Festival of Books: Patton Oswalt's insane addiction -- to films

Comic and actor Patton Oswalt talks about his book 'Silver Screen Fiend' at #bookfest @pattonoswalt

Patton Oswalt wrote an addiction memoir, but it's not what you might think.

There are no drugs or alcohol in it, only silver screen movies. The actor, comedian and author spoke with friend and fellow comedian Wayne Federman on Saturday afternoon at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books.

In front of a packed auditorium, Oswalt talked about his book, "Silver Screen Fiend," which is a double feature on his growth as a comedian and his love of movies.


Throughout the hour-long talk, Oswalt revealed the jobs he had before his big break: a movie theater worker, a lower-tier DJ that would play at shotgun weddings and forced retirements in northern Virginia, and a high school sports reporter for a local newspaper.

"A lot of times, I wouldn't even go to the games," Oswalt said. "I would just get the scores and make up what happened -- it was like I was writing fan fiction about games that had happened. I could have said, 'His run was stopped by a griffin who pulled off his head with a talon,' and readers would say, 'Oh the Spartans lost again.' "

He talked about his frequent trips to watch films at the New Beverly Cinema, the one time he ran into film legend Lawrence Tierney while watching "Citizen Kane" and getting over his insecurities as a young comedian.


("This person is talking to the scene as if they can hear them. 'What, are you gonna cry now, fancy man?' I turn around to go, 'Hey, be quiet,' and it’s Lawrence Tierney.")

And there are still things Oswalt wants to do in his career.

"I still want to direct films, and I thought, if I just see a lot of movies, it’ll just happen," he said to loud laughs from the audience."

Check out the Festival of Books schedule for this weekend.


Maria Bello talks about 'Love Is Love'

Is it rude to ask women humor writers how they differ?

Dav Pilkey's 'Captain Underpants' will be made into a movie

Follow the books section on Twitter @latimesbooks and Facebook

Copyright © 2018, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World