Ben Schwartz And Sam Richardson Share Their Feelings On Making The Afterparty – Exclusive
On the Apple TV+ comedic whodunit “The Afterparty,” all of the characters who’ve gathered after a high school reunion become a potential murderer when one of their former classmates turns up dead. As the show works its way through its eight episodes, each outing tells the tale of the events of the night from the perspective of one person. It’s an often hilarious opportunity to learn new information about the mystery while seeing the world from each character’s unique point of view, complete with the genre flourishes and tone that best reflects their personalities. According to Ben Schwartz and Sam Richardson, who play Yasper and Aniq respectively, it was one of the things that made making the show so rewarding.
Both actors have had a number of stand-out roles in movies and TV. Schwartz played the memorable character Jean-Ralphio in “Parks and Recreation” and voiced Dewey Duck in the popular revival of “DuckTales” and the title character in the film “Sonic the Hedgehog.” Meanwhile, Richardson is known for his work as Richard Splett in HBO’s “Veep” and has played notable characters in films like “Werewolves Within” and “The Tomorrow War.”
However, “The Afterparty” offered a unique chance to show their characters from both their own and other characters’ perspectives and to play up the genre elements specific to each episode. This enabled them to become the villains of an action movie, hapless teens in a high-school comedy, and the lovelorn romantic lead in a rom-com. Schwartz and Richardson spoke exclusively to Looper about the challenges and rewards that came with reinventing their characters for each episode of the “The Afterparty.”
One character, many different versions
Richardson was enthusiastic about the opportunity to reimagine his character from different perspectives and through the lens of different genres. “It certainly was a very fun and rewarding and challenging exercise to go back over — to play a scene and then reimagine it from whatever perspective it’s coming from,” Richardson noted, “because each person is seeing everything through their own perspective and so it colors and shades how that person views you. What they think your personality traits are have to become part of how you play that character, so it’s a really fun exercise to go back over and put a new shade of paint over these characters that you develop and work, and to also get to play to the genres that their stories are told through, whatever film that is.”
Schwartz agreed, and was especially excited to show that his character’s belief that he is the life-of-the-party star of a musical might not be shared by the rest of the characters. “The genres were exciting,” Schwartz stated. “It’s also exactly what [Sam said]. You get to shade your own character by seeing how different people see them. In your [character’s] episode, this is basically what you dream that people see you as. For [my character], I think people are adoring me in this episode, but in essence, it’s not really that. But it’s so fun, and also it’s like, as an actor, you get to play five different versions of one human being, or seven different versions of one human being. It was heaven.”
Schwartz also pointed out that “The Afterparty” is particularly noteworthy because it mines comedy from its murder mystery. “It also makes the show unique in that you’ve never really seen something like this before, especially with comedians leading the way in a whodunit, and the genre,” Schwartz observed. “[Executive producer Phil] Lord and [creator, director, and executive producer Chris] Miller, always, they’re the best.”
New episodes of “The Afterparty” premiere on Apple TV+ on Fridays.