Mr Flibble Talks To... Parallel Universe
In the far reaches of a quite, quite different reality - which is to say, Los Angeles - a version of Red Dwarf was made for US TV. Chris Eigeman was first choice for the American Rimmer. Small wonder, given his impressive work in independent cinema. Mr Flibble stopped by to swap on-set anecdotes.
8 December, 2000
Chris Eigeman
Mr Flibble's right hand provided by
Andrew Ellard

So let's talk about your films with Whit Stillman.

We did three in total - we did Metropolitan, Barcelona and The Last Days of Disco. And all three of them hold together as three pieces of the same puzzle; you'll see characters overlap in each of them. But I played three different people in all three different films - it's just that I look exactly the same in all of them, which can be confusing.

So all three could theoretically meet up...

That's the one! We actually tried to pull that off in The Last Days of Disco. We thought about ways to pull it of, but thought, 'No there probably isn't.' [It would have been] more looking at things that don't exist on blue-screen! (Laughs)

You seem to aim for these script-led, independent films.

Yeah - I think I'm better in those than in the other kind. You can look at the last ten years of things I've done and go, 'Well, that makes sense.' But actually it's all complete happenstance. I was lucky enough to meet Whit Stillman years ago, and I work with a guy named Noah Baumbach - we've done two films together. I'm just fortunate that way. It's much more luck than it is design.

I'm about to do one with another writer-director [Matthew Miller] - it's going to be me and Jenny McCarthy. Fantastic - I'm just delighted. She's funny, and really smart in the right way. It's called The Perfect You.

Let's talk about your forthcoming film, The Next Big Thing...

It's a movie I did with Connie Britton, Farley Granger and Jamie Harris. It's a screwball comedy set in the overly-pretentious art world in New York City. Which is a rife target! If there's any big softball out there that deserves to be whacked at, it's the very self-important art scene.

I play a painter who's almost destitute, and who gives up because no-one's going to buy his paintings. Then my apartment is robbed, everything gets taken - including one of my paintings. That painting finds its way through certain galleries and becomes famous, and it's attributed to a made-up person. So I end up painting as the made-up person and becoming really famous.

I actually tried to write a movie about painting - which is actually like trying to write a movie about typing. It can be the most boring thing in the world. But the guys who wrote it - Joel and PJ Posner - really found a way around it, found a way to make it dramatic and interesting and funny.