seems part of a piece, it all works and that's magical.
I play a father, who's a Chicago policeman, and I'd certainly never been asked to play a Chicago policeman. The role was originally offered to Dennis Farina, who declined, and for reasons that I still can't explain, they felt the next logical offer was to me. This was not in my wheelhouse and, in addition to liking the material a great deal, I wanted the challenge of playing a character a bit older than I am and with an accent and a frame of reference that was pretty unfamiliar to me.
This boy is not only lost sexually but has no parents and whose older brother has abandoned him. In a really touching way, this movie is about a teenager trying to find parenting within himself. So what you get is a movie, that in its own funny way, is a movie about self-discovery, as opposed to a rite of passage movie. Initially, you think, 'This is a rite of passage movie,' because it's about boys trying to have sex. It's about, specifically, a boy trying to have sex for the first time, but it's more self-discovery to me, which deepens the film.
I like the one with the dog where I'm kind of walking the dog and I discover them with Emily Meade passed out and we've got to move her upstairs. That's my favorite. It's really well-written, and I love the way they shot it. And I really got along well with those two guys, Brian Petsos and Michael Seater, and Emily as well. And it was just a blast to shoot. That was one of those nights of shooting I'll never forget. And you never know when that's going to happen because this is a tiny film and yet it was one of the better times I've had as an actor.