Yeah, sure, The Stranger can claim Lynn Shelton's Humpday as its own, but we've got our own horse in the SIFF derby. That being our invaluable musician-turned-columnist Krist Novoselic, who has a very funny cameo with Robin Williams in World's Greatest Dad (no spoilers, screening details after the jump).
Although he hasn't yet seen his screen acting debut, Novoselic told me about the shoot. It came out of his friendship with WGD director Bob "Bobcat" Goldthwait, who was better known as a comic in the early '90s than Nirvana was as a band.
"Kurt Cobain and I met Bob back in 1990 in Ann Arbor, Michigan on a college radio show," Novoselic recalls. "We were big fans of Bob. He had no idea who Nirvana was--nor did anyone else at the time."After meeting Goldthwait, Novoselic remembers, Nirvana shared a bill with the comic on more than a few occasions. Once, the band did a birthing skit with Goldthwait as Lamaze coach. Then later he was the baby: "We lowered him onto stage naked," Novoselic laughs.
Since then, "I've stayed in contact with Bob over the years. I just talked to him a few weeks ago." Then, when World's Greatest Dad was filming in Seattle last summer, Novoselic got the call for his one-scene acting gig, in which he plays the proprietor of a downtown magazine stand.
"I've never acted in a film before," says Novoselic. "I didn't have a speaking part. I think we did four or five takes. We were kind of improvising."
He recalls that the Oscar-winning "Robin Williams came to the set at the last minute," and in character. "Once it was a wrap, he went back to being Robin Williams"--friendly and joking about the political magazines on display.
Since Novoselic can't make this weekend's SIFF screenings of WGD, he'll have to wait for its arrival in Seattle theaters on August 28. Is he looking forward to seeing the film?
"Absolutely," he laughs. "And my Academy Award."
World's Greatest Dad
Comedian Bob "Bobcat" Goldthwait was exploring inappropriate humor long before Shakes the Clown or the little-seen Stay (in which a woman confesses to inappropriate sexual contact with her dog). His latest, filmed here in Seattle, begins with a winningly wrong-yet-funny premise. A meek writing teacher (Robin Williams) is single-parenting a horrid teen (the very effective Daryl Sabara), who's rightfully shunned by his schoolmates. But unpublished author Williams has his revenge, of sorts, on both the school and the snobby editors of The New Yorker by penning a bestselling fake memoir in his son's name. Formerly a failed writer, he gives society exactly the sort of pabulum it wants to hear, in the process turning his misfit son into an unlikely role model. Suddenly it's hip, or so the teens slavishly believe, to dig Emily Dickenson and Bruce Hornsby--anything to be like Williams' son (or so he tells them). Naturally this lie spins out of control; and so, too, does Dad's dark satire in its meandering third act. Williams' book becomes the means to regain his ex-girlfriend, and it also draws a Hollywood swarm of agents and parasites. This shy milquetoast, perhaps like Goldthwait himself, is disgusted by the showbiz hype he triggers. For that reason, the laughs are strongest within the confines of school and family--it's very much Tom Perrotta territory, only with the Goldthwait twist. (R) Egyptian, 801 E. Pine St., 448-2186, www.siff.net. $8-$10. 6:30 p.m. Sat. June 6 and 4 p.m. Sun., June 7. BRIAN MILLER