Jenny Slate Interview: Venom

Jenny Slate is a comedian and actress seen in multiple television shows and heard in dozens of movies.  She’s a former cast member on Saturday Night Live and played the infamous Mona Lisa Saperstein on Parks and Recreation.  Slate has lent her voice to such animated movies as Zootopia, The Secret Life of Pets, and Despicable Me 3.  She appears in all her live-action glory in the latest superhero movie Venom, which hits theaters October 5, 2018.

Screen Rant: Can you chat me up about your character's relationship with Eddie Brock.

Jenny Slate: Sure. I can chat you up on that. My character, Doris Skirth, doesn't really have a relationship with Eddie when she first meets him.  She seeks him out because she knows that he is brave and willing to do things that maybe are not above board, but that will serve the community, that she feels that she is personally kind of failing. But I think that she is very intimidated by Eddie, but she knows that she has to be in touch with him.

Screen Rant: Interesting. Now you have a great comedic range. But this character seems very stoic. Can you talk to me about how different it was playing that kind of role?

Jenny Slate: Well, we all have sort of various aspects in our psyche. Which is actually a comment that's sort of appropriate for this film. But I'm really peppy. I started my career in comedy because that is what comes naturally to me. And also, when I'm nervous I tend to make jokes and I tend to try to make people smile to reassure myself that people are kind. But there's also a very still part of me and a serious part of me.  And I've been acting for maybe six years, but before that, I always was a student in one way or another. Like there's an academic portion of my life as well. So, it didn't really feel like I was stepping very far out of what I know. Although I don't, you know, normally wear a lab coat. Or glasses. No, I don't have glasses. I got 20/20.

Screen Rant: You look great either way. Now the Internet can sometimes be a weird place. Were you surprised about how the topic of conversation was the word symbiote and symbiote?

Jenny Slate: I don't really do that. I don't go on the Internet and look up that stuff about myself. Just kind of the wild, wild, wild west out there.

Jenny Slate and Tom hardy in Venom

Screen Rant: It is really the wild, wild west out there. Your character is a little bit conflicted, but she has her heart in the right place and does the right thing. What do you want people to take away from that?

Jenny Slate: I think that what I would like people to take away from my character's actions is that standing up for what you believe in does often come at a great cost.  But it's really important to access a world where we can all feel safe. Even if you have to like kick down those walls and not make it to the other side.

Screen Rant: What part of the script or the movie really hooked you and got you on board?

Jenny Slate: Well, the first scene I read was the scene between Dora and Eddie, in the mini mart. And I just was, I've never played a character like this before. And it's also so one on one, you know? It's like, ‘Wow, if I get this part, I'm truly going to be in a scene with Tom Hardy.’ Like great, yeah.

Screen Rant: Speaking of which, because you have great comedic timing and Tom is known for being intense and a really focused actor.  What did you guys learn from each other?

Jenny Slate: I think Tom has a lot of comedy in him though. He's really funny and he's very energetic. And I think we both really care about our performances. So, it was easy to be there for that. Just being like, we both care. And Riz [Ahmed] is the same way. I didn't get to work with Michelle [Williams]. I wish I had.

More: Tom Hardy & Riz Ahmed Interview for Venom

Key Release Dates
  • Venom (2018) release date: Oct 05, 2018
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