Samm Levine talks Inglourious Basterds, Freaks and Geeks

Samm Levine (PFC. Hirschberg), Til Schweiger (Sgt. Hugo Stiglitz) and Eli Roth (Sgt. Donny Donowitz) in INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS.

Samm Levine spoke with Solzy at the Movies about Inglourious Basterds and Freaks and Geeks during Wizard World Chicago 2019.

Samm Levine

Inglourious Basterds just turned 10 years old.

Samm Levine: It did. It did. Happy birthday to Inglourious Bastards.

How honored were you to be a part of the film?

Samm Levine: It is still probably my favorite project to have ever been a part of. I have loved Quentin and been a great admirer of his work since I was 10 and saw Reservoir Dogs for the first time. Getting to be on set with him and Brad and Eli every day for months in a row—getting the shoot in Germany—getting to make one of the most epic World War II movies—that is an achievement I will never ever get over that I got to got to do.

Freaks and Geeks turns 20 in September.

Samm Levine: Yes, it does.

Can you believe it’s been so long?

Samm Levine: I can believe it’s been 20 years because I feel very old. I’m only 37 but I was 17 when we did the show—16 or turned 17 right before we shot the pilot. For me, any or all of the sevens are always a milestone years for the show. I know that. It’s crazy that here we are 20 years later and it’s still as popular as ever which I’ve always said it’s a testament to the writing of the show and how much care and attention we put into it. Judd and Paul and our incredible talented room of writers put into making that show as good as it was.

Do your have a favorite memory from working on Freaks and Geeks?

Samm Levine: I have way too many memories to pick a favorite but I will always love the table read where Sarah Hagan, who did not know what the word fornicates meant when the scripted line said Sarah Hagan (Milie) saying Linda Cardellini: “She fornicates,” referring to Kim Kelly played by Busy Phillips. But because Sarah didn’t know what the word meant she said, “She fornicates it.” And we all had such a good laugh at that—it wound up in the script.

What do you think Neal Schweiber would be doing today?

Samm Levine: He’d probably be working at a bank or something really sad. He would have tried to become famous on the comedy scene for a while. He would have given up. He probably would have been like the funniest insurance salesman in Grand Rapids.

You’re William Shatner impression was what got you on this show if I recall correctly.

Samm Levine: Yes, I recall. Yes. Let me let me clarify that. My bad William Shatner impression is what got me a callback. Paul Feig had the brilliant idea of having me read for Neil Schweiber instead of Sam Weir.

Has Shatner heard your impression?

Samm Levine: He has not. I don’t know if Shatner hears anything. That guy is insane and I’ve tried to say hello to him on a couple of occasions but he refuses to acknowledge my existence. And so I’m sorry—I have no great William Shatner stories other than to say I’ve not had very good interactions with him but maybe others have.

And did I see where you’re also in the cast for Adverse?

Samm Levine: I am in the cast for Adverse. It’s not a huge role but I hope it’s a memorable one. That’s all I can say about that.

Can you tell us about your role?

Samm Levine: I just play a guy who is on the—he’s not on the positive end of a negotiation. That’s about all I can say.

Wizard World Chicago runs August 22-25 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill.

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.