Jason Mantzoukas

  • vstX7t5A d5132

    The Long Dumb Road 
    Co-written and directed by Hannah Fidell
    Out November 16       

    Generations collide in this road trip comedy directed and co-written by Hannah Fidell. The Long Dumb Road centers on Nat (Tony Revolori), a recent high-school grad making his way from Austin, TX, to L.A., to study photography. His journey takes an unexpected turn, however, when his beat-up old van won’t start. Stuck in the middle of nowhere, Nat must accept help from Richard (Jason Mantzoukas), an impulsive, unreliable mechanic. Richard reveals that he, too, is hitting the open road. Specifically to Vegas, where he plans to take in all that Sin City has to offer. Nat views the coincidence as an opportunity to experience a part of life that he believes his middle-class upbringing sheltered him from. And just like that, two very unlikely people embark on a wild, alcohol-fueled adventure. 

    Like a lot of road trip comedies, The Long Dumb Road falls prey to predictability. But what the film lacks in surprises, it makes up for with fresh jokes, engaging narrative, and solid performances from both its leads and an excellent supporting cast that includes Grace Gummer, Taissa Farmiga, and Ron Livingston. Basically, The Long Dumb Road is guaranteed to make you laugh. (4/5)

    By Samantha Ladwig
    This article originally appeared in the October/November 2018  print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!

    More from BUST

    There's Finally Going To Be An "Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret" Movie

    Melissa McCarthy Shows Her Dark Comedy And Drama Skills In "Can You Ever Forgive Me?"

    "Sadie" Is A Haunting Coming-Of-Age Story About A Teen Girl Obsessed With Violent Video Games


  • YqsbOE8C 3e282

    Jason Mantzoukas is a real human. This may seem like an odd thing to say about a hilarious actor, but it’s necessary. The son of a Greek immigrant father and Greek-American mom, Mantzoukas, 46, has built an incredible résumé by playing a variety of funny dirtbags and sexy weirdos. He’s so good at disappearing into his characters, in fact, that fans sometimes forget that he’s pretending.

    This is particularly true when it comes to his stint as Rafi on FX’s The League,where the Massachusetts native was tasked with playing a maniac obsessed with feces, criminality, and his own sister. “The compliment I take from it is, nobody ever says, ‘Oh shit, Jason Mantzoukas!’ Or, ‘Oh shit, the actor who played Rafi,’ he says. “They are like, ‘Rafi is here!’ As if to say, ‘There’s a bear here.’ You know what I mean? They think that I’m an actual monster that is where they are.” The downside of this kind of fame, is that fans often try to get physical, grabbing him from behind on the street or yanking at him at a bar. To de-escalate, Mantzoukas says, “I respectfully ask people not to touch me. I go very low voice. I go very quiet.”

    Mantzoukas began performing in high school theater productions and Boston-area punk bands before studying improv at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York City. (He now performs at the Los Angeles branch at least twice a week). And aside from Rafi, he’s currently known for co-hosting the popular film podcast How Did This Get Made?, as well as his roles on the TV comedies No Activity, Big Mouth, The Good Place, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. He also did one episode of the Gilmore Girls series revival, “because I begged them,” he says of the show, which he’s loved for years. When I ask if he got to visit the iconic Stars Hollow gazebo, he looks mildly pained. “I shot on location somewhere else,” he sighs. “Don’t get me started.”

    f22eSTv4 4ac6b

    Speaking of girls, Mantzoukas has a distinct appeal among female fans. But when they gush about him online, they often sound kind of surprised by their attraction. Mantzoukas characterizes his usual flirty feedback aptly: “It sounds crazy and I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but, I think Jason Mantzoukas might be sexy?” He seems to find it amusing, not insulting, because if there’s anyone who knows that Jason Mantzoukas plays a lot of scuzzy guys, it’s Jason Mantzoukas.

    Now poised to transition to more film roles after positive reviews for his 2018 indie flick The Long Dumb Road, Mantzoukas will soon appear in John Wick: Chapter 3, where he plays a character named “Tick Tock Man.” It’s all very hush-hush, but one thing is certain—somebody will write a thinkpiece about how they kind of want to make out with Tick Tock Man. And he’s sure to take it all in stride. Because the real Jason Mantzoukas is proof that the good guy occasionally does win. Although he may have to play some not-so-good-guys along the way. 

    By Sara Benincasa
    Photographed by Gizelle Hernandez
    Groomer: Carola Gonzalez // Stylist: Jasmine Betancourt // Location: Black Cat L.A.

    This piece originally appeared in the January/February 2019 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!

    More from BUST

    "The Long Dumb Road" Is A Fresh Take On A Road Trip Comedy

    Sasheer Zamata Rewrites Louis C.K.’s ‘Parkland Shooting Bit’ Into Comedic Gold

    Janeane Garofalo Defends Louis C.K. On The Latest "Poptarts" Podcast And Things Get HEATED!