Jerry Seinfeld Says the ‘Movie Business Is Over’ and ‘Film Doesn’t Occupy the Pinnacle in the Cultural Hierarchy’ Anymore: ‘Disorientation Replaced’ It

Jerry Seinfeld is finally a movie director with the upcoming premiere of his feature debut “Unfrosted.” Backed by Netflix, the star-studded comedy is a fictional account of the creation of Pop-Tarts toaster pastries. In a new interview with GQ magazine, Seinfeld reflected on his experience jumping into moviemaking for the first time so late in his career.

“It was totally new to me. I thought I had done some cool stuff, but it was nothing like the way these people work,” Seinfeld said. “They’re so dead serious! They don’t have any idea that the movie business is over. They have no idea.”

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Asked to elaborate on a more serious note, Seinfeld continued: “Film doesn’t occupy the pinnacle in the social, cultural hierarchy that it did for most of our lives. When a movie came out, if it was good, we all went to see it. We all discussed it. We quoted lines and scenes we liked. Now we’re walking through a fire hose of water, just trying to see.”

So what, if anything, has replaced film? “Depression? Malaise? I would say confusion. Disorientation replaced the movie business,” he answered. “Everyone I know in show business, every day, is going, ‘What’s going on? How do you do this? What are we supposed to do now?'”

“I’ve done enough stuff that I have my own thing, which is more valuable than it’s ever been,” Seinfeld noted about his career outside the more-confused film industry. “Stand-up is like you’re a cabinetmaker, and everybody needs a guy who’s good with wood. … There’s trees everywhere, but to make a nice table, it’s not so easy. So, the metaphor is that if you have good craft and craftsmanship, you’re kind of impervious to the whims of the industry.”

“Audiences are now flocking to stand-up because it’s something you can’t fake,” he added. “It’s like platform diving. You could say you’re a platform diver, but in two seconds we can see if you are or you aren’t. That’s what people like about stand-up. They can trust it. Everything else is fake.”

Seinfeld recently popped up in the series finale of Larry David’s HBO series “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” The two men co-created the iconic sitcom “Seinfeld,” and they reunited in the “Curb Your Enthusiasm” finale to riff on the controversial ending of their belived sitcom, which saw its main characters wind up in jail. A lot of people have given Seinfeld flak over the years for the end of “Seinfeld,” and he admitted to GQ the finale had bothered him “a little bit” all these years.

“I don’t believe in regret,” Seinfeld said. “It’s arrogant to think you could have done something different. You couldn’t. That’s why you did what you did. But me and Jeff Schaffer and Larry were standing around, talking about TV finales and which we thought were great. I feel ‘Mad Men’ was the greatest. A lot of people like the ‘Bob Newhart’ one. ‘Mary Tyler Moore’ was OK. ‘Mad Men’ was the greatest final moment of a series I’ve ever seen. So satisfying. So funny. And they said that they had sat and watched the ‘Seinfeld’ finale, trying to figure out what went wrong. And it was obviously about the final scene, leaving them in the jail cell.”

“Unfrosted” streams on Netflix beginning May 3. Head over to GQ’s website to read Seinfeld’s interview in its entirety.

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