June 12, 2024

On Thursday’s episode of the “WTF With Marc Maron” podcast, “Dicks: The Musical” director Larry Charles opened up about why he steers clear of working on big-budget movies.

“I try to make things like ‘Dangerous Comedy’ or this movie [‘Dicks: The Musical’] — this movie’s a very low-budget movie,” Charles said of the raunchy A24 musical. “Politically for me, ethically for me, I find it offensive when movies cost $250 million and the world is in the state that it’s in. So I’m also looking to make a statement in the way these things are made.”

Charles, known for his directorial collaborations with Sacha Baron Cohen (“Borat,” “Bruno” and “The Dictator”) and his work on such sitcoms as “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “Seinfeld,” slammed the Hollywood studio system, calling it a “media monopoly system” in the United States.

“Kind of an authoritarian big brother sort of thing that we — they’ve figured out over the years, they don’t have to make you, they don’t have to scare you, they have to seduce you,” he said. “So we’re all seduced by great TV shows and great movies and we’re distracted by those things, and we’re then indulging in that same capitalist system and there’s no way it’s going to change as long as we do that. … I struggle with that.”

The “Borat” director said his “radical work” will continue to maintain a low budget as a rebuttal to the Hollywood system.

“The way I can make a radical work is by saying that I could do it for a little money, and the way [producers and directors] say yes to it is they think, ‘Oh, that radical little work that’s not going to cost any money is going to make money.’ Absolutely. That is the system,” Charles explained. “I haven’t been able, I’ve been doing stuff on YouTube, I’ve been trying to figure out a way to get out of that, to move out of that. It’s very, very difficult to do. Because YouTube is owned by somebody, Instagram is owned by somebody. Everything, you know, it’s very hard to get your word out, your thoughts out.”

A24’s “Dicks: The Musical,” starring Nathan Lane, Megan Mullally, Josh Sharp, Aaron Jackson and Bowen Yang, is currently playing in theaters.

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