Mike O’Brien talks Sword of Trust, AP Bio

Mike O'Brien appears on Late Night with Seth Meyers on December 7, 2015.

Mike O’Brien spoke with Solzy at the Movies this week to discuss the the renewal of AP Bio and co-writing and performing in Sword of Trust.

Between Sword of Trust opening and becoming available on VOD today and AP Bio being renewed for a third season, how exciting is it at the moment?
Mike O’Brien:  Extremely exciting!  It’s funny how things come in waves. It was very quiet for several months there. But I’m really proud of both projects.  I’m thankful to Lynn for asking me to work with her on Sword.  And thankful to the fans of AP Bio for helping revive it!

The film’s premise is completely absurd with this sword being a prover item for the South winning the war. As you and Lynn Shelton were writing the film, were you thinking about how this kind of film would play out in the current political environment? Or were you just trying to come up with one of the most absurd ideas?
Mike O’Brien:  We definitely were thinking about the current political environment.  There are possibly more conspiracy theories now than ever before.  The idea started for Lynn when she had a very friendly, normal-seeming Uber driver try to sell her on Flat Earth Theory.  We both found that funny, but I also have several conspiracy theories of my own.  I think most people do actually.  Or should.

Since the film is based on a script-ment, was there any dialogue in the script or was it mostly a case of so and so needing to happen in a scene?
Mike O’Brien:  It was a mixture.  There was definitely dialogue in the script.  Since so much of our work was done sitting in a room together (we stayed in a house in Kentucky and just hung out writing all day for a full week), a lot of times we’d say lines out loud that made us laugh and those would go in the document.  At the same time, a few scenes probably had no actual lines in the final version.

Do you find that a script-ment allows for more freedom as a writer/actor?
Mike O’Brien:  I definitely think it gives you more freedom as an actor.  My biggest stress on set is making sure I’m saying it exactly as it is in the script.  And to let go of that and just be the character is very freeing.

You got to have a cameo in the film after scheduling conflicts with AP Bio‘s second season prevented you from taking on the role in the film played by Jon Bass. How did you approach the role in the brief cameo?
Mike O’Brien:  My character is saying crazy-sounding theories that I obviously don’t believe, but I tried to deliver it how I speak when I’m trying to convince a friend of one of the crazy-sounding things that I actually do believe.

Earlier this summer, you had a small part as a pizza delivery guy in Booksmart. How exciting was it to be involved in Olivia Wilde’s instant high school comedy classic?
Mike O’Brien:  That was so wonderful. Olivia is an amazing director.  She puts you at ease right away.  You can tell she’s been on both sides of the camera a bunch.  I was proud to be a small part of something that looked so amazing.  And Kaitlyn and Beanie were a blast to perform with!

Going back to AP Bio, as you put together the new season, how will this get in the way of your career as an Instagram influencer?
Mike O’Brien:  Excellent question.  It could interfere with some of the photo shoots.  I’ll mostly have to focus on doing those on weekends.  But I still plan to tell people about the fantastic clothing and great deals at places like Kenacho and Animal Eye London.

Sword of Trust is in theaters and Digital/VOD.  AP Bio will return for season 3 in 2020.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.