Sun Kil Moon/Red House Painters principal Mark Kozelek didn’t have to stray far from reality for his role in the new film “Shopgirl.” The artist plays Luther, the leader of the band the Hot Tears, which also includes Low bassist Zak Sally and John Fedevich, who joined Kozelek in the fictional Stillwater in Cameron Crowe’s 2000 movie “Almost Famous.”
In “Shopgirl,” shy, lonely Saks Fifth Avenue clerk Mirabelle (Claire Danes) is jointly wooed by slacker artist Jeremy (Jason Schwartzman) and 50-something millionaire Ray (Steve Martin, from whose book the film was adapted). It opens this weekend in U.S. theaters.
In the middle of the film, Schwartzman’s character takes a job as a roadie with the Hot Tears after rescuing the band from an embarrassing amplifier meltdown during a show. The group performs Sun Kil Moon’s “Lily & Parrots” in the scene; later, SKM’s “Carry Me Ohio” soundtracks a key interaction between Danes and Martin.
“I can’t wait to see it,” the San Francisco-based Kozelek tells Billboard.com of the film. “They flew me down to L.A. and three days later, I was out of there. They shot my stuff so quickly that I didn’t really get a chance to get inside anything that was going on.”
Kozelek says he hasn’t actively sought out acting roles, but looks forward to potential future work in that world. “Both of the things I’ve done have been from the directors being a fan,” he says. “I’d welcome more of it if it would come my way, but it’s not part of my mindset. If it comes my way, God, I’ll take it and I’ll fly down there in a second. Maybe with this one coming out, I’ll get a few more calls.”
As previously reported, Kozelek reactivated the Sun Kil Moon moniker for a Modest Mouse covers album, “Tiny Cities,” due Nov. 1 via his own Calo Verde imprint. The only live show on his schedule at present will come Nov. 25 in London as part of the 25th anniversary of 4AD Records, which issued the first four Red House Painters albums.
“Being back there and being around those people will conjure up a lot of emotions about the first time I went over there and the first time I ever got an advance from a record company,” he says. “All those things where my world was opening up. Twelve or 13 years later, I’m still here.”