Feature: Glen Powell Invites You to “Netflix and Chill” with His New Rom-Com
Jun 17, 2018
Interview

In 2016, Richard Linklater premiered the college-set “spiritual sequel” to his ensemble masterpiece Dazed and Confused: Everybody Wants Some!!.Similarly packed with young, new talent, Everybody Wants Some!! inspired film critics and fans alike to wonder who might be its Matthew McConaughey-esque breakout. Mileage certainly varied, but most focused on two standouts: the film’s compelling female lead, Zoey Deutch, and her on-screen love interest’s friend, the scene-stealing Glen Powell.

Though Powell and Deutch oozed natural chemistry, the pair didn’t share much screen time in Everybody Wants Some!! Netflix’s latest original film, Set It Up, more than makes up the difference. Here, Deutch and Powell play two meddling assistants who try to matchmake their high-powered bosses, played by Taye Diggs and Lucy Liu. It’s clear, however, from their very first scene that the irresistible Deutch and Powell—who spark and fizz with old-school screwball charm—are the couple to be watching.

Powell has made a name for himself by weaponizing his all-American frat-boy appeal in order to deftly skewer some of cinema’s most obnoxious bro tropes. In this film, he sets his sights on the cutthroat world of New York venture capitalism—and he has the terrible hair to prove it. When he’s not stealing scenes—his previous projects include Scream Queens and Hidden Figures—Powell is working on writing and producing his own projects. He hopped on the phone to take a closer look at whether Netflix can revive the floundering rom-com genre, and how Set It Up’s writer, Katie Silberman, and director, Claire Scanlon, have turned a classic will-they, won’t-they story from feminine to feminist.

Vanity Fair: In your previous life, did you ever work as an assistant?

Glen Powell: I used to be a script reader at Sony for a while, for this very powerful woman. That was not fun. One of my first days on the job, I was supposed to connect a call with Ron Howard, and I screwed it up. I’m working with Ron Howard on something right now, and I actually haven’t told him the story. I screwed up the call, and I got reamed for it. So I was never allowed to touch a phone again. I also was sort of a manny. I’ve worked at hotels, just across the gamut, and I’ve had plenty of time to get put in my place in this town. I don’t think there’s any chance I’ll ever not be humble, because I know exactly where I could be right now.

I was going to ask you for old job horror stories.

For research for this movie, I went to my agency and I kind of treated all the assistants to lunch, and I just listened to them tell horrible-boss stories. Then I worked the phones for my agent for like, three days, and then I went to this venture-capitalist firm here in New York, just to see what that world was like. That haircut that you see in the movie—that horrible Southern swoop—that came out of that. I went to this V.C. firm, and every dude had the same haircut. I was like, “Oh, this haircut is horrible.” [Read More]