This picture of Jason Biggs comes courtesy of the Grassroots publicity and social media teams. When I saw it for the first time, in 2010, I was left a little shaken by it.
For starters, the couch. That’s exactly the nasty kind of shared-housing couch we had in Seattle during that time. Same pattern, I swear. I bet it smells nasty, too.
But, well, forget the couch. It’s not the couch. Having seen the full set when I visited the film crew in 2010, I would say that the props team did a very, very good job of capturing that essence of my life in Seattle in 2001. For the sake of this photo — THIS photo — that’s not it. It doesn’t take much effort to get a crappy couch and toss in a few empty beer bottles in the background.
No, it’s Biggs’ look. Several of my friends noticed it immediately when I posted this image on Facebook. “He has your slightly harassed, diffident look of 2001-2002 down cold. Uncanny,” one wrote. “This is surreal,” said my wife upon seeing the photo. She knows; she was dating me back then, and is “sort of” played by Lauren Ambrose, as she barely appears in my book and never cooperated with the film scriptwriters.
This scene takes place in the script shortly after I was fired from my writing gig by The Stranger. So by narrative logic it is when Biggs/Phil is at his most despondent. Before joining Grant Cogswell’s city council campaign.
I saw this picture and could tell instantly that Biggs was going to do a great job in the role of Phil Campbell. My suspicions proved correct when I saw the final cut several months ago.
Surreal. That’s all I can say about all of it.