Wendi McLendon-Covey and Michaela Watkins going for “the long joke” with Owen Wilson in ‘Paint’

IFC Films

(NOTE LANGUAGE) In Paint, Owen Wilson plays a Carl Nargle, a Bob Ross-like public broadcasting painting superstar — a very big fish in the very small pond of Vermont.

He’s got a ’70s perm, a sweet van and a bevy of groupies, but when a new painter comes along (newcomer Ciara Renée), the soft-spoken star faces a crisis.

The Goldbergs‘ matriarch Wendi McLendon-Covey plays Wendy, one of Nargle’s fangirls, who waits on him hand and foot as a fellow public TV channel employee.

She explained to ABC Audio the allure of the man in the van. “Wow,” she exclaims. “What is the appeal? What isn’t the appeal? Someone who looks that fly just driving down the streets of Vermont with a pipe, speaking out of his loudspeaker on the top of his van. I mean, what’s not to love?”

She adds, “I never grew up watching painting shows, but I do know what it’s like to fall in love with someone’s potential, which of course leads to nothing.”

Wendi adds, “She’s stayed in love far too long and it’s time to move forward, and she just can’t do it and neither can any of these groupies of Carl Nargle’s until a new painter comes in and just disrupts everything. And then we realize, ‘Oh, wait, we’ve really been wasting our lives.'”

Michaela Watkins plays Katherine, Carl’s long-suffering ex.

She says of the experience, “We laughed our a**** off.”

Unlike other comedies, Paint doesn’t go for big gags or broad laughs, in spite of its spoof-ready conceit. “You’re right,” Watkins agrees. “Like, that is my sweet spot for comedy. Dry, real, subtle and going for the long joke. That’s for me.”

Paint is now playing.

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