For several sun- and drama-drenched seasons on Josh Schwartz's prime-time soap The O.C., Adam Brody's portrayal of the neurotic comic-book nerd Seth Cohen gave hope to nonjocks everywhere—proof positive that geeks could, in fact, get the girl. We're now a few years removed from that sultry West Coast class war, and in his latest film, Death in Love, the 29-year-old actor plays a darker character—one more at ease with himself, but also with more questionable motivations. Brody, a sometime indie-rock drummer in the band Big Japan, is currently hanging out in our town (and pissing off Greenpoint denizens), shooting the forthcoming Kevin Smith film, A Couple of Dicks.
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At the heart of Death in Love is a romance between a young Jewish girl and a Nazi doctor. Hardly an ideal match.
No. And I mean, even that splinters in so many ways. I guess that's the main story line. But then it goes into the family so much, and everyone is kind of falling in love in their own way.
Is the lesson in this film that Nazis feel love too?
Well, I'm sure Nazis can feel love. We're all human at some point. Or an animal. The movie is so much about the difference between pleasure and pain, masochism and all that stuff. So it's all about where that line is.
Josh Lucas's character is really scarred from his mom's forbidden love. What's the least cool trait you've inherited from your parents?
The least cool thing? Good question. Well, let's see. I didn't get diabetes yet, so that's cool. Oh, we're not good at basketball. That was a disappointment, especially when I was younger. I've come to terms with it. I could've used some more hops. That would've been nice.
Lucas also has a pretty...interesting relationship with his boss. Have you ever had anything like that with a superior?
No, I've never had like a sexy female boss. But I'm totally open to it. That's like my dream. That is the dream, to have a domineering, hot boss.
You play something of a confidence man. You grift your buddy good.
Yes. Served him right.
If acting and music start to bore you, have you considered a career as a con artist?
Oh man. You know, I can't stomach—and it's not because I'm a nice person, necessarily—I can't stomach pissing other people off. I want everyone to be happy. For instance, the kind of thing Sacha Baron Cohen does, who revels in that awkwardness, I could never, never do that. The fact that they know later, and then would want to kill me for the rest of their lives, would really bother me.
For what it's worth, if you change your mind, I wouldn't mind playing Redford to your Newman in the long con.
Great. Listen, man, I want to do all sorts of stuff in movies. But yeah, in real life, maybe. I hope so. We'll take it on the road. Great.
I guess you already have a partner in the buddy-cop movie you're working on—A Couple of Dicks.
Yeah, Tracy Morgan and Bruce Willis. My partner is Kevin Pollak, so I've worked with him a few days, and then I've worked with him and Bruce another day. But I haven't seen Tracy and Bruce together yet. I'm very curious.
You're on the same police force as John McClane!
Believe me, I do not take that for granted. It is fucking rad. I was at the table next to him, and he's playing a hungover cop. He's doing quintessential Bruce Willis shit. It is really cool. And you know, there's a scene at the end of the movie where he sort of covers me when we're in a shoot-out together. I can't wait. I can't wait. It is awesome.
Die Hard is still my favorite Christmas movie.
Yeah. It's a perfect film.
Death in Love opens Fri 17.