Awards Daily talks to Jeff Garlin of HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm on what he hates most about looking like Harvey Weinstein.
For 10 seasons, Jeff Garlin has played Jeff Greene, Larry David’s best friend and agent on HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm.
The show is known for its improvisation, but no one could have ever come up with how Garlin’s likeness to a famous movie producer would be utilized on the series. In the early episodes of Season 10, Garlin’s resemblance to Harvey Weinstein causes him social issues, like when a woman accosts him at a party. While Garlin has played Weinstein before, probably when it was more fun to pretend to be the mogul, this time, when it’s supposed to be fun, as I learned with my chat with the comedic actor, sometimes it isn’t.
Awards Daily: When were you first aware that you resembled Harvey Weinstein?
Jeff Garlin: I actually played him in a movie once. It was a Steven Soderbergh movie called Full Frontal. That was the first time it was pointed out to me that I could play him, and I was heavier then, so I did that. And then Jeff Schaffer and Larry David asked me if I’d be open to it, and I shaved my head for this show, so I’m not going to say no to any funny idea, so I said yes. However, it’s not as bad now as it was, but people call me Harvey, and I really don’t like it. I actually resent it. They think they’re being funny because of Curb, but I try to explain to them that this is a crazy rapist, and I really don’t like it.
AD: I don’t blame you. But your character, Jeff Greene, is an agent who has done some questionable things with actresses in the past. Do you think Susie has forced him to become a better person or do you think we just don’t see his off-screen indiscretions anymore?
JG: I think Susie encourages him to be a worst person. I don’t think there’s anything in Susie that brings out the best in anybody.
AD: (Laughs) I was thinking of the painting this season, which was actually the perfect gift for Susie, and it seemed to make her happy. Might it have made Jeff’s life a little better, since she loved it so much? Did he hate it that much, that he couldn’t let her have it?
JG: I know he wasn’t happy, that’s for sure.
AD: But it made her happy though!
JG: But my character couldn’t give a shit about that.
AD: Larry tends to ruin a lot of deals for Jeff, including his relationship with Clive Owen this season. Why does he continue to invite him to plays and dinners, knowing he’s just going to cause trouble? You’d think he’d know when not to invite Larry now.
JG: Yeah, but Larry writes it, so I just do it.
AD: True! I think one of your most memorable scenes of the season is when you, Larry, and Leon can’t say your s’s and you go to that funeral. What was it like filming that and how did you not crack up with laughter?
JG: Well, I generally don’t crack up with laughter most of the time, because it’s what I do, and I’m focused. But I know that I said words more than anyone else, in terms of not being able to say them correctly, because I just found it so damn funny. I figure they could just cut out whatever they didn’t want to use.
AD: There’s a scene after Larry gives Susie the painting where she screams at the Milos for screwing up her deck, and Jeff says, “Poor bastard never had a chance.” Do you think that’s how he feels about his relationship with Susie?
JG: No, I think he’s always trying to make the best of it, but he knows he’s in a bad way.
AD: Cheryl and Larry aren’t together. Do you think Susie and Jeff would ever permanently break up?
JG: No, because it’s too funny.
AD: Larry thinks that Susie is going to try to kill Jeff at his surprise party by inciting a heart attack. If Susie were actually going to kill Jeff, how do you think she would do it?
JG: With a party and a heart attack.
AD: How would he kill her do you think?
JG: Oh, I have no idea. My mind doesn’t work that way. I don’t even know. I’ve never thought of that!
AD: Are you game for anymore Curb seasons? Are you guys working on anything?
JG: I’m game, we’ll see. I’m always in.
Curb Your Enthusiasm is available to stream on HBO GO, HBO NOW, and on HBO via HBO Max and other partners’ platforms.