NPR FOR THE DEAF: We Hear It Even When You Can’t




Writer-director Robert Siegel wrote the screenplay for the acclaimed 2008 film The Wrestler; Patton Oswalt, the stand-up comic and actor, starred in CBS’s The King of Queens and provided the voice for Remy, the main character in Pixar’s food romance Ratatouille. Now the two have collaborated on a new film — a drama, not a comedy — called Big Fan, about an obsessive 35-year-old New York Giants fan. Oswalt’s character, Paul, works as a parking-garage attendant, lives with his mom, and finds an outlet for his passion — and a minor kind of celebrity — as a frequent caller into a sports-radio show. One day, when Paul spots one of his favorite players on the street, he decides to introduce himself, but the encounter goes very wrong — and in the aftermath, Paul finds his life turned inside out. Siegel, who’s the former editor-in-chief of satirical newspaper The Onion, makes his directorial debut with the film. Oswalt, who’s appeared in more than 20 films, has a new Comedy Central special called My Weakness Is Strong. They join Terry Gross for a conversation about their favorite directors, their own very different levels of sports-geekery and what it’s like shooting a scene in what they delicately refer to as “a gentlemen’s club.”

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