When the Zoom meeting kicks off and we’re doing that whole “settling into the groove” thing that all Zoom meetings require, comedian and actor David Cross asks if this is being video recorded for public consumption or will it be a print interview. I assure him it’s for print.
“Okay,” he says. “’Cause I’m jerking off right now. I just want to check super quick if I can continue to do that or should I put it away and save it?”
“Whatever you need to be comfortable, man,” I tell him. “It’s all about the talent.”
He is not, dear reader, jerking it. He’s just cracking a joke, which has been his stock in trade for years now, from cult skit series Mr. Show with Bob Odenkirk to his role as the stupendously ridiculous Dr. Tobias Fünke in Arrested Development and countless points in between. But the subject of our conversation is a more serious work: the indie drama The Dark Divide.
Written and directed by Tom Putnam and based on the memoir by lepidopterist (butterfly scientist to we non-academics) Robert M. Pyle, The Dark Divide sees Cross as Pyle who, after the cancer death of his wife Thea (Debra Messing), sets off on a field expedition across a vast tract of Pacific Northwest national forest in search of new species of moths and butterflies – and some kind of sense of how to continue on after losing the person he loved the most.