Larry David wigs out in HBO’s Clear History

Jon Hamm with “Hairy” David

Does Larry David’s new HBO movie Clear History mean Curb Your Enthusiasm is history?
The Seinfeld co-creator hasn’t shot a new episode of Curb since he wrapped Season Eight two years ago.
Clear History, a funny, star-packed two hour movie that plays like an extended episode of Curb, premieres Saturday, Aug. 10 at 9 p.m. on HBO and HBO Canada.
“After the last season of Curb, Larry sat down and said, ‘What is it I want to do?’ And it was this film he wanted to do,” HBO president Michael Lombardo explained to TV critics last year in Los Angeles. Lombardo made it clear that his network will take as many future Curb episodes as they can get.
When he was asked when that might happen at this summer’s TCA press tour in July, David wouldn’t commit. “I don’t know, I really couldn’t say,” he stammered. “Ask me in six months.”
I quizzed Curb co-stars JB Smoove and Jeff Garlin during the tour but it was clear they had no inside track on David’s timetable.
“I’m not trying to figure out Larry David.” Garlin told critics during the panel for ABC’s The Goldbergs, his own new series. “I’m just appreciating Larry David at all times. And I think there’s a decent chance we’ll do more. By the way, his reaction that made the news where he was unsure, do you think he’s ever not been unsure before a season? I’m like that made the news? I don’t even ask him if we’re going to do more. I just, I’ll get a call, ‘Hey, you want to do more?’ And then that will be it.
Clear History stars David as a disgraced former marketing executive named Nathan Flomm. Now living alone on an island in Massachusetts, he has turned into a long-haired hippie who goes under the name Rolly DaVore.
DaVore once had a stake in an electric car company, but gave up his share after a petty argument with his boss (played by Mad Men‘s Jon Hamm). That fit of rage cost DeVore billions, destroyed his life and left him publicly humiliated–and now, ten years later, he is out for revenge.
With all that hippie hair and full beard, David is unrecognizable at the beginning of the film. The hair and makeup was necessary, says David, because Hamm’s boss character is not supposed to recognize DeVore all those years later. “So it had to be extreme,” he says.
Originally, the long hair and bears was to come in the longer, present day sequence of the film, which would have forced David into the makeup chair for many more weeks., “Thank God we didn’t do it that way because the makeup was intolerable,” he told critics. “To get to sit in that chair for an hour every morning to put that on, it felt like I had 10,000 insects on my head. I couldn’t stand it, but I thought I cut quite a figure.”
David wrote the film with Alec Berg, David Mandel and Jeff Schaffer. It’s directed by red hot Greg Mottola (Superbad, The Newsroom).
David has packed the film with an all-star cast: besides Hamm as Will Haney, DeVore’s smooth, good looking ex-boss there’s Bill Hader, Philip Baker Hall, Kate Hudson, Michael Keaton, Danny McBride, Eva Mendes, Amy Ryan and David’s Curb pal Smoove.
If you’re a Chicago fan, several of the groups ’70s hits blare from the soundtrack.
“Actually, my first choice was the Bee Gees, but then a Bee Gee died,” says David. “So we were down to one Bee Gee. Didn’t seem that great to do it with one Bee Gee.”
Read more on David and Clear History in the article I wrote in this month’s copy of Movie Entertainment magazine.

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