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Sam Richardson And Ben Schwartz Hype Up The 'Fun' And 'Exciting' Parts Of The Afterparty - Exclusive Interview

Sam Richardson and Ben Schwartz are fantastically funny guys. Richardson has proven his comedy chops in everything from HBO's "Veep," where he played the hilariously earnest Richard Splett, to his short but noteworthy arc as Ghanian billionaire Edwin Akufo in the second season of "Ted Lasso." Meanwhile, Schwartz made a splash as the amusingly spoiled Jean-Ralphio on "Parks and Recreation" and has been heard in key voice roles in animated shows and movies such as "Sonic the Hedgehog" and the beloved revival of "DuckTales."

Now, they've joined forces in the very funny Apple TV+ series "The Afterparty." Richardson and Schwartz play longtime friends Aniq and Yasper, who meet up at their high school reunion, only to find themselves involved in a shocking murder mystery. Created by Christopher Miller, who executive produces with his long-time collaborator Phil Lord, each episode tells the story of the night's events from the perspective of a different character with the genre trappings to match. While Richardson's Aniq sees his story as a romance, Schwartz's Yasper remembers his night as a rousing musical. Each character's story creates an entertaining collage of a tale that's equal parts laugh-out-loud humor and keep-you-guessing mystery, with the two actors' characters central to both.

In an exclusive interview with Looper, Richardson and Schwartz talked about playing the same character from multiple different perspectives and in a number of different genres as well as the unique challenges of shooting a full-blown musical episode for "The Afterparty."

Playing the same character, but differently

One of the funniest things in "The Afterparty" is seeing the same events from different characters' perspectives. And I imagine that must have been really fun for you because you got to portray these different versions of your characters. Could you speak a little about what it was like to be able to provide these very different perspectives on the same events?

Ben Schwartz: Sammy, go. I can't wait. I want to listen. This is me listening.

Sam Richardson: Are you sure? Okay. Well, it certainly was a very fun and rewarding and challenging exercise to go back over — to play a scene and then reimagine it from whatever perspective it's coming from, because each person is seeing everything through their own perspective and so it colors and shades how that person views you. What they think your personality traits are have to become part of how you play that character, so it's a really fun exercise to go back over and put a new shade of paint over these characters that you develop and work, and to also get to play to the genres that their stories are told through, whatever film that is.

Ben, anything to add?

Schwartz: The genres were exciting. It's also exactly what [Sam said]. You get to shade your own character by seeing how different people see them. In your [character's] episode, this is basically what you dream that people see you as. For [my character], I think people are adoring me in this episode, but in essence, it's not really that. But it's so fun, and also it's like, as an actor, you get to play five different versions of one human being, or seven different versions of one human being. It was heaven, and it also makes the show unique in that you've never really seen something like this before, especially with comedians leading the way in a whodunit, and the genre. Lord and Miller, always, they're the best. They're the best.

Starring in a musical episode

I also especially liked the musical episode that you headed, Ben. I love the fact that you sing several songs. You both rapped. Can you talk about the unique challenges of shooting those scenes? 

Schwartz: Well, we could both talk about the rap song in the beginning. It's choreography. It's not only recording it, but then being able to sing as quick as you can during this thing. That was the first one we shot, which we learned because — Chris is incredible, and we only had like half a day to shoot each one, so what would take a movie a week to shoot, we had a half a day. But Chris is so good, you wouldn't tell. What we did on that [first song], which we did not do after all the [other] ones, we used to start from the very top and go the whole way through every single time, and we would be so tired, where the next [songs] we would do sections. [We would think] "Okay, just do these three lines. Okay, now these five lines." That first one, we did the entire rap like 100 times, but it was great. It was really fun. Sammy, what's your thought on [the song they both rap] "Two Shots?"

Richardson: Well, it was fun because I've never done a rap music video, so I like to step in and feel through that sort of thing. The dancers are so coordinated behind us. You've got Kelvin [Yu, who plays Ned,] breakdancing for an instant. You got us coordinating, and we're doing choreography as well. And then the camera moves, you feel that camera moving around us. And it's like, "Oh, this is fun." Then you watch it in play back, and you're like, "Oh, that's ... That's cool. That's real."

Schwartz: It's crazy.

Richardson: So it was crazy.

Schwartz: We're in a rap video!

The first three episodes of "The Afterparty" premiere on Apple TV+ on January 28, with new episodes available on Fridays.

This interview has been edited for clarity.