For someone who's a true proponent of independent filmmaking, Mark Duplass has certainly made a mark on the industry's more commercial productions, thanks to parts on The Mindy Project and The League. Fans will find his most recent role in The One I Love, in which he plays one half of a struggling couple alongside Elisabeth Moss, a real departure from male midwife Brendan Deslaurier and football-obsessed Pete Eckhart.
This fall, the multitalented actor will flex his creative muscles again, as he stars in HBO's Togetherness, a comedy him and his brother, Jay Duplass, wrote, directed, and produced. Here's what else we found out.
1. Him and His Brother Are a Package Deal
"We work together, we're a team," he says. "When I'm directing with my brother, I feel like it's what I'm meant to do."
2. He Loves Limits
"Certain people do really well with limits and certain people just get frustrated and crushed by them. I'm [the] kind of person who believes that limits are really inspiring. I gave them [the writers] some pretty strong limits on [The One I Love] and they did a fantastic job with it."
3. Him and Elisabeth Moss Are Buddies
"I knew her personally, we had done a movie together but we actually didn't have any scenes together in the movie, so we were buds," says Duplass while discussing his choice to tap Moss to play his on-screen wife. "I just texted her and I was like, 'I have this movie idea that would be right for us,' because we had been talking about doing something. I sent her a ten-page outline and she responded in ten minutes, 'Great, I'll do it.'"
4. His Next Endeavor is Backed by HBO
"There's an HBO show called Togetherness that we [him and brother Jay] just wrapped. It's me, Melanie Lynskey, Amanda Peet, and our longtime collaborator, Steve Zissis," he says. "It's a show about two couples" that's set to air in January.
5. He's All For Social Media
"I think that Twitter is a fun way to connect with your fans and a really great promotional tool for guys like me who are making small movies and want to get eyeballs on them," the actor says while discussing whether social media has disrupted the industry. "I wouldn't say it [has changed] the industry, but the way that it is colliding with the industry is that nobody knows anything about marketing anymore. You can spend $100 million marketing a movie and people won't go see it... and we don't know why. And that, I love."
6. He's a Jack of All Trades
"It's hard to say," he muses when asked what aspect of filmmaking he enjoys most. "On our show, I am doing everything. I'm a producer, I'm a writer, I act in it, I direct... That's when I think I'm at my best. It's not false modesty: I don't think I am an A+ at any of those things. I think I'm pretty good at all of them and when I'm doing them all, that's when I'm at my best."
7. He Really Likes Games of Thrones
"I just started Game of Thrones... I'm very late to the party," he says. "I am fascinated by it because the plotting is so different than [anything] I've ever done. I objectively study that show... and, Jesus, there is so much story here."
PHOTOGRAPHY BY LARRY BUSACCA/GETTY IMAGES