The more you get to know about Sean Tillman, the more it seems like the guy never stops living the American Dream. That is, of course, if your version of the American Dream includes becoming a spokesman for a vodka company. And winning an onscreen dance-off with Ben Stiller. And making out with Kate Moss. And touring Australia with the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Add to it that he just released his fourth album under his Har Mar Superstar moniker last month, celebrating the release of Dark Touches' first single by inviting his personal friend Eva Mendes to star in the music video—dude's got a grasp on the American Dream, indeed.
In addition to his new release, Tillman played a role in Drew Barrymore's Whip It, which premiered in theaters last month, and is in the process of developing Stitch N' Bitch, a new show for HBO he's been working on with Ellen Page (Juno) and Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development). Not bad for a guy who spent his formative teen years in Owatonna. Tillman recently spoke to us via email, discussing Dark Touches, his acting roles, and his competitive dodgeball team, the Juggalos.
City Pages: Who came up with the idea for the "Tall Boy" video?
Sean Tillman: I wanted something in hyper slow-motion. That's all I knew. I gave the directors, Tomorrow's Brightest Minds, that simple idea, and they ran with it. There are two versions out there. One is a hyper slow-motion, really serene version (the director's cut), and the other is a the really upbeat, faster cut that is being serviced to TV. I like both for totally different reasons.
CP: I read that you met Eva Mendes a few years back through the Strokes—how'd you meet Eric Wareheim (of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!), who also appeared in the video?
Tillman: I know Eric from around L.A. We have a lot of mutual friends and go to a lot of the same places. He used to be in that hardcore band Ink and Dagger, too. We eventually ended up on a dodgeball team together, and the rest is history. The team is amazing, by the way. We were originally called World War 4. Then it became the Dads. Now we're called the Juggalos, and we wear shitty makeup and huge shirts like Insane Clown Posse fans. It's totally gross and awesome.
CP: Had you met Drew Barrymore before shooting Whip It?
Tillman: Drew is one of my best friends. I met her years ago when she was dating Fab [Fabrizio Moretti, drummer for the Strokes]. She's super supportive and an amazingly kind person. She even lets me and Adam Green [from the Moldy Peaches] have a little rehearsal room/recording studio in her house. There are bunk beds, so it feels like summer camp.
CP: What are some of your favorite memories from working with Ellen Page and Alia Shawkat?
Tillman: I was really only on set for a few days. That part was shot in Detroit. It was really fun to show up and introduce the cast to my local friends. We ended up having really fun game nights at Meg White's house—Trivial Pursuit and beer. I had been friends with Alia for a while and met Ellen on set. We didn't really start working on ideas together until we all went to Sayulita, Mexico, in a group for New Year's. That's where Stitch N' Bitch was born. We met a few times in L.A. to discuss, then we went to Amsterdam to write the first two episodes. HBO liked what they read, so we are currently developing it with them.
CP: What role are you playing in the production of Stitch N' Bitch?
Tillman: As of now, I'm playing Har Mar. Everyone is playing an amped-up version of themselves, for the most part. I'll be kind of like the Schneider in the girls' apartment building. Ellen and Alia will be Nico and Kyla in a perfect world. That's the idea, but we can't really announce anything official yet because we haven't shot anything yet.
CP: How'd you get involved with the Kool Keith show that's coming up?
Tillman: Kool Keith already had the date at the Triple Rock, and it seemed like a perfect idea for us to jump on the bill. I'm psyched. I love Kool Keith. I think Dr. Doom is my favorite alter ego of his. It will be a pleasure to share the stage with him. He's on some next-level shit. I'm also really psyched about the record-release show at the Varsity Theater on the Sixth. I love a reason to celebrate! I want everyone to come out and get their hands on a copy of the new album. It'll be real.
HAR MAR SUPERSTAR plays with Kool Keith on THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 5, at the TRIPLE ROCK SOCIAL CLUB, 612.333.7399; and a CD-release show with Bang Bang Eche on FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 6, at the VARSITY THEATER, 612.604.0222